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Protected: Being your own best friend

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Talk to me

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When I was 15, I took the bus from Stavanger to Bergen after saying goodbye to my boyfriend. The last thing I wanted, was to talk with anyone. I struggled to keep my tears back and wanted to have time to think about everything we did and he said (like a typical teenager). But to my horror, an old woman sat next to me and I knew immediately that she was a talker. Little did I know that this would be one of the very conversations I remember from that year. We talked about everything, and soon started on a philosophical journey together. I told her about my boyfriend, and how hard it was to live so far apart from him (over 10 hours with a car or bus). She responded by saying how healthy it is to meet people who live in a different place than where you grew up. Because they probably see the world a little bit different than you, and that means you might end up learning something new.
This woman was so wise, and I learnt something new too: By opening up to all kinds off people, even strangers, you might change the way you think and see the world. I was reminded of this event when I listened to “an organized mind” by Daniel Levitin in my car. He described a study where the researchers asked people if they thought they would prefer sitting alone or talk with a stranger on the bus. They were quite sure about what they would like the most, but it seems like we don`t always know how much we crave connections with others. The study is described below, and I hope you enjoy it as much as me. Maybe the next time you`r filled with dread, hoping that somebody won`t disturb you on a bus, plane or train, you might look at the commute as an opportunity instead of fear.

Why You Should Put Down Your Smartphone and Talk to Strangers

Credit: pio3 / Shutterstock.com

Talking to the stranger in seat 4B on a cross-country flight is often considered one of the torments of air travel, to be avoided at all costs. But new research suggests people are deeply wrong about the misery of striking up conversations on public transit.

Contrary to expectations, people are happier after a conversation with a stranger, the study revealed.

“At least in some cases, people don’t seem to be social enough for their own well-being,” said study researcher Nicholas Epley, a professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. “They think that sitting in solitude will be more pleasant than engaging in conversation, when, in fact, the opposite is true.” [7 Thoughts That Are Bad For You]

Talking to strangers

Epley, author of the book “Mindwise: How We Understand What Others Think, Feel, Believe and Want” (Knopf, 2014), studies social connection. Humans are social animals, he said, to the extent that having more and stronger friends and family connections is linked with a healthier life.

But in waiting rooms, trains, planes and other public spots, people fail to show their social stripes, Epley told Live Science. During his own commute in Chicago, he sees “highly social animals getting on the train every morning and being remarkably anti-social … They might as well be sitting next to a rock.”

Perhaps people know that interacting with a stranger is likely to be less pleasant than sitting in silence, so they choose the latter, Epley said.

Or maybe, just maybe, everybody is wrong about talking to strangers. Maybe it’s actually fun.

Only connect

To find out which is true, Epley and his colleagues recruited real-life commuters at Chicago train stations. They also conducted a series of experiments with bus riders. In some of these experiments, they simply asked people to imagine striking up a conversation on the bus or train. Would it be pleasant? Would they feel happy afterward?

By and large, people said “no,” it wouldn’t be pleasant, and that such an interaction wouldn’t result in a happiness boost. In addition, people guessed, on average, that fewer than half of strangers would be interested in chatting. They expected to be rebuffed.

In other experiments, the researchers actually asked the commuters to go through with the conversations. At random, some participants were assigned to start a conversation. Others were asked to sit silently, and a third group was told to go about their normal commute routine (which involved silence for some and speaking to a friend for others). The participants were given sealed surveys to complete and mail in after their commute.

The results? People had a more pleasant time when they talked to a stranger versus when they stayed silent. Incredibly, the findings held even when the researchers controlled for personality traits, like extraversion and introversion.

 Does the finding that talking to strangers makes people happier make you more likely to strike up conversations in public more often?
  • No way. You couldn’t pay me enough.
  • Maybe. I can see the upsides.
  • Definitely. I’d like to meet new people.
  • No – but only because I already chat with strangers.

“Everyone seems happier and has a more pleasant interaction when they connect versus sit in isolation,” Epley said.

