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Just You and Your Thoughts

your thoughts


Imagine just you and your thoughts, alone in an empty room, with nothing else to distract you.

How long would you be able to spend in this room by yourself? For most people, the answer seems to be “not very long at all.”

In a recent study published in Science, participants were asked to spend between 6-15 minutes just entertaining themselves – with no cellphones, books, TV, or any type of distraction.

At first, they tried it in a laboratory, where almost 50% of the participants reported that they “didn’t enjoy the experience.” Next researchers let people spend time with their thoughts at home, and 36% ended up “cheating” by checking their phones or listening to music.

The most surprising finding was that when participants were given the option to spend time with just their thoughts or receive a small electric shock, 67% of men and 25% of women actually chose the electric shock rather than the alone time.

What is it about just you and your thoughts that can seem like such a frightening proposition? What makes it so unpleasant that many are even willing to go through a painful experience just to avoid it?

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Accepting Your Bias

accepting your bias


Every mind has a bias, because everyone’s beliefs and worldview are shaped by their own unique experiences within a particular environment.

So no single person has a perfect view of reality. Instead, we each have our own window into reality. And everyone’s view is going to be a little bit different.

Therefore, every person you meet knows something that you don’t know. And you know something that they don’t know. That’s a powerful insight to keep in mind.

When you accept your bias, it actually puts you in a better position to learn new things and expand your perspective.

You recognize that everyone has something to teach you, so you should be willing to listen to all perspectives, and try to find a grain of truth.

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Turning Emotions Up and Down at the Flick of a Switch

turning emotions up


Our minds can often be influenced by our environment in many ways without us even realizing it.

A fascinating new study discovered that we feel our emotions more intensely when we are in rooms with bright lighting rather than dim lighting.

This effect works no matter what emotion you are feeling in that moment.

For example, if you’re happy then turning the lights brighter will amplify those feelings of happiness. But if you’re sad then turning the lights brighter will also amplify those feelings of sadness.

This could also explain why another recent study found depressed people are much more likely to commit suicide on sunny days vs. rainy days.

Because for depressed people, long days of sunlight may actually be increasing their feelings of sadness and depression.

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3 Reasons Your Therapist May Be Failing You

therapist


Before I begin, I must say that I’m not against therapy whatsoever.

Therapy can be an incredibly valuable tool in improving yourself and well-being. Therapists provide social support, someone to listen to you, and often times someone to give you constructive feedback on how to improve your life.

However, not all therapists are necessarily good therapists. In fact, there are a lot of really bad ones out there who can end up doing more harm than good. Perhaps you’ve had your own bad experiences with therapy? Perhaps you’ve still yet to find a good therapist who really works for you?

If you’re currently seeing a therapist and you like them: good, keep going to them and getting help. Don’t let me stop you.

But if you’re currently seeing a therapist and you don’t like them, here are 3 reasons your therapist may be failing you.

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Why You Should Believe in Hard Work Over Genes

hard work


“People ask why I train so much and work so hard. Well the answer is simple: I will not allow somebody with twice the genetics and half the determination be better than me.”

Unknown


Are you more a product of nature or nurture?

This has been a big question ever since the birth of psychology, and most research today shows that who “you” are is influenced by both nature (genes and biology) as well as nurture (habits and environment).

However, when it comes toward achieving your goals, it may be better to focus more on the “hard work” part rather than the “genes” part.

The simple truth is you can’t change your genes. So if you think you are nothing but a product of your genes, than what you’re really saying is, “I don’t have any choice or control over my life.”

But by focusing more on hard work, you put some of the power back in your hands. You accept that you do have some choice over where you end up in life – and that’s hugely important for success and happiness.

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