When times are tough, people are quick to dispense feel-good clichés like “every cloud has a silver lining” or “everything happens for a reason.” For some people, it’s a matter of faith that the universe is inherently reasonable, whether it’s through the action of destiny or God’s will. However, making meaning from difficulties is a very human, personal process that often requires effort, and not just blind faith.
Articles tagged with "research"
Recent research explores how viewing baby animal pictures affects your ability to focus your attention and effort. Far from a fluff piece, studies like this one are actually at the forefront of research into how positive emotions contribute to wellbeing and the ability to thrive. That's right: having positive emotions can help you thrive (not just vice versa), especially if you take advantage of them.
Self-esteem can be seen as a mechanism for information exchange between yourself and the environment: it enables you to express your qualities or status (or the ones you'd like to have) and respond emotionally to how you're received. When the innate human drive for connection is filtered through social media, some interesting results emerge. Some may change the way you use Facebook, and others reinforce what we already know about social needs.
Our series on goal achievement has stretched over six months, so you're forgiven if you've missed a few. Here we've collected the fundamentals you need to know if you want to be effective in accomplishing your goals. But the benefits of putting these things into practice don't stop there.
Have you ever had the experience of being in a neutral or bad mood, and then encountering a friend with a big smile on her face and an upbeat attitude, and then noticing an emotional shift occur inside of you? If so, it isn’t your imagination; humans are hardwired for attunement with one another. You might think of this exchange of emotions between two people when they encounter each other face-to-face as the most basic unit of connection underlying the complex factors that affect your social health. Here's the science of it.
Have you ever tried to stop or cut back on doing something, then slipped up just once, and then completely abandoned your goal? For instance, you've been successful at watching what you eat, but then one day you eat too much, and a multi-day binge ensues? Throwing in the towel like this can happen for many reasons; it might be because you're applying the wrong goal-setting strategy.
The psychological need for support from and connection with others is thought to have its roots in our small-tribe hunter-gatherer heritage. Since then, several decades of scientific research into attachment theory have taught us about what good interpersonal connection looks like. Obtaining fulfillment from your social connections isn't only about what you receive from others, because meeting others' needs meets a need of your own.
The hierarchy of your goals—how relatively important they are to you—is one thing. A somewhat different matter is how concrete or abstract they are, and how you link the two types together. The process can have a big impact on your mood and overall wellbeing and, by extension, on your performance.
Neurobiological research is providing an ever-growing body of evidence supporting long-standing psychological theories about the importance of attunement with others, especially in early life. A recent pilot study hints that the same types of connections you need to thrive as an infant and adult may also keep dementia at bay.
Your feedback loops only operate properly when they have information to work with, so your natural tendency to avoid bad news can gum up the works. Fortunately, you don't need to go far to find what you need to keep things moving.