Perhaps even more surprising, their conversation partners seemed to welcome the connection, too.

“Nobody was rejected in any of our studies, as far as I can tell,” Epley said. “Everybody who tried to talk to somebody was able to.”

In another study, the researchers set up participants in a waiting room, so they could test the happiness of both the conversation starter and their target. Again, everyone was happier after chatting — even the person who hadn’t started the conversation. Pairs of strangers deep in conversation also reported that the wait seemed shorter.

Epley’s research isn’t the first to find that interactions with strangers influence mood. Findings reported in 2012 showed that even smiling and nodding at strangers makes people feel more connected. [5 Wacky Things That Are Good for Your Health]

Mindful walking

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Yesterday I had time between meetings, and chose to talk a walk. Norway has a plethora of places to escape to if you need some peace and quiet, so I went into the woods. A lot of people were out, since the sun was shining and that does not happen to often in Bergen.

I had no rush, an hour was at my disposal, so I could choose the pace I wanted. That suited me perfectly, because taking your time means being in the here and now. I saw the trees more clearly, and smell how they were preparing for spring. The road in front of me went in all directions, and it felt like a privilege that I could go wherever I wanted.

After a while I came to a small lake. It had a little sand beach, that was shining in the sun. Clear water licked the sand away, and the soothing movements brought my mind to rest. I also saw a lot of dogs, eager to smell and explore their surroundings. How free they were, how simple their lives seemed. I realized that sometimes it is that simple. You only need to look around you, take the world in. Even if my head sometimes tried to lure me into planning or worries, I would not let it. Instead I continued walking, one foot in front of the other. Feeling my feet touching the earth underneath.

Usually I am not very good at being in the present. I have thought that mindfulness is not for me. I am too busy and can`t be bothered to just sit and stare into the air. Even if I have discovered time and time again that doing just one thing at the time gives me pleasure and enjoyment, I so easily forget it. Because there is another email I must answer, another task I have to do before my next appointment.

When you think about it, there really is no rush. My roommate tells me that what you don`t manage to do, should not be a concern of mine. They are just small annoyances, and the world will not fall apart.

While I walked, letting the sun touch my face, I realized that he was right. The world is very much where it should be. And nothing that I have done or will do can change that. The world is always close to us, ready for us to explore it and enjoy.

 

Sotra-Øygarden

How to resist an impulse

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“There is perhaps no psychological skill more fundamental than resisting impulse. It is the root of all emotional self-control, since all emotions, by their very nature, led to one or another impulse to act.” Daniel Goleman

It soars through you like a wave. The impulse to do something you will regret later. The urge is so irresistible, that you feel there is no other way. You just have to do it. Have another drink, although it is way beyond bedtime. A cigarette after managing to not smoke for three days. The ice-cream dripping with chocolate sause that you kept in the fridge. Just in case you get visitors. We know these impulses so well, and despair when we cannot do anything to stop them. Walter Mischel found in his famous Marshmallow experiment, that children who managed to postpone having a marshmallow and get two later if they waited, had better results at school and success later in life. Unbelievable, isn`t it? That just one experiment like this, can predict what happens years later? For some this might even lead to a feeling of despair: Especially if you struggle time and time again with resisting those impulses. Is it really impossible to stop the urge when it threatens to take over? Sometimes it honestly is. When you are stressed, have too many things to think about, have no time to think through what you do during a day or feel tired, you might slip on some of your promises to yourself. Studies show that choosing and resisting alternatives, drains mental energy. In the evening you might be so exhausted that willpower simply vanishes. BUT: We can trick our gratification searching brain. First: Prepare for the fight. Do not keep what you are trying to avoid, around you. Don`t buy that chocolate bar. To avoid doing so when you are stressed, plan to go shopping when you are not hungry. Shop everything you need so you don`t need to pop into the store later. If you feel bad from not having your usual way of regulating those difficult emotions or cravings, find alternative positive activities. Talk to yourself a LOT: I am strong. I can do this. I am actually doing it already by trying to resist. Good work! And if you manage to resist the impulse, for just one or ten minutes, be sure to tell yourself what accomplishment it is. Because you have just rode on the wave instead of letting it sweep you away. Even without a surf-board. Because who actually learn how to resist impulses? If we haven`t had good role models, like many of us haven`t (especially today when everything happened two minutes ago), how could we have learnt to resist? Luckily, the marshmallow experiment showed that if the experimenter learnt the children how to resist impulses, for example by distracting them (having interesting toys in the room, asking them to close their eyes) they managed to do so in the future too. Every time you find creative ways to resist your urges, your willpower grows. It is hard work, and sometimes it feels like it`s all for nothing. But just think about how happy people who have really tried to change, often are. Why might that be? I think you already have the answer: Because it is immensely gratifying to doing what we know in our hearts are right.

