Dr Alice Boyes - Showing you how to become happier using tips from science[close]
Custom Search AliceBoyes.com

7 Questions to Ask Your Partner to Assess the Health of Your Relationship: Relationships Quiz.

Ask your partner to answer True/False to this relationships quiz. It’s their perception that’s important rather than your view of whether their answer is justified. Yes you do want to know what they really think!

1. Do you know you’re important to me?

2. Do you feel like you can take emotional risks with me?

3. Do you ever feel like we shut each other out emotionally? When?

4. Do you have a sense of being able to easily get my attention when you need to?

5. When we argue, do you still have a sense that your thoughts and feelings are important to me?

6. When we’re apart (e.g., at work), do you have a sense that I’m in your corner even though we’re not physically together?

7. Do you have a sense that you’re growing as a person in a positive way due to our relationship?

Don’t panic if you have some Falses.

Don’t panic if you get some falses. The info you get from the answers gives you a clear direction of what specifically needs to be worked on for you both to flourish in your relationship. And, the research suggests these areas of relationships can be worked on successfully.

An easy way to start would be to try this couples project.

Read Another Post About:

5 Reasons Why Travel Is Good For You – The Positive Psychology of Travel

1. Geographic Distance Leads to Improved Problem Solving (More Creative and Expansive Problem Solving)

psychology PhDs use a test of creative problem solving called a creative generation task. It involves being given a problem and being asked to come up with as many possible solutions to that problem as you can. You need to stretch your brain as far and wide as it will go. Experimental studies have shown that when people are told the creative generation problem solving task was developed in an overseas country, they come up with a higher number of possible solutions to the problem. Their thinking gets more EXPANSIVE. They think more abstractly and fluidly and are less tied to assumptions.

Here’s Jonah Lehrer’s explanation of the study

“Look, for instance, at a recent experiment led by the psychology PhD Lile Jia at Indiana University. He randomly divided a few dozen undergrads into two groups, both of which were asked to list as many different modes of transportation as possible. (This is known as a creative generation task.) One group of students was told that the task was developed by Indiana University students studying abroad in Greece (the distant condition), while the other group was told that the task was developed by Indiana students studying in Indiana (the near condition). At first glance, it’s hard to believe that such a slight and seemingly irrelevant difference would alter the performance of the subjects. Why would it matter where the task was conceived?

Nevertheless, Jia found a striking difference between the two groups: when students were told that the task was imported from Greece, they came up with significantly more transportation possibilities. They didn’t just list buses, trains and planes; they cited horses, triremes, spaceships, bicycles and even Segway scooters. Because the source of the problem was far away, the subjects felt less constrained by their local transport options; they didn’t just think about getting around in Indiana – they thought about getting around all over the world and even in deep space”

Read the full study

When we get geographic distance from our own problems + feel more relaxed due to being on vacation, we’re more likely to see new ways of dealing with problems at home.

2. Openness to Experience Builds Skills and Capacities

My friend posted a picture of herself on a bicycle in Berlin to FB this morning. My friend doesn’t ride bicycles – except she does while in Berlin. I’m the same. I will ride a bike on vacation but not at home. This came in handy one day when my car was out of action and I needed to borrow a bike to get somewhere. It was much less intimidating because I had recently ridden a bike on vacation.

3. The Expanded Self

- When we try new things on vacation we develop more fluid and expansive self-concepts. Trying new things leads to thoughts like “If I can do this, what else can I do?” “If I can surprise myself about myself in this way, in what other ways could I surprise myself?”

- We develop new skills and capacities from navigation skills to, most importantly, feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

- We get more accustomed to doing new and unfamiliar things. When these opportunities come up at home, we’re less likely to automatically go into avoidant coping mode and say No.

4. Relaxation

Enough said.

5. Curiosity and Meaning in Life

Exploring your own interests gives you

(a) a strong sense of self – you know what you like and you are expressing your authentic self by doing the things you like,

(b) a sense that you’re heading in the right direction in your life. You’re pursuing your values and goals (meaning), as well as

(c) self confidence.

Take Home Message

Don’t sweat it if you get to your third museum of the day and it’s closed. You can get the above benefits of travel without packing in activities.

Positive Psychology is the science of increasing positive emotions, thoughts, and experiences. Do your own Positive Psychology self development project using one of my email series or pdfs.

Read Another Post About: , ,

Are You An Introvert or Are You a Highly Sensitive Person?

Number #48 on Amazon.com’s list of bestselling books at the moment is a book called “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

I agree with Dr Elaine Aron that the book is more about HSPs – the highly sensitive person – than it is about introverts. That said, I loved some of the descriptions of the Highly Sensitive Person in Quiet.

What is an Highly Sensitive Person?

Like most lists of diagnostic criteria, you may be a Highly Sensitive Person if you have SOME of these characteristics. You don’t necessarily have to have all of them and probably won’t.

- You prefer one on one interactions rather than groups.

- You need a lot of downtime away from people.

- You have difficulty filtering some types of incoming stimulation.

You might have difficulty filtering social stimuli e.g., the TV news, news about people who have cancer who you don’t know very well, other people’s moods.

Or, you might have difficulty filtering sensory stimuli e.g., background noise such as music playing at a cafe, or lots of people talking.

- You can’t fake emotions very well e.g., you can give a talk about a topic you’re passionate about to 300 people, but you can’t fake being passionate about something if you’re not.

- You like to research things thoroughly.

- You take your mistakes seriously and feel things deeply.

- You get intensely cranky when you get overaroused (by social or sensory stimuli. I mean overaroused in a neuropsych sense, not in a sexual sense).

- You like to talk about serious topics (e.g., the meaning of life, religion, relationships) and might feel uncomfortable talking about everyday topics like chit chat about movies. You may feel more comfortable talking about serious topics compared to small talk, whereas non-HSPs might find it uncomfortable to talk about some of the topics that are your preference.

What’s the difference between Highly Sensitive People and Introverts?

About 70% of highly sensitive people are introverts but 30% are extroverts.

Read Another Post About:

100 Fun Things to Do When You’re Bored or Depressed

As problems gets bigger, often the rest of life seems to shrink.

When people have a lot of stress – their time, energy, and thoughts often get consumed by those problems. As people spend more time and energy thinking about their problems, they spend less time and energy pursuing their interests.

What are your unique interests? The things that give you pleasure?

To have positive mood, it’s important to do activities that give you a sense of pleasure (as well as activities that give you a sense of accomplishment).

It’s common for people to struggle to think of fun things to do when they’re bored and depressed. So, I’ve made a big list. The goal is to stimulate your own thinking about pleasure activities you’d like to do more of.

You can purchase the list for $4.99 (This price is in USD, you’ll be able to pay in your own currency when you click through to the purchase page).

Buy Now (the list will be delivered to you by email as a pdf).

Intended for individuals or for therapists to use when doing CBT/behavioral activation with clients.

Looking for Humor Boost? Go to Humor Boost!

Read Another Post About: , ,

Boost Happiness in Lasting Ways through Positive Mental Habits

I made a 2 minute *infomercial* for one of my online products.

Positive Psychology Project by Dr Alice Boyes

If you’re reading this in email, you might need to click to see the video. Likely to be suitable for people who are mildly depressed or anxious.

Read Another Post About: , ,