Anxiety belongs to the broader complex relationship between creativity and mental illness, and although the causal direction of that relationship might forever evade us, it is strangely assuring to know that other minds — especially those of above-average intelligence and creative ability — have been savaged as well.
This article reviews the illustrated meditation Thin Slices of Anxiety: Observations and Advice to Ease a Worried Mind by Catherine Lepage with several useful sidetracks!
Self-awareness seems to have become the latest management buzzword — and for good reason. Research suggests that when we see ourselves clearly, we are more confident and more creative. We make sounder decisions, build stronger relationships, and communicate more effectively. We’re less likely to lie, cheat, and steal. We are better workers who get more promotions. And we’re more effective leaders with more-satisfied employees and more-profitable companies. Read these interesting research insights from organizational psychologist, Tasha Eurich.
It’s sometimes remarkably hard to tell other people how we really feel; it may even be tricky for us to get clear about our own moods. Fortunately, The Book of Life website provides a tool to assist with this vagueness: short essays that define twenty moods that we can all recognise but that we may have a hard time pinning down and explaining.
Researchers in Austria discovered that funny people have higher IQs than their less funny peers. They argue that it takes both cognitive and emotional ability to process and produce humour.
Not only are funny people smart, they’re nice to be around. Evidence suggests that having a good sense of humour is linked to high emotional intelligence and is a highly desirable quality in a partner. In studies of attractiveness, both men and women rate funny people as more attractive, and cite having a good sense of humour as being one of the most important traits in a long-term partner.
Our perception of stress, and therefore our response to it, is an ever-changing thing that depends a great deal on the circumstances and settings in which we find ourselves. It depends on previous experience and knowledge, as well as on the actual event that has occurred. And it depends on memory, too. Read more about Dr Esther Sternberg’s work on the link between the central nervous system and the immune system.
Form the habit of reading well! Reading a book, for any reason other than entertainment, is essentially an effort on your part to ask the book questions (and to answer them to the best of your ability).
Reading is like skiing. When done well, when done by an expert, both reading and skiing are graceful, harmonious activities. When done by a beginner, both are awkward, frustrating, and slow.
Knowing yourself has extraordinary prestige in our culture. It has been framed as quite literally the meaning of life. Self-knowledge is important for one central reason: because it offers us a route to greater happiness and fulfilment.
A lack of self-knowledge leaves you open to accident and mistaken ambitions. Armed with the right sort of self-knowledge, we have a greater chance of avoiding errors in our dealings with others and in the formulation of our life choices.
It can happen to the best of us. We’re human. We all make mistakes.
Mistakes are bad, no doubt, but not learning from them is worse. It’s not the failures in life that define us as much as how we respond to them.
“We fall in love not just with a person wholly external to us but with a fantasy of how that person can fill what is missing from our interior lives.”
Read how psychoanalyst Adam Phillips addresses this central paradox with clarity and elegance in Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life in this article from Brainpickings.
The story of humanity’s love affair with alcohol goes back to a time before farming—to a time before humans, in fact. Our taste for tipple may be a hardwired evolutionary trait that distinguishes us from most other animals. Alcohol isn’t just a mind-altering drink, however; it has been a prime mover of human culture from the beginning, fueling the development of arts, language, and religion.