All posts tagged: negative events

How to Worry Less and Be Happier

How to Worry Less and Be Happier

[ad_1] Want to stay current with Arthur’s writing? Sign up to get an email every time a new column comes out. Everybody has worries. In early 2023, according to the market-research firm Ipsos, the five most common worries of people worldwide were inflation, poverty and social inequality, crime and violence, unemployment, and corruption (financial and political). Such surveys ask respondents to choose from a list of typical global problems. In that regard, they no doubt diverge from your personal worries, which might be even greater: a perceived change in your partner’s affections, perhaps, or your child’s rather mixed performance in school, or that sore spot on the back of your leg. Although worrying a bit is normal, for some people, worrying can be a dominant element of a generalized anxiety that steals their peace and sucks up valuable time. “I have been worrying and fretting myself, and I don’t know what I am doing,” says Rodion Raskolnikov, the protagonist of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel Crime and Punishment. “Yesterday and the day before yesterday and all this …

Why the Teen-Mental-Health Crisis Is So Hard to Solve

Why the Teen-Mental-Health Crisis Is So Hard to Solve

[ad_1] You have to admit, it seemed like a great way to help anxious and depressed teens. Researchers in Australia assigned more than 1,000 young teenagers to one of two classes: either a typical middle-school health class or one that taught a version of a mental-health treatment called dialectical behavior therapy, or DBT. After eight weeks, the researchers planned to measure whether the DBT teens’ mental health had improved. The therapy was based on strong science: DBT incorporates some classic techniques from therapy, such as cognitive reappraisal, or reframing negative events in a more positive way, and it also includes more avant-garde techniques such as mindfulness, the practice of being in the present moment. Both techniques have been proven to alleviate psychological struggles. This special DBT-for-teens program also covered a range of both mental-health coping strategies and life skills—which are, again, correlated with health and happiness. One week, students were instructed to pay attention to things they wouldn’t typically notice, such as a sunset. Another, they were told to sleep more, eat right, and exercise. …

Be Humble, and Be Happier

Be Humble, and Be Happier

[ad_1] Want to stay current with Arthur’s writing? Sign up to get an email every time a new column comes out. The 1999 film The Matrix is famous for coining the metaphor of the “red pill.” In the imaginary world of the movie, people live largely in a state of illusion, experiencing a completely managed simulation of real life that keeps them passive. The protagonist, Neo (played by Keanu Reeves), is offered the choice by the rebel leader Morpheus of staying in the simulation by taking a blue pill or breaking into reality by taking a red pill. This is not an easy decision: choose reality, with its difficult truths, or live in the numb oblivion of the Matrix? The “red pill” entered the lexicon as a choice we can make in life. Lately, this sometimes refers to political radicalization, but since before that and more benignly, it has meant the choice we make in life to either numb ourselves or face reality. On the one hand, the proposition runs, we can accept the narcotic …