7 psychology researches that changed our thinking of what it is to be human.

by Komal Sharma, freelance contributor 

 

This article is a digest for everyone who thinks psychology is common sense and for wiser others too.

Today you will read about intriguing psychological studies (scientifically proven) showing our default mode of being which is interwoven thickly in our system. You will find most of them, if not all, resonate with your experiences and will also give meaning to them.

 

1) Forgetting is intelligent :

 

Our brain actively works to gather  and store information from our immediate surrounding beyond our awareness too, but it also functions to discard information to optimize decision-making. According to recent research at University of Toronto, forgetting helps us eradicate outdated information and helps in making better decisions in given circumstances by understanding bigger picture over specific details. This concept is called ‘regularization’ in Artificial Intelligence for building computer models. Now you can quote this research when you forget some General Trivia Question next time!

 

2) Warmth over competency: 

 

If you are one of those who worry to perfect your first impression by trying very hard not to do anything stupid? You can do something much simpler. Harvard research finds that 80% of our judgments about people come down to warmth and competence. And given in any situation your skills do not complement, the more important quality to focus on is warmth. To put it candidly, we all, all of us, will prefer a company of lovable moron over a competent jerk most of the time.

 

3) False Consensus:

 

Do you think most people have same belief and faith system as yours? To your (mis)fortune, I am going to prick your bubble! According to a 1977 – Stanford University psychology experiment showed that we can incorrectly infer that others think the same way they do, or form a “false consensus” about the beliefs and preferences of others. So the next time your girlfriend does not like your favorite food, cut her some slack!

 

4) Cognitive Dissonance:

 

Mount Everest is ‘not’ the tallest mountain. It is Mauna Kea if we measure area underwater! Did you feel little uncomfortable with this information? There will be a tacit shift how you see another tall mountain now. This concept of cognitive dissonance was studied by Leon Festinger, he addresses to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors. This conflict produces an innate sense of unsettlement and discomfort. It requires a change in one of the attitudes, beliefs or behaviors to mitigate or eliminate the discomfort and restore balance.

 

5) Bad Habits or choices?

 

You do not actively think for 50% of your day, as you have learnt it by repetitively doing it. Basketball coaches emphasize on learning the right arm-action to hoop a ball through net otherwise it will become a natural way of shooting impacting your overall game. A Duke study shows a full 40% of your daily choices aren’t choices — they’re habits. So if your habits are not building you, you’re simply a machine functioning around screwing your life up. You need to understand how bad habits work, how to snap out of the loop, and how to ‘replace’ it with better habits.

 
6) Halo Effect:

 

Do you think attractive people have it easy? Well, we let them have it easy by associating goodness with them. It is a University of Michigan study where The Halo Effect states that people generally assume that people who are physically attractive are more likely to be intelligent, friendly, and display good judgment. Halo Effect impacts personal logic, judgment, inferences and then produces more complex social behaviors (which we can talk about the next time).

 

7) Emotional Intelligence:

 

Were your exams screwed due to emotional turbulence during that phase? Yes, that’s most of us. Emotional intelligence often matters more than cognitive intelligence when it comes to acing in life. It is just not about your academic aptitude which will lead you to success; ability to channelize your emotions to work in your favor is far more a rare and important competency that contributes to your growth in personal and professional domains.

 

-If these were not enough for your psychological appetite, then use Boredom to your benefit – Research suggests that you will do a good job when you pursue creative tasks when bored. Is that a hack to your boredom?

 

Komal is a post-graduate in Psychology, an alumnus of Delhi University, with a number of academic research papers published. Her core interests lie in psychoanalysis, social psychology and understanding gender roles. She values the importance of an overall emphasis on the holistic fitness of mind and body. In her alternate world, she reads for profession and her passion. She is young, intense and aware of the gravity of the work she does.
Mail: komal7722@gmail.com

 

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7 weird and unusual phobias

by Kritika Joshi, Freelance Contributor 

 

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear” – H.P. Lovecraft

Phobia is an extreme, irrational fear of a specific object or situation. A phobia is classified as a type of anxiety disorder, since anxiety is the chief symptom experienced by the sufferer. Phobias are thought to be learned emotional responses. It is generally held that phobias occur when fear produced by an original threatening situation is transferred to other similar situations, with the original fear often repressed or forgotten. Here are 7 weird but common phobias.

