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Hamish Joy

@hjoy2020

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Viktor Frankl: the founder of logotherapy

From 1940 to 1942, Victor Frankl was a director of the Neurological Department of the Rothschild Hospital, and from 1946 to 1970 he was the director of Vienna Polyclinic of Neurology.

As the only member of his family to survive the Nazi concentration camps, he developed a theory that individuals can endure hardship and suffering through searching for meaning and purpose.

@hjoy2020

How Logotherapy Can Help You Find Meaning in Life

verywellmind.com

"Logos" is Greek for meaning, and logotherapy is used to help patients find personal meaning in life.

Viktor Frankl believed humans are motivated by a desire to find meaning in life. He argued that even in the most miserable circumstances, life can have meaning. Viktor Frankl wrote one thing that can't be taken from a person is to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances.

  • Each person has a healthy core.
  • The primary focus is to enlighten others to their own internal resources and supply the tools to use their inner core.
  • Life offers purpose and meaning. However, it does not promise fulfilment and happiness.

One can discover meaning in life by doing the following:

  • Creating a work (like art) or doing a deed.
  • Experiencing something or encountering someone.
  • By the attitude that we take toward unavoidable suffering.
  • Body, mind, and spirit. Viktor Frankl argued that we have a body and mind, but that the spirit is what we are.
  • Life has meaning in all circumstances, even in the most miserable situations.
  • Meaning is our primary motivation for living.
  • In all circumstances, individuals have the freedom to access the will and find meaning.
  • For decisions to be meaningful, the actions of daily life should match the individuals' conscience.
  • Individuals are unique and irreplaceable.
  • Dereflection: Helping someone focus away from themselves and toward other people, so they spend less time being self-absorbed.
  • Paradoxical intention: This technique involves wishing for the thing that is feared most. For example, a person with a fear of looking foolish might be encouraged to look foolish on purpose.
  • Socratic dialogue: This tool is used to help a patient through self-discovery using his or her own words.

In 1961, psychologist Rollo May, founder of the existential movement in the United States, argued that logotherapy was equivalent to authoritarianism, where the therapist dictates solutions to the patient.

It may be that logotherapy argues that there are always clear solutions to problems and that the therapist's task is to find these. But Viktor Frankl argued that logotherapy really educates the patient to take responsibility.

  • Create something. It gives you a sense of purpose which adds meaning to your life.
  • Develop relationships. It will help you to develop a greater sense of meaning.
  • Find purpose in pain. If you are struggling through something bad, try to find purpose in it.
  • Understand that life is not fair, but it can always have meaning.
  • Freedom to find meaning. You are free to find meaning out of any life situation.
  • Focus on others to help you through feeling stuck in a situation.
  • Accept the worst. It lowers the power it has over you.
The Annual Cycle
  • Spring is when seeds and roots start to grow. It is often wetter and warmer but not as hot when summer comes.
  • Summer is the time when the temperature has the ability to reach its hottest and when forest fires are more frequent.
  • Autumn is when the temperature cools down again, plants become dormant, and it is when animals prepare for hibernation in the winter.
  • Winter is when some areas experience snowing while others experience cold rain.

The Four Seasons | What Causes Seasons? | Live Science

livescience.com

The availability of experiencing the four seasons of spring, summer, autumn, and winter depends on your location.

Those who live in the countries near the equator experience constant temperatures throughout the year where winters and summers are indiscernible due to their position on the outer curve of the earth where it receives constant light from the sun. While areas in the north and south are able to experience the changing of seasons more significantly.

The reason we experience seasons is because of the tilting of the earth towards the sun. How the planet rotates around its axis affects the way we experience the seasons. Such as the summer and winter solstice being our longest and shortest days of the year.

Moreover, other factors also affect the way we experience seasons significantly, therefore the seasons have a wide variety of what we may experience during the year and current location.

Artificial intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been around since the 1950s. The original pioneers dreamed of a computer that could perform tasks like humans, such as playing chess or translating languages. But the plans didn't come to fruition, and AI soon fell out of favour.

AI technology continued to improve exponentially over the next few decades. Many organisations now embrace AI as a core element of their business.

What is artificial intelligence?

sciencefocus.com

Deep learning is just one kind of AI, where AI is loosely inspired by the way our brains work.

Some AIs use advanced statistics to help computers make predictions; others use logic to make deductions about their environment, while others simulate evolution or even swarms of bees to find solutions to difficult problems.

The more advanced AIs can recognise features in images better than us, give expert opinions more reliably than us, and play many games better than us.

