Turning Negative Thinkers Into Positive Ones By JANE E. BRODY APRIL 3, 2017
Barbara Fredrickson, a psychologist at the University of North Carolina, has done research on fostering positive emotions, studying a theory that by accumulating “micro-moments of positivity” you can, over time, have a more positive well-being overall.
More than a sudden bonanza of good fortune, repeated brief moments of positive feelings can provide a buffer against stress and depression and foster both physical and mental health, their studies show.
“This is not to say that one must always be positive to be healthy and happy. Clearly, there are times and situations that naturally result in negative feelings in the most upbeat of individuals. Worry, sadness, anger and other such “downers” have their place in any normal life. But chronically viewing the glass as half-empty is detrimental both mentally and physically and inhibits one’s ability to bounce back from life’s inevitable stresses.”
“Negative feelings activate a region of the brain called the amygdala, which is involved in processing fear and anxiety and other emotions. Dr. Richard J. Davidson, a neuroscientist and founder of the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin — Madison, has shown that people in whom the amygdala recovers slowly from a threat are at greater risk for a variety of health problems than those in whom it recovers quickly.”
“Dr. Davidson’s team showed that as little as two weeks’ training in compassion and kindness meditation generated changes in brain circuitry linked to an increase in positive social behaviors like generosity.”
“The results suggest that taking time to learn the skills to self-generate positive emotions can help us become healthier, more social, more resilient versions of ourselves,” Dr. Fredrickson reported in the National Institutes of Health monthly newsletter in 2015.
**CHECK ARTICLE FOR SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO CULTIVATE THIS SHIT**
I'm currently dating a non-furry and she doesn't understand what being a furry is. I try to explain to her what this is, but she doesn't understand. It makes the relationship feel more like we're friends and not mates. What should I do?
"Hello, Viro, Metrico, Koji, and anyone else who is Feral Attraction and who may be reading this. This is my first time emailing in to your show and to any show ever. Thank you for doing what you do and being who you are. You all give me greater understanding of other people’s experiences, wants, and needs so that I can understand others better but also understand myself. I have a concern regarding my current relationship. Please keep this anonymous as the question and situation I wish to ask about is very sensitive. I want give just a little bit of background information about my relationship before diving into the conflict and question; I hope that doesn’t bore any of you! X3 So, I have been dating my mate for over 5 months now. I have come to love them very, very deeply over that period of time. We live a drive-able distance from each other and we are able to see each other roughly once a week. This is not ideal but I am in college. Thankfully this semester is nearly done so we’ll have a lot more time to spend together over the summer! When we talked about and eventually mated to each other, we agreed we both had a lot of things which we needed to work on; everyone has baggage. We had talked about what we wanted in a relationship: we both wanted it to be closed, just the two of us. We agreed that we had our issues and we discussed them and how to best communicate to each other when we are struggling. When we had first mated, my mate had to effectively end what was a sexual relationship with a friend and I had to help and manage a close friend who realized they were struggling with feelings for me as soon as I entered into this relationship. It was very difficult, one of my most difficult of times, but through effective communication, and using non-violent communication that I had learned from your show such as using I statements, we were able to understand what each one was dealing with, trust each other, and work through it. Because of effective communication that I learned from your podcast, I was able to speak more effectively and we were able to grow and heal together. We get along in nearly every facet of our relationship. Music, games, dumb silly things, and of course dumb silly things made from nostalgic cartoons. I had many issues with sexual intimacy and self-value and my mate has been extremely patient and caring. Never once when I feel I faltered or messed something up did I then feel judged or hurt by how they reacted or treated me afterwards, something which made me feel very strongly for them. I have also been there and supported them my best when they felt insecure or jealous. Now to my conflict. This is something my mate and I have discussed once before and I hope we can do so again in the future: cuddling and sleeping over with friends. When I first began joined, when I first went to a meet and a convention and I saw people who were furries, I noticed how expressive they were and affectionate. They often cuddled and hugged much more than what I was accustomed to seeing or doing but I realized I longed for. Overtime, I grew to really like this side of furry. My mind opened up, I felt more comfortable in my own skin, and I began to cuddle with my friends. Perhaps it means something different to others but to me it was simply something we did as friends and I really enjoyed it. It was a way of being affectionate of our friendship in a completely new way. It was never anything romantic or sexual; no groping or anything like that. I’m not interested in sex or fooling around with anyone who I am not emotionally connected with such as my mate nor am I looking for anyone else to share that with. My mate and I talked about this once before and it ended in my mate saying that they were not okay with it. They are uncomfortable with me doing that as they feel it should be something special that only we do and they feel very jealous and insecure about the topic. I am torn as I am unsure how to give this part of my life up. I really do not want to. In my last few years in the fandom, I’ve adopted and loved a more affectionate and care-free mindset and now I feel that I have to wall that off. Furthermore I know it will be difficult to talk about this with friends who I know will ask more about it. I see situations that would occur in the future, especially now that summer is nearly here, which would be difficult to deal with, such as: going to a friends room party at a con, or at their house, possibly drinking together, but also watching or playing games together; and staying in a room at a con with friends and sharing the same bed. How can I handle this? How can I talk about it to my mate who I love so much? I am afraid of pushing them away or making them feel resentful. If I feel I can agree to no more cuddling with friends, how can I accept that and discuss it with friends or handle myself in those kind of interactions? What about just casual sleepovers? Is it wrong for me to think this way or to ask this of my mate? Thank you! And thank you especially for reading my babbling stretch of text. I really can’t wait to hear what you all have to say, any insight would really help me. Your show is amazing and I always look forward to when the next episode is released on my podcast app! Best regards, and lot’s of warm fluffy hugs!