1. NOMOPHOBIA

Nomophobia is everywhere in industrialized nations. The term is an abbreviation for “no-mobile-phone phobia”. It is the fear of being without a mobile device, or beyond mobile phone contact. Specifically, separation from smartphones is found to cause increases in heart rate, anxiety, blood pressure, and unpleasant feelings are the symptoms of nomophobia.

2. TRYPOPHOBIA-

Sufferers of trypophobia fear objects with small holes. It is not yet considered an official phobia. It is not yet considered an official phobia, although thousands of people are reported to suffer from it. According to researchers trypophobics associate holes with danger. Examples of feared objects include honeycomb sponges and any plant with small holes in it. Symptoms of tryphobia from nausea and itchy skin to full blown panic attacks.

3. DORAPHOBIA –

Doraphobia is the term used for an abnormal and persistent fear of fur. Sufferers of this fear avoid fur-bearing animals such as dogs, cats, foxes, beavers and rabbits because fur is repulsive to them. The symptoms of fear of fur are similar to those experienced during a panic attack. Nervousness, terror, nausea, and dizziness are common when the doraphobic person is confronted with fur.

4. ATYCHIPHOBIA-

Atychiphobia or kakorrhaphiophobia is the fear of failure or defeat. The phobia is often caused by frustrations about the failure or being defeated, especially those that should have been successful, though it is often due to brain chemistry, heredity, and genetics. Symptoms include shortness of breath, speedy breathing, irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea, and overall feelings of dread when people panic.

5. EREMOPHOBIA-

Being alone can be frightening for a lot of people and the extreme and persistent fear of begin alone is called eremophobia. This type of fear is usually compounded by the natural desire to make friends and this desire can be denied and the reason is usually out of the control of the person.

6. MYSOPHOBIA-

Mysophobia is the excessive and often irrational fear of microbes or getting contaminated with germs. Mysophobia is also known as germophobia. People with an excessive fear of germs believe the world to be a ‘filthy place’. As a result, they are always washing or cleaning. Many people with the extreme fear of germs also tend to think about microbes all the time. They fear getting contaminated from dirt, dust, grime or people who are sneezing or coughing.

7. CHRONOPHOBIA-

Chronophobia is defined as the persistent and often irrational fear of the future or the fear of passing time. Since time can be considered as a “specific object”. In case of persistent Chronophobia, the sufferer develops an extreme fear of passing time in that; s/he suddenly feels that the present moment is going to be in the past soon and this thought can terrify him/her. The phobic obsesses over time; s/he is extremely anxious so much so that it affects his/her day-to-day functioning.

10 Ways In Which Music Therapy Can Heal Your Life

 

By Anjali Maini, freelance contributor 

 

“Music is probably the only real magic I have encountered in my life. There’s not some trick involved with it. It is pure and it’s real. It moves, it heals, it communicates and does all these incredible things”- Tom Petty

Music therapy is an established psychological clinical intervention, which is delivered by trained therapist to help people suffering from psychological,emotional, physical and cognitive issues. Here are 10 ways in which music therapy can heal your life:

 

1. Stress buster

The Chances are that at some point in life you have experienced work or academic stress. The soothing effect of music has the power to heal any kind of stress. Music therapy improves your mood, vitality, self-esteem and personality. In turn these improvements lead to stress reduction. Music therapy promotes relaxation of tense muscles, enabling you to easily release some of the tension you carry from stressful events which in turn enables your mind to relax.

 

2. Enhances work performance

It has been observed that interns and employees in the corporate world work really hard. But sometimes hard work doesn’t pay back. If it’s happening with you then it’s a good option to take a music therapy session. Various researches have proved that music therapy sessions at workplace can increase your dedication towards work and in turn facilitate your performance.

 

3. Concentration Booster

Listening to music stimulates the brain and the body mind connection and reactivates brain, prompt memory and improves concentration. According to a study published in August 2007, by Stanford University “Music engages with those areas of brain which are responsible for concentration, prediction and updating events in the brain.

 

4. Give Birth To A Creative And Intellectual Mind

Music therapy itself is a creative tactic of healing your mind, body and soul. Thus it effortlessly gives birth to innovative brain functioning. Music could also make us enter into a “wandering” mode. this wandering mode enables us to daydream or imagine things, which stimulates our creative side. Moreover music therapy may also help one to increase their intellectual power as some researches have shown that it increases our brain plasticity.

 

5. Pumps Down High Levels Of Aggression

Music therapy brings a kind of peace in your mind and body that can pacify both of them. It directs your energy in a positive direction and thus lower high levels of aggression. In today’s world where anger management is a huge problem, music therapy can play a remedial role. People who suffer with high aggression issues can adopt this therapy.

