http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/435918.stml Men who cannot express their emotions could find it harder to father children, according to psychological research. A study, presented at a British Psychological Society conference in Leeds, compared 25 men with fertility problems with 25 with none. It suggested that "new men", who find it easier to talk about their feelings, could be more likely to be fertile. Although the 25 fertile men reported more stress-causing incidents day to day over a two- week period, they were far more likely to talk about them.
Moods What’s the difference between feelings and moods
Robert E. Thayer (p285) The Origin of Everyday Moods “If we think of our moods as emphasizing meaning and enhancing or reducing the pleasure in our lives, we can understand how central they really are. In this respect, they are more important than daily activities, money, status, and even personal relationships because these things are usually filtered through our moods. In many ways, our moods are at the core of our being.”
A mood is a “background feeling that persists over time” Mood different to an emotion as emotion has an identifiable cause. Moods often do not. Moods are combination of energy and tension – ie body and mind combined Four basic moods: Calm-energy Calm-tiredness Tense-energy Tense-tiredness Mood factors: Food, Health, Sleep, Additives – drugs, alcohol, caffeine, weather STUDY – Problem less of an issue in the morning and if slept well Mood is like an invisible bubble around us.
Dr. Martin Seligman Authentic Happiness www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu A new branch of psychology which focuses on the empirical study of such things as positive emotions, strengths-based character, and healthy institutions. His research has demonstrated that it is possible to be happier — to feel more satisfied, to be more engaged with life, find more meaning, have higher hopes, and probably even laugh and smile more, regardless of one’s circumstances. Positive psychology interventions can also lastingly decrease depression symptoms.
“This was an epiphany for me. In terms of my own life, Nikki hit the nail right on the head. I was a grouch. I had spent fifty years enduring mostly wet weather in my soul, and in the last ten years as a walking nimbus cloud in a household radiant with sunshine. Any good fortune I had was probably not due to being grumpy, but in spite of it. In that moment, I resolved to change.”
Money does not increase happiness – its importance to you can though Marriage does make people happier or at least relationships do Social life and faith make people happier Illness, climate, intelligence do not Gender – women are both happier and sadder than men Some races are less depressed than others Character however is a factor – traits such as wisdom, love, courage etc help. (Talent – inate, trait – learnt) Refining strengths helps fixing weaknesses does not (?!) Childhood is less of a factor than you would think Levels of happiness are somewhat fixed though Easy satisfaction is not fulfilling but overcoming adversity is
Daniel Gilbert Stumbling on Happiness http://www.randomhouse.com/kvpa/gilbert/g uide1.html Worries about the future are the emotional equivalent of optical illusion errors. Ie we can be wrong about the future The mind is poor at spotting absences and whilst our future projections may not be totally wrong we often leave out crucial bits Perception = personal interpretation of reality – it is as much about the person as the event (KANT) Ie Happiness is subjective What we imagine of the future is coloured by our current feelings Solution: ask people who’ve been there for advice
Laughter http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/science/allinthemind_20070717.shtml LAUGHTER The psychological and scientific study of laughter has recently taken a turn for the serious. Evolutionary theory argues that any behaviour as universal as laughter must have some solemn survival purpose. And laughter has such profound effects on people’s brain and mind that it is now being seriously deployed to assist those suffering bereavement, having surgery, and even fertility treatment. Could further understanding of the function laughter served become a weapon in our armoury of persuasion and manipulation of others? A recent study by the Universities of Kent and Liverpool revealed that laughter acts as a social lubricant and increases altruism towards strangers. Mark Van Vugt, Professor of Social Psychology and a member for the University of Kent’s Centre for the Study of Group Processes explains how this theory was tested.
David D Burns Feeling Good www.feelinggood.com 5.3% of US population depressed at any one time 40 years ago mean age for depression onset was 29.5 years of age. Now, the mean age for depression onset has halved to 14.5 years of age.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy 1.How we feel is based on what we are thinking about 2.Depression is constant negative thought 3.The vast majority of negative thoughts are untrue and yet we believe them- why?
Brizendine The Female Brain The female brain has 11% more neurons in the language and hearing sector Hippocampus (memory) is bigger Fewer processors in the amygdala (aggression and fear) Great sense of stress for same events as men. 8 wks foetus (all start female) - influx of testosterone reduces communication neurons and creates aggression neurons in male foetuses 52 seconds : once a day 7,000 words a day (male) : 20,000 words a day (female)
Barry Schwartz Paradox of Choice “Unlike other negative emotions – anger, sadness, disappointment, even grief – what is so difficult about regret is that feeling that the regrettable state of affairs could have been avoided and that it could have been avoided by you if only you had chosen differently.”
Chocolate box study – more satisfied with the smaller box Infinite choice + capacity for error = stress Each decision requires more effort Error is more and more likely Psychological consequences are greater In last 40 years Av per capita income doubled Dishwashers 9 – 50% Air Con – 15 – 75% No measurable increase in happiness What does work is relationships, close social ties… 65 % want to control treatment of their cancer if they got it in reality 88 % don’t want to. Ie we don’t really know what we want. Choice = responsibility Solution – make decisions irreversible and appreciate what you’ve got