New research suggests anthropomorphising your emotions can help you control them

In the Pixar film Inside Out, the emotions of an 11-year-old girl are personified as perky Joy, petulant Disgust and hulking Anger. Sadness - voiced by The American Office's Phyllis Smith - is, predictably, a downer with a deep side-parting and a chunky knit. Amy Poehler's Joy can hardly stand to be around her, like a colleague you would time your trips to the tea point to avoid. But the takeaway of the 2015 film - said by Variety to "for ever change the way people think about the way people think" - was that both emotions were necessary, and Sadness was as valid a part of life as Joy. Now there is a case for not only accepting Sadness, as in Inside Out - but embodying her, too. Researchers from Hong Kong and Texas recently found that individuals asked...

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10 Bad Habits of Unsuccessful People: Instead of looking for traits to emulate, focus on ones to avoid

The first successful person I ever met — truly successful, with accomplishments I admired and ambition I strove to emulate — was an entrepreneur in his forties, a client of mine in the first real business I'd ever started. I was 24 and eager to learn; he was constantly cheerful, and had more money than he could count. We became close friends, and he told me eventually that he'd lost his wife, the love of his life, a half-decade before we met — the kind of loss, he said, that you never get over. It was a story that made his positive outlook seem all the more remarkable to me: Here was someone who had been through tragedy, and yet still made it a priority to do good things with his time and his money. He seemed to truly care...

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Ikigai: The Japanese secret to living a long and more fulfilling life

For Japanese workers in big cities, a typical work day begins with a state called sushi-zume, a term which likens commuters squeezed into a crowded train car to tightly packed grains of rice in sushi. The stress doesn't stop there. The country's notorious work culture ensures most people put in long hours at the office, governed by strict hierarchical rules. Overwork is not uncommon and the last trains home on weekdays around midnight are filled with people in suits. How do they manage? The secret may have to do with what Japanese call ikigai. There is no direct English translation, but it's a term that embodies the idea of happiness in living. Essentially, ikigai is the reason why you get up in the morning. To those in the West who are more familiar with the concept of ikigai, it's often...

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A surefire cure for despair

"I can't go on. I'll go on." ~ Samuel Beckett Sometimes it just gets to be too goddamn much. You just finished a soul-draining argument with a family member who insists that Putin controls all major world events because that's what the TV said so it must be true, then you check the poll numbers for the upcoming elections in the US and UK and you see your favorite candidates just don't have the kind of numbers they're going to need, the latest revelation that the US and its allies deceived the world about what's happening in Syria has been completely swept under the rug by the establishment news churn, Bolivia has been taken over by US-backed Christian fascists, and now you're watching Mike Pompeo's stupid asshole face spouting some made-up bullshit about Iran that you know the news media...

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SOTT FOCUS: Psychologists Explain How To Stop Overthinking Everything

Thinking about something in endless circles — is exhausting. While everyone overthinks a few things once in a while, chronic over-thinkers spend most of their waking time ruminating, which puts pressure on themselves. They then mistake that pressure to be stress. "There are people who have levels of overthinking that are just pathological," says clinical psychologist Catherine Pittman, an associate professor in the psychology department at Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana. "But the average person also just tends to overthink things." Pittman is also the author of "Rewire Your Anxious Brain: How to Use the Neuroscience of Fear to End Anxiety, Panic, and Worry." Overthinking can take many forms: endlessly deliberating when making a decision (and then questioning the decision), attempting to read minds, trying to predict the future, reading into the smallest of details, etc. People who...

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