Positive Psychology and Me
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Positive Psychology and Me
A collection of positive psychology articles
Curated by Mark Johnson
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Priming Your Brain with Lots of Raw Material Leads to Breakthroughs

Priming Your Brain with Lots of Raw Material Leads to Breakthroughs | Positive Psychology and Me | Scoop.it

The more raw material you give your brain, the more connections it can make. It works a little like hitting "shuffle" on a playlist—the more songs you load it up with, the more surprised you’ll be by the one that comes on next, which may lead you to think differently about both. Perhaps you’ll get an idea for a totally different type of playlist, get inspired to write a song yourself, or even begin to think of music differently as a whole.


The human brain thrives on a wide range of ideas and experiences, especially those it isn't expecting to encounter. In order to hit upon something really exciting, it first needs to wander, meander, shuffle about. Here’s how to help it.


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Yoga: More Effective than Walking to Boost Anti-Anxiety Neurotransmitter

Yoga: More Effective than Walking to Boost Anti-Anxiety Neurotransmitter | Positive Psychology and Me | Scoop.it
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The Veil of Happiness Full Movie

Watch & Download FREE Click : http://movienewhd.com/movie/tt0443285 ☛ English Title : The Veil of Happiness 1923 Full Movie ☛ Original Title : The Veil o
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Compensation Cafe: 3 Things to Never Say in Employee Recognition

Compensation Cafe: 3 Things to Never Say in Employee Recognition | Positive Psychology and Me | Scoop.it
“Thank you for all you do.” “Great work, but your time to delivery was a little slow. You’re a terrific employee, though and I know you’ll do better next time.” “Can I give you some feedback?” What’s wrong with these three phrases? Reading from the top down, these phrases seem to flow from quite good to potentially negative but could be positive, too. So, why have I said, “Never say these things in employee recognition?” “Thank you for all you do.” – This is far too vague, leaving the recipient wondering, “Do you even know what I really do around...
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How To Practice Mindfulness When You Don't Have The Time

How To Practice Mindfulness When You Don't Have The Time | Positive Psychology and Me | Scoop.it

Research conducted by Greg Feist of San Jose State University found that when people let their focus shift away from others around them, they're better able to engage in "metacognition," the process of thinking critically and reflectively about your own thoughts.

 

Where things get tricky, though, is figuring out what to do in order to encourage metacognitive thought in the first place. When we're routinely overwhelmed with outside noise, carving out space for unstructured daydreaming takes planning, structure.

 

Sometimes the most productive periods of contemplation come to us unawares and don't last very long—but that doesn't mean they aren't useful.


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Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, February 8, 2016 11:24 AM

I close my eyes and recite a short set of lines I have used for a number of years. It calms when things are harried.

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To Stop Procrastinating, Start by Understanding the Emotions Involved

To Stop Procrastinating, Start by Understanding the Emotions Involved | Positive Psychology and Me | Scoop.it

Putting off a work or school assignment in order to play videogames or water the plants might seem like nothing more serious than poor time-management.

 

But researchers say chronic procrastination is an emotional strategy for dealing with stress, and it can lead to significant issues in relationships, jobs, finances and health.

 

In August, researchers from Stockholm University published one of the first randomized controlled trials on the treatment of procrastination. It found a therapy delivered online can significantly reduce procrastination.

 

Psychologists also are studying other ways people might be able to reduce procrastination, such as better emotion-regulation strategies and visions of the future self.

 

Scientists define procrastination as the voluntary delay of an action despite foreseeable negative future consequences. It is opting for short-term pleasure or mood at the cost of the long-term. Perhaps we didn’t finish preparing a presentation on the weekend because we had house guests. That is just intentional delay based on a rational decision, says Timothy Pychyl (pronounced pitch-el), a psychology professor at Carleton University, in Ottawa, who has published extensively on the topic.

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Corporations' Newest Productivity Hack: Meditation

Corporations' Newest Productivity Hack: Meditation | Positive Psychology and Me | Scoop.it

In Mindful Work, Gelles, a business reporter for The New York Times, catalogues the nascent trend of establishing employee well-being programs that promote mindfulness, an activity that is perhaps best described as doing nothing. More precisely, mindfulness means drawing one’s attention to the sensations of the present moment, and noting, without frustration or judgment, any mental wanderings that get in the way. It can be done anywhere—at your desk, on the subway platform—and at any time. Decades of research suggest that setting aside time for mindfulness can improve concentration and reduce stress.

