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Radical Compassion
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How a Squirt of Oxytocin Could Ease Marital Spats and Boost Social Sensitivity | Healthland | TIME.com

How a Squirt of Oxytocin Could Ease Marital Spats and Boost Social Sensitivity | Healthland | TIME.com | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
Want to make those inevitable fights with your partner less troublesome? A spritz of the “love hormone” oxytocin could help, by encouraging cooperation in men and making women behave more approachably, a new study suggests.

 

The hormone may also help people read social cues more accurately, according to a second study in the same journal, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. That suggests oxytocin may not only ease social interaction, but that the hormone could also someday help people with socially impairing conditions like autism interact with others.

 

Oxytocin is a complicated character. It’s commonly called the “cuddle chemical” — the brain chemical is involved in orgasm, social bonding, pregnancy and breast-feeding — but in other circumstances, it has the opposite effect, increasing aggression against outsiders or spurring distrust and rejection rather than affection in some people who have had difficult childhoods.

 

The two new studies illuminate the nuanced effects of the hormone: in the first study, researchers found that oxytocin had opposing, but complementary effects on men and women in romantic relationships, who were given a dose of the drug before discussing a contentious point in their relationship. When both people got oxytocin, their conflict resolution improved.

 

The authors suggest that the variation corresponds to the different ways men and women tend to respond to stress. Men are more likely to go into fight-or-flight mode, which raises arousal and makes them prone to approach, while women typically engage in a tend-or-befriend” strategy with calmer physiology, which makes them more approachable. In its role in facilitating bonding between couples, therefore, oxytocin may tune the stress system to generate the best response from each gender in order to reduce conflict. The authors write that oxytocin “may have driven quiescence in women and…‘approach’ behavior in men.”

 

 

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2012/08/14/how-a-squirt-of-oxytocin-could-ease-marital-spats-and-boost-social-sensitivity/#ixzz23eFufQzx

 

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Imaging Conflict Resolution | Rebecca Saxe| Edge.org

Imaging Conflict Resolution | Rebecca Saxe| Edge.org | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it


The advantage of neuroscience is being able to look under the hood and see the mechanisms that actually create the thoughts and the behaviors that create and perpetuate conflict. Seems like it ought to be useful. That's the question that I'm asking myself right now, can science in general, or neuroscience in particular, be used to understand what drives conflict, what prevents reconciliation, why some interventions work for some people some of the time, and how to make and evaluate better ones.

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Empathy and Compassion: History & Research [p. 1] | The Center for Collaborative Communication: Communication Training

Empathy and Compassion: History & Research [p. 1] | The Center for Collaborative Communication: Communication Training | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

If you know about compassionate communication, you’re likely familiar with the ways that being mindful of each other, asking questions, and actively searching for ways to implement authentic connections can improve your life. Perhaps you celebrate the differences that using empathy and compassion has made in your experiences… so, what’s the difference between the two?

 

Empathy is a mental identification with the thoughts, feelings, or state of another person; it is the capacity to truly understand another person’s point of view. Compassion is a mental and somatic awareness of the suffering of another — coupled with the wish to relieve it. Empathy is understanding and compassion is a call to action – and both are the subject of increasing study and research. The terms are often seen together, though empathy receives much more research time.

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You Are (Probably) Wrong About You

You Are (Probably) Wrong About You | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
If you want to be more successful — at anything — than you are right now, you need to know yourself and your skills. And when you fall short of your goals, you need to know why. This should be no problem; after all, who knows you better than you do?
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Sometimes expressing anger can help a relationship in the long-term

Sometimes expressing anger can help a relationship in the long-term | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
It is not always best to forgive and forget in marriage, according to new research.
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Is a notebook the key to lasting self-improvement? - Barking up the wrong tree

Lifehacker offers a simple but solid solution to making sure we don't repeat mistakes and are always improving our lives.

 

Keep a notebook and record what has and and hasn't worked for you, over time creating a "Personal Handbook."

 

Study your behavior, keep track of what helps you out, and write it all down in a personal handbook that you can reference in the future.

 

Consider a bad day from the past and the problems that came up. Motivation was probably an issue. Did sleep help? Did you feel better after eating something? Perhaps the solution was more unique than that. If you're unmotivated to work, consider it an opportunity to do something else and take note of the effects. It may do nothing at all, but eventually you'll come across an answer. When you do, make a note in your handbook so next time you feel that way, you can look up possible solutions and give them a try.

