Stay updated on new articles in psychology and self improvement:

Why It’s Healthy to Reflect on Your Past Relationships

past relationships

Whenever we experience a fall-out or a break up with someone, we often have a natural tendency to reflect on that relationship.

Often it can be a painful process. We ruminate constantly about someone – staying up all night thinking about the mistakes we made, the negative signs we missed, and all the things we could’ve done differently to make it work.

As it turns out, this desire to reflect on our past relationships may not be such a bad thing after all.

According to one recent study, individuals who gave themselves time to reflect on their past relationships, and talk about them, had an easier time recovering than those who didn’t reflect.

While some people may like to jump from one relationship to another without a second thought, maybe it’s actually better to take a step back every now and then and evaluate what it is we really want going forward.

Your past relationships can be a tremendous resource of insight and information into the mistakes you made in the past, and how you can improve yourself in the future.

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Small Talk vs. Big Questions: How to Build a Deep Connection With Anyone

big questions

When I look back on my life, the times when I’ve built the deepest connections with people are when we just sit and talk about the “big questions” in life.

How do you picture a perfect society? What are your big goals in life? What do you think are your biggest strengths and weaknesses? What’s your favorite memory?

A popular study led by social psychologist Arthur Aron suggests that asking these “big questions” is an important aspect of building a deep connection with anyone, whether it be a lover or a friend.

In the experiment, they had individuals broken into a “small talk” group, where individuals just talked about everyday things, and a “big questions” group, where individuals were given a series of personal questions to ask each other.

It was discovered that those in the “big questions” group were far more likely to develop a deep connection with the other person. And many were willing to continue their relationship outside of the laboratory.

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My Top 10 Psychology Articles of 2014

psychology articles

Another year is coming to an end – this article is a celebration of the top 10 best psychology and self improvement articles published in 2014 at The Emotion Machine.

As of today, there have been more than 500+ articles published here in the past 5 years. These are great places to start learning more about how your mind works and how to improve your life.

Check out what you may have missed this year. And get ready to continue this journey into the new year!

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Cognitive Bias Modification: Train Your Mind to See The Positive

cognitive bias modification

Is your mind biased to see the positive or the negative in your environment?

A new form of self-therapy called cognitive bias modification attempts to train your mind to see the positive through a fun and interesting new technique.

In fact, a recent study has shown that cognitive bias modification (CBM) has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety. And another study discovered that CBM can reduce the pain of social rejections.

The basic idea behind the exercise is to try to spot the “happy face” among a bunch of “sad faces.” With practice, your mind gradually starts attracting to the “happy faces” faster and more easily.

And the reason this works is because your mind becomes less sensitive to the negative stimuli in your environment and more sensitive to the positive stimuli in your environment.

Try “cognitive bias modification” out for yourself.

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Free Won’t: Why You Shouldn’t Take Any Single Thought Too Seriously

free won't

You can’t take any single thought you have too seriously.

Why? Because your mind is a lot like a “mental playground,” constantly generating and experimenting with new solutions and new ideas.

Therefore, no single thought can possibly define you.

So you had a scary or negative idea, or image, or dream? No big deal – it’s just your mind playing around with new ideas.

It doesn’t necessarily mean anything important or significant. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to act on it. Your imagination just needs to run wild sometimes.

This attitude toward our mind can often help us approach our thinking in a more healthy and constructive way.

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