 

Gelles first reported on the rise of corporate mindfulness programs in 2012 for TheFinancial Times, when he described a rare but promising initiative at General Mills. In the years since, similar programs have popped up at Ford, Google, Target, Adobe—and even Goldman Sachs and Davos. This adoption has been rapid, perhaps due to its potential to help the bottom line: Aetna estimates that since instituting its mindfulness program, it has saved about $2,000 per employee in healthcare costs, and gained about $3,000 per employee in productivity. Mindful employees, the thinking goes, are healthier and more focused.

 


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Pamir Kiciman's curator insight, March 13, 2015 3:19 PM

 

There's this rather significant tidbit right at the beginning of the interview. Wonder what Monsanto would be like today if this program had continued!

 

"Long before Google was teaching emotional intelligence courses in Mountain View, Monsanto, of all companies, tried mindfulness. They had a very progressive CEO for a moment there, who had a personal interest in this practice. He brought in a very skilled and experienced teacher named Mirabai Bush, and they began teaching mindfulness to the executives of the company.

 

These executives who had been in the corporate world for the duration of their careers suddenly were exposed to ways of thinking and ways of relating to themselves and to each other and even to their customers and maybe even to the planet, that they had never experienced before. Some people had these real, very emotional openings. Some people, I've heard, actually quit the company when this started to happen. It was starting to make a difference in the way some of the top executives at this company were thinking about the world.

 

And then of course what happened is the CEO got fired, they shut down the program, and no one ever mentioned it again. These things happen in corporate America."

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How Walking in Nature Prevents Depression

How Walking in Nature Prevents Depression | Positive Psychology and Me | Scoop.it
A study finds that wild environments boost well-being by reducing obsessive, negative thoughts.

 

A group of researchers from Stanford University thought the nature effect might have something to do with reducing rumination, or as they describe it, “a maladaptive pattern of self-referential thought that is associated with heightened risk for depression and other mental illnesses.” Rumination is what happens when you get really sad, and you can’t stop thinking about your glumness and what’s causing it: the breakup, the layoff, that biting remark. Rumination shows up as increased activity in a brain region called the subgenual prefrontal cortex, a narrow band in the lower part of the brain that regulates negative emotions. If rumination continues for too long unabated, depression can set it.


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This video game reckons it can get your kids to tidy their rooms - VentureBeat

This video game reckons it can get your kids to tidy their rooms - VentureBeat | Positive Psychology and Me | Scoop.it
A Better World for Kids rewards children for doing ‘good deeds’ in real-life.
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The spirit of connecting, when service leads to personal happiness and ... - Newsworks.org

The spirit of connecting, when service leads to personal happiness and ... - Newsworks.org | Positive Psychology and Me | Scoop.it
I’ve written in this space about what makes work meaningful for people What fascinates me is how many ways people find to answer that question — usually working the answers out over time in real
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Does Gratitude Bring Happiness? - Discovery News

Does Gratitude Bring Happiness? - Discovery News | Positive Psychology and Me | Scoop.it
Psychologists, religious leaders, and scientists have said that giving thanks should be more than a once-a-year tradition.
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What Is Positive Psychology, and What Is It Not...

What Is Positive Psychology, and What Is It Not... | Positive Psychology and Me | Scoop.it
Positive psychology studies what makes life most worth living.
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Happiness? There's an app for that - The Guardian

Happiness? There's an app for that - The Guardian | Positive Psychology and Me | Scoop.it
Can an app really make you feel better about your life? Download ours and find out
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The Happiness Advantage

The Happiness Advantage | Positive Psychology and Me | Scoop.it
In this Episode, you’ll Discover the Happiness Advantage, how you can experience more joy, 5 habits for tripling your productivity, experiencing happiness above
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Why we should think critically about positive psychology in our universities | Carl Cederström | James

Why we should think critically about positive psychology in our universities | Carl Cederström | James | Positive Psychology and Me | Scoop.it
This post was originally published on this siteBuckingham University is to beome a ‘positive’ institution. Yet the wholesale importing of Martin Seligman’s philosophy risks fostering a culture of compulsory happiness Professor Martin Seligman, the father of positive psychology, flew in from the United States recently to celebrate the launch of a new era for Buckingham…
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How to Reduce Rudeness in the Workplace

How to Reduce Rudeness in the Workplace | Positive Psychology and Me | Scoop.it

Management professor Christine Porath makes a clear and compelling case that rudeness and incivility in the workplace do more damage than good to work relationships and efficiency, soundly dispelling the myth of the hard-nosed-yet-effective boss. Instead, she argues, we would do well to practice civility at work.


