Berkeley, September 11, 2017 : A new study challenges a long-held assumption in psychology that most human emotions fall within the universal categories of happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, fear and disgust.
Using statistical models to analyse the responses of 853 men and women, who are demographically diverse, to 2,185 emotionally evocative video clips, University of California, Berkeley, researchers have identified 27 distinct categories of emotion and created a multidimensional map to show how they are connected.
According to the study published in journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, there are smooth gradients of emotion between, for instance, awe and peacefulness, horror and sadness, and amusement and adoration.
“We don’t get finite clusters of emotions in the map because everything is interconnected,” Xinhua quoted lead author Alan Cowen as saying.
The results showed that study participants generally shared the same or similar emotional responses to the videos shown to them, providing a wealth of data that allowed the researchers to identify 27 distinct categories of emotion.
Through statistical modelling and visualisation techniques, the researchers organised the emotional responses to each video into a semantic atlas of human emotions.
“We found that 27 distinct dimensions, not six, were necessary to account for the way hundreds of people reliably reported feeling in response to each video,” said study senior author Dacher Keltner. (IANS)
Feeling anxious and overwhelmed is not surprising in the 21st century. The year 2020 started under the cynical shadow of political unrest, international security threats, a run of hate crimes and what not. Not to forget about the vile expectations we allow ourselves to go through on a daily basis: become richer, lose weight, be a better person, think positively and more – the urge to meet such expectations, obligations and duties are so high that you often end up crumbling under them.
As Ramon Llamba, Ph.D. in Quantum Physics and the founder of Golden Age Transformation puts it, “The greatest barriers to living a better life are your self-created, overgrown expectations.” She pens down some strategic steps that you should take for a more mental health new year.
Give yourself priority
Self-care is the new empowerment. While we grapple with the growing mental health crisis, it is high time that we prioritise self-love and self-compassion. As most of the psychology studies attest self-love along with compassion is the key to strong mental health.
Practising self-love is not about being self-absorbed or being narcissistic, it is like following a subtle way to get in touch with your inner self, your happiness, and your well-being. It is basically the act of looking after yourself, both physically and mentally, so you are able to push through your limiting beliefs and live a life that truly shines.
So, do yourself a favour, just take a deep breath, give yourself a little hug and start practising the art of self-love.
Take a break (vacation)
No matter how many lists you make or goals you set, things are still going to get stressful and busy. It is scientifically proven that hitting the pause button in your life has some incredible health benefits that far outweigh anything you think you might miss out on.
Trust us, you’ll feel refreshed which will ultimately double your productivity. That said, if you still can’t take time out to fly on a vacation, there are things you can do even in the most jam-packed days, like incorporating mindfulness. Try to absorb the idea of being in the present by taking a break from all the distractions with a kind heart and an open mind. You can incorporate mindfulness in your daily activities by bringing a wave of awareness and compassion to the things that you are already occupied with, such as during your commute or gym-time or even while eating a meal. Devoting a few moments to fully focus on a task at hand (mind you, you have to put all other thoughts away) can work wonders for your mental health.
You can try beginning each day with a five-minute mindfulness meditation session. If you find it helpful and want to go further then you can choose to opt for therapy to unravel a lifelong pattern, hire a personal trainer, or make time for reading.
Exercising may be the last thing you want to do when you’re on your downer or feeling overly stressed, but experts agree that exercising is one of the finest yet most powerful ways to boost your mental health. It is imperative to exercise for 15-30 minutes, three days a week in order to manage stress and anxiety.
Sure, working out can be time-consuming, but your chosen form of exercise doesn’t necessarily have to be physical, it can be an emotional and spiritual one too. When people think of exercise, they only consider going to the gym or doing some in-house cardio. Be that as it may, the way to mental wellness is to establish a mind-body connection: be sure to pay attention to your spiritual, mental, and emotional counterparts, too.
Your mental health is dependent on all these four counterparts, together. Try to understand this in the form of trickle-down effect: The physical body is often affected by the sudden play of emotions, our thoughts are directly proportionate to how we feel, and it is our energy level which sways our minds and ultimately our thoughts.
You can fully access the spiritual aspect of your being by maintaining a daily connection with your soul and religion.
Tell yourself something positive
An adjustment to your everyday vocabulary, both in your thoughts and out loud can very well improve your mental health. It may sound trite to you but looking on the bright side of everything really does matter. Instead of always focusing on the negative side, flip your dialogue towards positive outcomes. In addition to keeping up with positive mental health, it will also keep you motivated. For example, rather than saying, “If I bag that job”, switch to, “When I bag that job”. These small changes in your language will do the deal for you and change your mindset to a glass half full instead of glass half empty. Understand this as a fact that when you perceive yourself and your life negatively, you end up viewing experiences, particularly in a way that confirms the very same notion. When you start using positive words instead, you are more likely to promote feelings of self-worth and personal power.
So, yes. Mental health awareness is good. It’s important to be aware of something that affects nearly a quarter of the population of this world. Basically, someone experiencing a mental health problem or going through a mental crisis may not even realise this and may need help and assistance to even accept they have an issue that requires dealing with it. There is no shame in seeking professional help in times of need. You can find yourself a therapist who is variably proactive to patiently listen and give you tools that will help. (IANS)