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Where would I go? I'd have to climb all over everybody again. Looking at responses from more than 62,000 people, the researchers found that in individualist cultures, emotions were significant predictors of life satisfaction. In collectivist nations, normative beliefs were equally as strong as emotions in predicting life satisfaction--for example, the sense that a person is living up to their role as a spouse or employee. The researchers determined that while 40 percent of the variance in life satisfaction of those in collectivist nations could be attributed to norms, that was true for just 12 percent of the variation in individualist nations. On the other hand, while 39 percent of the variance in collectivist nations was due to emotions, almost double that--76 percent--shaped life satisfaction in individualist nations. The findings pointed to the fact that, as the researchers put it, "regardless of why or how a person feels a specific emotion," the way it actually influences their life depends on their culture. Rather than examining how someone actually feels (i.e., whether they are happy or sad), some researchers now also consider how subjects prefer to feel. Stanford University associate professor of psychology Jeanne Tsai defines this as the "ideal affect." She illustrates it with a comparison between North Americans (who in surveys expressed a preference for "high arousal affect" such as excitement and enthusiasm), and East Asians (who prefer "low arousal affect" such as calm and peacefulness). As she puts it, "people do different things to feel good because they differ in their ideal affect." "After a decade of research, Jeanne Tsai's propositions about ideal affect have largely been supported. Having said this, it's important to remember that these are cultural tendencies. North Americans, too, want to experience low arousal affect at certain times and for certain reasons and so engage in more passive leisure activities. Similarly, Chinese, too, want to experience high arousal affect at certain times and for certain reasons and so engage in more active leisure activities. Just as money can't buy you happiness as an individual, that may also be the case as a nation. Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen has found that in places experiencing an expansion of relative freedom, economic growth and quality of life have followed. He suggests that countries would be better off by focusing on expanding freedom--ensuring that people are able to live the way they want to as much as possible--rather than on income levels or gross national product. As he puts it, "An alternative to focusing on means of good living is to concentrate on the actual living that people manage to achieve." You believe that what you feel is true. So if you feel bad you believe it's because you have done something wrong. You feel anxious about meeting new people and therefore conclude you are inferior to other people. You make a mistake and you find yourself thinking I made a mistake, therefore I am a failure.' If you decide that emotional reasoning relates to you, list two situations where you can identify this type of thinking, together with the thoughts that were going through your mind at the time. <br /><br /><a href=''>Do</a> you label yourself with terms such asI am a failure'; I am useless'; andI am worthless'? Every time anything goes wrong, however small, it reinforces the label you have given yourself. You did not do as well as you could have done at school and feel a failure. Because you did not do well, you say to yourself I am a failure'. <a href=''>You</a> made a mistake and because of this you say to yourselfI am stupid'. If you decide that labelling relates to you, list two situations where you can identify this type of thinking, together with the thoughts that were going through your mind at the time. You take everything personally and blame yourself even when it isn't your fault. Trashy thoughts, emotions, behavior, and habits result from exposing your mind to trash. Every thought, emotion, behavior, and habit that doesn't serve you has to go. Everything negative, limiting, and a waste of time has to go. Ask yourself, "Does this belief, mindset, or habit push me towards my goals and getting my act together?" If no, label it as "trash" and throw it out. When it tries coming back up, tell it, "You don't belong here. Get lost." You can't simultaneously have your act together and retain mental trash. You have to throw it out and replace it with high-quality and valuable thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and habits. Mental trash is messing up your thoughts and emotions. Trash habits are creating problems and pushing you in the wrong direction. Trash beliefs are keeping you discouraged, unrealistic, and unmotivated. Complaining, thinking you aren't good enough, acting like a victim, making excuses, being too easy on yourself, justifying your shortcomings, etc., means you need to clean up your mindset and replace the trash with positivity. Clean your mind up. Get rid of the bullshit.

Get rid of the nonsense. Lose the limiting beliefs. Lose the mindsets and habits keeping you in your current position. This also includes proactively ensuring you're not exposing your mind to and feeding it trash. You won't catch all of your trash beliefs, mindsets, and habits in one day. They'll come up one by one from time to time over the next few months and years and, when they do, catch, identify, label, and throw them out as quickly as possible. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. Once the trash is gone, your mind is cleaner, purer, and more efficient. You are in charge of organizing a holiday and have had a number of setbacks caused by your friends' inability to decide on aspects of the trip. A few of your friends are a little agitated and you find yourself feeling anxious, thinking, `I am pretty useless. I should have managed to organize things better and my friends think I am stupid'. If you decide that personalization and blame relate to you, list two situations where you can identify this type of thinking together with the thoughts that were going through your mind at the time. You tend to be prone to making global statements about yourself, other people and the world. It's not whether you win or lose, it's if you host the game. A study of twelve European countries found that hosting an international sporting event--the Olympics, FIFA World Cup, or Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) European Championship--gave a significant boost to self-reports of life satisfaction among their populations. The "feel-good factor" a person enjoys from having their country host a sports event is as large as the increase in satisfaction one derives from getting married--if not as long lasting. However, the researchers found no significant relation between national happiness and success or "[b]etter than expected national athletic performance in the national game"--for example, one's country winning more Olympic medals than expected. Turns out, just being a generous host is enough to boost the national mood. Dr. Andrew Weil, always a vocal proponent of natural highs, stresses refinement and extraction in his popular book The Natural Mind.