But, we have to balance resistance with acceptance. Sometimes we push the brakes to often, leading to us stopping impulses that are healthy and bring life to us.

From the blog feed your soul: My concern, however, is the squashing of the other impulses, the ones that guide us to life-enhancing decisions. The impulse to express a truth even if it is unpopular. The impulse to say no, when social mores would have us say yes. The impulse to radically change a life that looks perfectly fine from the outside but feels like death on the inside. I am afraid that we will begin to live only in extremes, much like the stratification of our socioeconomic classes. We become like the addict, powerless over any whim or desire, or we become the ascetic who deems any impulse evil, and the control over our desires the mark of superiority.

Is it possible to live in the middle ground, where our impulses can go through a highly developed discernment filter and we honor all ways?

I love those thoughts from the blog. And in my opinion, it is possible to find that balance. But first we must learn the skills to stop impulses first, and then we must learn to let go. Finding the balance can`t be done if we lack the knowledge and experience necessary to either resist or let go. So if you want to resist more, can it harm to try?

14 Cool Psychology Tricks You Need To Try

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1: The paternal wisdom

cool psychology tricks

2: The conversation conditioner

3: Rock paper scissors

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4: The talk and pile

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5: The broccoli trick

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6: The dollar auction

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7: The path finder

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8: The stalker detector

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9: So Agreeable

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10 : The earthworm destroyer

11: Build attraction

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12: Confrontation

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13: The paternal wisdom

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14: The information getter

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Source: Imgur

16 Things I Wish They Had Taught Me in School

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16 Things I Wish They Had Taught Me in School

by HENRIK EDBERG

I am 28 now. I don’t think about the past or regret things much these days.

But sometimes I wish that I had known some of things I have learned over the last few years a bit earlier. That perhaps there had been a self-improvement class in school. And in some ways there probably was.

Because some of these 16 things in this article a teacher probably spoke about in class. But I forgot about them or didn’t pay attention.

Some of it would probably not have stuck in my mind anyway. Or just been too far outside my reality at the time for me to accept and use.

But I still think that taking a few hours from all those German language classes and use them for some personal development classes would have been a good idea. Perhaps for just an hour a week in high school. It would probably be useful for many students and on a larger scale quite helpful for society in general.

So here are 16 things I wish they had taught me in school (or I just would like to have known about earlier).

  1. The 80/20 rule.

This is one of the best ways to make better use of your time. The 80/20 rule – also known as The Pareto Principle – basically says that 80 percent of the value you will receive will come from 20 percent of your activities.

So a lot of what you do is probably not as useful or even necessary to do as you may think.

You can just drop – or vastly decrease the time you spend on – a whole bunch of things.

And if you do that you will have more time and energy to spend on those things that really brings your value, happiness, fulfilment and so on.

  1. Parkinson’s Law.

You can do things quicker than you think. This law says that a task will expand in time and seeming complexity depending on the time you set aside for it. For instance, if you say to yourself that you’ll come up with a solution within a week then the problem will seem to grow more difficult and you’ll spend more and more time trying to come up with a solution.

So focus your time on finding solutions. Then just give yourself an hour (instead of the whole day) or the day (instead of the whole week) to solve the problem. This will force your mind to focus on solutions and action.

