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Emotionally Extreme Experiences, Not Just Positive or Negative Experiences, Are More Meaningful in Life

The Dual Nature Of Reality

These new findings on the synergy of good and bad experiences in our lives go against our usual ways of ‘compartmentalized’ thinking and give us a glimpse of the integrated and dual nature of reality.

They also explains why we seek out unpleasant, or even dangerous experiences, like watching horror movies, going on thrilling rides which can be risky, or just being exhausted.

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Emotionally Extreme Experiences, Not Just Positive or Negative Experiences, Are More Meaningful in Life

Emotionally Extreme Experiences, Not Just Positive or Negative Experiences, Are More Meaningful in Life

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/emotionally-extreme-experiences-not-just-positive-or-negative-experiences-are-more-meaningful-in-life/

blogs.scientificamerican.com

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Key Ideas

The Basic Error Of Science

... has always been viewing of the subject or object in isolation. In most fields of study, things are treated as separate from each other. Objects are dissected and analysed by breaking them down to atomic levels. For Example, the mind is treated as separate from the body.

This ‘Divide and Rule’ is visible in the research of emotional valence, where positive experiences are pitted against the negative experiences, with an inherent bias.

The Synergy Of Good And Bad

Intense experiences of both kinds, good and bad, are helping build meaning in life to the same degree, and are complementing each other, according to research.

If a person has mostly good experiences, or mostly bad ones, his life cycle, in a way, is still incomplete. To truly get the meaning of life, both negative and positive life experiences are required.

The Dual Nature Of Reality

These new findings on the synergy of good and bad experiences in our lives go against our usual ways of ‘compartmentalized’ thinking and give us a glimpse of the integrated and dual nature of reality.

They also explains why we seek out unpleasant, or even dangerous experiences, like watching horror movies, going on thrilling rides which can be risky, or just being exhausted.

Perspective On Suffering

Suffering and sadness are necessary for a wholesome life, along with positive experiences.

While practicing being in the present can help us reduce anxiety and depression, we need the ‘counterbalance’ of the other extreme emotions to feel alive.

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Meaning in Life
  • Many of us struggle with finding meaning, as we are busy with our daily work and distractions.
  • Meaning in life provides us with the purpose of getting up daily, energized and pepped up...
Meaningful Work

21–35% of our life is spent at work, making it a crucial part of our lives to spend at something we find meaning in.

Meaningful work should be:

  • Motivating and purposeful.
  • Should be coherent and make some sense.
  • Should be significant.
Connected with a Purpose

Meaningful work is when we feel a genuine connection with what we do for a living and our larger spectrum of life.

It is motivating, creates deep relationships and helps others.

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Positivity Could be Good for Us

Negative thinking can narrow our thinking and prevent us from moving forward. Positive encouragement can open our minds to alternatives. It fosters creative thinking and opens us up to take on risk...

Forcing positive thinking

Forcing positive thinking puts us under pressure and in an always-on-the-alert mode. We can never relax because a negative thought might pop into our heads when we least expect it.

It can make us feel more negative emotions and we may blame ourselves for not being happy enough.

We need some negative emotions

Emotions like fear and anxiety can help us to act in certain situations, for instance, alerting us to danger. Anxiety should not be avoided. It can point to an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.

Thinking negatively can also help us prepare for worst-case scenarios in advance. However, too much negative thinking is not good for us either.

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Emotions

They are basal responses that begin in the subcortical areas of the brain responsible for producing biochemical reactions to environmental stimuli that have a direct impact on our physical state.&n...

Feelings

Feelings are preceded by emotions and tend to be our reactions to them. Emotions are a more generalized experience across humans, but feelings are more subjective and influenced by our personal experiences and interpretations, thus they are harder to measure.

Negative Emotions

They can be defined as unpleasant or unhappy emotions evoked in individuals to express a negative effect towards something.

Although some are labeled negative, all emotions are normal to the human experience. And it’s important to understand when and why negative emotions might arise, and develop positive behaviors to address them.

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