Smart Kids, Depression, Existential Crisis, And What You Can Do

Kids think a lot about the world around them thanks to their natural curiosity. As adults we can embrace their curiosity and encourage it or we can dull their intellectual indulgences. How we react and support kids in their process of learning can have a big impact.

At various ages kids learn that their lives are finite and this can lead to what is referred to existential depression. They ask fundamental questions about life and what one ought to do while alive (something that many adults only do when they reach their midlife crises). Denying proper answers to kids who are questioning the meaning of life can cause more harm than good. So when confronted by the “big” questions of life don’t discourage the line of inquiry, instead you ought to embrace the discussion.

How can we help our bright youngsters cope with these questions? We cannot do much about the finiteness of our existence. However, we can help youngsters learn to feel that they are understood and not so alone and that there are ways to manage their freedom and their sense of isolation.

The isolation is helped to a degree by simply communicating to the youngster that someone else understands the issues that he/she is grappling with. Even though your experience is not exactly the same as mine, I feel far less alone if I know that you have had experiences that are reasonably similar. This is why relationships are so extremely important in the long-term adjustment of gifted children (Webb, Meckstroth and Tolan, 1982).

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Never Disregard Kierkegaard

Relax

There is a trend in our culture to be proud of how busy one is – and this approach to busyness isn’t a good attitude. Instead, we should look to Søren Kierkegaard the Danish existentialist who advocates for reflection on what one is doing and not how much one is doing. This can be hard in a world in which people are prideful of not taking vacation time.

You can begin positive change in your life today – just take a few minutes and think about what really matters.

Stephen Evans, a philosophy professor at Baylor University, explains that Kierkegaard saw busyness as a means of distracting oneself from truly important questions, such as who you are and what life is for. Busy people “fill up their time, always find things to do,” but they have no principle guiding their life. “Everything is important but nothing is important,” he adds.

Without answering crucial and terrifying questions about life, without deciding on a unified purpose, Kierkegaard believed that one could not develop a self. He called those with without one unified purpose “double minded,” and argued that this mindset causes busyness.

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Why Walking In The Woods Is Good For You

Cam Adams hiking

Exercise is good for you and nature is good for you too, so it’s only logical that combining both of them is really good for you. Over at CSGlobe they have an article that explore many of the ways that our lives can be improved by a simple walk in the woods. They outline the scientific research that proves that exposure to nature while doing moderate exercise can make you happier and more relaxed.

We already know that exercising is fantastic for our overall well-being. Hiking is an excellent way to burn between 400 – 700 calories per hour, depending on your size and the hike difficulty, and it is easier on the joints than other activities like running.

It has also been proven that people who exercise outside are more likely to keep at it and stick to their programs, making hiking an excellent choice for those wishing to become more active on a regular basis.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia found that aerobic exercise increases hippocampal volume — the part of the brain associated with spatial and episodic memory — in women over the age of 70. Such exercise not only improves memory loss, but helps prevent it as well.

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Embrace Luck And Don’t Deny It

Luck is a factor in your life and it can make a huge difference, you can win the lottery or end up crazy in debt due to unforeseen incidents. Some may have good or bad luck, but regardless it’s something that one shouldn’t ignore – especially if you are one of the positively lucky ones.

People who acknowledge their own good luck are more likely to get more in the future, and it makes them more forgiving to those with bad luck. Be conscious of chance and be grateful for what the fates g

In an unexpected twist, we may even find that recognizing our luck increases our good fortune. Social scientists have been studying gratitude intensively for almost two decades, and have found that it produces a remarkable array of physical, psychological, and social changes. Robert Emmons of the University of California at Davis and Michael McCullough of the University of Miami have been among the most prolific contributors to this effort. In one of their collaborations, they asked a first group of people to keep diaries in which they noted things that had made them feel grateful, a second group to note things that had made them feel irritated, and a third group to simply record events. After 10 weeks, the researchers reported dramatic changes in those who had noted their feelings of gratitude. The newly grateful had less frequent and less severe aches and pains and improved sleep quality. They reported greater happiness and alertness. They described themselves as more outgoing and compassionate, and less likely to feel lonely and isolated. No similar changes were observed in the second or third groups. Other psychologists have documented additional benefits of gratitude, such as reduced anxiety and diminished aggressive impulses.

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