Articles in Self regulation
Having recently completed the dissertation for my MAPP program, I can now reflect on the final few weeks before my submission. I felt pressured, had a drop in overall well-being, and struggled to get into flow. Worse still, I wasn’t great company to be around. I thought to myself, as a student and researcher of positive psychology, how could I be unhappy and not flourishing? But at least I wasn’t languishing. What kept me from dipping into languishing?
Positive Psychology focuses on many constructs that are related to the idea of freedom. Sonja Lyubomirsky found that about 40% of the variation in happiness across a population is attributable to intentional activities rather than genetic or environmental factors. Isn’t she talking about making free decisions?
If freedom is that important, how can we reconcile Positive Psychology with studies that appear to undermine free will?
Over generations of survivors, humans developed thinking shortcuts which are still very pervasive today. Of these common shortcuts, 5 are very costly to our health. While it is unlikely that we’ll ever break free of their influence, increased mindfulness can alleviate their effects on our thought processes, behaviors, and wellness.
Since the holiday season is upon us, you can bet that New Year’s Resolutions aren’t far off. Yet only 8% of us consistently achieve our goals for the New Year. That’s not very encouraging, but it’s also no surprise, considering that most of us will just pick a resolution and hope to achieve it without much planning. But to reverse-paraphrase Einstein, if we go about it differently this year, we can get different results. Here are 4 ideas for effectively working toward health goals.
December 5, 2013 will be remembered for news of the death of the first black president of South Africa, anti-apartheid icon and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Nelson Mandela. I’m not normally drawn to writing about political leaders. But Mandela was different in every respect. His life was a life well-lived.
Setting goals is only the first step. Then we need to pursue them. Caroline Miller discusses ways that we can enhance our achievements with behaviors that support goal pursuit.
In a 2012 Swiss study, researchers Friese, Messner, and Shaffner tested whether a brief period of meditation would lessen the depletion effects of self-control. Their experimental group showed less ego depletion than the control group. Why? How might mindfulness affect self-regulation?
Forgiveness. Mercy. Prudence. Modesty. The strengths of temperance don’t get as much attention as our more muscular qualities. Yet in a certain sense, maybe this cluster of strengths enables every other strength, and thus makes the good life possible.
Researchers Amy Cuddy, Dana Carney, Caroline Wilmuth, and Andy Yap have found that just one minutes of taking a power pose can lower lessen fear, increase the capacity for cognitive function, lower stress, and increase feelings of power and the tolerance for risk-taking. This is just right for someone who needs to take the stage.
During the recent London 2012 Olympic Games an unparalleled mood of optimism and hope swept across the United Kingdom. It was without doubt an extraordinary two weeks. The question is whether we can maintain and capitalize on that sense of Olympic optimism now that the games are over, the athletes have all flown home, and life is settling back to normal. As with the sporting legacy, only time will tell.