lunes, 27 de octubre de 2014

Nature, altruism and well-being.

Nature means life. Nature means death. The start and ending point of a circle are the closest limits to existence and non-existence. Maybe, that is why parks are filled with kids and elderly. Industrial revolution separated us from our roots. We stopped living among the leaves of grass to die in cities of glass. Nature helps us to start remembering, and force us to stop forgetting. At least that is how things used to be. The development of technology has blindly guide us to the vacuity of an apple store seeking futilely for some unpolluted air.

Speculations aside, in the present text you will encounter an evidence supported reasoning about how being in the nature for a while increases your well-being (happiness). It is not just about breathing some fresh air.

In 2014, Gueguen & Stefan demonstrated that having a walk in the city park increased the possibilities of behaving altruistically. They registered the amount of people who were willing to help an unknown citizen before and after entering to the park. People who were leaving this natural area were significantly more prone to accomplish prosocial behaviors than those who were leaving the streets.  The stifled pedestrians, urging for oxygen, could not detent to help the passers-by. On the other hand, the relief that the helpers, the “green altruists”, had had was the spark of solidarity.  

Additionally, Seligman (2012) explain us in Flourish (curious metaphor, isn’t it?) the fastest and most efficient way of increasing our well-being: a single altruistic deed to a random person. Interesting also knowing that happy people is more prone to behave pro socially than depressed ones. (Seligman, 2004)

Therefore, a proved mechanism of how nature can make us happier (increase our well-being) is throughout the promotion of altruism.

Not just escaping the imperfection of perfection, but also admiring and contemplating the perfection of imperfection can help us to focus and enjoy the only moment of release that our ephemeral condition bestows us.

Just in silence, our animal nature can listen the eternal sounds of those who founded themselves (Siddharthas):
Once within the cycle of life and death, we are and we are not part of the whole.


              Gueguen, N., & Stefan, J. (2014). “Green Altruism”: Short Immersion in Natural Green Environments and Helping Behavior. Environment and Behavior. doi:10.1177/0013916514536576
               Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment (Edición: 1st Free Press Trade Pbk. Ed.). New York: Simon + Schuster Inc.
               Seligman, M. E. P. (2012). Flourish / Martin Seligman. North Sydney, N.S.W: William Heinemann Australia.

sábado, 11 de octubre de 2014

Writing letters to improve emotional confrontation whilst avoiding social pressure

Hi there,

It has been a long time, isn't it? First of all, I will let it clear that I am not a native English speaker. But, due to English is becoming a global language and my purpose is to beneficiate as much people as possible, I beg you pardon for the mistakes you may detect in this text. I am just trying to do my best.

What you are about to encounter in this text are some ideas about how writing letters may help you to control, manage and embrace your emotions at the same time you improve and maintain your social relationships. If it doesn't sound interesting for you, you may stop reading. My sources till date are my Bachelor Degree in Psychology and several online courses (inspirational one: [Mindfulness and emotional intelligence program to handle emotions]).

As presented in the course aforementioned, emotional confrontation is a process through which a person faces his or her emotions, the opposite to emotional inhibition. This confrontation increases the emotional well-being and the physical health, reduces the intensity of the emotions and the frequency of intrusive thoughts; and finally, helps to understand what has happen, analyze it from different points of view; and, confer and integrate the experience. So that, expressing and comprehend our emotions instead of inhibit them seems to be highly beneficial.

But, there is a small problem called social pressure. Social pressure appears when we perceive that people around us are not receptive to our emotional disclosure, look insensitive, minimize or deny the problem.  Therefore, the emitter feels worry and inhibits his communication.

Then, what can we do to facilitate the benefits of emotional confrontation avoiding the disadvantages of the social pressure? Easy, writing letters.

In a situation when we feel overwhelmed by our emotions writing letters can allow us to disclosure and release this emotional intensity to our addressee without involving him or her directly. Besides, we can have a reliable register of our thoughts to deal with them when we feel more prepared. That way, we can save a relationship thanks to postponing the fighting in the heat of the moment to a more calm and safe situation. It is not necessary to worry about the denial or forget of our feelings and emotions, due to, whilst we were register our ideas by writing, we have already accepted and faced our response to the situation.

Additionally, writing letters can have other benefits: the strengthening of patience (a weakness in the era of immediacy); the possibility to develop your discourse, thoughts and emotions, completely without being interrupted; the opportunity of coming back and decide which part of your emotion you are willing to share with your interlocutor, (letters offer the amazing characteristic of not being heard or read until the emitter wants without fading like thoughts...); among others. [One of the aims of this blogs is stress the benefices of non-instant communication, so we will see more soon.]

So, the next time we are facing an interpersonal or intrapersonal conflict, we may take some time-out in order to vent our emotion whilst we are preserving them. Try not to jump in the conclusions and not rush in sharing them, take your time to calm down things before doing something that you may regret. I understand that in this era of instant communication and messages is really easy to communicate our thoughts with the world but big things take some time to be built. Thus, please, do not fight through What’sApp of Facebook messages, 70% of the communication is non-verbal and if verbal communication is not available, take your time to expose clearly and completely your reasoning.

I wish you fruitful interactions!!

Thanks for reading.

PS. Any comment you want to share, mistake you detect, or idea that is unclear, please communicate it through the comments or emailing me at: