Tag Archives: Psychology

One of the Worst Parenting Mistakes

No matter how physically active a child is, time spent in front of the computer or television screen is associated with psychological problems.
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In other words, children can’t make up for TV time by spending extra hours exercising.

The findings also suggest that the way children spend their sedentary time, in addition to how much time they spend being sedentary in the first place, matters for their mental health.

According to Live Science:
“… [R]esearchers asked 1,013 British 10- and 11-year-olds how much time each day they spent in front of a computer or TV. The children also wore accelerometers around their waists for a week to track their physical activity and sedentary time …

The study found that … more than two hours a day in front of a TV or computer was associated with more emotional and behavioral difficulties.”
Sources:
Live Science October 11, 2010

Pediatrics October 11, 2010 [Epub ahead of print]

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Talk Deeply & Be Happy

Would you be happier if you spent more time discussing the state of the world and the meaning of life — and less time talking about the weather?

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Deep conversations made people happier than small talk, one study found.
It may sound counterintuitive, but people who spend more of their day having deep discussions and less time engaging in small talk seem to be happier, said Matthias Mehl, a psychologist at the University of Arizona who published a study on the subject.

“We found this so interesting, because it could have gone the other way — it could have been, ‘Don’t worry, be happy’ — as long as you surf on the shallow level of life you’re happy, and if you go into the existential depths you’ll be unhappy,” Dr. Mehl said.

But, he proposed, substantive conversation seemed to hold the key to happiness for two main reasons: both because human beings are driven to find and create meaning in their lives, and because we are social animals who want and need to connect with other people.

“By engaging in meaningful conversations, we manage to impose meaning on an otherwise pretty chaotic world,” Dr. Mehl said. “And interpersonally, as you find this meaning, you bond with your interactive partner, and we know that interpersonal connection and integration is a core fundamental foundation of happiness.”

Dr. Mehl’s study was small and doesn’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship between the kind of conversations one has and one’s happiness. But that’s the planned next step, when he will ask people to increase the number of substantive conversations they have each day and cut back on small talk, and vice versa.

The study, published in the journal Psychological Science, involved 79 college students — 32 men and 47 women — who agreed to wear an electronically activated recorder with a microphone on their lapel that recorded 30-second snippets of conversation every 12.5 minutes for four days, creating what Dr. Mehl called “an acoustic diary of their day.”

Researchers then went through the tapes and classified the conversation snippets as either small talk about the weather or having watched a TV show, and more substantive talk about current affairs, philosophy, the difference between Baptists and Catholics or the role of education. A conversation about a TV show wasn’t always considered small talk; it could be categorized as substantive if the speakers analyzed the characters and their motivations, for example.

Many conversations were more practical and did not fit in either category, including questions about homework or who was taking out the trash, for example, Dr. Mehl said. Over all, about a third of all conversation was ranked as substantive, and about a fifth consisted of small talk.

But the happiest person in the study, based on self-reports about satisfaction with life and other happiness measures as well as reports from people who knew the subject, had twice as many substantive conversations, and only one-third of the amount of small talk as the unhappiest, Dr. Mehl said. Almost every other conversation the happiest person had — 45.9 percent of the day’s conversations — were substantive, while only 21.8 percent of the unhappiest person’s conversations were substantive.

Small talk made up only 10 percent of the happiest person’s conversations, while it made up almost three times as much –- or 28.3 percent –- of the unhappiest person’s conversations.

Next, Dr. Mehl wants to see if people can actually make themselves happier by having more substantive conversations.

“It’s not that easy, like taking a pill once a day,” Dr. Mehl said. “But this has always intrigued me. Can we make people happier, by asking them, for the next five days, to have one extra substantive conversation every day?”

Source: The New York Times. (Health, March 17,2010)

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Asking for What You Want

Cocreating with the Universe :
Most people don’t always fully realize that we all have within us the ability to cocreate our lives with the universe. So many of us are taught to accept what we are given and not even to dream of anything more. But our hopes and dreams are the universe whispering to us, planting an idea of what’s possible while directing us toward the best use of our gifts. The universe truly wants to give us our hearts’ desires, but we need to be clear about what they are and ask for them.

To ask for something does not mean to beg or plead from a place of lack or unworthiness. It’s like placing an order—we don’t need to beg the salesperson for what we want or prove to them that we deserve to have it. It is their job to give us what we ask for; we only have to tell them what we want. Once we have a clear vision of what we desire, we simply step into the silent realm where all possibilities exist and let our desires be known. Whatever methods we use to become still, it is important that we find the quiet space between our thoughts.

From that still and quiet place, we can announce our intentions to the pure energy of creation. By imagining all the details from every angle, including scent, color, and how it would feel to have it, we design our dreams to our specifications. Similar to dropping a pebble into a pond, the ripples created by our thoughts travel quickly from this place of stillness, echoing out into the world to align and orchestrate all the necessary details to bring our desires into manifestation. Before leaving this wonderful space to come back to the world, release any attachment to the outcome and express gratitude. By doing this daily, we focus our thoughts and our energy while regularly mingling with the essence that makes it possible to build the life of our dreams.

Source
: Daily Om

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Allowing Others To Be

Controlling Behavior

We all know what it’s like to want to be in control. In some ways, exerting control is an important survival skill. For example, we have every right to be in control of our own bodies and our own lives. Taking control in these cases is empowering and necessary. Controlling behavior in the negative sense comes from a tendency to reach beyond our own boundaries and into the lives of others. Many people do this with the rationalization that they are helping. This can happen with parents who are still trying to force their grown children into behaving in ways that they find acceptable. It can also happen when people try to control their partners’ behavior. If you have control issues, you will see that in one or more areas of your life, you feel the need to interfere with what is happening rather than just allowing events to unfold.

Almost everyone has at least one situation or relationship in which they try to exert control. This often happens because someone’s behavior makes us uncomfortable. We may feel it makes us look bad, or it embarrasses us. For example, if your best friend tends to drink too much, you might spend an entire party just trying to prevent her from doing so. This is different from directly confronting her about the problem and allowing her to decide what she should do. Controlling behavior generally goes hand in hand with an unwillingness to be direct about what you want, as well as an inability to let go and let people live their own lives. If you are the one that is controlling, it’s probably because you literally feel as if you are out of control and it scares you. Try to pick one thing you could just let unfold without any control on your part. Examine how it made you feel both before and after, and examine why you wanted to control the situation.

It is hard sometimes to allow others to be who they are, especially if we feel we know what’s best for them and we see them making choices we wouldn’t make. However, if we are to be respectful and truly loving, we have to let people go, trusting that they will find their own way in their own time and understanding that it is their life to live. Just reminding yourself that the only life you have to live is your own is the first step to letting go.

Source: Daily Om

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