The result may not be exactly as perfect as if you had spent a week on the task, but as mentioned in the previous point, 80 percent of the value will come from 20 percent of the activities anyway. Or you may wind up with a better result because you haven’t overcomplicated or overpolished things. This will help you to get things done faster, to improve your ability to focus and give you more free time where you can totally focus on what’s in front of you instead of having some looming task creating stress in the back of your mind.

  1. Batching.

Boring or routine tasks can create a lot of procrastination and low-level anxiety. One good way to get these things done quickly is to batch them. This means that you do them all in row. You will be able to do them quicker because there is less start-up time compared to if you spread them out. And when you are batching you become fully engaged in the tasks and more focused.

A batch of things to do in an hour today may look like this: Clean your desk / answer today’s emails / do the dishes / make three calls / write a grocery shopping list for tomorrow.

  1. First, give value. Then, get value. Not the other way around.

This is a bit of a counter-intuitive thing. There is often an idea that someone should give us something or do something for us before we give back. The problem is just that a lot of people think that way. And so far less than possible is given either way.

If you want to increase the value you receive (money, love, kindness, opportunities etc.) you have to increase the value you give. Because over time you pretty much get what you give. It would perhaps be nice to get something for nothing. But that seldom happens.

  1. Be proactive. Not reactive.

This one ties into the last point. If everyone is reactive then very little will get done. You could sit and wait and hope for someone else to do something. And that happens pretty often, but it can take a lot of time before it happens.

A more useful and beneficial way is to be proactive, to simply be the one to take the first practical action and get the ball rolling. This not only saves you a lot of waiting, but is also more pleasurable since you feel like you have the power over your life. Instead of feeling like you are run by a bunch of random outside forces.

  1. Mistakes and failures are good.

When you are young you just try things and fail until you learn. As you grow a bit older, you learn from – for example – school to not make mistakes. And you try less and less things.

This may cause you to stop being proactive and to fall into a habit of being reactive, of waiting for someone else to do something. I mean, what if you actually tried something and failed? Perhaps people would laugh at you?

Perhaps they would. But when you experience that you soon realize that it is seldom the end of the world. And a lot of the time people don’t care that much. They have their own challenges and lives to worry about.

And success in life often comes from not giving up despite mistakes and failure. It comes from being persistent.

When you first learn to ride your bike you may fall over and over. Bruise a knee and cry a bit. But you get up, brush yourself off and get on the saddle again. And eventually you learn how to ride a bike. If you can just reconnect to your 5 year old self and do things that way – instead of giving up after a try/failure or two as grown-ups often do -you would probably experience a lot more interesting things, learn valuable lessons and have quite a bit more success.

  1. Don’t beat yourself up. 

Why do people give up after just few mistakes or failures? Well, I think one big reason is because they beat themselves up way too much. But it’s a kinda pointless habit. It only creates additional and unnecessary pain inside you and wastes your precious time. It’s best to try to drop this habit as much as you can.

  1. Assume rapport.

Meeting new people is fun. But it can also induce nervousness. We all want to make a good first impression and not get stuck in an awkward conversation.

The best way to do this that I have found so far is to assume rapport. This means that you simply pretend that you are meeting one of your best friends. Then you start the interaction in that frame of mind instead of the nervous one.

This works surprisingly well. You can read more about it in How to Have Less Awkward Conversations: Assuming Rapport.

  1. Use your reticular activation system to your advantage.

I learned about the organs and the inner workings of the body in class but nobody told me about the reticular activation system. And that’s a shame, because this is one of the most powerful things you can learn about. What this focus system, this R.A.S, in your mind does is to allow you to see in your surroundings what you focus your thoughts on. It pretty much always helps you to find what you are looking for.

So you really need to focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want. And keep that focus steady.

Setting goals and reviewing them frequently is one way to keep your focus on what’s important and to help you take action that will move your closer to toward where you want to go. Another way is just to use external reminderssuch as pieces of paper where you can, for instance, write down a few things from this post like “Give value” or “Assume rapport”. And then you can put those pieces of paper on your fridge, bathroom mirror etc.

