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Jasper Asghar








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The meaning of "Pyt": healthy thoughts and stress management

The word "pyt" was recently voted the most popular word by Danes. Pyt is a cultural concept about fostering healthy thoughts to deal with stress.

Pyt is normally used as an interjection in reaction to a daily frustration or a mistake. In English, we would say "Don't worry about it, or "Oh, well." If Danes have a mishap, they may say "pyt", which is about accepting and resetting.


A Danish word the world needs to combat stress: Pyt

Studies reveal that we are happier when we have fewer daily frustrations. What we consider frustrations can be tied to how we interpret what's happening to us.

Pyt can help people avoid the tendency to blame others. By saying "pyt," you're deciding not to let the actions of others bother you. But, you wouldn't say "pyt" in response to a problem that you ought to take responsibility for.

Get a pyt button

While letting go can be encouraged by doing things like walking in nature, meditation, exercising, or keeping a journal, you can always get a pyt button.

Danish teachers use pyt buttons to teach children to let go of more minor frustrations. The pyt button has become popular among Danish adults, that, when pressed, says "pyt pyt pyt" and "breathe deeply, it will all be okay" in Danish.

Benefits of journaling

Journaling can help with personal growth and development. By regularly recording your thoughts, you will gain insight into your behaviors and moods.

Journaling can be used for problem-solving and stress reduction. It’s been proven to improve mental and physical health.

Journaling Tips to Help You Heal, Grow and Thrive

  • Journaling can be used to sort through turbulent emotions and to discover hidden lessons from your experience.
  • Art journaling: using mixed media can help you express yourself in refreshing and unusual ways.
  • Journals can help you reflect. Journaling is a method of allowing the light of understanding and compassion to shine on your past.
  • Start writing about where you are in your life at this moment. Describe your living situation, your work, and your relationships.
  • Don’t edit your thoughts or feelings and don’t correct your grammar. Don’t censor your thoughts.
  • If there’s something you are struggling with or an event that’s disturbing you, write about it in the third person.
  • Gratitude journal. Maintain a daily list of things you appreciate, including uplifting quotes.
  • Journal of self-portraits. You can take pictures, draw colors or shapes or collage images.
  • Nature diary to connect with the natural world. Record the things you notice about the sky, the weather, and the seasons.
  • A log of successes. Begin by writing the big ones you remember then regularly jot down small successes that occur during the week.
  • A favorite song log. Write about the moods they evoke and explore that time and space of your life.
Our job and identity

When we meet new people, we may be tempted to ask what they do. We use the idea that our identity is linked to what we do.

What's more revealing are the psychological requirements and consequences of jobs - the mindset the job creates and how it limits us.

How Your Job Shapes Your Identity

Instead of categorising jobs in terms of what you do, we can group it in terms of the psychological profile - the traits of human nature they weaken or reinforce.

  • Patience vs impatience: Does the job train you to prioritise the now (A+E nurse, news editor)? Or the future (aeronautical engineer)?
  • Suspicious vs trusting: Journalist, antique dealer vs psychotherapy, air traffic control?
  • Speculative vs concrete
  • Consensus-seeking vs independent.

When we are in a particular psychological environment, it will influence what we assume other people are like and shapes who we are over time.

An environment where compromise feels natural can broaden a person who has been over-invested in asserting their own views.

But work can also narrow our characters. A school administrator might be very good at reorganising the personnel roster but may be baffled if you ask what education is for.

We have to ask in what fundamental ways our own character have been shaped (for better or worse) by our work.

When we consider how work shapes a person, we should not be so quick to blame other people for the way they are. Perhaps their job has made them so nervous, angry, or dull. Our identities are vulnerable to our jobs, and that may open the doorway for pity.

What makes fireworks so appealing

The reason we like fireworks so much: they scare us.

  • Like lightning, the bright flashes warn us something is about to happen. This activates the amygdala, a little ball of nerves in the brain that detects fear.
  • After the lights have stimulated the anticipation of a threat, the resounding crack of the firework confirms this perception in our brains. In response, our reward centers release a surge of dopamine (the feel-good neurotransmitter).

