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Are You Sure About That?

Creative Commons License photo credit: vinzcha
How do YOU spell relief?

For fast acting relief, try slowing down.

— Lily Tomlin

Call me gobsmacked – taken unawares and feeling wonder – at some research I’ve stumbled upon in my wanderings through the internet.  It left me asking the question: Are you sure about that?  But I guess it all comes down to finding a bit of relief from some surprising sources.

Lonely?  Try a Little TV

Really??? Yeah, really.  A report in reports:

New psychological research suggests that loneliness can be alleviated by simply turning on your favorite TV show. In the same way that a snack can satiate hunger in lieu of a meal, it seems that watching favorite TV shows can provide the experience of belonging without a true interpersonal interaction.

I know, I know.  In fact, everyone knows (don’t we?): we spend too much time with our TV programs, Facebook, Tweets, Gameboys, what-have-you’s.  But, in the short run, in a pinch, TV apparently can provide a temporary buffer between you and a blow to your self-esteem.  Key word: temporary.

At the End of Your Rope?  Give of Yourself

As the song goes, “When you’re down and out, when you’re on the street, when evening falls so hard…” – That’s when you need to get-your-give-onSo says

Sometimes, when the news all seems to be bad, when the bank account is running low, when our emotional stores are feeling empty, it is more difficult to feel generous. We find ourselves in a state of scarcity, clutching desperately to what we have, holding it closer and struggling with the concept of giving anything away. In the present economy, many people are stuck in this cycle of scarcity and fear. These are the times when giving can be most important, and can have the greatest positive influence on our state of mind. [emphasis is mine]

By giving of ourselves when we feel least equipped to do so, we create an attitude of abundance that resonates around us. Through our generosity, we are made aware of others’ gratitude; mindful giving causes us to be more aware of our own value. This awareness, in turn, bolsters our emotional bank account so we are more likely to continue to feel connected to the bigger picture that exists beyond our own personal circumstances.

But here’s the rub: if you’ve got next to nothing, what’s there to give?  Well, some suggestions might help – some from and some from yours truly:

  • Go for a “trashwalk” and pick up all the garbage you see along the way.
  • Next time you’re queued up in line, let someone in front of you; do it graciously.
  • Spend some time with a friend or acquaintance that you know is having a rough time; give them your empathetic and undivided attention.
  • Treat someone who is usually ignored (or treated badly) with respect and courtesy – every time you see them.
  • Become someone’s “bridge over troubled waters”, ease their mind with your friendship.

Come to think of it, not bad advice for all of us regardless of our circumstances.  Get your give on!  It’s a no brainer twofer – good for them, good for you. What’s not to like about that?

*$%!!-ing Relieves Pain

Ok.  So maybe I’m not so astounded by this one, it’s certainly worked for me in the past: Cussing helps fight pain even as it offends our sensibilities. cites research that demonstrates that a good *$%!! cuss word or two can actually relieve pain as well as vent your misery.  Of course, as is true with many things, too much of anything and it loses its effectiveness.  So save those expletives for “special occasions” only – and then make ’em work for you!

Sure? Yes
Gobsmacked? No

These findings sure do bring perspective to the table.  Sort of like this lament:

There is certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse! As I have found, while traveling in a stagecoach, it is often a comfort to shift one’s position and be bruised in a new place.

— Washington Irving

The studies are sure: A little TV can be good for you when you’ve been snubbed.  Giving when you have nothing feels good.  Swearing makes you feel better when you’re hurting.

But I guess I’m not really so gobsmacked.  The more I think about it, these findings don’t seem surprising after all; and, golly gee, isn’t it just more of that small stuff we need to attend to?? Fancy that.

How do YOU spell relief?

1 comment to Are You Sure About That?

  • shoalisme

    I’d like to leave a reply, but it’s time for my favorite %$* #%@$ tv program.