From OptimalScience

Key Claims

  • Aristotle says that one needs an image of ''kalon'' to have virtuous action.
  • Image of kalon is what behavioral psychology calls ideals (values).
  • Ideals of behavioral therapy and virtues of positive psychology are the same reality, viewed from a different perspective (goal vs habit, respectively).
  • Ideals show us how to best engage a challenge.
  • Ideals are the way we can reframe any challenge.
  • Acting on ideals (patience) makes a given trigger progressively less triggering over time (produces habituation of triggered response).
  • Acting on ideals produces virtuous cycles. Patience makes this possible.
  • Meaning, mastery and pleasure are the outcomes of engaging virtuous cycles.
  • Acting against ideals produces vicious cycles.
  • Negative self-concepts, automation, and discomfort are the outcomes of engaging vicious cycles.
  • Virtuous cycles are reinforced by the reward of practicing ideals (“virtues are their own reward”, positive reinforcement).
  • Vicious cycles are reinforced by the relief of giving in (negative reinforcement).
  • Patience is the willingness to suffer discomfort as you practice your ideals. Impatience is unwillingness for the same.
  • Patience is the breaker of every vicious cycle.
  • Patience paradoxically reduces suffering, which habituates as reward increases.
  • Patience allows the same triggers to be used for engaging ideals rather than avoiding emotions.

Q&A claims

  • Higher anxiety levels produces better results of exposure therapy.
  • You only can retrain the amygdala while the alarm is sounding.
  • Interoceptive exposure (feeling the anxiety itself) produces the most generalized benefits for exposure therapy.
  • Tiredness responds to habituation and sensitization the same as anxiety. Example is “second wind” effect in running. Tiredness may be the same thing as anxiety.
  • Aiming to get a habituation curve for anxiety to “0” is counterproductive.
  • The way to have the greatest sensitization of a trigger is a thwarted attempt to escape it.
  • Habituation cannot take place in context of thwarted escape.