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How to Feel Better When You Don’t Know What’s Wrong

The Fragility of Ordinary Life

The Fragility of Ordinary Life

Our modern lives are only made stable by a surprisingly fragile configuration of routines. When one or more parts is broken, problems appear everywhere. And even the most bland adjustment could throw things off.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How to Feel Better When You Don’t Know What’s Wrong

How to Feel Better When You Don’t Know What’s Wrong

https://www.raptitude.com/2020/06/how-to-feel-better-when-you-dont-know-whats-wrong/

raptitude.com

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Key Ideas

The Fragility of Ordinary Life

Our modern lives are only made stable by a surprisingly fragile configuration of routines. When one or more parts is broken, problems appear everywhere. And even the most bland adjustment could throw things off.

When You Don't Know What's Wrong

Solving a problem is very difficult when its cause is hard to trace. You can’t isolate the trouble the same way you would dunk a leaky inner tube into a bathtub to see where the bubbles come out, for example.

What you can do is try to focus on better inputs: i.e, if you're struggling because of the pandemic and its social and health consequences, try pouring more vegetables, books, and exercise into the front end of the system, while reducing the intake of sugar, Netflix, and news.

Feel-good activities

There are 2 types of feel-better activities:

  • Those that immediately improve your mood, but often at the expense of overall well-being. Easy to start doing, and often hard to stop, they tend not to have long-term rewards.
  • Those are activities that improve your well-being, and your mood too, but usually not right away. You never regret these activities and they take effort.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The Prisoner's Dilemma
The Prisoner's Dilemma

It is a famous thought experiment in Game Theory. Two prisoners in separate interrogation rooms have two options: to confess or to lie, and this can lead to three outcomes:

  1. If both c...
The Millennials Dilemma

The Prisoners Dilemma can be reimagined as a life-optimization matrix. When two people have some free time due to a time-saving technique, they can spend it either on leisure or further work. This can have three outcomes:

  1. Both individuals choose to work harder in their free time, remaining in a constant state of acceleration
  2. Both individuals choose to relax and chill out.
  3. One of them works harder and gets ahead, while the other relaxes and is left behind in the acceleration.
The Burnout Generation

Millennials are fast becoming the burnout generation, due to them treating free time as not leisure time, when they can relax and unwind, but as bonus time for them to work harder and up their game.

The hyperproductive, work-obsessed world is hell-bent to automate every to-do list item so that you can work more and create more to-do lists.

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When good habits break down
When good habits break down

It is easy to accumulate stuff, like unfiled papers and half-read books or unfinished projects. If left unattended, they can pile up and can spiral out of control. At some point, you can get fed up...

Clearing the mental desktop

There is a way to re-organize your unresolved thoughts and separate the important from the messy mental pile. In the quiet of the day, you sit down with a pencil and paper and ask yourself three questions.

  • What am I anxious about?
  • What am I upset about, and with whom?
  • What am I currently feeling excited or ambitious about?
Fragments provide clues

When you ask what you're anxious about, you may not have a clear answer. You may have fragments of responses that may not make much sense by itself. For example, "I am anxious about floorboards. Book mess."

Record these answers as they will give a hint about the main sore points in the back of your mind.

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Picking up what you want to achieve
Picking up what you want to achieve

The first component to achieving something is picking it.

It has to be something tangible, but that is currently not tangible to you: it has to be something you currently d...

Common backup learning styles
  • Imagining: coming up with ideas.
  • Reflecting: learning about the ideas you come up with.
  • Analyzing: synthesizing the ideas you’re learning and making strategic plans about how to use them.
  • Deciding: choosing a specific way to go with a specific idea.
  • Acting: taking action toward the attainment of your idea
  • Experiencing: learning from multiple angles.
Learning and mindsets
  • Most of us have a growth mindset about the learning style that come easy to us. For example, if you like math, you probably believe you can get better at math and you approach challenges and failures in your learning process as opportunities to grow.
  • Also, most of us have a fixed mindset about the learning styles we struggle with. For example, if you don’t like writing, you probably believe you can’t get better at it.

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Why We Think Some Chores Are Stressful
Why We Think Some Chores Are Stressful

Any chore becomes a humongous, stressful task if the right motivation is not behind it. Something that you don’t want to do, but still have to, makes it an undesirable activity.

Being Intentional In Your Daily Activities
  • When the task is guided and motivated by a pure intention, the inevitable obstacles become interesting challenges, like a video game that you want to play and win.
  • Performing a task with a wholehearted intention makes all the difference and turns your work into a delightful activity that you look forward to.
  • The distinction of trying vs intending is a litmus test for all the struggles and challenges that one faces in life.
The Impostor Syndrome
The Impostor Syndrome
  • A feeling of being unworthy and secretly cheating your audience/employer or followers is common and natural, especially in the field of writing.

  • 70 percent of millennia...

Illusory Superiority

This is a form of false confidence, when we believe that we are above average in just about everything.

Some people form a ‘halo’ around themselves at being extremely competent while being the opposite, as they are unable to measure or even see their shortcomings. This is known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

Realistic Goals

Writers who are confident set realistic and controllable goals to overcome the impostor syndrome.

Focusing on days or weeks of progress, with regular review/tracking gets us to know our productivity with supporting data, as opposed to our feelings that are unreliable.

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Personal Or Core Values

They are what you consider most important in your life, literally what you “value. ” They are broad concepts that can be applied across a wide range of circumstances, as opposed to narrow answers t...

The Benefits Of Having a Core Value
  • Having a core values list helps you make better decisions. The decisions you make come more quickly and efficiently than they would without it.
  • Being unconscious of your core values makes you likely to keep repeating the same mistakes.
Creating a List Of Personal Values

The core values that are most valuable to each of us come from our own personal experience, not from being taught.

As you put them into practice you’ll get better at internalizing these values and they’ll express themselves subconsciously with smaller decisions, as well.

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Our perception of time is subjective

How long an hour, a week, or a year feels is something that changes all the time.

For example, an hour spent coping with tragic news can be perceived as very slow, while an hour of frantic...

Why early years seem longer
  • As we become adults, we tend to take on more time commitments. As our work and domestic lives stabilize, the years increasingly resemble each other. This creates the sense that less “living” happens each year.
  • Children usually have no time commitments; they're told what to do. They also form higher-quality memories (sharper and more lasting), making early years seem so full.
Being present in the moment
  • As adults, we spend much of the time on autopilot, with most of our attention on past, future, or hypothetical moments.
  • As children we’re immersed in present moment, which creates long, vivid days, with many more touchpoints for memory and appreciation.

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Second-person self-talk and increased performance
Second-person self-talk and increased performance

A series of studies have confirmed that speaking to yourself can influence your performance. When comparing the effectiveness of self-talk using first person pronouns "I can d...

Research on self-talk for endurance
  • Individual variation. Not everyone benefits from the second-person self-talk. People with more narcissistic tendencies use first-person pronouns more frequently, making them more or less sensitive to the effect.
  • Customized self-talk for athletes. Framing self-statements in a positive light tend to be encouraging and actionable. For example, changing "keep grinding" to "I (You) can keep going."