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How to live well: 9th meeting - social identity theory, strength of weak ties & Fredrickson's emotional resonance

 

    "No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main."                                                                                                                John Donne

How to live well: 7th meeting - relationships, roles, Dunbar, needs & dyads

 

           "Of all the means which wisdom acquires to ensure happiness throughout the whole of life,                                                                    by far the most important is friendship."           Epicurus

        "Friendship is the single most important factor influencing our health, well-being, and happiness."                                                            Robin Dunbar, Oxford emeritus professor of evolutionary psychology 

Erectile dysfunction (and other sexual difficulties) are common, distressing and treatable

A couple of recent research papers caught my attention - Kashdan & colleagues' "Sexuality leads to boosts in mood and meaning in life with no evidence for the reverse direction: A daily diary investigation" and Gerbild et al's "Physical activity to Improve erectile function: A systematic review of intervention studies".  The two papers are a good reminder of how sex can often be an important contributor to wellbeing, that sexual difficulties are common, and that much can be done to help this kind of problem. 

The surprising power of weak 'social ties'

I’ve just been to the Farmer’s Market here in Edinburgh and I set myself the challenge of being more chatty than usual to the stallholders I was buying food from.  I ‘pushed’ myself to be friendly & talk more than I’ve ever done before (and I’ve been going to the market intermittently for years) … and it was such fun.  Tender, bubbly, jokey, light.  And I had more of a spring in my step for hours afterwards.  And it didn’t mean that I took much longer doing the shopping than I usually do either.  And as one might have predicted, this ‘good mood’ and happy positivity then splashed over into my actions subsequently (see Barbara Fredrickson's 'Broaden-and-build theory' of the function of positive emotions and her comments about

Compassion, wisdom & wellbeing training: 8th session, taking the learning on into our lives

At our eighth & last session of the Compassion, wisdom & wellbeing trainingwe reviewed the journey we've been on together over the last couple of months.  We looked at what each of us personally had found most interesting & valuable.  The weekly reflection sheets that we'd filled in could make it easier to remember the variety of areas we've explored.

Social networks: social identity & the importance of both formal & informal group memberships (what can we do?)

“ The vision must be followed by the venture.  It is not enough to stare up the steps - we must step up the stairs. ” - Vance Havner

   Social networks: social identity & the importance of both formal & informal groups (what can we do?)

 

key points: 

the social identity model highlights the value of group membership (more & less formal) for both psychological & physical wellbeing - are there groups you would like to join (or initiate) and are there helpful ways you can increase the sense of the importance to you of some of the groups you're a member of (for example by increasing your involvement with them).

Social networks: Dunbar's 5-15-50-150 model (assessing how we're doing)

“ When I get to heaven, God will not ask me, "Why were you not Moses?" He will ask, "Why were you not Susya? Why did you not become what only you could become?" ” - Susya, a Hasidic Rabbi

                       Social networks: Dunbar's 5-15-50-150 model (assessing how we're doing)

key points: 

 

1.)  Please would you download a personal community map (see below) and begin to fill it in. 

 

2.)  While filling in the map and afterwards, answer the items on the associated questionnaire ... and start to jot down possible intentions too.

 

Social networks: Dunbar's 5-15-50-150 model (support clique/closest relationships)

“ Today we can walk around together, talk, eat, and be silent together. Later I believe we'll have the opportunity to act and suffer together. All that is necessary to 'make someone's acquaintance' as they say. ” - Rene Daumal

                         Social networks: Dunbar's 5-15-50-150 model (support clique/closest relationships)

key point: 

 

In this first part of three on Dunbar's 5-15-50-150 personal social network model, I introduce the crucially important inner layer - the 'support clique' of closest relationships.

 

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