Civility in American society has declined in recent years but remains important to people, according to surveys. When employers or employees ignore people at work, walk away from conversations, answer calls in the middle of meetings, publicly mock and belittle people, or take credit for wins while pointing fingers when things go sour, it destabilizes relationships and creates hostile work environments, says Porath. And research shows that poor relationships at work increase stress in ways that can impact employees’ health and relationships outside of work, leading to decreases in workplace performance—all of which costs the organization in the long run.


Rudeness can have a toxic impact on creativity and problem-solving, says Porath. In one experiment, participants did 33 percent worse on a puzzle involving anagrams and had 39 percent fewer creative ideas on a brainstorming task after being belittled as a group. In another experiment, even just witnessing incivility caused participant performance on the same tests to decrease by 20 and 30 percent, respectively.


“Rudeness affects your mind in ways you might not even be aware of, disrupting your ability to pay attention,” writes Porath. And it can even be deadly. In a survey of doctors and nurses, 71 percent tied “abusive personal conduct” in the workplace to medical errors they knew of, and 27 percent tied it to patient deaths.


Via Pamir Kiciman
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Being silent is growing in appeal: How the cult of quiet can change your life

Being silent is growing in appeal: How the cult of quiet can change your life | Positive Psychology and Me | Scoop.it

"Silent retreats, silent ​restaurants and even silent dating events are​ on the rise. Now a new film aims to – quietly – spread the word."


Discomfort is precisely where the radical power of silence lies, says Matthew Adams, a lecturer in psychology at the University of Brighton. “Silence is often something we experience as uncomfortable, as a rupture in the social fabric, an awkwardness we want to cover over with our voices.” Five of the best meditation apps Read more Adams has a long-term interest in the social, cultural and psychological significance of silence, and particularly in shared silence and electing to share silence. “Collective silence is about connecting with others in a way that gets underneath social conventions. It confronts us with what it feels like to be in the physical presence of other human beings without any games, strategies, reading or misreading of intentions. It is a temporary suspension of our reliance on talk.”


Silence assumes a new meaning in an era in which we are consuming information and engaging in conversation with each other endlessly, without ever opening our mouths. While we may watch The Pursuit of Silence and enjoy the absence of sound, how many of us will be tempted to check in with our emails, tweet our thoughts on the film? While we might find pleasure in those rare and cherished moments of peace and quiet, when it comes to silence and stillness, can we muster up the self-restraint at all?


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How Two Minutes of Mindfulness Can Calm a Class and Boost Attainment

How Two Minutes of Mindfulness Can Calm a Class and Boost Attainment | Positive Psychology and Me | Scoop.it

Mindfulness helps students cope with academic stress and the pressures of life outside the school gates. 

 

In recent years, medical science has discovered the extent to which mindfulness can help treat a range of mental conditions, from stress to depression. While most studies have focused on adults, new research shows mindfulness can improve the mental, emotional, social and physical health and wellbeing of young people. Incredibly, neuroscientists have found that long-term practice alters the structure and function of the brain to improve the quality of both thought and feeling.

 

It's no surprise, therefore, that teachers are becoming increasingly interested in the potential benefits of mindfulness for students.


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Pamir Kiciman's curator insight, December 10, 2015 10:43 AM

Have posted similar articles here and will continue to do so, as mindful kids are the solution. (Not sure why the accompanying photo seems to be showing kids giving Reiki, which isn't dissimilar!)

Deb's curator insight, December 11, 2016 2:07 PM
La práctica del mindfulness no es otra cosa que acostumbrarse a un estado mental más presente, abierto, atento… que consecuentemente se torna más sereno, reflexivo y compasivo.
Deb's curator insight, December 13, 2016 1:18 PM
Deja ir tu mente y después sé “mindful”. Cierra las orejas y luego escucha (Rumi)
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7 Habits That Force Your Mind to Stop Worrying

7 Habits That Force Your Mind to Stop Worrying | Positive Psychology and Me | Scoop.it

Worrying can get the better of almost anybody. Work stresses, personal concerns, and sometimes even irrational thoughts can seep into your mind and interfere with your ability to concentrate on ordinary tasks. Unfortunately, stopping those worries isn't easy--there's no "off switch" that can shut your worried thoughts down. However, there are a handful of habits that, once integrated into your life, can force your worries to leave and free up your mind to focus on more positive, productive things.


