Trending Articles of the Week

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Mar 082019


How to Solve Problems Effectively and Ethically
Most people don’t clearly define or agree to what their conflict is. And often, they solve the wrong problem. Once you properly articulate the core problem, the solution often presents itself. Learn the steps to identify the correct problem you need to solve, so you find the solution that addresses the core issue.

Why Daydreaming Can Improve Your Mental Health
Contrary to popular belief, new research shows that a mental break can make you happier and more productive. Not only do you control it, but it can reduce stress and give you a break from your work demands.

Training compassion ‘muscle’ may boost brain’s resilience to others’ suffering
A new study suggests that as little as two weeks of compassion meditation training, which is intentionally cultivating positive wishes to understand and relieve the suffering of others, may reduce the distress a person feels when witnessing another’s suffering. Instead of being upset, the person can learn to be calmer and able to respond in a more balanced way.

Sparks of Insight

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Sep 172018

Sparks of InsightYou will always be aware of those less fortunate than you. Those who have lost their job, suffered a health challenge, or experienced some setback. It’s tempting to sympathize with them and their hardship, but that’s just feeding it energy. Empathize with the person, not the misfortune. When you share your compassion with the person, but not the misery, you remain aware that they have the power and ability to overcome their difficulty. Even if you don’t verbalize it to the person, you’re holding a higher view of them than they can do at that moment. You don’t become part of the problem, but part of the solution, even if you do nothing but hold this thought.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

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Mar 012018

Flagstaff Aspen RainbowPower Causes Brain Damage
You know the old saying, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”? This is a fascinating article about how leaders lose mental capacities, most notably for reading other people, that were essential to their rise. As they become powerful, those abilities are no longer necessary. This isn’t just theory, it’s been observed and measured.

Creative Mess, Creative Clutter
Many years ago, I read that clutter gives rise to creativity, because creativity is actually creating something out of chaos. Now there’s some evidence to back that up. This article cites a study that ideas that emerge in a cluttered room are more innovative than those in a tidy one.

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think
This article cites various studies that are showing that silence may actually grow our brains by adding new cells. Quiet also allows you to process information more fully. Silence reduces stress and improves cognition, among other things.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Compassion For The Less Fortunate Promotes Success And Happiness

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Feb 132012

Some positive thinking philosophies tell you to avoid charitable works and those who are poverty stricken. The theory is that you might get sucked into their consciousness, and lose your empowered viewpoint. That you could become sympathetic and then part of the problem. Or that you wouldn’t hold the “needy” as powerful enough to heal their wounds or overcome their problems. Somehow, leaving them to their own devices is supposed to empower them to “pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.”

However, I’ve observed people who follow this idea tend to become judgmental and contemptuous about those who are less fortunate. This doesn’t fulfill the spirit of the ideal. Instead, it creates a callousness that negatively impacts their character and undermines the positive attitude that they mean to cultivate. It tends to breed a sense of arrogance and superiority.

Insulating yourself from others’ suffering may mean that you don’t get the opportunity to develop compassion. In a recent study, those who are in the lower socio-economic classes are more responsive to suffering and more compassionate than those in the more affluent class.

The UC Berkeley researchers conjecture that the upper classes aren’t “coldhearted,” it’s just that they haven’t had to deal with the challenges the lower classes have. Therefore, their theory is that the upper classes don’t recognize the distress expressed by people.

Becoming aware of when others are experiencing distress, suffering and anxiety is the first step to becoming more compassionate. With compassion, you can be aware of others’ emotions without getting drawn into the problem. You can then choose a response that can best support and empower the sufferer.

Emotional Intelligence, which has been called more important than I.Q., is the ability to perceive and label yours and others’ emotions. It’s said that this skill is necessary for you to fulfill your full potential in your personal and professional life. So it’s even good for your success in life to be more aware of how other people are feeling.

Compassion opens the heart, reduces stress, promotes success and encourages happiness. Being concerned about the well being of others improves your own.

Inspired by the article: Lower Classes Quicker to Show Compassion in the Face of Suffering

~ Linda-Ann Stewart