Recently I was listening to an episode of Freakonomics (I heartily recommend) where they spoke about Negativity Bias. It’s one of many annoying cognitive biases that makes us notice negativity more than positivity. All of us…
Years ago I had one of those reality-dawning-horror moments. A friend of mine had died at the cruelly young age of 28. It was grim. Having spent a fairly normal amount of relatively comfortable time in denial I unexpectedly found myself being admitted for tests to ascertain whether or not I had developed the same cancer.
Minutes ago I was wandering around the kitchen wondering what to write about for this week’s issue of the East Cork Journal. I fully intended to avoid the “C-word” but then I saw this article. I can’t resist a good mnemonic – and when the author (Russ Harris, author of The Happiness Trap) then generously gave permission to share it – well, I couldn’t resist. So here it is, edited heavily, full version link below.
Good evening all. I’m guessing many of you, like I, have just watched Leo Varadker’s address to the country. It is indeed a challenging time. And what I take from it is we are to do our best to adhere to the guidelines as they still stand.
Most of what we’re seeing this last fortnight has been a mixture of horror stories and humour, the kind we Irish are particularly good at in times of adversity. Good old fashioned denial has its place.
A lot of us apparently. But did you know that the idea that today is “the most depressing day of the year” was completely fabricated by PR company who were employed by a travel company in 2005? In fact a lot of mental health myths were created by PR companies but that’s for another blog post. With regard to this one:
“The formula was devised to help a travel company “analyze when people book holidays and holiday trends,” said Alex Kennedy, spokesperson for Porter Novelli, a London-basedPR agency.”
Christmas has a way of jerking those tears right out of us doesn’t it? It’s a time where the pressure to be happy is really on – HO HO HO! Jeepers. It’s a cheer fest, that’s for sure. One that would make the calmest people want to gouge their own eyes out if they are also trying to cope with feeling of loss and loneliness. Feelings that don’t “match” with how we are ‘supposed’ to feel Christmas.
How quietly it’s slipping by, unbelievably we’re nearly half way through. And still, not much has been said. Same as every year. Is it par for the course? Because child loss is one of the many things we don’t talk about – that we “bear” in stoic silence and secret, private agony. One would think, given the outpouring of concern for women and their babies in recent years that there would have been more said this month. Or maybe it’s because so much has already been said – maybe there is a collective compassion fatigue? Are we just exhausted from it? Because loss is exhausting, there’s no doubt about that. Or maybe there are just too many other things going on this month – it certainly has been busy in the media.
Some people woke up this morning feeling dark, empty, hopeless. Maybe they didn’t sleep, again. They feel desperate, crazy even, from lack of sleep. Not being able to think straight, not even knowing that they’re not thinking straight. Some people today can see no value, no point in being alive. There is no joy, not even peace. A quiet mind would be enough. But how to get that…