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Apecave
2 years ago
Understanding Anxiety
By guest contributor to THE SOCIAL RESERVE: Jennifer Messenger Anxiety. Just upon just saying the word a tightness forms at the base of my throat—it’s an all too familiar feeling. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 40 million or 18% of people 18 and older in the United States suffer from one of the many varying forms and degrees of anxiety. Anxiety is a very normal reaction to events such as divorce, the death of a loved one, a change in career, a move to a new city, or any other event that essentially alters a person’s day to day life. Anxiety, in all its forms, from social anxiety to PTSD creeps into the quiet moments of life and threatens the very foundations of who we are. That is why it can feel like such an uncontrollable force in our bodies and minds. I was always the shy kid in elementary school who clung to the teachers rather than making friends, and in college I was the student who never participated in class discussions. When I had something to say, I sat sweating and twirling my hair, going over and over again in my head what I wanted to say, but completely unable to raise my hand. Given that history, it is no surprise that anxiety has been lately gripping me again. Everything in my life has changed in the past few months; I left my husband and my home, I started a new job, and I had my heart broken by the first person I had feelings for in ten years other than my husband. In short, it’s been a struggle that has fueled many long nights of remarkable suffering and has lead me to explore what exactly this anxiety is. To start at the beginning, threat is at the heart of anxiety, it is the initial flight or fight response when faced with danger. According to evolutionary psychology, anxiety persists from its original use as a reaction to threat. As evolution goes, those with the best ability to perceive threat and react to it appropriately (escape, or fight when escape is not possible), were more likely to survive. Thus, anxiety has been passed down to the best of us. These days the types of threat that we were originally made up to perceive are less prevalent, and other threats to our mental well-being take up that space. According to Henry Emmons, writer of “The Chemistry of Calm,” fear is a three layered circuit system in the brain:

Apecave
2 years ago
Why sensitive people don't always share their feelings
Your heart beats wildly, you’re nervous. You go to say something or talk about how someone makes you feel…and nothing… you’re silent. Almost terrorized by your own translucent fear. But what fear? How is this even actually scary? The path to discovering I was a “highly sensitive person” was filled with little inklings of previous nervousness and anxiety about professing my feelings for someone I knew already liked and cared about me. Anytime I thought about saying anything from “I really care about you” to “I missed you” nothing came out. All the things I wanted to say stemmed from a deeper root cause. A root attached to a lot of emotion. Naturally a fear came with it, not because I was in any immediate danger but because if I were to say just this one thing it would be linked to many feelings and memories, for me. I would think about saying something and I would relive or recall all the memories and feelings that happened to get to this place of how I feel now… “I missed you”. So what is the fear that came with this? Tears. I avoid, quite often, saying things that are really important for people to hear, things people should hear, even things I know they want to hear. I know with the way I process things –so strongly and with so much thought and feeling I would most definitely start to tear up when I begin to mention or address them. When it comes to anything serious I might as well be a fish or a mermaid with the way my tear ducts spill water. Here I am in my mid-twenties and I have finally figured out something about myself previously unrealized. Even though I consider myself fairly tough, I am highly sensitive. Although, it may sound like something really “girly” it’s not. It’s actually a fairly common innate personality trait that 1 in 5 people possess and there are different levels to being a HSP. Dr. Elaine Aron first started researching high sensitivity in 1991 and continues to do research on it now. Publicizing this trait and notifying the world of how common but not well understood it was in the early 90's she gained some traction in introducing it to others. This trait is not a new discovery, but it has been misunderstood. Because HSPs prefer to look before entering new situations, they are often called “shy.” But shyness is learned, not innate. In fact, 30% of HSPs are extroverts, although the trait is often mislabeled as introversion.

Apecave
2 years ago
Why people believe in conspiracy theories
Why do people believe in conspiracy theories? “That isn’t real”, “it’s all a scam”, “Don’t believe them”, “Our government is doing it”, “Obama’s birth certificate…” I think we have all heard or seen someone’s conspiracy theory. It might surprise you to learn that a startling amount of people do. Researchers and political scientists, Joseph E. Uscinski and Joseph M. Parent found that about one-third of Americans believe that Obama is a foreigner and that his birth certificate was fake. Just as many Americans blame 9/11 on the Bush administration and believe it was created by our own government. Their research also shows that people who believe in conspiracies come from all walks of life; there is not a certain type. People of all ages, political affiliations, income levels, races and educational levels have all taken part in believing in one or multiple conspiracies. Michael Shermer for Scientific American reports “Liberals are more likely to suspect that media sources and political parties are pawns of rich capitalists and corporations, whereas conservatives tend to believe that academics and liberal elites control these same institutions. GMO conspiracy theories are embraced primarily by those on the left (who accuse, for example, Monsanto of conspiring to destroy small farmers), whereas climate change conspiracy theories are endorsed primarily by those on the right (who inculpate, for example, academic climate scientists for manipulating data to destroy the American economy).” Proving that everyone can believe in conspiracies, Shermer says “African-Americans are more likely to believe that the CIA planted crack cocaine in inner-city neighborhoods. White Americans are more likely to believe that the government is conspiring to tax the rich to support welfare queens and turn the country into a socialist utopia.” Human minds are built to constantly look for patterns. If we do not understand something or do not have the full story, the mind likes to fill in the gaps and create its own pattern. Many of us create a story or pattern to try and understand reality.
#Psychology#Science+ 2 interests

Apecave
2 years ago
PODCAST: How to be a better friend and co-worker
Why is it so hard to listen to our loved ones? We have included the excerpt below by Elizabeth Bernstein of the Wall Street Journal to give you a little introduction on active listening before taking a listen to our homegrown podcast. How ‘Active Listening’ Makes Both Participants in a Conversation Feel Better. "Experts say we’re naturally just not good at listening for a whole range of reasons. We have a tendency to swap stories, so we interrupt. We’re uncomfortable with emotions, so we avoid focusing too closely on someone else’s. We’d rather talk about ourselves, so we rush the talker along. And there’s something relationship researchers call “listener burnout.” We’ve all endured someone’s endless droning on and on, often about the same old problems. When we offer quick advice or suggest ways to fix the situation, we may be unconsciously trying to protect ourselves from burnout. “Good listeners overcome their natural inclination to fix the other’s problems and to keep the conversation brief,” says Graham D. Bodie, an associate professor of communication studies at Louisiana State University, who studies listening. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Practice “active listening,” a term experts use to describe the way you listen when you are an engaged presence in the conversation, fully in the moment with the other person, not just sitting there, half paying attention.

Bio
Puns, writing, photography, design and psychology. CoFounder of The Social Reserve Twitter: @Apryl_Cave