  1. Your attitude changes your reality.

We have all heard that you should keep a positive attitude or perhaps that “you need to change your attitude!”. That is a nice piece of advice I suppose, but without any more reasons to do it is very easy to just brush such suggestions off and continue using your old attitude.

But the thing that I’ve discovered the last few years is that if you change your attitude, you actually change your reality. When you for instance use a positive attitude instead of a negative one you start to see things and viewpoints that were invisible to you before. You may think to yourself “why haven’t I thought about things this way before?”.

When you change your attitude you change what you focus on. And all things in your world can now be seen in a different light.

This is of course very similar to the previous tip but I wanted to give this one some space. Because changing your attitude can create an insane change in your world. It might not look like it if you just think about it though. Pessimism might seem like realism. But that is mostly because your R.A.S is tuned into seeing all the negative things you want to see. And that makes you “right” a lot of the time. And perhaps that is what you want. On the other hand, there are more fun things than being right all the time.

If you try changing your attitude for real – instead of analysing such a concept in your mind – you’ll be surprised.

You may want to read more about this topic in Take the Positivity Challenge!

  1. Gratitude is a simple way to make yourself feel happy. 

Sure, I was probably told that I should be grateful. Perhaps because it was the right thing to do or just something I should do. But if someone had said that feeling grateful about things for minute or two is a great way to turn a negative mood into a happy one I would probably have practised gratitude more. It is also a good tool for keeping your attitude up and focusing on the right things. And to make other people happy. Which tends to make you even happier, since emotions are contagious.

  1. Don’t compare yourself to others.

The ego wants to compare. It wants to find reasons for you to feel good about yourself (“I’ve got a new bike!”). But by doing that it also becomes very hard to not compare yourself to others who have more than you (“Oh no, Bill has bought an even nicer bike!”). And so you don’t feel so good about yourself once again. If you compare yourself to others you let the world around control how you feel about yourself. It always becomes a rollercoaster of emotions.

A more useful way is to compare yourself to yourself. To look at how far you have come, what you have accomplished and how you have grown. It may not sound like that much fun but in the long run it brings a lot more inner stillness, personal power and positive feelings.

  1. 80-90% of what you fear will happen never really come into reality. 

This is a big one. Most things you fear will happen never happen. They are just monsters in your own mind. And if they happen then they will most often not be as painful or bad as you expected. Worrying is most often just a waste of time.

This is of course easy to say. But if you remind yourself of how little of what you feared throughout your life that has actually happened you can start to release more and more of that worry from your thoughts.

  1. Don’t take things too seriously. 

It’s very easy to get wrapped up in things. But most of the things you worry about never come into reality. And what may seem like a big problem right now you may not even remember in three years.

Taking yourself, your thoughts and your emotions too seriously often just seems to lead to more unnecessary suffering. So relax a little more and lighten up a bit. It can do wonders for your mood and as an extension of that; your life.

  1. Write everything down. 

If your memory is anything like mine then it’s like a leaking bucket. Many of your good or great ideas may be lost forever if you don’t make a habit of writing things down. This is also a good way to keep your focus on what you want. Read more about it in Why You Should Write Things Down.

  1. There are opportunities in just about every experience. 

In pretty much any experience there are always things that you can learn from it and things within the experience that can help you to grow. Negative experiences, mistakes and failure can sometimes be even better than a success because it teaches you something totally new, something that another success could never teach you.

Whenever you have a “negative experience” ask yourself: where is the opportunity in this? What is good about this situation? One negative experience can – with time – help you create many very positive experiences.

What do you wish someone had told you in school or you had just learned earlier in life?

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You can do Anyhing 

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Good morning Dear reader. I hope you will all fill it with activities you love to do without stressing too much about what you should do! 

Remember, there are no limits in life if we decide to follow our hearts. 

  

Black or white?

