The arrival fallacy: why we should decouple our happiness from our goals

“When I achieve this goal, then I will be happy.” If you’ve ever experienced such a when/then thought pattern, you’re not alone. Whether you’re aiming to run a marathon, get a promotion at work or buy your first house, having a goal in mind can increase your motivation. However, we often mistakenly believe that achieving …

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The paradoxical power of humility: how being humble is a strength

For too long, humility has been misunderstood. Despite traditionally being viewed as a weakness, psychologists now have a better understanding of the complex effects of humility. Far from being a weakness, being authentically humble has been found to offer many powerful benefits, including improved relationships at work, better team performance, and increased overall wellbeing. So …

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How to use strength-based journaling for self-esteem and resilience

Have you ever noticed that it is far easier to dwell on mistakes than it is to focus on the things that went well? For instance, you might become fixated on the three seconds in which you tripped over your words during a presentation, rather than acknowledging the remaining twenty minutes in which your performance …

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The dangers of apophenia: not everything happens for a reason

Humans love patterns. Sometimes that’s helpful, but other times… Not so much. Apophenia is the common tendency to detect patterns that do not exist. Also known as “patternicity”, apophenia occurs when we try to make predictions, or seek answers, based on unrelated events. Apophenia can lead to poor decision-making. For instance, many people choose their …

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The psychology of negative thinking

Of course, we all have negative thoughts from time to time. After all, our thought processes are affected by what we experience around us, and it’s normal to experience both good and bad times. However, when negative thinking becomes the norm, it can contribute to mental health problems including social anxiety, low self-esteem, and even …

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Productivity addiction: when we become obsessed with productivity

The business and productivity app market is worth billions of dollars. Every day, there is a new productivity tool popping up, a book about productivity being published, and millions of people reading and sharing content related to personal productivity. It started as a measure of efficiency for the production of goods and services. Somehow, along …

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The danger of emotional reasoning and using our emotions as proof

Cognitive distortions are thought patterns that can affect our perception of reality. One such distortion is emotional reasoning. This is a thought pattern in which our emotional reactions, or our feelings, lead us to believe that something is true even when the empirical evidence tells us otherwise.  Emotional reasoning is very common in the workplace. …

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Gratitude traps: why we should be critical of gratefulness

Gratitude is an efficient way to increase the appreciation we have for the things that we could otherwise take for granted. Practising gratitude might make us feel more thankful for the circumstances we find ourselves in, such as where we live, the work we do, the people we have in our lives, and the gifts …

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Mental filtering: when we focus on negative details

Do you tend to focus on negative details? Mental filtering is a cognitive distortion that leads us to magnify the negative details of a situation, while filtering out the positives. Also known as selective abstraction, this bias for dwelling on your shortcomings could lead you to focus on one piece of negative feedback, while disregarding …

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