Summary of “Why You Should Work Less and Spend More Time on Hobbies”

A recent HBR article noted that in surveys, most people “Could name several activities, such as pursuing a hobby, that they’d like to have time for.”
Just like workers everywhere, I can fall into the trap of feeling that I have no time to engage in it.
I can easily fall into the trap of the “72-hour workweek,” which takes into account time people spend connected to work on our phones outside of official work hours.
It’s little surprise that watching TV is by far the most popular use of leisure time in the U.S. and tops the list elsewhere as well, including Germany and England.
In doing creative hobbies, people think that way all the time.
So to my fellow professionals, I highly recommend taking some time to keep up your creative hobby.
Some CEOs spend time on their own hobbies, setting the right example.
When you find a little time for a creative hobby break, make it guilt free.

The orginal article.

Summary of “In Defense of Schadenfreude”

There is the schadenfreude we feel witnessing someone else’s accident, the burst of joy when our rival falters, the satisfaction when justice is served, the pleasure of watching the morally superior get their comeuppance.
You don’t linger on this, but you point out in the introduction that the difference between schadenfreude and sadism is that with schadenfreude, we aren’t causing the pain ourselves.
So it’s a way of schadenfreude being registered, but it is also a way of contributing to that person’s feelings of humiliation, shame, and punishment.
How do you think people’s very particular familial histories and worldviews prime them to experience schadenfreude, or not? My guess is that people who tend to see the world as abundant might experience schadenfreude less frequently or less intensely than those who see the world as a scarce place.
There’s a really interesting study about how oxytocin is also implicated in schadenfreude.
People who were given a squirt of oxytocin up their noses felt more intense schadenfreude than those who were given the placebo.
Playfully, the book is a defense of schadenfreude, but I hope it also highlights some of the areas, like in contemporary politics, where schadenfreude can be dangerous and problematic.
There is the question of whether we are in a time in which schadenfreude feels particularly acute – schadenfreude on steroids.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Not to Care When People Don’t Like You”

Plus, it’s empowering not to fear being disliked-not that you should run around violating social norms, but when you’re not wasting energy molding your personality to someone else’s to be accepted, you’re more likely to find people who genuinely like you for you, and those relationships are far less exhausting to keep up.
The people who dislike you don’t think certain facets of your personality jibe with theirs; sometimes, you just don’t offer them enough social capital to be worth their time.
“Because we’re a very social species with a pretty intense dominance hierarchy, especially when it comes to work, and sometimes in social situations, people make specific strategic alliances and switch alliances as it suits them to meet their needs as they define them,” Verdolin says.
The patient’s anxiety was manifesting in such a way that he had difficulty relating to people in a social setting, but because our own egos tend to protect us from our faults, he wasn’t aware of his bad habits.
“Some people are very welcoming and some people are not,” Verdolin says.
Even if you find yourself on the outs with some folks, chances are, you’ve at least got a few people you can rely on when you’re feeling low.
“Spending time with people that care about you can boost your self-esteem and help you to feel more secure,” Brotheridge says.
“If people are jealous or whatever, all feelings are welcome.” You don’t need to go around antagonizing people, but if someone doesn’t like you and the feeling is mutual, you don’t necessarily have to go out of your way to appease them, either.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Stop Catastrophizing: An Expert’s Guide”

Let us start by considering why some people catastrophize – that is, on hearing uncertain news, they imagine the worst possible outcome.
High levels of anxiety are extremely unpleasant, so we look for ways to discharge those unpleasant feelings as quickly as possible.
If a catastrophizer is told something inconclusive – for example, if they go to a doctor and are asked to have tests – they look for a way to feel in control again immediately.
In this way, catastrophizing soon becomes a well-entrenched habit.
There is always another source to check or another opinion to be had; as a result, catastrophizers feel anxious again increasingly quickly.
If you are a catastrophizer and you would rather not be, how do you go about making changes?
Anxiety is energy: if you are an anxious person, celebrate! However, why waste that energy feeling uncomfortable and preparing yourself for circumstances that will almost certainly never occur? Look for enjoyable ways to challenge yourself and use your energy more positively: taking regular aerobic exercise; learning something new; taking up a creative passion.
Whenever you are overwhelmed by anxiety and feel you must seek reassurance, give yourself permission to do so – but not straight away.

