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培养幸福感,学会做好这4件事

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2017年04月19日

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Relieving stress and anxiety might help you feel better — for a bit. Martin E.P. Seligman, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and a pioneer in the field of positive psychology, does not see alleviating negative emotions as a path to happiness.

消除压力和焦虑也许有助于你的心情变好一点,但只是一点。宾夕法尼亚大学(University of Pennsylvania)心理学教授、积极心理学领域的先驱马丁·E·P·塞利格曼(Martin E.P. Seligman)并不认为消除负面情绪是一条通向幸福的道路。

“Psychology is generally focused on how to relieve depression, anger and worry,” he said. “Freud and Schopenhauer said the most you can ever hope for in life is not to suffer, not to be miserable, and I think that view is empirically false, morally insidious, and a political and educational dead-end.”

“心理学总的来说关注的是如何消除沮丧、愤怒和忧虑,”他说。“弗洛伊德和叔本华说,你在生活中最多只能指望不受罪,不痛苦,我认为这种观点就实证而言是错误的,从道德上来说是有问题的,在政治和教育上也是一个死胡同。”

“What makes life worth living,” he said, “is much more than the absence of the negative.”

“让生命变得有意义的,”他说,“远远不只是没有负面因素。”

To Dr. Seligman, the most effective long-term strategy for happiness is to actively cultivate well-being.

在塞利格曼看来,要获得幸福,最有效的长远策略是积极培养幸福感。

In his 2012 book, “Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being,” he explored how well-being consists not merely of feeling happy (an emotion that can be fleeting) but of experiencing a sense of contentment in the knowledge that your life is flourishing and has meaning beyond your own pleasure.

在2012年的著作《持续的幸福》(Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being)中,他探讨了幸福感不仅是由感到幸福(这种情绪可能会转瞬即逝)组成的,还包括知道自己的生命多姿多彩且意义超出了你自己的快乐后,体会到的一种满足感。

To cultivate the components of well-being, which include engagement, good relationships, accomplishment and purpose, Dr. Seligman suggests these four exercises based on research at the Penn Positive Psychology Center, which he directs, and at other universities.

要培养幸福感的组成要素,包括投身于外界、良好的人际关系、成就和目的,塞利格曼根据在他担任主任的宾夕法尼亚大学积极心理学中心(Penn Positive Psychology Center)和其他大学进行的研究,建议进行下面四种练习。

Identify Signature Strengths

找出标志性的优势

Write down a story about a time when you were at your best. It doesn’t need to be a life-changing event but should have a clear beginning, middle and end. Reread it every day for a week, and each time ask yourself: “What personal strengths did I display when I was at my best?” Did you show a lot of creativity? Good judgment? Were you kind to other people? Loyal? Brave? Passionate? Forgiving? Honest?

就你状态最好的一段时间写一个故事。不一定是一件改变你人生的事情,但应该有清楚的开始、过渡和结尾。找一周时间每天都重新看一遍,每次都问自己:“我状态最好的时候表现出了什么个人优势?”你表现出了丰富的创意吗?良好的判断力?你是不是对他人友善?忠诚?勇敢?热情?宽容?诚实?

Writing down your answers “puts you in touch with what you’re good at,” Dr. Seligman explained. The next step is to contemplate how to use these strengths to your advantage, intentionally organizing and structuring your life around them.

写下你的答案“会让你接近自己擅长的领域,”塞利格曼解释说。下一步是思考如何利用这些优势,有意地围绕它们来组织和安排你的生活。

In a study by Dr. Seligman and colleagues published in American Psychologist, participants looked for an opportunity to deploy one of their signature strengths “in a new and different way” every day for one week.

在塞利格曼和同事发表在《美国心理学家》(American Psychologist)上的一项研究中,参与者一周中每天都在找机会“以一种新的、不同的方式”利用自己的其中一项标志性优势。

“A week later, a month later, six months later, people had on average lower rates of depression and higher life satisfaction,” Dr. Seligman said. “Possible mechanisms could be more positive emotions. People like you more, relationships go better, life goes better.”

“一周后,一个月后,半年后,人们患抑郁症的平均比例下降,生活满意度增加,”塞利格曼说。“可能存在的机制也许意味着更多积极情绪。人们会更喜欢你,人际关系会得到改善,生活会变得更好。”

Find the Good

寻找生活中好的一面

Set aside 10 minutes before you go to bed each night to write down three things that went really well that day. Next to each event answer the question, “Why did this good thing happen?”

每天晚上睡觉之前留出十分钟时间,写下一天中真的很顺利的三件事。在每件事的旁边回答这个问题,“这件事为什么会这么顺利?”

Instead of focusing on life’s lows, which can increase the likelihood of depression, the exercise “turns your attention to the good things in life, so it changes what you attend to,” Dr. Seligman said. “Consciousness is like your tongue: It swirls around in the mouth looking for a cavity, and when it finds it, you focus on it. Imagine if your tongue went looking for a beautiful, healthy tooth.” Polish it.

不要把注意力集中在生活中不好的事情上,它们可能会增加你患抑郁症的可能性。这项练习“会把你的注意力转移到生活中美好的事情上,这样才能改变你要做的事情”,塞利格曼说。“意识就像你的舌头一样:它在嘴巴里打着转地寻找一个龋洞,找到了,你就会关注它。想象你的舌头是在寻找一颗美丽、健康的牙齿。”那就把它刷得又白又亮。

Make a Gratitude Visit

表达感激

Think of someone who has been especially kind to you but you have not properly thanked. Write a letter describing what he or she did and how it affected your life, and how you often remember the effort. Then arrange a meeting and read the letter aloud, in person.

回想一个对你特别好,但你还没有恰当地表示过感谢的人。写信描述他或她做了什么,那件事如何影响了你的生活,以及你如何经常想起这件事。然后安排和这个人见面,并当面大声念出这封信。

“It’s common that when people do the gratitude visit both people weep out of joy,” Dr. Seligman said. Why is the experience so powerful? “It puts you in better touch with other people, with your place in the world.”

“常见的情况是,当人们表达感激时,双方都高兴得直落泪,”塞利格曼说。这种经历为什么有这么强大的力量?“它会让你和他人的关系变得更好,让你找到自己在这个世界上的位置。”

Respond Constructively

做出有建设性的回应

This exercise was inspired by the work of Shelly Gable, a social psychologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who has extensively studied marriages and other close relationships. The next time someone you care about shares good news, give what Dr. Gable calls an “active constructive response.”

这项练习是受了加州大学圣芭芭拉分校(University of California, Santa Barbara)社会心理学家谢利·盖布尔(Shelly Gable)的工作的启发。盖布尔对婚姻和其他亲密关系进行了大量研究。下次你在乎的人和你分享好消息时,要做出盖布尔所说的“积极的、有建设性的回应”。

That is, instead of saying something passive like, “Oh, that’s nice” or being dismissive, express genuine excitement. Prolong the discussion by, say, encouraging them to tell others or suggest a celebratory activity.

这是指不要说些被动的话,比如“哦,不错啊”,或是表现得不屑一顾,而是要表现出真正的激动。比如,通过鼓励他们告诉其他人或建议举行一个庆祝活动,来延长相关讨论。

“Love goes better, commitment increases, and from the literature, even sex gets better after that.”

“这么做以后,爱情变得更加美好,责任感有所增加,并且从文献资料来看,就连性生活都会变得更好。”
 


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