 

6. Remedy For Emotional Pain

Music therapy can heal inner sufferings of the soul without having to actually talk them through. Even a few sessions of music therapy can lower the symptoms of mild depression and anxiety. Various researches and case studies have proved that music therapy helps patients suffering from depression and anxiety to recover fast. Music therapy helps patients suffering from depression and anxiety by lowering their emotional and psychological stress levels and and their need to use drugs. It increases their self acceptance and self awareness behaviors .

 

7.Influence the self-confidence and self esteem

Music therapy is very effective with teens facing low confidence and low self-esteem issues. Music plays an important role in defining a teenager’s world. It helps to improve communication and interaction skills which in turn aid to boost self-confidence and self-esteem. It also helps an individual to pump up their cognitive abilities which in turn helps an individual to communicate and express their knowledge in a better way.

 

8.Releases Physical Strain

Music therapy enhances comfort and manages pain for people of all ages, genders and races. It works in different ways. Music therapy aids patients undergoing chemotherapy, dialysis and brain disabilities such as Parkinson’s disease to release their physical stress and boosts their recovery rate as the vibes and sounds instruments in music therapy release muscles strain,improves blood circulation and
maintains blood pressure.

 

9. Precious Skill Of Child Development

From birth, parents instinctively use music to calm and soothe children, to express their love and joy and to engage and interact. Music experiences at childhood can actually accelerate brain development, particularly in areas of language acquisition and reading skills. Moreover music therapy is very beneficial for children suffering from motor dysfunction. It can gradually improve their motor activity as instrumental tunes and drum beating in music therapy session can stimulate neurons and fine motor parts of kids. Further music therapy is a boon for kids suffering with autism spectrum disorder as the interventions can help to reduce undesired behaviors and increase more appropriate responses in kids.
10. Insomnia

Say no to sleeping pills and shake hand with a music therapist! Yes, music therapy cures insomnia. Music therapy improves sleep quality and duration and as well as reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. It also lessens sleep disturbances.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 signs that you are dealing with a narcissist

by Avnie Garg, freelance contributor 

Narcissism is basically a personality disorder comprising of a distended sense of self-importance, a need for entitlement, preoccupation with grandeur, lack of empathy, intolerance for criticism etc. In this sense, narcissism is very different from self-love, self-esteem and self-care. Some of the signs of a narcissist are:

 

1) Controller

A narcissists want people and situations to be under their control. They like things going their way to avoid experiencing feelings of anxiety (yes, narcissists suffer from anxiety).

 

 

2) Self-admirer

 

Most narcissists are their own favorites. They surmise that nobody in the world can match their standards. Nevertheless, they view some really successful and rich people as their ideal; but their list may include anyone from Adolf Hitler to Elon Musk.

 

 

3) Apathetic

They are indifferent to emotions of others. They care the least if anyone is crying before them. They don’t even mind using people emotionally for their own benefit. Egotism is their slogan.

 

4) Feels superior to others

Arrogance is their swagger. They experience feelings of grandiosity and thus cannot handle criticism. They place themselves on the top of the ladder.

 

5) Needs validation

A narcissist wants others to validate his/her standpoint. The phrase “you are (always) right” is music to their ears. Even if you disagree with their opinion, they’ll make sure that you are convinced with what they say before the discussion gets over.

 

6) Irresponsible and blaming 

They do not accept responsibility for anything. Even if they do and the results don’t go their way, they give enough excuses to justify themselves. They may even resort to generalized or specified blaming. Example- a narcissist might say, “yes I got angry but that is because you made me so.”

7) Interrupts conversations

Narcissists cannot really bear anyone going against them or their viewpoint. During a conversation, they‘ll interrupt you the moment you speak something opposite to what they believe in. They expect you to comply with whatever they say.

 

 

8) Belittles others

Many narcissists are sadists; most of them get a kick out of disparaging others. They are pretty confident about themselves and don’t hesitate to criticize others at their face.

 

9) Thinks she/he is not a narcissist

Most of the narcissists, shy or outgoing, have a hard time believing the fact that they actually are narcissists. Ironically, a narcissist often believes that she/he is really good at heart and empathetic towards others.

 

10) Has a history of bad relationships

They have had romantic relationships which ended up as a disaster. Also, their professional life would have been quite messy. Simply, they cannot handle any kind of relationship well.

 

 

After you identify that the person you are dealing with is a narcissist, you need to accept his/her limitations and try to be compassionate. Devise some ways to express your own self-worth. Give only sincere compliments and comply only when you want to.