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Is underindulgence the key to happiness? - Barking up the wrong tree

Is underindulgence the key to happiness? - Barking up the wrong tree | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

 

Taking in less of the things you love makes you enjoy them more.

Via NYT:

In a recent study conducted by our student Jordi Quoidbach, chocolate lovers ate a piece of this confection — and then pledged to abstain from chocolate for one week. Another group pledged to eat as much chocolate as they comfortably could and were even given a mammoth two-pound bag of chocolate to help them meet this “goal.”

If you love chocolate, you might think that the students who absconded with the chocolaty loot had it made. But they paid a price. When they returned the next week for another chocolate tasting, they enjoyed that chocolate much less than they had the week before. The only people who enjoyed the chocolate as much the second week as they had the first? Those who had given it up in between. Underindulging — temporarily giving up chocolate, even when we have the cash to buy all we want — can renew our enjoyment of the things we love.

And what's an even more powerful happiness-booster than underindulging? Spending money on others:

When we follow up with people who receive cash from us, those whom we told to spend on others report greater happiness than those told to spend on themselves. And in countries from Canada to India to South Africa, we find that people are happier when they spend money on others rather than on themselves.

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Being in awe can expand time and enhance well-being

Being in awe can expand time and enhance well-being | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
It doesn't matter what we've experienced -- whether it's the breathtaking scope of the Grand Canyon, the ethereal beauty of the Aurora Borealis, or the exhilarating view from the top of the Eiffel Tower -- at some point in our lives we've all had the feeling of being in a complete and overwhelming sense of awe.
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Scientists Invent Glass That’ll Make You Happier

Scientists Invent Glass That’ll Make You Happier | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research in Germany have invented a new type of window that is conceived to improve concentration, regulate sleep, and even make you happier.
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What Do Emotions Have to Do with Learning?

What Do Emotions Have to Do with Learning? | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
Thinkstock When parents and teachers consider how children learn, it’s usually the intellectual aspects of the activity they have in mind.
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The Invisible Bank: How Kenya Has Beaten the World in Mobile Money

The Invisible Bank: How Kenya Has Beaten the World in Mobile Money | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
In the developed world, we are used to the idea that we created the model of industrial and economic progress which other countries must follow. Many of our big ideas about development rest on the assumption that the West cracked the formula for economic progress sometime in the 19th century, and what we need now is for the developing world to ‘catch up’. Even the language we use encapsulates this idea, in the division between ‘developed’ and ‘developing’. But new innovations are challenging the idea that development requires handing ideas down from developed to developing. In banking and finance, the big ideas in cashless transfers and mobile, flexible exchanges are not to be found in Geneva or London or New York. A revolution in mobile money transfer has occurred, but not in these financial centres. Instead, it’s happened in Kenya, with m-Pesa.
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Workplace Well-being

Workplace Well-being | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

On June 28th in Chicago, Nikki Bardoulas attended the Work & Well-Being Conference put on by APA’s Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program.
A variety of engaging speakers, each with unique expertise, offered different perspectives on this broad but increasingly relevant topic. Discussions went from the macro level down to the micro level, ranging from an examination of wellness programs implemented by organizations across the nation to recommendations for individuals to deal successfully with stress.  Follow the link for Nikki's full report!

...http://positivepsychologynews.com/news/nikki-bardoulas/2012070523005

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Young Brains Lack Skills for Sharing: Scientific American

Young Brains Lack Skills for Sharing: Scientific American | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
An underdeveloped prefrontal cortex makes sharing difficult for young children...

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;The Science of Honesty: Lying Less Improves Health and Relationships STEVEN HANDEL

;The Science of Honesty: Lying Less Improves Health and Relationships STEVEN HANDEL | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
Lying less may be associated with significant benefits to both our physical and mental health, according to a recent study presented at the American Psychological Association's 120th Annual Conference.

 

During the conference, researchers from the University of Notre Dame presented an “honesty experiment” which measured whether or not telling lies could have adverse effects on our health. The study lasted 10 weeks and included 110 participants. Half of the group was instructed to avoid telling any major or white lies throughout the 10 week time frame. The other half of the group received no special instructions.

 

Each participant came in every week to complete health and relationship measurements, as well as use a polygraph to assess how many lies were told throughout the week.

It was discovered in both groups that individuals who reported less lying showed fewer mental health complaints (such as anxiety or sadness) and also fewer physical health complaints (such as sore throats or headaches).

