In addition to facilitating self-regulatory activity, individual differences in these virtues might have a direct, main effect on SWB (Dube, Kairouz, & Jodoin, 1997). In a systematic review of the goals construct in clinical psychology, Karoly (1999) concluded that a motivational perspective centered around personal goals could articulate a vision of a troubled human life. It has been my thesis in this article that a goals orientation to human functioning might also articulate a vision of the good life and the positive person. Happiness and life satisfaction, two spheres of subjective experience of concern to psychologists articulating a vision of the good life, are influenced in deep ways by the goals that people are committed to. Thanks to the efforts of a young cadre of researchers, considerable progress has been made in the development of integrative theoretical models for understanding motivational influences on well-being. Space limitations prevent me from reviewing all of the literature on goal constructs and well-being. Furthermore, many of the conclusions that I have reached in this article need to be appropriately qualified. Certain life goals may fail to meet basic human needs (Ryan & Deci, 2000). Whatever works for you. Go for a jog, do jumping jacks, use a rowing machine. Your primary goal is to make sure that you have blood flowing to the muscles and that your heart rate is elevated enough so that you can start exercising with a lot of effort. You've probably heard these terms before. They're important to understand. A concentric contraction causes the muscles to shorten, thereby generating force. For example, let's say you are curling a weight. This is when you are exploding upward with the weight. Eccentric contractions cause muscles to elongate in response to a greater opposing force. So if you are curling a weight, on the lowering portion of the exercise you are slowly bringing it back down to stress the muscles. Mother Nature would say it provides them the opportunity to express their care-giving instincts. We are not only hardwired to become caregivers, but we are also hardwired to express our care-giving instincts.
Oxytocin is a chemical messenger released in the brain chiefly in response to social contact and is especially pronounced with skin-to-skin contact. The hormonal-like substance promotes bonding patterns and creates desire for further contact with the infant or adult who sparks these spikes in oxytocin. Oxytocin is one of nature's chief tools for creating a mother. Stimulated by the high levels of estrogen (female hormone) during pregnancy, the number of oxytocin receptors in the expectant mother's brain multiplies dramatically near the end of her pregnancy. These receptors increase in the part of her brain that promotes maternal behavior. After birth, a mother continues to produce elevated levels of oxytocin as a consequence of nursing and holding her infant, and the levels are based on the amount of such contact. The hormonal condition provides a sense of calm and well-being. High oxytocin causes a mother to become familiar with the unique odor of her newborn infant and prefer her own baby's odor above all others. Inflexible striving for unattainable or foolhardy goals can bring misery and suffering rather than joy and fulfillment. Goals, when they fulfill individualistic but not collective or societal needs, may ultimately lead to lower quality of life and a worsening of interpersonal relationships. Even usually positive characteristics can have harmful consequences. For example, spirituality, when it results in excessive self-preoccupation, can discourage generative actions such as responsible parenting (Dollahite, 1998). Furthermore, excessive choices, when it comes to available goals and pathways to achieve them, may be disabling instead of empowering (Schwartz, 2000). I therefore end this article with a call for wisdom. Along with the virtues discussed in this article, to know which goals are out of reach, which are not in our best interest, and which really matter is essential for the good life. The late philosopher Robert Nozick (1989) defined wisdom as being able to see and appreciate the deepest significance of whatever occurs and understanding not merely the proximate goods but the ultimate ones, and seeing the world in this light (p276). A wise person knows which goals are ultimately fulfilling and which offer only the illusion of fulfillment and thus will order his or her life accordingly. According to the research reviewed in this article, wisdom would be manifested in the choice to pursue positively framed, self-transcendent strivings in a prudent, patient, and persevering manner. Isometric contractions generate force without changing the length of the muscles. If we again use the example of curling the weight, here you are using a weight that is too heavy for you and you can hold it in place but you can't lift it up.
So to build the most muscle, to get the most bang for your buck, lifting would work like this. Let's say you can curl a 40-pound dumbbell, but that's your limit. So you may not be able to curl this 45-pound dumbbell but you can hold it isometrically mid-curl. And you can't hold a 50-pound dumbbell, but you are capable of lowering it in a controlled eccentric motion. In a perfect world, I'd have you curl a 40-pound dumbbell up explosively (concentric)--you can handle that weight versus the 45-pound dumbbell--and then on the way down I'd swap it out for a 50-pound dumbbell for the eccentric portion of the exercises. We'd do this with every rep. So it'd be up with 40 pounds, followed by an isometric hold with 45 pounds, and then down with 50 pounds each time. Since we don't have that option, what we'll do is have you explode up concentrically with the 40-pound dumbbell, squeeze for a beat (isometric), then slowly lower the weight on the eccentric portion of every rep, trying to mimic what would happen if the dumbbell had actually changed weight. Baby is similarly imprinted on mother, deriving feelings of calmness and pain reduction along with mom. When the infant is born, he is already imprinted on the odor of his amniotic fluid. This odor imprint helps him find (care solicit) mother's nipple, which has a similar odor. In the days following birth, the infant is comforted by the odor of the milk. Under the early influence of oxytocin, nerve junctions in certain areas of the mother's brain actually undergo reorganization, thereby making her maternal behaviors hardwired. Mother Nature's Chemistry Course: Male You don't have to be a fashion conscious male to wear designer genes. Vasopressin is a hormone that promotes (hardwires) brain reorganization toward paternal behaviors while the male is cohabitat-ing with the pregnant mother. Stimulated by nearness and touch, vasopressin promotes bonding between the father and the mother, helps the father recognize and bond to his baby, and makes him want to be part of the family, rather than alone. The father becomes more dedicated to his mate and more protective, just like the male prairie vole. Vasopressin reinforces the father's testosterone protective inclination, but tempers his aggression, making him more reasonable and less extreme. And lest we get too caught up in the process of setting and strivings for goals, I would be remiss if I failed to mention the importance of savoring, appreciating, and celebrating the pursuit of one's goals. We now know a lot about how goals make life meaningful, valuable, and worth living.
