Learned Helplessness

It is a mental surrender towards the unfavourable or stressful situations that happen repeatedly. A person who has ‘learned’ to be helpless observes the bad event or circumstance and feels that there is nothing that can be done.

It is found in both humans and animals and was discovered in 1967 in a bizarre psychological experiment using electric shocks on dogs.

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Self Improvement

One can overcome learned helplessness by changing the attribution style, or the way one looks at the causes of events in one’s life.

  1. We tend to blame ourselves for the unpleasant situation and need to look towards external causes, instead of focusing on our perceived bad traits.
  2. We seem to assume that things are permanent and the bad situation will always remain so, which is not the case.
  3. We assume that the problem will be consistent in all environments, and need to localize the bad experience, instead of making it a pervasive one in our minds.

According to extensive research on humans and animals, regular exercise is the most efficient way to overcome learned helplessness is it safe, effective and releases serotonin in the brain.

Try being positive and do some regular exercise to remove the mental block of learned helplessness.

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