But, AI can still not be made with the flexibility and learning capacity of the human brain. Neither do we understand how intelligence arises in humans, making it hard to match AIs with human intelligence.

When you unlock your phone by looking at it, an AI has recognised your face. AIs check for fraud every time you buy something online, monitor your online shopping behaviour, suggest news stories that you are more likely to be interested in, and answer questions in online help desks.

AIs can compose music, design buildings, and paint artworks.

  • If an AI is trusted too much, we may get into trouble. For example, the need for a human in driverless cars.
  • If we train AI with biased data, then the AI will also be biased.
  • AI will lead to job losses, but it will also create many jobs.

AI is created to help us and should not be feared. Like all future technologies, we need to ensure that it is used responsibly.

Social Anxiety Disorder And Overgeneralization

When a person is suffering from depression or other anxiety and stress-related disorders, the tendency is to apply one experience to all future experiences, due to an overly negative outlook. This is known as overgeneralization and can worsen one's mental condition.

Example: If a person fumbles during a public speech, he or she can think that they will never speak in public now without fumbling again, and create a self-impression that they are not good at public speaking.

Reframe Overgeneralizations to Help Manage Your Anxiety

verywellmind.com

  • Reframe Your Negative Thoughts: Try to identify your negative thoughts and replace them with empowering positive thoughts. Changing your view will decrease the negative symptoms.
  • Journaling: Identification of negative thoughts can be done by being mindful or by writing down how you feel so that you start to notice patterns.
  • Review Your Thoughts: Challenge your negative thought patterns and focus on the moments that you have excelled and achieved great success.
  • Replace Your Thoughts: Once your negative thought is identified, reviewed, and challenged, replace it with a positive thought, using self-talk and auto-suggestion.
Let yourself be vulnerable
  • Accept you're worthy. You can go far if you yourself believe you deserve positive results.
  • Fight your tricky tendencies by knowing what they are. Knowing your signals and triggers will help you stop them the next time around.
  • Stop yourself when you're resisting.  Allow yourself to experience the feelings that you'll have as a consequence of your vulnerability, good or bad.
  • Trust that you can deal with the outcome.
  • Share your hurts with others.
  • By not being vulnerable, you're giving away the power to hurt you.
  • Realize You're Already Hurting Yourself With Inaction & That You Can Only Go Up From Here.

7 Ways To Let Yourself Become More Vulnerable

bustle.com

Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviours (BFRBs)

Humans have anxiety-related behaviours like chewing on nails, or stressing any part of their body, which are repetitive and habitual.

A new study shows that an increase in stress provides a surge in habitual behaviours, as they demand the least cognitive effort.

Why the Stressed Brain Falls Back on Old Habits

elemental.medium.com

Our habit memories are mostly rigid and inflexible, so it can be a challenge when the changing environment and circumstances require a corresponding alteration in behaviour.

If a person is strictly adhering to their personal routines and habits, change can come as a shock, and also lead to many mental health issues like eating disorders, depression and anxiety disorders.

Improving mental flexibility and reducing the causes of stress and anxiety is the antidote to our unhealthy and repetitive habits and behaviours.

Mindfulness meditation can help us increase our cognitive flexibility, as can physical activity, social interaction and new experiences.

Creating Psychological Distance

Many of us have been in a situation where our emotions prevent us from responding appropriately and seeing the big picture. For example, in cases where we feel extreme anger, stress, anxiety, and sadness.

The best way to handle these emotionally charged situations is to step away to create psychological distance between you and the situation.

What is Psychological Distancing? Four Helpful Techniques

positivepsychology.com

  • Time: We think differently about events that are far in the future, compared to activities in the near future. For events in the distant future, we use abstract terms that lack concrete action.
  • Space: We use abstract terms to describe events within a physically-near space than events that happen in a space further away.
  • Social distance: When we describe someone that is different to us, we use abstract qualities (them and us).
  • Hypothetically: We use abstract words and terms to describe events that may not happen compared to events that are more likely to happen.

Executive functioning is the set of abilities and behaviors that is controlled by the frontal lobe, including:

  • Goal-directed and planning behaviours, such as deciding how to get dressed.
  • Inhibiting responses such as waiting your turn.
  • Monitoring your behavior and correcting mistakes.
  • Changing your behavior in response to a change in the environment.

Executive functioning helps you to regulate your emotions better, which gives rise to psychological distancing.

The executive functioning also allows us to perform the following processes important for psychological distancing.