 

 

8 Ways to stop overthinking

By Kritika Joshi, Freelance Contributor 

 

“To think too much is a disease.”
– Fyodor Dostoyevsky

What is holding people back from the life they truly want to live and enjoy? That one very common and destructive thing is that they think too much. Overthinking is equally deliberate as it is common. Here are 8 ways to stop overthinking-

Notice when you are overthinking-

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Before you understand how to cope with your habit of overthinking, you need to learn to be aware of when it is
happening. Awareness is the seed of the change you want to make. Once you notice that you are overthinking you can stop yourself from getting lost in the thought.

Keep yourself busy-

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One main reason you overthink is that you have the time to do so. Keep yourself busy. Be active throughout the day and tire your body out, so that you have no time left for the over analysis. Not one day can be fruitful if more time than necessary is allowed for aimless thinking.

Change your mind-

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Distract yourself into happiness once you feel that you are falling prey to overthinking. Sometimes it is helpful to have a way to distract yourself with happy, positive, healthy alternatives. Things like meditation, dancing, exercise, learning an instrument, drawing, painting can distance you from the issues enough to shut down the over analysis.

Sleep-

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Sleeping is like pressing the reboot button on your mind. When you haven’t slept you become more vulnerable to overthinking. Get plenty of good quality sleep. Sleeping leads to a fresh mind which disrupts the complex web of overthinking. Listening to some good music may help to get a good sleep.

Practice mindfulness-

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It is an activity where one focuses on the present moment without judgement. As the obsessive, worrying thoughts come in; you acknowledge them and then let them go, energetically release them clearing your space. One of the biggest struggle is the ability to live in the present moment. Control what you think.

Use positive daily affirmations for anxiety-

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Affirmations are statements that help you overcome negative thoughts. Some good affirmations for anxiety are- “I have the power to decide what I will think about. My thoughts do not control me”; “I refuse to allow my imagination to show me disastrous future.” Use these affirmations daily to stop negative thoughts of overthinking.

List your thoughts down-

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Make a list of things that are troubling you down. Keep a diary of things that are troubling you. Jot down all the things on your mind every day. Go over what you have written; try to deal with the thoughts yourself. Ask for advice if you are finding it difficult to deal with things by yourself. Ask for advice if needed.

Realise that no good can be achieved by overthinking-

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Overthinking may lead to excessive worrying, anxiety, panic, fatigue, inability to concentrate, muscle tension, digestive disorders etc. There are more cons of overthinking than its pros. Overthinking leads to no good and may lead to severe health issues. Nothing can be achieved by overthinking. You cannot predict the future, and thus should not waste your efforts on stressing about things.

7 ways in which we delude ourselves

 

by Ridhi Murari, Freelance Contributor

 

Resistance stems from a deep and intense struggle between wanting to change and wanting to hold on to our habitual patterns of reacting, emoting and behaving; more often than not in a desperate attempt in protecting ourselves from facing our demons. When we actually confront a problem which is seen by us as unmanageable or difficult we fall into a pattern of deluding ourselves; here are 7 ways in which we do that:

 

 

  1. Publishing Odd Future GIF-downsized_largeREPRESSION When we forget things we find unpleasant, it is called repression. We all have incidents that shake our core from within, hitting us with the impact of a physical blow. This is where repression comes in. The thoughts that flow through our minds in this stage are typically, “Oh, I’m so mad at her that I can actually pick up a matchstick and burn her in hell, oh God, how did I become so violent? Let me not think of her this way. “

 

 

 

  1. sad love and hip hop GIF by VH1-downsized_large            SUPPRESSION- When one is aware that a particular feeling, thought, or want has made way into ones consciousness and yet they make a deliberate effort to not dwell on it―one, by not thinking about it (internally) and two, by not acting on it (externally). for eg a wife may be peeved about her husband’s behavior but because of some guests around her, she may control her reaction at that time. But one should also be aware of the possibility that these impulses and thoughts might make way again, and that they will need to be dealt with at the time that they do.

 

              

 

               

  1. world series no GIF by Brett Eldredge-downsized_large           DEPRIVATION- He has it and I don’t and the endless discourses on how the world is an unfair place to live in which follow; such comparison is inevitable, someone has the intangibles we want. This deprived state leads to complaining, resenting, and dwelling in a spiral of negativity and eventually, being exhausted by the process, seeking refuge in a sea of optimism through any means possible. PS- Beware of over-enthusiastic people, it’s often a reversal of the deprived state that makes them overjoyed.