Fireworks scare us—that’s why we love them

After seeing these light-up shows over and over again, our brains anticipate the bang that comes after the flashes of light. That's unlike a thunderstorm in which we know thunder follows lightning, but when or how loud the next boom will be is out of our control.

This also explains why these celebratory pyrotechnics often terrify dogs. While we know a sound is coming after the firework takes flight, dogs are caught off guard by the sudden, loud noise.

Fireworks might be especially mesmerizing to us because of their novelty.

As we watch these magnificent pyrotechnic stars explode, we’re exposed to injections of color we don’t normally see.

The Issue Behind Reading Hacks

Often manifesting as techniques for faster reading, nowadays, there is a mass illusion that reading many books by itself can bring about change into someone’s life. 

Many try to do it as fast as they can ignoring the fact that taking your time to process a book, or even rereading it, is important to extract and remember its wisdom, or to have fun.

Why I'm sick of reading hacks

Dr. Seuss
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
How to get good at chess

We can only get good at chess by loving it.

Every game should teach you something. Play people better than you and be prepared to lose. Then you will learn.

How to get good at chess

Start to set out the pawns, then add the pieces. Understand how a pair of bishops can dominate the board, or how rooks can take pawns in an endgame.

Once you know the basics, start using computers and online resources to play and analyse games. Don't just play against the computer - find human opponents online or in person.

Find a player you identify with and follow their careers, such as Bobby Fisher, Morphy, Alekhine, Capablanca, Tal, Korchnoi, Shirov, and other legendary figures.

They also have fascinating life stories you can get familiar with.

A serious player should join their local chess club. Players can also keep their brains active online, but beware that some online players are likely to be cheating, making it hard for you to assess your play.

If you want to start playing over the board tournaments, you will need to join the chess federation in your country. After a certain number of official games, you will get a rating and can then start being paired with players of your own strength.

Feeling lazy

Some people do the least to get just enough benefit. They can work hard, but only for a short amount of time. They always procrastinate with everything from cleaning to their job.

Doing the bare minimum at the last minute isn't lazy. It is a choice.

Ask Polly: 'Why Am I So Lazy?'

You make messiness and procrastination part of your identity when you don't want to do something you have to do and use the excuse that it is just "who you are." 

For example, you want to clean up after yourself, but you also don’t want to clean up, and then think, "This is me. Yes, I’m a lazy, procrastinating mess.” 

As long as you're conflicted about your preferences and the ways you've chosen to identify yourself, you have a problem.

It could be that you don't want to disappoint yourself and clearing the lowest hurdles possible. You are choosing a lifestyle of avoidance and low expectations.

The stories we tell about ourselves

Don't use other people's wrong observations as your own personal guide. “She hates to read!” “He’s lazy!” “She’s bad at math!”

Figure out who you are without falling back on everyone else's idea of who you are supposed to be.

  • You're afraid of investing your full self in anything, only to be disappointed. 
  • You're afraid to show your heart.
  • You're afraid to change your habits.
  • You're afraid to be locked in by an over-demanding schedule.

List everything you think you are afraid of and reexamine it. You have to dare to see that these things you think you are, aren't actually that profound or rooted in anything you care about.

Choosing who you are

What do you value? Look outside of the limited confines of other people's narratives about you. You might not be an introvert or a slacker. Maybe you're someone who wants to live out loud and avoid the little tasks that make up a life. Don't look at your past failures to answer the question. What do you want to become?

You're conflicted because your current habits are contrary to your story. Try to find out who you are:
  • Dig deep to find out your fears and face them
  • Experiment with schedules
  • Try on different behaviors
  • Get very organized
  • Try vigorous exercise.
  • Try leaving the house more
  • Try writing your feeling down
  • Notice what makes you feel anxious
  • Notice your feelings
  • Be honest.

You'll dislike the hard work at first because you'll tell yourself you dislike hard work. What you're feeling is not dislike. It's fear. Fear of failure. You're afraid to disappoint.

Clear your future of bad messages and dumb stories. You're not a sloth. You're ready to move forward. What happens next is entirely your choice.

Charles Dickens popularised the term boredom in 1853. Boredom became particularly popular in English Victorian writing in describing the life of the upper class, where boredom was indicating a privileged social standing.

