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Looking at Addiction as a Decision-Making Disorder
Shahram Heshmat Ph.D.
Group music-making such as singing together and dancing increases our sense of empathy, connectedness, and improves mood.
Aesthetic experiences can arise from the appreciation of artworks (e.g., poetry, music, painting, etc.) or natural objects like sunsets or landscapes.
The main reasons people listen to music include enjoyment, mood regulation, passing time, and social identity.
Background music helps to block out distractions and improve focus, such as engaging in sports and fitness, meditating, writing, and deskwork.
Songs from the past can trigger powerful emotions and transport us back in time.
The main problem with most bad habits is that the costs occur in the future, whereas the pleasures from them occur in the present.
Musical training has the potential to improve cognitive reserve into late life.
Cognitive biases play a part in vaccination decisions. Understanding these biases will be important to fighting vaccine hesitancy.
Listening to music quite simply gives us pleasure.
Musical emotions mirror human life, action, and behavior.
The ultimate goal of music is to bring people together and promote group cohesion by enabling them to share their emotional state.
Listening to preferred music may be a more effective way of reducing feelings of stress and increasing positive emotion.
Engaging with music can trigger the same biological and psychological responses associated with other highly fundamental rewards, such as food, sex, or rewards like money.
Substance abuse is one of the ways that traumatized people attempt to avoid or displace difficult emotions.
When we experience overwhelming stress, disconnecting from ourselves and our feelings can be an essential coping skill.
Recognizing anxiety risk factors helps to influence a person’s chance of developing a persistent state of intense anxiety.
Wise reasoning involves an awareness of the limitations of one’s knowledge and openness to new ideas and viewpoints.
The negative experience of uncertainty can result in maladaptive behaviors such as impulsive decision making and unhealthy behaviors.
Mental preparation is as crucial as technical mastery to enhance one’s capacity to manage anxiety comfortably.
Keeping unacceptable feelings out of awareness can result in the development of a “false self.”
It is a fundamental feature of human beings that we have an image of ourselves as acting for a reason.
What we think and feel in a given situation is shaped by our past experience.
We may need to modify our environments and rearrange our opportunities so temptations are minimized and bad habits lose their grip.
The fruits of Stoic philosophy are tranquility, courage, and freedom.
The vulnerability to boredom is associated with self-control problems, including addiction, gambling, and binge-eating, to escape the feeling.
Confronting our mortality improves anxiety and enriches the experience of living.
People are inclined to overestimate the positive or negative aspects, or the pleasant or unpleasant quality, of their experiences.
The awareness of our mortality triggers defenses to limit the unpleasant experience of death anxiety.
We naturally long for feelings of trust and comfort in our connections with others and unconsciously react to cues of danger.
The ability to bounce back requires being empowered to make decisions that promote personal well-being.
Shahram Heshmat, Ph.D., is an associate professor emeritus of health economics of addiction at the University of Illinois at Springfield.