 

This effect was particularly strong in the “no lie” group, who were overall more truthful than the control group.

In addition, researchers found that individuals who were more honest reported improvements in their close personal relationships and that their overall social interactions went more smoothly that week.

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At what annual salary does money stop making us happier? - Barking up the wrong tree

At what annual salary does money stop making us happier? - Barking up the wrong tree | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

Around $75,000 a year.

"...money might bring you some happiness, but beyond that magic point, any additional income isn't going to make you happier," said Scollon. That magic point has, apparently, been deduced as approximately 75,000 USD a year, she added, citing a recent study by two Princeton University researchers who looked at the data of approximately 450,000 Americans. What they found was that as income increased, emotional well-being also went up, but the line flattened out from the $75,000 mark.

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The Positive Power of Negative Thinking

The Positive Power of Negative Thinking | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
What if we’re trying too hard to think positive and might do better to reconsider our relationship to “negative” emotions and situations?
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Forgive - Wellness, Disease Prevention, And Stress Reduction Information

First, it has two distinct meanings: 1) To give up resentment or anger 2) To pardon an offense; to stop seeking punishment or recompense.
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The Fall of Jonah Lehrer : Sam Harris

The Fall of Jonah Lehrer : Sam Harris | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
Sam Harris, neuroscientist and author of the New York Times bestsellers, The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, and The Moral Landscape.

Note from Jim: I include this article primarily for the link to Sam's essay on Lying that I enjoyed reading. I imagine it may be stimulating for you as well.

Also, you may have noticed a drop in my postings lately. I've been traveling and teaching in Korea, and have found it challenging to maintain my "normal" habits.

Back to Maui in a bout a week! Then I will look for another excuse. ;)
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Would your life be dramatically improved if you were utterly deluded? - Barking up the wrong tree

Would your life be dramatically improved if you were utterly deluded? - Barking up the wrong tree | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

Via Jonathan Haidt's The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom:

 

...evidence shows that people who hold pervasive positive illusions about themselves, their abilities, and their future prospects are mentally healthier, happier and better liked than people who lack such illusions.

 

I've posted before about the multitude of benefits delusion can offer:

People with positive illusions about their relationship are more satisfied, score higher on love and trust and have fewer problems.


Overconfidence increases producitivity and improves teamwork.
"Self-deception has been associated with stress reduction, a positive self-bias, and increased pain tolerance, all of which could enhance motivation and performance during competitive tasks."

 

Only one problem here: you already are deluded. It's pretty much our natural state:

Human beings are overconfidence machines. Paul J. H. Schoemaker and J. Edward Russo gave questionnaires to more than two thousand executives in order to measure how much they knew about their industries. Managers in the advertising industry gave answers that they were ninety-per-cent confident were correct. In fact, their answers were wrong sixty-one per cent of the time. People in the computer industry gave answers they thought had a ninety-five per cent chance of being right; in fact, eighty per cent of them were wrong. Ninety-nine per cent of the respondents overestimated their success.

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Psychologist Carol Ryff on Wellbeing and Aging: The FPR Interview | Neuroanthropology

Psychologist Carol Ryff on Wellbeing and Aging: The FPR Interview | Neuroanthropology | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
Karen Frenkel interviews Carolyn Ryff on well-being and aging.

Six components of well-being include:
1. Self-acceptance
2. Positive relationships
3. Purpose in Life
4. Personal growth
5. Autonomy
6. Environmental mastery
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» The Power of Lovingkindness: An Interview with Sharon Salzberg - Mindfulness and Psychotherapy

» The Power of Lovingkindness: An Interview with Sharon Salzberg - Mindfulness and Psychotherapy | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
What does one of the leaders of Lovingkindness in the West have to say about its effects in our daily life?
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A New Superpower -- An 'Earth Voice' Movement

A New Superpower -- An 'Earth Voice' Movement | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
The emergence of social movements such as the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement demonstrates to ordinary citizens that their collective voice can have a powerful impact, particularly when expressed with the maturity and dignity of non-violence.
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Letting Fourth Graders Solve the World’s Problems

Letting Fourth Graders Solve the World’s Problems | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
John Hunter puts all the problems of the world on a 4'x5' plywood board and lets his 4th-graders solve them.
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How much of happiness is under our control? How can we make the most of it? - Barking up the wrong tree

How much of happiness is under our control? How can we make the most of it? - Barking up the wrong tree | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

Happiness doesn't just make us feel good; it can also objectively improve our lives:


A recent and comprehensive meta-analysis revealed a wide variety of benefits that accrue from positive emotion and well-being, including greater career success, better relationship functioning, increased creativity, enhanced physical health, and even longer life expectancy (Lyubomirsky, King, & Diener, 2005).

