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Self Improvement

85 SAVED IDEAS

Being Grateful For Your Job
  • In the 2020 debacle in terms of job and income loss, people who are employed feel a certain pressure to be grateful for it, and even have a measure of real gratitude. Many are thankful that they are still hired, still getting paid every month.
  • Jobs provided post-pandemic seem prized, with candidates in awe of the fact that they are being considered, shortlisted and interviewed, when jobs are so scarce.
  • While being grateful for what we have is a positive emotion with real benefits, there is a downside to this gratefulness, as it makes a person willing to endure unwelcome situations at work.

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Self Improvement

Gratitude has become a social norm, an internal voice that we must be thankful for a normal life. Suppressing negative feelings isn’t good, and we cannot ignore the problems we have (like workplace harassment or a bad boss) just by appreciating that we still get paid regularly.

Bypassing or avoiding negative feelings cuts off our connections with the signals given by them, resulting in us ignoring the signs of stress, fear, exhaustion and sadness.

If we are too focussed on why we should be grateful for the job we have, we may not realize that the work has become thankless, trapping ourselves in a stagnant career. Employers often milk the situation by cutting down pay, making employees work more hours for less.

Many employers virtually own the employees just because they provide a regular paycheck. One can be grateful if the employer truly deserves it, like if they go the extra mile to ensure their staff does not have problems.

Our Brain Needs A Filter

We all have thoughts and ideas floating in our minds, and need to review our ideas, deciding which of them have merit and can be brought to the world.

If there is no filter installed in our minds that only lets the approved ones through, we end up acting out stuff that could lead to disastrous outcomes.

  1. Stay grounded and in the present moment.
  2. Be self-aware, identifying and recognizing your thoughts, feelings and emotions in real time.
  3. Let your awareness discriminate between artificial and real, right or wrong, keeping a critical and objective mindset.
  4. Recognize that your thought is just a thought. We can let go of all the glitz, fear and drama for the moment.

Practising mindfulness sharpens our self-awareness skills, keeping us in the present moment.

By definition, popular culture, or "pop" culture, requires the masses to be engaged in practising and consuming culture, thereby making it popular.
There are three significant popular-culture markers:

  • Wedding ceremonies began traditions based on religious tenets and quickly became part of society.
  • Music performed from written scores. Renaissance composers committed music to paper, making it possible for others to perform it.
  • Fashion styles took clothing beyond functionality.
Shakespeare is the first pop culture superstar

The Western world's first pop culture superstar was probably William Shakespeare. He wrote his theatre plays for a mass audience, fulfilling pop culture's art requirement that could be enjoyed by the masses.

Shakespeare's art bridged the 16th-century gap between popular and fine art. Several of his plays were set elsewhere in Europe, which exposed the common Englishman to wedding and courtship traditions of different classes and cultures.

When the first explorers travelled to distant places, they were influenced by examples of other cultures' popular art, artefacts, and customs, such as drinking coffee.

The masses were seldom the first to experience exotic forms of popular culture. For example, Kabuki Theater was accessible to all classes of Japanese people, but Europe's aristocrats initially regarded it as high art.

In popular arts such as theatre, dance, music, and movies, the masses needed enough time and resources to enjoy these arts.

Technology made it possible. The industrial labourers of the 19th-century had more money, making it possible to enjoy entertainment venues and engage in recreation outside their work lives.

The sewing machine made new fashions possible for everyone. Technology also aided new kinds of arts and items and made them accessible to everyone, not just the elite.

Radio, television, motion pictures, amplified music, computers, and the Internet changed society and the course of history.

The Cheerleader Effect

A profile picture with friends seems to convey that we are social and well-liked. Group shots also seem to be appealing to others due to another factor known as the Cheerleader Effect.

Our profile pictures on social media are mostly selfies, headshots or pics of our loved ones. We don’t usually put up group pictures on display, but it might be a good idea.

The Cheerleader Effect is a visual illusion, where people appear more attractive in a group, rather than when seen alone.

It works similar to the Ebbinghaus Illusion, where a medium-sized dot appears larger in front of smaller dots, or the Moon Illusion, where the moon seems larger on the horizon.

What we see is not a direct reflection of reality, but depends upon context, expectations, and previous information.

As we tend to view an individual to be like the group they are associated with, the face of the individual is blended with other faces in the group, making it more attractive that it may be.

The average face is also high in its attractiveness quotient, as it provides the features that are the most common.

We Can’t Bounce Back From Everything

Resilience is becoming a buzzword, a mainstay of many books telling us to recover and grow from difficulties. This substitute word for mental toughness may not be enough to adjust or recoup from misfortune, heartbreak, or a tragedy.

Pure resilience, it seems, is hard to cultivate and may be difficult to maintain even for people who use mindfulness to become mentally tough and strong. It is an ineffective coping device for people who believe they are weak.

Bouncing back from a profound loss or suffering may be impossible for many, as the crisis has created a black hole in their universe, which they have now entered. It is not the time to look back, as the past self is suddenly useless and irrelevant.

Bouncing back does not take into account the dynamic mind shift that has happened to the individual.

An alternative to resilience is a mysterious, unknown potential towards a future that yet unseen, but can be imagined.

Hardships can be dealt with imagination, curiosity, openness and adaptability towards the expansive potential of a new future.

Imagination reduces the cognitive, neural and physiological conditioned threat response.

An individual can use imagination to plan for the future by thinking from the perspective of the past. It is a creative approach which can be practised while handling life’s challenges.

  • The first question we need to ask during or after a crisis is what is it that matters to us the most? What must we protect and hold on to? We need to look at what is possible in this new reality and what choices we have.
  • One has to pull the pieces together and craft a workable life by imagining and implementing small things that are extremely heavy at that time.
  • Feelings of gratitude, connection, bonding and compassion are crucial in the times of suffering as they give us space and relief.

Pain narrows down our choices and creates a tunnel vision that can lead to negative thinking and even self-harm. Positivity by itself feels shallow.

Imagination comes with a choice of action, which offers a possibility to feel something apart from pain.

  1. Use deep breathing or a mantra to acknowledge the reality of the traumatic event.
  2. Choose a positive word or phrase that helps you stay grounded, like love, peace or connection.
  3. Imagine what the future can be using the chosen word.
  4. The simple act of imagining unglues us from the negative and bleak mindset we may be stuck with.

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