zondag 27 september 2009

Having more self-control, more empathy and a more positive outlook at school (research)

Well I've already said the conclusions I thought it was a great article to read so I will just link you trough it. If you're interested then read it here: http://eideneurolearningblog.blogspot.com/2009/08/positive-psychology-hits-classroom.html


vrijdag 25 september 2009

Another view at stopping procrastination - scientific evidence

Here is a summary from a few scientific studies about procrastination. Here is the website where I got it from: http://www.spring.org.uk/2009/01/how-to-avoid-procrastination-think.php

how to get things done

Here's a summary of the main conclusions from all the studies discussed:

  1. To avoid procrastinating on a task, focus on its details and use self-imposed deadlines.
  2. To stick to a task, while actually carrying it out, now it is beneficial to keep the ultimate, abstract goal in mind.
  3. When evaluating progress on a hard task, when the chance of failure is high, stay focused on the details of the task.
  4. Once tasks are easier or the end is in sight, a more abstract, goal focus is once again the psychological approach to choose.

So, whether or not you feel procrastination is something in need of a 'cure', McCrea and colleagues' study does show that a very simple manipulation of our thought processes can be incredibly powerful. Who would have thought pointillism could save us from procrastination?

The warmup principle - how to end procrastination in every area of your life and start taking action

Inspired by my own past and this post, I've 'discovered a rule'. I want to google for some scientific evidence which I'll do later.

The rule: if you don't feel like doing the task at hand, then do a warmup session to create positive momentum.

What I mean by a warmup session is that you should do something smaller that you want to do first. A few personal examples:
- If you love running, but hate lifting weights then do running first and you'll be more in the mood to do lifting with weights.
- If you don't dare to approach 'that cute girl over there', then start approaching someone else and it doesn't matter what you say to them, you just have to feel comfortable with what your saying like giving a sincere compliment to that person. Later when you feel more confident then approach the cute girl ;-)
- One time when I was still on high school I started an experiment which entails that I saw myself doing homework in my minds eye. The whole day I fellt more like doing my homework.

So just do what you are able to do at that very moment in order to take action, no matter how small it is. Just do it and keep doing it, until you reach your goal.

donderdag 24 september 2009

A way to have less procastination

What can we take away from this in terms of procrastination?

Given that procrastination is a quintessential form of self-regulation failure, a key strategy to bolster self-regulatory strength to act on our intentions is to focus on our core values. This self-affirmation, as Schmeichel and Vohs have demonstrated, can fortify the self-concept and boost self-regulatory function. Of course, it will also simply make life more worth living. It will be your life, one deeply rooted in your sense of self. As Tillich writes, "Joy accompanies the self-affirmation of our essential being . . . Joy is the emotional expression of the courageous Yes to one's own true being" (p. 14)."

Qouted from the following article: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dont-delay/200903/self-affirmation-strategy-reduce-self-control-failure

A few of my own core values are:
- curiousity
- creativity
- honesty
- integrity
- justice, while being aware that the world isn't fair and will never be 'perfectly equal'
- adventure
- looking everything from different angles/perspectives
- playfulness, sometimes I just can't be serious :-P
- spontaneity
- being pro-active (aka taking action instead of thinking too long about it)

What are some ways to achieve happiness?

You will find the direct answer in this video: https://www.health.harvard.edu/video/positive-psychology/what-it-takes-to-be-happy-Q5.htm.

To summarize there are 5 broad paths being discussed:
1. Use our strenghts/virtues: our sense of wisdom, justice, curiousity & compassion
2. Gratitude: appreciating what you have and expressing that appreciation to yourself and to others.
3. Savoring: tasting the moments, example: taking the time to smell the moments not always rushing for something.
4. Flow (see mihaly Csikszentmihalyi)
5. Live a life thats meaningful and most of the time it means doing things for others. Authors note: this doesn't mean it has to be exclusively for other people.

My first habits that I want to implement

Today there are scientists that claim to be researching the field of happiness. I've looked at their research and am going to put it to the test for 8 months in my gap year. Most of the time it will be me implementing good habits and the contents of the habits will be the theory that I will put down here.

These are the habits I want to have:
- sport every day
- meditate every day
- write 3 things that I'm grateful of every day
- sleep healthy (this will be hard to do)
- eat and drink healthy (easy)
- read (eventually) 40 pages of an inspiring book every day

According to the research field called positive psychology - of which I watched an online Harvard course - the first 3 habits will make people more happy. In the past I've experimented with them already, but I never holded on long enough to create the habit. Except for eating and drinking healthy (most of the time).
The other 3 habits are just common sense to me that they will help me being more happy than I am without them.