The orginal article.

Summary of “without it we wouldn’t have hope”

How come there’s anyone who isn’t paralysed by anxiety, every hour of every day? After all, anxiety thrives in conditions of uncertainty – and nowadays the world is full of potential threats we don’t fully understand and can’t control.
As the Australian author Sarah Wilson points out in her combined memoir and anxiety self-help manual, First, We Make the Beast Beautiful, the problem isn’t simply that there are a lot of reasons to be anxious.
Then there’s the fact that anxiety is self-reinforcing: once you’re feeling anxious, you’re primed to seek further things to feel anxious about – including, as if that vicious circle weren’t frustrating enough, your anxiety itself.
The main reason “Generalised anxiety disorder” is so much more prevalent now is that it was only defined as a disorder in psychiatry’s bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, in 1980.
To be clear, none of this is to suggest that those with a diagnosed anxiety disorder don’t have a real illness, or that medication isn’t often part of the solution: “The basic premise for an anxiety disorder, or when anxiety becomes a clinical problem, is when anxiety controls our life, rather than us being able to control our anxiety,” says Robert Edelmann, emeritus professor of forensic and clinical psychology at the University of Roehampton.
All anxiety contains a kernel of good news: you wouldn’t feel anxious if there weren’t the chance of things going well.
One reaction to the anxiety of being immersed in a 24-hour news cycle “Is that people try to find out more information, because anxiety is about a lack of control and they believe that having more information will make them feel more in control”, says the American therapist Lori Gottlieb, author of the forthcoming book Maybe You Should Talk to Someone.
Finally, it’s worth recognising – as the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard observed in The Concept of Anxiety back in 1844 – that all anxiety contains a kernel of good news: you wouldn’t feel anxious in the first place if you had no freedom, and if there weren’t at least the possibility of things turning out well.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Self-Reliance Is The Secret Sauce To Consistent Happiness”

Even though the purpose of life is not happiness in my opinion, being happy is still something that’s important to us.
When we become adults we should become self-reliant individuals, but funnily enough, we become even more dependent on others.
Otherwise, you become a dependent robot who can’t function by itself.
What you will find next are 6 lessons that can help you to become emotionally self-reliant.
How often do you think or feel something and you’re afraid of speaking it? We feel that we always have to agree with everything and everyone.
It’s always harder to speak your mind and to stand for something.
Once you separate yourself from everything in life, you become a passenger who tries to make the most out of every single minute.
If one thing falls through, don’t worry, do something else with your precious time.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Music, Feeling, and Transcendence: Nick Cave on AI, Awe, and the Splendor of Our Human Limitations – Brain Pickings”

