Category Archives: Positive Psychology

A Story of Building Happiness (Updated 11.10.14)

Sam Berns has a condition known as Progeria. Progeria has been described as a premature aging condition although Progeria also has features which are not typically seen in the ageing process such as delayed tooth eruption and bone hypoplasia.

At the age of 17, Sam Berns has developed some rules for happiness which he discusses in this talk. He focuses on the things that he is able to do and on moving forward. His talk is an inspiring story of resilience.

Addendum

Sam Berns passed away on January 10th 2014.

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog. Conflicts of Interest: For potential conflicts of interest please see the About section.

Three Stories of Hope and Optimism Over Adversity (Updated 4.12.13)

Hope and optimism are powerful aspects of health and wellbeing. They are espoused in positive psychology – the psychology of positive human functioning. A loss of hope and optimism are seen in clinical Depression. I thought that the three videos below show hope and optimism over adversity in ways that are difficult to put into words alone. Nick Vujicic resonates with purpose – so much so that he seems unstoppable – but it wasn’t always that way. Harrison Okene is filmed at the moment he is discovered by divers over 72 hours after being trapped in an airpocket in a capsized tugboat in the Atlantic Ocean. Comedian Geo survives his battle with cancer and tells us how important simple communication with friends and family becomes even though it might be difficult.

Nick Vujicic at TEDx Novi Sad

Harrison Odjegba Okene Found Alive in Airpocket in Sunken Tugboat in Atlantic After 72 Hours

Comedian Geo Talks About the Importance of Communication in his Battle with Cancer

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog. Conflicts of Interest: For potential conflicts of interest please see the About section.

The Science of Willpower Including Wanting What You Want To Want

The American Psychological Association has an interesting write-up of recent research into willpower. One definition of willpower is the delaying of short term gratification to achieve long term goals. The article includes a detailed discussion of a debate in the field of willpower research. The debate hinges on whether willpower is unlimited or depletable and both sides have evidence to support their argument. Interestingly those that argue it is depletable site research showing a reduction in Anterior Cingulate Cortex activity correlating with reduced willpower. The Anterior Cingulate Cortex is a very well connected part of the brain which has been linked to many functions (see Appendix).

Patric Hagmann et.al.Published: July 1, 2008, Hagmann P, Cammoun L, Gigandet X, Meuli R, Honey CJ, et al. (2008) Mapping the Structural Core of Human Cerebral Cortex. PLoS Biol 6(7): e159, Creative Commons Attribution Generic 2.5 License

What is particularly interesting about this article is the discussion of the evidence that suggests that willpower can be increased. Thus there is evidence that suggests that avoiding stimuli that increase the probability of short-term gratification reduces this type of behaviour. Although this might appear obvious, there is a subtle nuance in that repeated exposure to such stimuli can reduce willpower according to the depletion model. Another approach is to devise responses to these stimuli a strategy referred to as implementation intention. This is captured in the phrase ‘wanting what you want to want’ (see below). Another evidence based strategy is to use willpower routinely by engaging in activities where this is required. They give the example of regular exercise. The article also suggests tackling goals one at a time.

Wanting What You Want to Want

Jeremy McCarthy has a write-up of the research here where he uses the memorable phrase ‘Wanting What You Want to Want’.

Appendix

#5 Studies That Tell Us About the Brain’s Awareness Centre – The Anterior Cingulate Cortex (AKA Brodmann Area 24)

YouTubing the Brain’s Awareness Centre: The Anterior Cingulate Cortex – Brodmann Areas 24 and 25

Brodman Areas Part 3. Brodmann Area 25 – The Anterior Cingulate Cortex

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

Pay It Forward Day – April 26th 2012

April 26th 2012 is ‘Pay It Forward Day‘. The international ‘Pay It Forward Day’ initiative was started by Blake Beattie in response to the book of the same name by Catherine Ryan Hyde. The Pay It Forward foundation is hoping to inspire over 3 million acts of kindness on ‘Pay It Forward Day’. In 2011, participants from 35 countries took part. The Foundation provides ideas for how people can get involved here.

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

Positive Psychology Resources – The Positive Psychology Quarterly

Positive Psychology is the branch of psychology dealing with the factors that help us to lead the ‘good life’. If you start with the principle that living a fulfilling life can be studied and the resulting principles used to facilitate the ‘good life’ then you’ll be interested in this branch of science. Positive Psychology is an integral part of the ‘Health and Wellbeing’ movement. The Master of Applied Positive Psychology Program (MAPP) have produced the Positive Psychology Quarterly Journal. There are two issues at the time of writing

Issue 1

Issue 2

The e-Journal is well-designed and features a number of articles about Positive Psychology with contributors ranging from lecturers to students from the course. The articles tackle subjects ranging from the future of Positive Psychology through to a survey of participants in MAPP UK. The articles are very accessible and offer a valuable Positive Psychology resource.

Appendix

Positive Psychology Resources

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.