In the second part of the 19th century and the early 20th century boredom was less flattering and one that confronted everybody, not just the upper class. According to Arthur Schopenhauer, boredom was evidence of the lack of purpose and meaning in life.

A brief history of boredom

In the 20th century, psychologists gained an understanding of many emotions, but boredom was left alone. In 1972, psychoanalyst Erich Fromm declared boredom as "the most important source of aggression and destructiveness today."

The image of boredom changed again in the past few decades and with it, an appreciation of the emotion.

  • Researchers found that boredom can indeed be problematic. Those who get bored quickly are more likely to be depressed and anxious, tend to be aggressive and see life as less meaningful.
  • But researchers also found a much brighter side of boredom. Boredom encourages a search for meaning in life, it increases exploration and inspires novelty seeking. Boredom enables people to reconsider what they are currently doing in favour of more rewarding alternatives.

Thus, it seems that boredom helps regulate our behaviour and stops us from getting stuck in unrewarding situations.

Athens during the Classical era
  • The city-state of Athens (5th and 4th centuries BCE) valued intellectual pursuits and open inquiry. That lead to the development of philosophy (the love of wisdom).
  • The ancient Athenians' focus on understanding themselves and the world around them provided an intellectual breakthrough in history. Debate and seeking the truth inspired thinkers and influenced the world we live in today.
  • Athens likely was named after the Olympian goddess of wisdom, Athena, who was also the city's patron deity. Athena was also the goddess of war and peace, as well as the goddess of craftsmanship and weaving.

Centers of Progress: Athens (Philosophy)

The Acropolis is a distinctive feature of today's Athens that was built in the 5th century BCE. It is a cluster of buildings on a rocky outcrop. The famous Parthenon temple on the Acropolis was built to honor Athena and to serve the city's treasury.

Athens during the 5th century BCE was lively. The heart of Athens was its marketplace, or Agora (a place where people gather.) The structures surrounding the Agora's market stalls included stone benches, various altars, and temples, a building named the Aiakeion where laws and legal decisions were displayed, and various stoas or covered porticos.

Athens was an unusually open society. It was open to foreign goods, foreigners that were able to attain high-status roles, and the exchange of strange ideas.

Athens borrowed many ideas, such as the Phoenician alphabet, Egyptian medicine and sculpture techniques, Babylonia mathematics, and Sumerian literature, and then improved upon it.

Slavery was prevalent throughout the ancient world. Most of the enslaved people in Athens were from abroad, often captured in conflicts from farther north.

However, boundaries were often blurred between enslaved and free people. Some persons classified as slaves gathered great wealth, while some free people were poor.

  • In the 5th century BCE, Athens housed a significant number of geniuses and innovators, such as the playwrights Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, the historians Thucydides and Herodotus, the physician Hippocrates, and philosophers Socrates and Plato.
  • Socrates is known for the Socratic method of inquiry, which uses questions to draw out critical thinking. Plato became the father of idealism and is often thought to be the father of Western political philosophy.
  • By the 4th century BCE, philosopher Aristotle was added to the luminaries of Athens. Athens also became home to the forerunners of modern universities, such as Plato's Academy, an institution of higher learning, and the Lyceum, a temple that served as a center for education, debate, and scholarship.
The effects of the unlucky charm

Research shows that lucky charms have real, positive effects. But unlucky things have their own kind of power.

The story behind a physical item we own matters. From living spaces to engagement rings to clothing, we tend to take hold of the stories behind the item as if we will follow a similar outcome.

The Strange Power of Unlucky Charms -- Science of Us

There are generally three ways we give luck to an object.

  • Through association: A penny you had the day you met your partner.
  • Through symbolism: Like a sock with four-leaf clovers or black cats printed on them.
  • Magical contagion: The idea that there is some essence or physical property that can rub off from contacting it.

According to research, secondhand engagement rings are much less likely to sell if the listing indicated that the previous owner had been through a divorce or a broken engagement. One explanation is that we believe that various properties can be transmitted through contact.

Sometimes, you create the story yourself. The item has to be prominent in the situation. But if the item is branded as unlucky, it's hard to forget the association.




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