Her contemporary and admirer Walt Whitman considered music the profoundest expression of nature, while Nietzsche bellowed across the Atlantic that “Without music life would be a mistake.” But something curious and unnerving happens when, in the age of artificial intelligence, mathematics reaches its human-made algorithmic extensions into the realm of music – into the art Aldous Huxley believed grants us singular access to the “Blessedness lying at the heart of things” and philosopher Susanne Langer considered our foremost “Laboratory for feeling and time.” When music becomes a computational enterprise, do we attain more combinatorial truth or incur a grave existential mistake?
If we are feeling sad and want to feel happy we simply listen to our bespoke AI happy song and the job will be done.
It is perfectly conceivable that AI could produce a song as good as Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” for example, and that it ticked all the boxes required to make us feel what a song like that should make us feel – in this case, excited and rebellious, let’s say.
It is also feasible that AI could produce a song that makes us feel these same feelings, but more intensely than any human songwriter could do.
Music has the ability to touch the celestial sphere with the tips of its fingers and the awe and wonder we feel is in the desperate temerity of the reach, not just the outcome.
If an AI were to ever sign a letter to a human being who cherishes its music with “Love, Nick,” would that not be a mere simulacrum of the human experience the word love connotes and of the sense of self with which we imbue our own names? Alan Turing laid the foundation for these perplexities with the central question of his famous Turing test – “Can machines think?” – but it is impossible to consider the implications for music without building upon Turing’s foundation to ask, “Can machines feel?” Cave’s insightful point comes down to the most compelling and as-yet poorly understood aspect of human consciousness – the subjective interiority of experience known as qualia.
It is most closely relayed to another consciousness through the language and poetics of art, which Ursula K. Le Guin well knew is our finest, sharpest “Tool for knowing who we are and what we want.” And if Susan Sontag was right, as I feel she was, in insisting that music is “The most wonderful, the most alive of all the arts,” then music would be the art least susceptible to machine creation.
Complement with German philosopher Josef Pieper on the hidden source of music’s singular power and Regina Spektor’s lovely reading of Mark Strand’s poem “The Everyday Enchantment of Music,” then go listen and feel to some AI-irreplicable Nick Cave.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Is Existential Therapy?”

“Part of the existential is just acknowledging That ship has sailed,” she said.
Existential therapy has slowly been gaining recognition; in 2016, there were 136 existential-therapy institutions in 43 countries across six continents, and existential practitioners in at least 48 countries worldwide.
Recent studies have supported the use of existential therapy for patients with advanced cancer, incarcerated individuals, and elderly people residing in nursing homes, among others; a number of meta-analyses have gathered data on its effectiveness.
When I spoke directly to existential therapists, they reported a significant rise in clients in recent years-and a notable increase in existential distress among them.
In Man’s Search for Meaning, Frankl described a similar kind of culture-wide existential hunger.
He called it the “Existential vacuum”: “a widespread phenomenon of the twentieth century,” he wrote, resulting from the technological developments of modern society.
“Such widespread phenomena as depression, aggression, and addiction,” he wrote, “Are not understandable unless we recognize the existential vacuum underlying them.”
Too, is on the rise; a recent survey of 20,000 American adults found that “Most Americans are considered lonely,” and that two-fifths feel they are “Isolated from others.” A new poll from the American Psychiatric Association found that nearly four in 10 U.S. adults are more anxious now than they were at the same time last year.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Simple Formula for Changing Our Behavior”

I’m always inclined to ask: Why do I react the way I do? The answer is a complicated fusion of reasons including my love for my daughter, my desire to teach her, my low tolerance for messiness, my need to be in control, my longing for her success, and the list goes on.
Because knowing why I act a certain way does not change my behavior.
Practicing a new behavior, showing up in a new way, or acting differently, feels inauthentic.
Changing a dance that’s been danced many times before will never feel natural.
If we want to learn, we need to tolerate the feeling of inauthenticity long enough to integrate the new way of being.
Long enough for the new way of being to feel natural.
Yesterday, my daughter was doing homework late at night and I had to ask her to work in the dining room instead of her bedroom because her younger sister needed to go to bed.
“Sweetie,” I said, “Your sister needs to go to sleep and we need to move you into the dining room. How can I help?” Identify the problem, state what needs to happen, and offer to help.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Here’s What “Millennial Burnout” Is Like For 16 Different People”

I do believe that burnout is a shared, defining generational experience, but that doesn’t mean it works or feels the same way for all millennials – or that it’s limited to people our age.
My parents have worked for the church since before I was born and still work there today.
I’ve been working through the trauma and burnout that religion caused me on and off in therapy for five years.
All the people I talk to just happened into the work they do now.
I found out about burnout from Tumblr, ironically, one day when I was scrolling instead of doing my work.
Because I’m sick, I’m probably not working or working a lot.
Imagine having the idea that you have to work all the time and your body fights you the whole time.
People assume the work you do is not worth the money they are paying for it and that anyone can do your job.

The orginal article.