  • Shifting: The ability to redirect our attention to another aspect of a problem, or from one item to another.
  • Response inhibition: The ability to restrain our emotional response.
  • Updating: The ability to 'update' the information we are using after shifting our attention and inhibiting our initial response.

The act of psychological distancing is mostly atheoretical, meaning very little research describes how psychological distancing as a tool develops and functions in humans.

  • Self distancing allows us to gain perspective. By creating space, we can reframe the situation in more abstract terms.
  • In turn, it will enable us to respond appropriately. Our response is then not directed towards the exact event, but instead takes into account the greater context.
  • A bonus in creating psychological distancing that that we can now ignore some of the boundaries that were limiting our solutions and find a creative solution instead.

In an emotionally charged situation, for example, an argument, take a break for 15 minutes or physically leave the space, such as taking a walk.

By stepping out of the situation, you can disrupt the immediate intention and reframe the situation.

In an emotionally charged situation, try to imagine watching yourself from a distance. Ask yourself, "what you would think of someone else's behavior is you saw them in the same situation?"

By changing the focus to a third-person view, you can stop some of the immediate reactions and reconsider your behavior.

When you find yourself in an emotionally charged situation or that your behavior is not helpful, such as procrastinating, imagine yourself in the future looking back and observing your current behavior.

This allows you to look at the current event and its consequences in a broader context. If you procrastinate now, you'll have more work later. By making a snide remark now, you may have a weakened relationship later. By spending your money now, you are unable to save it for a long-term goal.

People are more stressed at home

Researchers tested the cortisol levels of workers during the workday and on weekends and found the cortisol levels lower when the person was at work than when he or she was home.

The fact that stress levels go down when people are at work may indicate that there is something at work that is good for you.

Is Work Your Happy Place?

well.blogs.nytimes.com

In a study, men over all reported being happier at home than at work, while women were happier at work than at home.

This speaks of the fact that women have more to do at home at the end of a workday and less leisure time. The extra stuff is like a second shift. There is something about combining work and family that makes a home less of a happy place.

Byproducts of Crises

During war times, the common man is least prepared for dealing with the drastic change of circumstances, displacement, loss of life of the self and loved ones, along with injury, loss of property and mental trauma.

Social and financial distress, loss of morale, and death of innocents are the byproducts of war, the effects of which are felt on the common man for decades.

Why You Feel At Home In A Crisis

fs.blog

During the peak of World War II, where it was expected that the citizens would go through hell, the opposite happened. People turned out to be more resilient, driven and motivated during the war.

The looming threat of being dead at any time turned out to be beneficial for the mental conditions and toughness for the individuals. Suicides lessened, and social unity and community bonding increased manifold.

  • We, as human beings are naturally adaptive to a disaster or crisis, and bad times are improving our morale and strengthening our community spirit.
  • Groups of people collaborating, caring for and working with each other, hand in hand, are the ones who are most likely to live through any crisis.
  • The necessary conditions that we need to flourish as individuals and as a species, ironically, emerge during bad times.

Modern society robs us of togetherness and social bonding at a primal level, with safe and easy lives detaching us from our loved ones, as we don’t feel the need to show our love and care, or make any sacrifices.

Along with that, having lots of money rarely makes one happy, as is seen with the rise of depression and suicides in the urban, affluent societies all across the world.

Paradoxically, in the times of disaster, when everything is breaking down, one’s mental health shows an improvement. A connection or bonding is formed due to everyone facing the same disaster. Situations requiring trust, co-dependence and sacrifice keep appearing for us to be able to survive, removing our disconnection with one another.

This happens because the way to relate to one another changes, and self-interest is dissolved while group interest becomes of prime importance.

  • When disaster strikes, assume people are your allies and form a community, instead of staying in isolation, distrusting those around you.
  • Organize on a community level, and come together, as it exponentially increases the odds of survival of all members.
  • Do whatever volunteering and caring activities that are possible in the community, coming ahead selflessly and proactively.
  • Banding together makes everyone develop stronger relationships, with the power of unity in full force.
Psychology vs ethics

The main difference between psychology and ethics refers to the end results the two lead to.

While what people would do in certain situations, from a psychological point of view is one thing, what they should do is something completely different, which relies more on making the right decisions.

What Should You Do vs. What Would You Do

lifehack.org

Whenever you are in need of some advice, pay attention to how you ask the question: using 'should' instead of 'would' will automatically lead to more honesty and involvement from the other person.

It is entirely up to you whether you want to appeal to psychology or ethics, so choose your words wisely.

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