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Psychologist in Human Performance. Writing about positive psychology and the science of mind to better understand human potential. Owner Explorethelimits.com

The positive power of negative thinking

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Martin Seligman was weeding the garden with his five-year old-daughter Nikki. It was 1999, and he had recently been elected as president of the American Psychological Association (the APA) — the largest and most prestigious organization of psychologists in the United States. Nikki was singing and dancing while throwing weeds up in the air. Seligman, on the other hand, was grumpy and becoming increasingly annoyed. He yelled. And his daughter walked off, upset.

Returning a few minutes later, she had this to say: “Daddy, do you remember before my fifth birthday? From the time I was three to the time…

Read everything from Jeremy Sutton, PhD — and more.

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Writing comes first, then it takes time to recognize who you’ve become

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It took a year of writing full time before I dared call myself a writer. After all, it’s not a proper job. It’s something other people do. Isn’t it?

Yet, like many others, when my job finished early in the pandemic, I had to find another way to pay the bills. So I made the jump. I took it as an opportunity to do what I had always wanted — write full time.

I fell on my feet, finding a freelance role with a company that needed plenty of well-researched, evidence-based psychology articles. It was a dream. …


Psychology has a new digital friend

We may think of chatbots as new technology, but they’ve been around since the 1960s.

When MIT’s Joseph Weizenbaum created conversational software known as ELIZA in 1966, it resulted in a relatively crude, yet surprisingly effective, imitation of a psychotherapist.

While it did little more than rewording patient’s phrases, it hinted at what was possible and took the next step on the path to Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Jump forward to this century, and AI is being used to assess patients.

Not only can it confirm their identity, but it uses smell to recognize intoxication, vocal analysis to detect subtle changes…


While change is constant, choice is ours

Most of us are aware of the importance of setting goals. And, while it may seem a little dull, it really does work!

The idea (and research backs it up) is that goals provide direction and purpose.

But why is goal setting essential, and how can it help us?

Goals and motivation

So, it’s helpful to think of where goal setting is valued the most. Sport.

Whether the athlete is on their way up, down, or hovering somewhere between, they set goals. And crucially, they provide motivation to deliver against them.

“If you aren’t going all the way, why go at all? “


How to use your mental spotlight

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Often our thoughts are scattered. Our attention darts from place to place, making it difficult to think clearly or understand our emotions. Important decisions become impossible.

Yet, focus is a skill we can learn, and its benefits are dramatic. It improves how we tackle challenges and how we increase our resilience — and bounce back.

And perhaps most of all, it helps us address our own and others’ needs and reach a more authentic, balanced outlook.

So, what is stopping us?

As psychologist John Kremer writes, brains are very “leaky,” impacting our ability to focus. We forget a lot of things:

Where did I put…


Recognize your freedom and take responsibility

Andishen A on Unsplash

Our degree of authenticity influences the joy we get from our lives and how we interact with the world. To be more authentic, we must recognize our freedom and take responsibility for how we live.

Anyway, isn’t it true that for much of our adult lives, we put on a show? Only experiencing fleeting moments where we are truly ourselves, saying and thinking exactly how we feel?

Living authentically requires us to follow our passions and intimately connect to our natural abilities, strengths, and talents. Besides, being inauthentic is exhausting, ultimately damaging our mental and physical wellbeing.

Instead, listening to…

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