Help from a Nobel Prize Winner

20 Jun 2022

Many of you will have heard of Daniel Kahneman, an American-Israeli psychologist who won the Nobel Prize a few years ago. I heard an interview with him in which the interviewer asked him for a few practical ways in which most people could improve their mental wellbeing. He gave two: firstly, set yourself achievable goals and secondly, spend time with friends.

The first of these made me smile ruefully as I thought of some of the targets I set myself in younger years, mainly at work but also in sports – and I regularly see people do this now, for example a golf enthusiast stressing himself out about not reducing his handicap by so many stokes each year, instead of just going out and enjoying playing as most golfers do. Or a couple taking on a wildly unrealistic project of renovating an old house within a year, with very little money, by working at weekends and holidays – their marriage broke down at least partly as a result of their project (and they didn’t finish the house renovation either.)

The second may seem obvious. We have evolved as social animals, but how many of us get so tied up in trying to achieve things – both in work and outside – that we spend far too little time with the people we most need to be with? Or spend all day on PC screens rather than actually meeting with people?

Good tips from Danny K, I think. And you don’t need to have a brain the size of a Nobel Prize Winner to follow them.

Oldie but Goldie

A Moodscope member.

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