Archives for April, 2012
Have you ever noticed that there is a human tendency to try and make sense of someone by how they look? We sort of size people up when we meet them. Morphopsychology is the analysis and study of the facial morphology, used for personality evaluations. The process by which the shape of one’s face interacts with the psychology is still a mystery, but I am sure that like everyone else, when meeting a new face, you had a strange intuition of knowing the nature of the person you met (Note that this intuition could prove to be right or wrong). That is where morphopsychology started, and it started a long time ago because the first words we know about it are from Hippocrates. From experience, clinical observation, and statistical studies, a lot of skilled men started drawing the basic rules to propose a correspondence between face and personality.
If I asked you what your biggest motivation is, what would you say? Would you say it's to be successful, to have loving relationships, to make a difference in the world, or to be wealthy? Maybe it's all of the above - though there is one common denominator for all of these: to be happy. We all want to be happy, right? Some would say the search for happiness is the greatest motivator of humankind. For many people this is the primary goal of their life. We do what we do in the hopes that we will ultimately find greater happiness. It's intuitive to think that if we value happiness so much, we would ultimately be happier. If you want something bad enough, don't you do whatever it takes to reach this goal?
Zest makes life better. Zestful people simply enjoy things more than people low in zestfulness, so when we talk about increasing our habitual level of happiness (what some call the “happiness set point”) then increasing our ability to feel zestful helps. It is true that zestfulness is almost certainly an innate, inherited trait. But in the past few years, we have discovered that many of these traits are quite changeable. We can increase zest if we wish to. How do we do it? What about enjoying the things around us? The skill of Savoring can increase our zest, since by paying attention to the pleasant things in our lives, we develop a greater sense of excitement about having that happen again. We enjoy and we eagerly anticipate. Think of wine tasters. You have seen them sniffing the wine as they swirl it around in the glass, then swishing it around in their mouth. They are trying to sense every aspect of the wine. Their attention is totally focused on the moment, on how they can tune in to every molecule of taste. They are savoring the wine.
Sometimes our emotions get the best of us. No matter how much we try to be aware of our triggers and keep calm, there will probably be times we simply lose our cool. We live in a day and age where people are consumed with daily pressure and overloaded with stress from work, family, finances and other obligations. What do you do to cope during these moments of stress and frustration? Whether you're personally struggling to manage your emotions or you know someone in your life who seems to be emotionally sensitive, practicing mindful awareness can be a tool for regulating these difficult emotions. Mindfulness is generally characterized as having present moment awareness, where we observe our current experience of thoughts and feelings in a nonjudgmental manner. Mindfulness has been shown to be effective for therapeutic purposes by decreasing emotional distress and helping to reduce depression - though mindfulness can also be a valuable means for dealing with everyday pressures as well.
Have you ever wanted to be more brave, courageous, and bold? Think of what you could do if you had the courage to step out on a limb and push beyond your fears? When it comes to my personal level of courage, I have came a long way over the last few years. I am willing to take more risks, push beyond my self-imposed limitations, and expand my view of what is possible in life. Still, I'm always interested in how I can be more confident, determined, and steadfast as I pursue further aspirations. I was fortunate to come across a new book that provides the insight and information about how to do just this. The book is called The Courage Quotient by psychologist Robert Biswas-Diener. Dr. Biswas-Diener is known as the "Indiana Jones of Positive Psychology," and I have been a huge fan of his work in the field of positive psychology coaching. His new book explores what psychological research is revealing about how to increase courage and be braver person, and below is an interview where we delve deeper into his new book and the science of courage.
The Easter holiday is here, full of bunnies, chocolate, and Easter egg hunts. Of course, Easter is about much more than bunnies and eggs, and whatever your beliefs and traditions may be, it’s a wonderful time of year to remind ourselves about starting anew, standing-up to oppression, and overcoming trials and tribulations. In our day to day life, whether it is our health, relationships, career, or finances, we can encounter everything from minor inconveniences to major obstacles. When these challenges arise how we deal with them reveals a lot about our ability to bounce back and persevere. Hopefully, there may be many things going well for you currently, but consider if there are areas where you need to do some work, or where you know there might be a tough road ahead. What can you do to stay hopeful and resolute? To assist you on this journey, here are a few ways to bounce back from struggles and be more resilient.
I know it's a heavy question, but really think about it. What makes life worth living? What's most important to you? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? When it comes to our search for happiness and fulfillment, we can go down many different paths. Some of the paths will end with empty and trivial outcomes, where others will have more memorable experiences full of immense satisfaction and meaning. One thing that makes life more fulfilling and worth living is really connecting with the world around us. If you consider your most precious memories they are probably with other people, when you were doing something beyond your personal satisfaction. It is those remarkable and significant moments in life, the ones that fill us with inspiration and liveliness that are truly meaningful. Sometimes life can get us down and it can be tough to notice all the amazing things that life has to offer, but when we remember to stay connected whether it be through work, family, friends, or the community at large we can more readily be an active participate. Here are 6 ways to make deeper connections in life.