Source: "Is It Possible to Become Happier? (And If So, How?)" from Social and Personality Psychology Compass 1/1 (2007): 129–145


Are wealthier people happier?

The answer is ‘yes, but not as much as you’d think’. In one meta- analysis of 85 studies, the correlation between income and SWB was only .17 (Haring, Stock, & Okun, 1984). Furthermore, this association typically has a curvilinear component, such that variations in income make the most difference at low levels of income; beyond a certain point of basic sufficiency, income has a smaller effect (Argyle, 1999; Diener & Biswas-Diener, 2002; Diener & Diener, 1995). Indeed, very well-off individuals are only slighter happier than the blue-collar workers they employ (Diener, Horwitz, & Emmons, 1985).


In fact, overall, life circumstances only account for ~10% of happiness:


Indeed, these life-circumstantial factors may account for less than 10% of the variance in happiness (Andrews & Withey, 1976), although Diener (1984) suggested that the figure may be as high as 15%.


What's most important? Genetics. It accounts for 50% of happiness:


Perhaps the single most important determinant of SWB is genetics (Lykken & Tellegen, 1996; Tellegen et al., 1988). Simply put, some people arrive in this world with a predisposition to cheerfulness, optimism, and joy, whereas others are born with a predilection toward fearfulness, pessimism, and depression. Studies of twins separated at birth have yielded heritability estimates for SWB ranging from .40 to .70, with the most common figure around .50.


Does this mean we might as well just give up trying to be happier? No. 40% is still largely under our control and happiness does vary due to the choices we make.


So what can we realistically do to be happier? Endeavor to experience lots of little positive and novel experiences, even if they're minor -- quantity matters more than quality:


As these examples illustrate, our model is quite consistent with ‘bottom-up’ theories of SWB, which argue that it is the cumulative sum of small experiences that matters (Diener, 1984), because people judge their happiness by consulting (i.e., integrating over) memories of their lives. The more positive and novel the recent experiences one can recall, the higher one will rate one’s happiness; in contrast, positive but taken-for- granted experiences do not contribute as much to the judgment, and recalled negative experiences not surprisingly detract from it. As one example of a bottom-up research approach, Sheldon and Elliot (1999) showed that the semester-long accumulation of small satisfying experi- ences in undergraduates (involving feeling autonomous, competent, and related in one’s daily activities) predicted enhanced global SWB at the end of the semester. Simply put, the more positive and meaningful experiences one has along the way, the greater one’s ultimate judgments of well-being.


And make sure to be grateful for the good things that happen to you:


Lyubomirsky, Sheldon, & Schkade (2005) asked participants to think about five things for which they were grateful (i.e., a healthy body, my parents) either once a week or three times a week. Relative to controls, participants who expressed gratitude indicated greater SWB 6 weeks later...

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» 25 Suggestions for Living a Contented Life by Managing Emotions, Part 1 - The Emotionally Sensitive Person

» 25 Suggestions for Living a Contented Life by Managing Emotions, Part 1 - The Emotionally Sensitive Person | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
A few ideas for building a contented life.

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1. Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness helps reduce anxiety and stress for everyone. Consider a way to practice mindfulness everyday that is easy to remember. Maybe mindfully brush your teeth or mindfully drink your coffee. Consider using a bracelet or a sticky note to remind yourself.


2: Play. If possible, find a way to laugh today. Be silly. Giggle. Dance, watch a comedy, run in the park, buy a balloon, dabble with paints, gather friends for games or play games designed for one player. Just for a few minutes. Enjoy a simple pleasure and focus completely on the activity – not on your concerns.


3. Practice gratitude. Each evening go through your day and list three things you are grateful for. Be specific. Then focus on those three experiences or interactions or things. Savor the positive


4: Nurture relationships. Friends will likely always make you angry or upset, but having friendships is one of the keys to contentment. When you spend time with friends, focus on what you like, what energizes you. Review the positive experiences in your mind to equal out the natural inclination to go over and over painful experiences.


21 more ideas @ http://blogs.psychcentral.com/emotionally-sensitive/2012/07/25-suggestions-for-living-a-contented-life-by-managing-emotions-part-1/

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