Articles tagged "psychology"

"In these trying times" we could all benefit from a bit more fun. It's depressing what's going on, I know. And a lot of the people I know have been avoiding these low feelings by waiting the pandemic out, like a tsunami that you can let pass and magically start again where you left it when it passes. They've been watching an endless stream of TV shows and movies, all precisely chosen for their feel good vibe. From the whole HIMYM series to LOTR, there is no end to the amount of stuff we can passively sit in front of. Well, actually there is.

People live in two main states, passive and active, input and output. The state of quiet amassing of information like watching TV or reading a book and the actions we do, when information pours out of us, like talking, singing, moving about with a task, creating.

And I would argue that the balance between these two states is what keeps us sane. You cannot possibly give and give, because you quickly burnout. All working person or single mother knows this. But you can't do the opposite for long either. Passive states bring about lethargy and more passive states in a vicious circle. The result is depression of course, which is the exact thing we were trying to avoid by watching the whole series of Friends.

The culture of mass entertainment we live in is eager to see us loose ourselves in this mental fog. It's easy to offer more and more content for more and more consumption, regardless of the void it brings with it.

The only way to fill …

The fashionable thing to have now in a house is glass. Lots of it. And for good reason. We have always craved for more sunshine in our houses, we just couldn't afford it. The new relationship we can have with nature, immersed in it, yet protected from the elements, is the holy Grail of dwellings.

But there's the flip of the coin: when we're surrounded by glass, our instincts tell us we're exposed, vulnerable. Our ancestors brains had a very different relationship with nature than we do. Thousands of years ago, people saw open nature with fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of the attack. Any moment they weren't careful, they could end up being dinner. The strategies they have developed in response to that constant threat have stuck with us until today, hardwired into our systems.

The most significant adaptation to the lurking threat of open nature is the dwelling, the cave, the shelter. And this shelter had to have some very specific features. Firstly, it had to protect your back. We only have eyes in front so being sure we're not possibly getting attacked from behind is key. The lookout can be focused on the front of the dwelling. There, you'd need to see as much and as far as possible, so being a bit high up is useful. But not too high up or you'll get your back out in the open again, vulnerable to the elements! Now the geography of this land you look out to is composed of some very specific things. Studies reveal that we are happiest when …

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