 

 

 

  1. Brendan Fraser What GIF-downsized_large                   AMBIGUITY INTOLERANCE- “But you have to tell me what do I do next?” “If I knew what to do why would I come to you?”; to avoid those uncomfortable situations of awareness, reflection and introspection, we would do anything in the world for another being to dictate the steps of our life so I can later blame them for all of it. The degree to which an individual is comfortable with uncertainty, unpredictability, conflicting directions, and multiple demands. In essence, tolerance for ambiguity is manifest in a person’s ability to operate effectively in an uncertain environment.

 

                                                                                                                                                                              

  1. like GIF-downsized_large                                         INERTIA- “Okay, let’s do one thing since I’ve tried everything from my end, there is nothing more I can do so let it be. This is my fate and destiny, so what’s the point?”. This is the world of the inertia, of people who have given up and entered the realm of learned helplessness. The psychological meaning of the word “inertia” implies an indisposition to change – a certain “stuckness” due to human programming. It represents the inevitability of behaving in a certain way, to the extent that it may have been indelibly inscribed somewhere in the brain.
  2. routine GIF-downsized_largeROUTINE SEEKING- There are, among us, people who need to know what to do at each step. Bound by routine, they are beings who hate stepping out of their comfort zones. Change is uncomfortable for most of us, even if this resistance does not manifest itself in the form of an incessant need to stick to a staunch routine. Not that all routines are bad. We need routines, but the question is: who is the master? us or the routine.

 

 

 

7. hd GIF-downsized_largeENTITLEMENT– We all want things. But some people feel they are entitled to whatever it is they want, and they feel they deserve it all now. That can make for very difficult relationships, a lot of disappointment, and never receiving what is most important in life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 things people with social anxiety disorder go through

By Pallavi Kandhari, Freelance Contributor 

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Social anxiety is the fear of social situations that involve interaction with other people. Social anxiety is the fear and anxiety of being negatively judged and evaluated by other people. A person suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) may sometimes think that people would ‘judge’ them if they talk about this fear. But it is the most common anxiety disorder with up to 10% of people being affected at some point in their life. So, you are not alone. Here are some points every person going through SAD can relate to-

1) Excessive worry about one’s looks

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They tend to spend more time in getting ready than what an average person would do and that is because of the fear of being negatively “judged” by people they don’t really know… So, they need to look their best every time they step out of the house in order to avoid the fear of being negatively evaluated. And as Eleanor Roosevelt said rightly,” No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”.
2) Being the center of attention is a NIGHTMARE

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Have to give a presentation at work, school or college? Have to give a speech? The mere thought of being the center of attention is equivalent to a nightmare and cripples them with fear and anxiety. They are afraid that what if people notice, how anxious they are? Sweating, trembling and other physiological reactions come naturally when asked to give a speech or presentation.
3) Shyness is a pervasive personal state

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Having any sort of conversation with any stranger or sometimes even known people triggers shyness related anxiety and they begin to having irrational thoughts that they might end up getting judged, mocked or negatively percieved in some way. However it is important to remember that many people who are shy do not have the negative emotions and feelings that accompany social anxiety disorder. They live a normal life, and do not view shyness as a negative trait.
4) Hesitance and low self confidence tend to be mostly around the corner

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People with social anxiety usually (but not always) tend to have a low self esteem due to the fear of being rejected or being mocked at. They try to avoid conversations as much as possible in order to avoid being judged or evaluated. They constantly have the fear of being criticized and disapproved. They sometimes hesitate to take decisions and risk ending up coming across as ill-equipped in handling pressure situations.
5) Ordering food is not meant for them.

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Ordering food in person or on phone can be very stressful as it involves taking a decision and then interacting with a stranger. When they go to a restaurant they constantly feel that people will judge and laugh at them. Sometimes they may have the fear of pronouncing something wrong and that raises their anxiety even before they order as they feel that they may end up sounding silly.
6) Escape becomes their best friend

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Leaving a party, social gathering or a family function after spending a brief amount of time is very common. They are the last ones to enter and the first one to leave. Escaping from these situations when anxiety raises can sometimes help them to calm down and they have no regrets of leaving early or escaping from anxiety provoking social gatherings.
7) They become their own best friends

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With the constant fear of being negatively evaluated or criticized by people, they mostly avoid their company and start to enjoy their own company. They become their own best friends and end up spending a lot of time with themselves which sometimes curbs the anxiety provoking thoughts and make them a feel a bit relaxed.