Learning to worry well - Deepstash

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Worrying well: how to bring wisdom to your worries - Ness Labs

Learning to worry well

Learning to worry well

Worry is generally seen as a negative thing. But it could also have a positive function.

Worry is an adaptive function to better solve problems and imagine creative solutions. And worrying well is a skill anyone can learn.

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Memory bias
Memory bias

A memory bias distorts the content of your memory.

Our memories are reconstructed during recall. The process of recall makes them prone to manipulation and errors.

The many faces of the memory bias
  • Rosy retrospection bias. We often remember the past as having been better than it really was.
  • Consistency bias. We wrongly remember our past attitudes and behaviour as similar to our present attitudes and behaviour.
  • Mood-congruent memory bias. We better remember memories that are consistent with our current mood.
  • Hindsight or knew-it-all-along bias. We consider past events as being predictable.
  • Egocentric bias. We recall past events in a self-serving manner. We remember a caught fish as bigger than it was.
  • Availability bias. We think the memories that come easily to mind is more representative than it really is.
  • Recency effect. We best remember the most recent information.
  • Choice-supportive bias. We remember chosen options as better than rejected options.
  • Fading effect bias. Our emotions associated with negative memories fade faster than our feelings associated with pleasant memories.
  • Confirmation bias. We tend to interpret memories in a way that confirms our prior hypotheses of personal beliefs.
The benefits of our faulty memory

The limits of our memory serve us well in many respects.

  • Limited memories are useful trade-off to allow us to function and survive. We have thousands of memories, for example, of tables. If we recall all the events related to a table, it will create mass confusion with data overload.
  • Flawed memories may also help us to cope with our past and navigate our future. It may give us more confidence in our past decisions or make us remember happier events.
Our values
Our values

Our values are our preferences about what we consider appropriate courses of actions.

They strongly influence our decisions. Therefore we should take the time to consider w...

The transmission of values

Personal values can be ethical, moral, ideological, social, or even aesthetic. Values are mostly transmitted through parenting, but our cultural environment also plays a role.

For instance, American parents tend to value intellectual knowledge; Swedish parents value security and happiness; and Dutch parents value independence and the ability to stick to a schedule.

The four personal value orientations

There are four different personal value orientations based on our "terminal values " - our desirable states of existence, and "instrumental values" - the means by which we achieve our end goals.

  1. Personal-competence. "I value wisdom (terminal), which I believe can be achieved through independent thinking (instrumental)."
  2. Personal-moral: "I valued true friendship (terminal), which I believe can be achieved through honesty (instrumental)."
  3. Social-competence: "I valued equality (terminal), which I think can be achieved through ambitious work (instrumental)."
  4. Social-moral: "I value national security (terminal), which I believe can be achieved through obedience (instrumental)."
The Goldilocks Principle
The Goldilocks Principle

Just like the fairy tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, where the preferred porridge has to be neither too hot nor too cold, and the preferred bed has to be neither too soft nor too har...

The Optimal Level of Stress

Whether it is the stress that is taken by schoolchildren or workplace challenges, we have to find an optimal level where there is just the right amount of pressure. There is a balance that has to be achieved for stress levels (which comes from external factors) and anxiety (which is usually through our internal thought mechanisms).

Stress to some extent is beneficial as it releases hormones like cortisol in the brain, increasing your performance in the short term while enhancing brain functions.

Healthy Levels Of Anxiety
  • If we are occasionally stressed out or worry prior to a big presentation, we are well within the healthy levels of anxiety and it can be our motivation as well.
  • If we are unable to sleep at night, have constant health issues or are unable to eat, then we are in the unhealthy stress/anxiety territory and need to take corrective action.