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The Apothecary Spa's curator insight, October 26, 2015 3:34 PM

This is the reason I  cook! I occupy both my hands and my brain while in the kitchen. I can focus on the task and ignore everything else. It is probably the only time I can ignore anything. 

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Take A Hike To Do Your Heart And Spirit Good

Take A Hike To Do Your Heart And Spirit Good | Positive Psychology and Me | Scoop.it
For many Americans, an NPR poll suggests, walking is their most consistent exercise. But how much can a moderately paced walk really help your health?

 

Researcher Church says walking has many tangible effects on health — lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and an overall lower risk of heart disease.

 

"The majority of benefits of physical activity — in this instance, walking — occur above the shoulders," he says. The walkers reaped benefits like less anxiety and fewer symptoms of depression. They also discovered something many of us yearn for: more energy.


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Juan Agramonte's curator insight, August 18, 2015 8:32 AM

"You're actually getting probably 95 percent or more of the benefits when you're walking as compared to jogging."

 
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How Trees Calm Us Down

How Trees Calm Us Down | Positive Psychology and Me | Scoop.it

In 1984, a researcher named Roger Ulrich noticed a curious pattern among patients who were recovering from gallbladder surgery at a suburban hospital in Pennsylvania. Those who had been given rooms overlooking a small stand of deciduous trees were being discharged almost a day sooner, on average, than those in otherwise identical rooms whose windows faced a wall. The results seemed at once obvious—of course a leafy tableau is more therapeutic than a drab brick wall—and puzzling. Whatever curative property the trees possessed, how were they casting it through a pane of glass?

 

That is the riddle that underlies a new study in the journal Scientific Reports by a team of researchers in the United States, Canada, and Australia, led by the University of Chicago psychology professor Marc Berman. The study compares two large data sets from the city of Toronto, both gathered on a block-by-block level; the first measures the distribution of green space, as determined from satellite imagery and a comprehensive list of all five hundred and thirty thousand trees planted on public land, and the second measures health, as assessed by a detailed survey of ninety-four thousand respondents. After controlling for income, education, and age, Berman and his colleagues showed that an additional ten trees on a given block corresponded to a one-per-cent increase in how healthy nearby residents felt. “To get an equivalent increase with money, you’d have to give each household in that neighborhood ten thousand dollars—or make people seven years younger,” Berman told me.


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Trees and nature do wonders for healing

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4 Ways to Cultivate Gratitude in Children

4 Ways to Cultivate Gratitude in Children | Positive Psychology and Me | Scoop.it

Someone once said it’s not what kind of world we’re leaving for our children, but what kind of children we’re leaving for our world. Kindness and a sense of gratitude are core values that we need to help encourage in children. 

 

Studies have shown that children who cultivate gratitude in their lives have better social relationships and do better in school. Being grateful actually contributes to our overall sense of well-being and helps increase our happiness. But, as any parent of a young child knows – especially during the holidays – encouraging gratitude in the midst of pressure for expensive or numerous gifts can be challenging.


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Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, December 2, 2014 2:00 PM

Gratitude can be part of our daily conversations and what we experience each day in living.

 

@ivon_ehd1

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The Gratitude Advantage: Four Ways Giving Thanks Improves Your Life

The Gratitude Advantage: Four Ways Giving Thanks Improves Your Life | Positive Psychology and Me | Scoop.it
There are a lot of myths around the first American Thanksgiving in 1621, but one thing is for sure. The Pilgrims were lucky to be alive, and they knew it.
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VIDEO: 'Danish school of happiness' hits the water - The Local Denmark

VIDEO: 'Danish school of happiness' hits the water - The Local Denmark | Positive Psychology and Me | Scoop.it
The folks at Pine Tribe are attempting to decipher why Danes consistently top international rankings. Their latest attempt to decipher the elusive Danish happiness focuses on life on the water.
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The Science of Why Cops Shoot Young Black Men - Mother Jones

The Science of Why Cops Shoot Young Black Men - Mother Jones | Positive Psychology and Me | Scoop.it
And how to reform our bigoted brains.
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