The Nature of Human Beings: Intellectual Knowing & Willing (Part 2)

Chinonye Moses Written by Chinonye Moses · 2 min read >

How to motivate yourself to change your behaviour – Tali Sharot

What gets people to change their behaviour?

One strategy we use a lot is that we scare ourselves or others, as the case maybe, into changing their behaviours. Warnings and threats are the go-to way. Because we share this belief that if we threaten people and induce fear, it will get them to act. But warnings have very limited impact on behaviour. It works but very limited.

People tend to change their beliefs towards a more desirable opinion. They listen to positive information.

What would happen if we went along with what our brains wants and not against it?

It works well because instead of using warning about bad things that could happen in the future if you don’t behave appropriately, it uses 3 principles that we know really drives our mind and our behaviour.

Social incentives: We are social beings. We really care what others are doing and we want to do the same and do it better. Highlighting what other people are doing is a really strong incentive.

Immediate Rewards: We value immediate rewards more than the ones we could get in the future. We can reward ourselves for behaving in ways that will be good for us in the future.

Progress monitoring: The brain does a good job of processing positive information about the future and not negative information. If you’re trying to get people’s attention, highlight the progress and not the decline.

There’s an opportunity for progress. To change behaviour in ourselves and others, we should try positive strategies rather than threats which capitalize the human ability to seek progress.

What are Emotions, Feelings, Affect, and Mood? – Todd Grande

Emotions are the most basic level and are experienced automatically. Illogical, fast, and temporary. They are one of the first things we experience when we react to a stressor. The Emotion model that consists of Anger, Disgust, Fear, Happiness, Sadness, and Surprise captures the range of emotions that we would see. They are the six basic emotions.

Feelings require processing and understanding, they require being aware of the emotion. Feelings are emotions processed by thinking. They are long lasting and occur when emotions are given meaning.

Affect and Mood is how someone appears to be feeling or how they indicate their feeling and what the emotions might be that led to those feelings.  It is complex and involves having multiple feelings and emotions. It is long lasting. 

How to practice emotional first aid – Guy Winch

Loneliness: creates a deep psychological wound. Makes us believe people don’t care. It KILLS. Pay attention to emotional pain and practice emotional hygiene.

Failure: Our mind is hard to change once we become convinced, but we cannot allow ourselves to become convinced we can’t succeed. Break the cycle and gain control.  Stop emotional bleeding

Rejection: we think of all our faults and shortcomings after a rejection. Our self-esteem is already hurting and doing this makes things worse. Prioritise our psychological health.

Rumination: chewing over an emotion. Replaying a negative event in your head over and over again. Doing this puts you at risk for developing clinical depression, alcoholism, eating disorders and cardiovascular disease. A 2-minute distraction is enough to break the urge to ruminate.

When you’re in emotional pain, treat yourself with the same compassion you would expect from a truly good friend.

Take action when you’re lonely, change your responses to failure, protect your self-esteem, battle negative thinking you will heal psychologically wounds and build emotional resilience


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