There are Free Lunches Statement of Intentions

There are Free Lunches: Behavioral Clues to Live Happy in the Economic World is a blog that intends to present updated and relevant information about the "hidden" and only recently uncovered dimensions of the economic science: the behavioral factors. With this blog we intend to promote in Europe and in the rest of the World, the top research articles and perspectives on behavioral economics, decision making, consumer behavior, and general behavioral science. We aim to be followed by journalists, academics, managers, civil servants, and everyone who wishes to improve their daily interaction with the economic world and consequently, their lives' happiness.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

O2 #1 Holding on to hope in the middle of a deluge of bad news about the world (via The Guardian)

Dr Chris Johnstone, a resilience specialist, explores how to remain inspired when there is so much to feel depressed about.
When asked whether I'm hopeful about the future, I have a mixed response: sometimes I am; sometimes I'm not. My levels of optimism and pessimism fluctuate. The widespread sprouting of transition towns, part of a grassroots environmental campaign, the Occupy movement and other expressions of positive change feed my sense of buoyancy. Then there is the bad news, which comes round after round after round. Is it possible to remain inspired and enthusiastic when facing such a barrage?

Addressing this question has been my central focus for more than 20 years. What I know, because I've seen it so many times, is that people can sometimes access breath-taking courage, resilience and generosity of spirit. But what helps us do this, and is it learnable? The first breakthrough in my quest was discovering the work of Dr Joanna Macy, an eco-philosopher and scholar of Buddhism.

In the late 1970s, Macy developed a form of group work that helped people face their concerns about the world and support each other. Initially called "despair and empowerment work", it offered a radical reframing of pain for the world – an umbrella term for the range of emotional reactions to distressing world events. Rather than seeing grief, fear, despair, anger and guilt as negative feelings that should be kept out of view, they were welcomed as honoured messengers carrying important information. Creating a supportive space for people to hear their own distress allowed these feelings to serve as a wake-up call to action

Read the rest of this interesting article about resilience here: Hope

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