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Yesterday I was at a school  to talk with teachers and watch some students with learning disabilities. While waiting for my first meeting, two employees sat talking about a school-event they had been on the day before. It was an event for parents, students and teachers where they talked about eastern and religion. When there, one of the teachers started to say that Jesus was still alive! In addition to that, they told me it felt like she was preaching. While I listened, I automatically started to validate their feelings of annoyance. But after a while, I realized that I was actually participating in something I rather not be involved in: Judging a person I did not even know based on hearsay. After realizing this, I did manage to ask what they thought was the reason for her behavior.

Afterwards I was observing a child with behavioral problems. I could see how his class-mates responded when he was close. They automatically drew back a little, and he ended up sitting alone. The only time he got some attention was when he was angry, or when he was making jokes about something or someone.

Afterwards, we had a meeting to discuss what I just had seen and the teacher told me about another meeting they just had. The meeting was about children with behavioral problems, and she told me how touched she was when she heard other teachers talking about what they recently had learned on a course: That there are no “problem” children. There is just a person, struggling to adjust and be happy.

We so easily categorize things as good or bad, and everything becomes black or white. Luckily we stop every now and then and realize that we must try to adjust what we think. To see all sides of the equations. But that is not enough. We must be able to speak our minds, when we see that something is one-sided or biased. This is really difficult, though. Right now I am motivated to be able to transfer what the teacher told me, to different schools. But I have been at schools where frustration takes hold, and the teachers rather just want us psychologist to fix the problem.  I just hope I am brave enough to speak my mind and not fall into the black-or-white trap.

Attachment: The umbilical cord of life

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Is there anything more important than connecting with others? Research by Harlow shows that monkeys who are deprived from their mothers are forever shaped by it.

Although Harlow, his students, contemporaries, and associates soon learned how to care for the physical needs of their infant monkeys, the nursery-reared infants remained very different from their mother-reared peers. Psychologically speaking, these infants were slightly strange: they were reclusive, had definite social deficits, and clung to their cloth diapers.[9] For instance, babies that had grown up with only a mother and no playmates showed signs of fear or aggressiveness.[10]

This is also true for humans. We have all heard stories about children growing up in foster homes where they got no love, no physical contact. There is no doubt that this shapes them forever, even if it is possible to repair some of the damage done.

Right now I am listening to the brilliant audiobook called “A little life” by Hanya Yanagihara. It is a book about trauma and abuse, and one sentence in it demonstrates how important other people can become. One of the characters in the book, Harold, talks about his former wife, and describes the connection between them like a type of c0rd, pulling them towards each other no matter how many years go by. This made me remember how I felt together with my ex. It almost felt like there was some type of string binding us together, and I could physically feel how it pulled me closer to him, and when he was somewhere else, it sometimes felt horrible, because I so wanted to be there.

As children, we are connected to our parents and others no matter if we want to or not. Many might have read and learnt about attachment theory, and know that there are different types of attachment. Secure, ambivalent, avoidant and disorganized. These attachment are so sensitive to rejection. Just imagine, from birth children are cut from the umbilical cord that gave they everything they needed. They were safe in the womb, protected. Suddenly they are out in the world, and to survive they are dependent on others.

  
In placental mammals, the umbilical cord (also called the navel string,[1] birth cord or funiculus umbilicalis) is a conduit between the developing embryo or fetus and the placenta