Using this information for prevention, for the diagnosis of human strengths, as well as for intervention, should be among the meaningful and manageable goals of a positive psychology. There's an old joke that goes something like this - No one on their deathbed ever said that they should have spent more time at the office. This joke, like most jokes that find their way into the literature, illustrates a principle that has received extensive empirical support - Relationships are an important, and perhaps the most important, source of life satisfaction and emotional well-being (see Berscheid & Reis, 1998, for a review). For example, a survey of more than 2000 Americans conducted in 1971 concluded that marriage and family life were the best predictors of overall life satisfaction among the major domains of human activity (Campbell, Converse, & Rodgers, 1976). Diener (2001), in a review of cross-national studies of the sources of subjective well-being, found that only one factor consistently predicted subjective well-being in every country studied - social relationships. People routinely list successful close relationships among their most important life goals and aspirations (eg, Emmons, 1999 Little, 1989), and not doing so is significantly correlated with undesirable outcomes (eg, Kasser & Ryan, 1996). When describing the factors that give life meaning, most people mention close relationships more so than other activities (eg, Klinger, 1977). Evidence supporting this conclusion notably includes the late-life reminiscences of Terman's Gifted Children sample, a group of men who had exceptional career success and who therefore might have been expected to emphasize work, personal accomplishment, and self-expression (Sears, 1977). This is the most effective way to stimulate growth, to get the most out of every single rep. What I teach my clients is that every rep matters. It isn't about doing dozens of sets and endless varieties of exercises. It's about using the most effort during every single rep that you take no matter what exercise you are doing. Don't be so concerned about how much weight you are lifting. Be more concerned about how you are lifting that weight. Are you using it to your fullest advantage? This method of lifting builds the most muscle. It's the fastest method and it challenges you. So when you approach the workout that I've written for this article or any of the other workouts included in this article, the only way you should be lifting is this way. By promoting more rational and less capricious thinking, this hormone induces a sensible paternal role, providing stability as well as vigilance. Thus, regardless of your sex, Mother Nature has hardwired you to be a caregiver.
If she hadn't, parents would not feel compelled to nurture their young, leading to infant mortality and quick extinction. From an evolutionary perspective, both sexes are hardwired to nurture and protect because it enhances life for the individual, family, community, and, of course, the world. Care giving is perceived as a positive attribute in people, so it is not surprising that most people overestimate how often and how well they care give. We all give care in different ways and at different times, so it might be enlightening for you to think about the times and reasons you minimize and become disconnected from your care-giving tools. Maybe they are similar to the ones I have heard and observed in my clinical, coaching, teaching, and consulting experiences. In therapy sessions, I hear the anger excuse time and time again: I was angry, so I didn't want to show care. When mismanaged, anger permeates a relationship- it extinguishes the nurturing instinct. Because most people are not adept at anger management, you can begin to see why so many people in so many relationships accuse their partner of not caring. Likewise, and almost without exception, theories of psychological wellbeing include positive relationships with others as a core element of mental health and well-being. Most theories view satisfying relationships as a determinant of well-being, much as the realization of any important goal or aspiration would predict emotional health. Some theories go so far as to posit positive relations with others as an intrinsic component of psychological well-being and not just as a cause of it (eg, Keyes, 1998; Ryff, 1995). These theories vary, or in some cases are silent, about precisely what constitutes a positive relationship. Some construe positive relationships in terms of primary close relationships like marriage and parenting others highlight process variables such as intimacy or secure attachment and still others point more broadly to the critical role played by friendships and social networks throughout the life cycle (Hartup & Stevens, 1997). The benefits of relationships are not limited to mental health. The demonstrated value of social connections and social support for health, recovery from illness, and physiological functioning is clear (see Cohen & Herbert, 1996, for a review). These effects are not slight. House, Landis, and Umberson's (1988) review of several large, long-term prospective epidemiological studies concluded that low social integration (eg, marriage, involvement in community groups) is a risk factor for mortality whose age-adjusted relative risk ratio exceeds that of cigarette smoking. It can be applied to everything: sit-ups, crunches, bench presses, etc I want to really hammer this home. You may look at one of these workouts and think, Boy, that looks easy.