The coca leaf, often chewed by members of indigenous cultures for stamina, has been processed for its highly potent ingredient, cocaine. True to the adage that more means more, the effects of cocaine, especially when it reaches the brain in seconds, are greater than for coca, as are its toxic effects. Peyote is a small cactus native to Mexico and parts of Texas. Its use by Native Americans dates back over five thousand years. Ten to twenty grams of dried peyote "buttons" (the part of the cactus that grows aboveground) can yield 200-400 mg of pure mescaline, which is the principal psychoactive substance. By drying the peyote, the more potent concoction mescaline is produced, with greater neurochemical impact. One, albeit inexact, analogy is to alcohol proof, where higher-proof alcohol blends have greater effects, desired and undesired, as does mescaline when it is used instead of the peyote plant. Dr. Weil has much to teach us about "the natural mind" and the natural use of substances. The Paleo movement--meaning living as we humans did in the Stone Age as hunter-gatherers, in diet, exercise, not wearing shoes, and sustaining life in concert with our environment--is perhaps a good example of how far naturalistic beliefs have evolved. I am not a proponent of only singularly prescribing substances that are "natural," but when we imbibe or consume these powerful substances, we want to know from whence they came, and how they were extracted. In examining happy places, economists from the University of Warwick in England, Hamilton College (Clinton, NY), and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco came upon a troubling finding: The happiest places on earth often have the highest suicide rates. Drawing on life satisfaction scores for US states, subjective well-being rankings from the World Values Survey, and suicide rates, the researchers found a consistent correlation between happy places and high suicide rates. The researchers suggested that the reason for this is not that happier people are more prone to taking their own lives, but that "although one's own happiness protects one from suicide . However, if you are feeling unhappy and those around you feel pretty cheery, it may only deepen your depression. This dark side to happiness makes for a fitting transition to the next chapter, which looks at the less pleasant aspects of the pursuit of happiness. Maybe it's a little late to bring this up, but being happy is not always a good thing. This book has largely come from the position that happiness is a desirable state of being and that becoming happy will enhance your work, life, and relationships. While that's largely true, there are also times when happiness can be a problem, or ways of being happy that can create issues in your life--or even end it altogether. It turns out that happiness is not the answer to everything.

Happiness can be trouble, or at least it makes the case that having a smile on your face will not solve all of your problems. Here are tips about when tempering your emotions can be advantageous, and ways to leverage negativity, which will have a positive impact on your life satisfaction over the long term. Whether it's spotting liars, getting more creative, or simply avoiding turning into a psychopath, here is how a cloudier disposition can work to your benefit. Happiness gets a lot of attention, but researchers believe that looking beyond just that one big, shiny emotion is actually necessary to achieve greater emotional health. Those examining these questions have found benefits in thinking of emotional health not as a simple sliding scale of happy to miserable, but as something like an emotional ecosystem where a balance of different emotions or "emodiversity" (amusement, joy, awe, contentment, gratitude, etc.) results in greater health than a simple positive disposition. A team of researchers conducted a pair of cross-sectional studies of more than 37,000 respondents and found that high levels of emodiversity (measured in ways similar to how natural sciences quantify the biodiversity of ecosystems) were associated with better mental and physical health than was a high concentration of a specific positive emotion and not others. This can affect physical health as well. A professor of human development and gerontology drew on diary data from 175 adults who tracked their positive and negative emotions at the end of each day over a thirty-day period. Those who had greater diversity in their positive emotions were found to be healthier; specifically, they had lower levels of inflammatory activity that can contribute to type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid disease, and more. Embrace a range of positive emotions, thinking of happiness as one useful mood among many. A pair of psychologists studied mixed emotional experience and its impact on psychological well-being, monitoring a group of forty-seven subjects over twelve weekly therapy sessions. They found that the experience of happiness and sadness at the same time was a consistent precursor to significant psychological self-improvement over time. "Thus, while the concurrent experience of happiness and sadness in the face of adversity might not provide immediate benefit, it may signal enhancements in psychological well-being in the near future," wrote the authors. Embrace wins and losses. Taking them together will position you for longer-term improvements. More concerning, it turns out that trying to increase your level of happiness can lead to the exact opposite. It seems that the greater value you put on happiness, the more likely you are to feel disappointed in failing to achieve it. One study asked subjects to "try to make yourself feel as happy as possible," while they listened to a piece of music. Those urged to put themselves in a positive mood reported feeling less happy than those who were given no instructions. In another study, the more subjects reported valuing happiness, the less psychological well-being and life satisfaction they expressed, as well as greater mental health challenges such as depression.