Scientific American Mind (Part 1)
October 19, 2011 § Leave a comment
I’m reading Scientific American Mind magazine at Henrietta’s recommendation.
It says that people are more likely to be materialistic when they’re in a dark mood, and that if you value your possessions very highly, you may be compensating for a lack of secure relationships (Journal of Experimental Social Psychology; Lemay, E.P.).
So perhaps to become less materialistic, we must value our interpersonal relationships and be happier.
Image from Scientific American Minds website.
In Robert Epstein’s ‘Fight the Frazzled Mind’ article, he argues that 25% of happiness in a person’s life is down to their stress management, and that stress management can be taught effectively. I love that idea. And I agree, children should be taught things like that in school. If I was aware of irrational thinking from a young age, perhaps I would have less problems as an adult.
Revision planning was something that was taught in my school, but it was able to do that as a private girls school on top of all the curriculum. These things should be taught in school (according to me, not the magazine) in the curriculum:
Stress management – including:
managing sources of stress
relaxation techniques (meditation, breathing, yoga)
managing thoughts (being aware of irrational thoughts, could be extended to mindfulness)
preventing stress from occurring (organisation, planning life)
How to use money – bank accounts, saving, concept of stock markets, what you need to do to buy a house, how loans work and how much trouble you can get into by overborrowing
Environment – what can be recycled and what can’t, what good attitudes to waste can be (perhaps this would stop kids from buying more than they need)
Accepting other cultures, or at least tolerance, and also breaking taboos about mental illness
Basic entrepreneurship – why haven’t all these graduates got jobs? Why don’t they make jobs for themselves? If our current state of things is not giving us what we need, we need to know how to make our own ways. We can’t always rely on existing mechanisms and we need to be able to support ourselves.
I think teenagers can handle all that list. My little 10 year old brother can handle the concept of stocks and shares – he’s known about them for a couple of years and uses the idea in his business that he conducts from his bedroom – he sells comic books and stories he writes, and gives hand massages. If an 8 year old can handle the idea of shares in a company and then be inspired to use it, teenagers can handle stress management techniques and hopefully will integrate them in their lives more than if the skills are learnt as an adult.