Psych stuff Sep 2021

It’s time for my quarterly round-up of psychology-based articles and resources that help us make sense of what’s going on – in the wider world around us, or in our own thoughts and feelings.

Are we stuck with our Big Five personality traits – or can we change?

We can use the ‘introvert’, ‘extrovert’ dimensions to make excuses for holding ourselves back. Neuroscientist and author Christian Jarrett offers a challenge to come out of our shell. Another article from Psyche took me back to discovering Positive Psychology. Emily Esfahani Smith joins all the dots from decades-old research with dogs to current approaches that we can apply now. And on that note…

Has your personal space changed since COVID?

Yes, of course personal space can vary wildly: for example in different countries, cultures and in different workplaces. But it seems that preferences have shifted significantly since COVID – whether F2F or – intriguingly – virtual. BPS Research reports.

On the same point, we may need to rewrite the rules for mixing with others. Writing in The Guardian, Hephzibah Anderson wonders ‘Are hugs the new drugs?’ – to which we need to say ‘no‘?

Sadly, there are people out there who go beyond the rules: predators. If you’ve ever been conned, or felt your boundaries were being infringed, some of the warning signs and suggestions in Dr Monica Johnson’s article may be helpful [please feel free to skip if this may be a trigger for you].

Are your goals brain-friendly?

As NLI’s article says, not all work goals are motivating: some goals are ‘want to’ and others are ‘have to’ , which hinder us right from the start. Try their four brain-friendly steps to create Q.4 goals that stretch you (without the stress). 

If the past 18 months have got you a bit stuck on negative (you’re not alone), try these great resources from MindTools – highly recommended.

How to get things done – if you don’t know where to start?

I’m willing to bet you know the answers to that question. But how often do we take the obvious-when-you-know-them simple steps? Here’s a refresher from The Positivity Blog.

Does time faster as we get older? 

I’m certainly sensing that my perception of time is changing, thanks partly to simply getting older – and also because we’re living / working /socialising differently. Neuroscientist David Eagleman explains in this video: ‘The Brain The time-bending power of your brain’

Dawn is the author of ‘The Feedback Book’ and ‘How to be Zoomly at work’

Image: Deposit photos

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