When I read about the cords connecting Harold and his ex-wife, and was reminded of my own experience, I started to think about the umbilical cord. Is the physical connection between mother and child so strong that it somehow stays in the mind, making children crave for being reconnected again? I am convinced that the body remembers things that are unconscious to us, and I think most of us have experienced the invisible pull towards certain people. Some times we can`t say why we feel attracted towards certain people, but we all know that it happens. I love the symbolism of a mental umbilical cord connecting us. Like brain cells that fire together and thereby wire together, we are social beings that needs to connect to not stray to far from land. We need anchors, we need the string holding kites in place. But there is so much that can go wrong: If those cords are bound to the wrong person, we might end up getting hurt. The umbilical cord might not give us the nutrients we need, but poison. If the umbilical cord is not there at all, we have no one to give us the oxygen we need to breathe, we feel alone in a wasteland, not able to drink water even though it`s right there. Sometimes the umbilical cord almost gives us what we need: A steady supply of the most essential nutrients, enough oxygen to not suffocate. But intermittently we get only half of what we need. And relationships are like that too: What we need is balance, somebody who is there and gives us what we need, consistently. If somebody chains us, we don`t learn what it feels like to get really healthy nutrients, so we crave the unhealthy diet, because we know no better. This might lead to retraumatization, like it does for the main character of “A little Life”, when Jude is not able to leave after being abused. If we sometimes get what we need, sometimes not, like in ambivalent attachment, we might crave both the good and the bad. Like being fed with only chocolate that you eat until you become nauseated, and occasionally a really good healthy meal, therefore craving both, knowing that the chocolate is bad, that the healthy meal is good, never finding the balance, always searching for the right way to find the balance. The secure attachment is when we get the healthy things through the umbilical cord most of the time.

I sometimes wonder what I crave more: Chocolate that seems sweet but eventually leads to shame, depressive moods and uncertainty, or healthy nutrients that make me grow and lift my spirits. The partners I have fallen most in love with, has been the ones giving me both, making me confused because I can`t figure out if the strings pulling me towards that person is good or not. That`s when I want to cut the cord, but I am not sure if I am ready yet. I wish I could say I am now able to walk around on my own. That I can look around me and attach myself to the cord that is right for me, that I sometimes don`t need to focus on it at all, like the secure child who knows that his mother is there, even when she leaves.

But I’m not sure if I’m there yet. If I’m ready to feel that pull towards someone without scaring me because the bond might be broken off one day. But I sure will try. 

More about attachment:

Avoidant, ambivalent, secure and disorganized attachment
 

Moodnotes

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I am a bit of a techno freak. I have been since we got our first computer at home and I learnt to write. When the iPhone and Ipad came, it felt like I had gotten what I have longed for without knowing it. For this reason, I have been eager to test different apps and even if I don`t use all of them, I still like to try them. I am especially eager when it comes to apps relevant for work. One of the apps I want to write a bit about is “Moodnotes”, a CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) app that you can use every day. It is easy to use, and if you turn on the notifications, you will have a reminder every day. It doesn`t take much of your time, and I think it will be helpful for many who are interested in learning more about how thoughts influences emotions.

The app opens with the question of how you are feeling. You can rate your mood by using a face with a smile that goes down or up. If you feel bad, you turn the smile down. When you have done so, you can “add details” where you write what is happening at the moment. Here you can describe the situation and what might be contributing to your mood. One day, for example, I was unhappy because I haven`t manage to exercise like I wanted and felt a bit guilty about it. After you write it down, you can select feelings that go along with your situation. You have both positive and negative feelings, and you easily click on the relevant ones where you can grade them from 0-100 %.

After doing this, you might write what thoughts went through your mind that might contribute to the feelings you have. Then comes the best part: You can “Check your thoughts”. You get several alternatives that describes thoughts-traps you might have fallen into, like “all or nothing” thinking, “blaming” or “emotional reasoning”. You also get a description of what that “trap” means. You can choose several options, before you then get the chance to write down “alternative thoughts”. If you for example have thought: “I am just no good” and clicked the box for emotional reasoning, you can write “I have many good qualities that I just don`t see right now”. After writing down alternative thoughts, you can again check your feelings and grade them. Then you will see if thinking differently makes you feel different too.

The app also has something called “moodtrends” that analyzes your moods over a period of time. If you use it regularly, you will get a overview of how your mood-level has been during a month. This might give you a more realistic view of how you are doing.

I think this App might be good for many, because we all can fall into traps where thoughts might influence our mood in a negative way. By learning more about how thoughts influences us, and seeing the results, the quality of life might increase.

By following this link, you get directly to their webpage. You can also download it on the app store

mood

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