Subject: Fallen for my best friend, but...
Question / Message / Feedback: I've fallen in love with my best friend of almost eight years, but he's gay and I'm a trans guy, so I've got all of the wrong parts. I want to keep our friendship so I'm afraid to even tell him my feelings, but it hurts to think about missing a potential relationship opportunity as well. How should I discuss my feelings without damaging our friendship if he's not interested?
"Subject: Advice on ex mate
Question / Message / Feedback: Hello. I seem to be having major problems with anxiety. It’s become apparent after me and my mate had a major breakup after a year being together. It all started when he ignored my texts and calls and other such things when we first started out with each other. But then issues happened where he would mindlessly just go to his friends spend the night and be out of comms. I would be wondering where he was and not hear until much later the next day. Things got better. Then when pokemon go came out, things were being ignored massively. He was more interested in playing that. Then he used to play pokemon go here when he came over. The last night he was here, he wanted to play all night while I slept, as I finish work late and afternoon start I wouldn't see him on the last night. He ended up sulking. But in the end, he stayed with me. He once blamed a sex session making him late, despite it was him spending 40 mins playing on his phone, before getting a shower. When my nan died, he didn't do much, it was the day I was traveling back from his, he had work, got in ate food and fell asleep. He knew I was traveling back home, but never once messaged to see if I was ok. This got me mad and called him, he woke up and then had an argument, then he wanted to go to his game night, so he did. After a while I gave him a call to see what is what, as he never responded to any of my messages, I was annoyed and then he turned around to tell me it wasn't his fault my nan died and suggested we don't call each other for a few days to see how we still feel about each other. After that he got better to a degree, in massaging, but, my anxiety levels would keep going up, I used to get so anxious when he ignored messages feelings of not wanted or loved. He said he did care and get angry for me saying it. He never apologised really for the nan situation and gave excuses and the other times to his friends, just excuses and that he hasn't done anything wrong. None of the issues were ever fully resolved and he would say stop bring up things from the past. Yet then slip ups occur sparking that anxiety with in me. I directed a lot of my hurt towards him as the hurt he caused me in anxiety fuled moments, which apparently hurt him. But he never listened. He was always pure passive aggressive sulking. Turns out he’s a baby fur and likes girly dresses, but, at the time, he was subtle about it. I thought that was fine. But for several months he harboured hurt as a baby fur because I wasn't interested. This came about when I introduced him to an online friend in another country that was into it. Then he started to gravitate to this fur, ending calls early with me or other things to talk to this fur. I called him on it, he lied and said he wasn't then created second accounts to talk to him when I would finish or he going to bed. He manipulated me and other over this before and then he admitted. I called my friend on it and said it was in my head. That my mate didn't want to hurt my feelings. But yeah, then after that he told me you gave me a reason to cheat and said about the baby fur point. We then started to rekindle, setting up the baby fur aspects and were gonna try it out. Said he stopped talking to this friend of mine, I blocked the friend. That was a lie I found out. He wants to live the whole lifestyle all the time at home and wouldnt entertain my pet play likes or other likes too much just wholey himself. That was made apparent after another convo. All the trust eroded. I just ended it. He just seemed so self absorbed that if it didn't interest him, he didn't want to know. But I’m finding the transition hard, because we hung out and spoke pretty much everyday I want to remain friends, cus, when we were just being friends, no relationship aspects, we were just fine. The problems is he is still passive aggressive and he said friends, but he acts completely dickish which causes arguments and now we are not talking and he’s all over the place I'm blocked everywhere and my anxiety levels hitting high and calling him he ignored my calls and got angry for disturbing him. Said friends don't do that. Despite he said he would message to play a video game the day before. His friends treat him like crap, heated a key and burnt him with it, put a plastic bag over his head and left him like that, putting spikes in their hands and spiking him when shaking hands and then pretending to burn with cigs or lights to him... I really don't get it. He wonders why I hate that friend. The guy seems to live in fantasyland and lies, he thought he bought me a gift ages ago, yet that was mine I bought before we even knew each other, when we were discussing sentiment gifts. I don't know. He lies and is biased as nothing is ever his fault and has this saying that takes a bigger man to apologise. The bit that hurts tho is I gave him a valuable pendant and high sentimental value because despite some things, I could see through and thought the world. He was treated badly back in the day apparently people stealing from him. We are both in our 30's Now I don't think he deserves the pendant and he said he won't give it back. Not sure if I should have asked for it back. But then said he could have it, gave it a new meaning. But he likes to pawn his possessions. I guess its his so he can do what he wants. It’s a wolf and feline. I’m a wolf and he’s a cheetah. Gold plated with .999 pure silver as the main. I’m not sure what to do with the whole situation. Need help. Its driving me insane. But this anxiety has been apparent through a lot of other romantic interests and close friends and family too over the years. This is a bit multiple for advices. Thank you"
I love that you chose this topic and think you did well in speaking to the importance of appropriate situations to use substances, however I wish you had touched more on general harm reduction though, particularly with drugs beyond weed and alcohol: https://psychonautwiki.org/w/index.php?title=Responsible_drug_use. Inexperienced furs may not be aware of practices like testing substances, or researching doses or safer use (e.g. staying hydrated on molly). I don't think this was necessarily within the intended scope of your show, but think it is important to bring up whenever discussing drugs.
Next week’s topic: Outdoor Sex and Other Secret Thrills
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