All posts tagged: psychology

Week 45 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Habit vs. Addiction

Do you know the difference between good habits, bad habits, and addictions?  It’s easy to tell the difference between good habits and addictions, but not so easy to distinguish between good habits and bad habits.  Nor is it easy to draw the line between bad habits and addictions.  Also, why is it that one person’s good habit is another person’s bad habit?  How is it that some people become addicted to anything (the so-called “addictive personality”), while other people could drop a sugar habit, or even a cocaine habit, almost one day to the next? 

We can’t sort out all these questions in one blog post, but we can learn enough to start to evaluate our own habits.  By doing so, we make a conscious effort to improve our unconscious behaviors!

Week 43 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Movies

Have you ever felt guilty for vegging out in front of a screen, even when you legitimately needed some time for rest and relaxation? Feeling guilty sucks the joy out of watching movies.

How can we as intellectuals and type-A’s bring the joy back into watching movies?  It’s an activity we will inevitably find ourselves doing as a part of social relationships with friends, family and coworkers.  Can we even make intellectual sense of the time we spend watching schlock, or slapstick, or even superhero movies?  Read on!

Week 41 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Decisions

How do you decide? Do you understand your mental process of weighing options? What makes you choose option A over option B?  There are benefits to understanding your own decision-making process. Making conscious decisions is important to avoiding regret.  Understanding how you make decisions can streamline future decision-making.

Making decisions becomes less difficult when you understand how. This week’s journal topic is all about decisions.

Week 38 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Promises

Promises are a big deal.  Really.  Can you imagine what society would be like without promises? We rely on others to do as they assure us that they will. How would human relationships, partnerships, and friendships function without promises? 

People have different ideas of what a promise is – what it means to promise, how a promise occurs, and what consequences to expect or dole out in response to a broken promise.  The foggy understanding of promises adds tension to relationships.  Improving your understanding of promises has the potential to transform and benefit your interpersonal relationships.  Let’s figure this out! Click to read more.

Week 37 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Trust

“He was confused.  He had never asked her to trust him or said anything to make her believe he was worth her trust.  And she knew his past – so what did she expect? She had trusted him – to do what, exactly?”

Do you know what it means to trust someone? What about trusting yourself?  Answer quickly, before philosophy gets in the way. You think you know, until you realize that you do not know at all what it means to trust and be trusted.

Click to visit this week’s post to learn about trust.
Plus, journal questions to help you understand how and why you trust!

Week 36 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Architecture

Because of rising housing costs and scarcity, renters are forced to make decisions based on criteria such as square footage and utility instead of artistic design and psychological effects. Buyers are apt to make decisions based on price speculation – a property that increases in value is the smart buy. However, despite not being at the forefront of importance, the architecture of the buildings we inhabit matters to us for its subtle effects on daily life.

Find out about how architecture transcends physical reality (!) and journal questions to reflect on your own home.

Week 33 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Loneliness

Loneliness is a popular topic in the news these days.  News articles tell us that loneliness is the new epidemic, that research is being directed into pharmaceuticals and AI to combat loneliness, and that governments are installing public infrastructure directed at facilitating interactions between strangers.  How is it that we can be so lonely despite living in densely populated cities?  What does it mean to be lonely?

Read more to find out!

Week 29 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Tools

Humans are differentiated from other animals by our extensive use of tools.  Yes, other animals use tools, but the use is relatively rare, and the tools are basic.  What counts as a tool for an otter might just be the use of a rock to smash shellfish from their shells.  A rock and a jackhammer are hardly comparable, though.  Comparing basic animal tools to complex human tools is like comparing communicative animal cries to human language. Viewing the comparison that way, it’s clear that human tools are in a special category.

Human tools also have symbolic meaning. What is a dream catcher, a magic wand, or a ghost trap?

Keep reading to find out what makes human tool use special and what your attachment to tools says about you!

Week 20 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Fear

(This post is part of a weekly series for Know Thyself 2019, a 365 day journal project. Start here!) This week’s journal topic: Fear You’ve undoubtedly received all kinds of contradictory information about fear.  As a child, nauseous with nerves before stepping onstage in the school play, you probably heard your parents or teacher tell you that “there’s nothing to fear but fear itself” (FDR, former American president). If you’re a child of the 80’s or 90’s, you might remember the brand No Fear, whose edgy (at the time) T-shirts mocked fear. Fear: False Evidence Appearing Real These quotes tell us that fear is some kind of illusion; moreover, it’s an illusion that loses its power when we laugh at it and clearly see the illusion.  Fear is like a rubber snake dropped into your lap.  It’s impossible not to react, but when you see that it’s rubber, it’s funny. What is fear? Fear is really made up of two aspects: physiological and emotional.  In an environment in which our bodies perceive fear, the body reacts …