Today was a treat for me because I LOVE psychology. I took a Psychology 101 class in high school and have attributed that to me getting into marketing. I just loved the idea of trying to figure out why people do what they do. That absolutely fascinated me. So, I love psychology books. I have been reading them since high school. And I have a bunch of them but this one is by far my favorite. The book is laid out in a very cool way. There are major sections (Behaviorism, Psychotherapy, Cognitive Psychology, Social Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Psychology of Difference)
I read these from across the sections and read about these concepts:
1) Events and Emotion are Stored in Memory Together
We form associations between our emotional state and what is going on around us. It is easier to remember facts that we learned in the same mood as we are in when recollecting them.
When we are in a happy mood, we tend to store in our memory the positive things that happen. When we are in an unhappy mood, we tend to store in our memory the negative things that happen.
2) Emotions are a Runaway Train
Psychologists Paul Ekman was the one who came up with the theory that humans have 6 basic emotions: anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness and surprise. Through his studies he determined that our emotions can sometimes take over us and become more powerful than our drives of sex, hunger, and even the will to live. He noticed that people would have an emotional reaction to situations BEFORE they were even consciously aware of what was going on. He concluded that we are typically unable to control our actual emotions but we are able to make changes to the things that trigger our emotions. He was also the one who discovered “microexpressions” which is when a person is trying to conceal their true emotions however our face is unable to completely disguise it. Hence why you just “know” when someone is lying to you or you can sense when someone is having an emotionally troubling day. His work is very interesting.
3) Happy People are Extremely Social
Psycholoist Martin Seligman did work in the area of what seemed to make people happy and he found a strong connection to happiness in people who had strong social connections. He found that social relationships didn’t guarantee happiness but happiness didn’t seem to be present in people who didn’t have strong social connections. He described 3 types of happy lives:
-The Good Life: Pursuing personal growth and achieving “flow”.
-The Meaningful Life: Acting in the service of something greater than yourself.
-The Pleasant Life: Socializing and seeking pleasure.
I’ve noticed in my life that what had made me migrate from being an angry and negative person to a happy and positive person always was related to having “experiences” with other people. For instance, walking bridges with people. I found that when I connect with another person on that deep of a level and spend time just focusing on them, that I usually had a great experience. I also think looking for and finding those special “magic moments” with people is critical. It could be laughing about something in a store you see or doing something with someone that is outside the “norm” for both of you (like sitting at a waterfall at midnight under the moonlight).
I really do love learning about how my mind works and how I can work on it to make it better.