How personal experience of adversity affects our feelings of compassion towards others

Researchers measured high- and low-adversity participants' feelings of compassion.

Albert Gonza‡lez Farran/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Imagine seeing a photograph of a suffering child in the war-torn region of Darfur, in Sudan.

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How can doctors tell if you wake up during surgery?

Researchers are only just beginning to really understand anaesthesia awareness.

Waking up during surgery – it's terrifying to think about. But it does happen.

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How to heal trauma with meaning: A case study in emotional evolution

As tempting as it may be to run away from emotionally-difficult situations, it's important we confront them head-on.

  • Impossible-sounding things are possible in hospitals — however, there are times when we hit dead ends. In these moments, it's important to not run away, but to confront what's happening head-on.
  • For a lot of us, one of the ways to give meaning to terrible moments is to see what you can learn from them.
  • Sometimes certain information can "flood" us in ways that aren't helpful, and it's important to figure out what types of data you are able to take in — process — at certain times.
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How to suffer like a total pro: Pete Holmes on ego, judgment, and feeling special

Suffering can buffer us, and make us more polished versions of ourselves — if we have the right attitude.

  • When you're going through a moment that tests your patience, even causes you to psychologically suffer, sometimes you have to step back and say, "Yes, thank you."
  • Suffering is like sandpaper, and, if we choose, it can buffer us and make us better versions of ourselves.
  • Also, it's critical to find a quiet place within where just the fundamental fact that you are participating in reality imbues you with enough value and dignity to draw upon at any moment. Regardless of exterior sentiments about you.
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We've heard of self-actualization, but what is secondary integration?

Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a well-known model of human development, but Maslow's friend and colleague Kazimierz Dąbrowski believed humans developed in a different way.

Photo credit: Trust "Tru" Katsande on Unsplash
  • Kazimierz Dąbrowski was a friend of Abraham Maslow who presented a competing model to the hierarchy of needs called the theory of positive disintegration.
  • While Maslow focuses on motivation as a means of developing, Dąbrowski's model focuses on how crises can transform us.
  • What are the differences between the two models, and is positive disintegration a more accurate way to characterize human growth?
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