The world of psychology is one that has fascinated the human population throughout history. As our understanding of the way that the human mind works continues to grow and evolve so too does our understanding of the study of psychology.
Defined as “the scientific study of behavior and mental processes,” psychology provides us with important insight and understanding into the thoughts that we have, our responses to the world around us and why we do the things that we do. This can lead to important applications including in the world of education and the treatment of various mental illnesses.
Here are 12 incredible facts from the world of psychology:
#1 – The qualities that you hate in others reflects your own insecurities.
Each of us possesses a shadow self, a side of our personality that hides our negative and repressed qualities. When you meet someone that you dislike, the qualities that you dislike in them are actually a reflection of the very traits that are hidden in this shadow self. For example, if someone frustrates you regularly because they are lazy, you are frustrated with your own laziness. You are turned off by these traits as they are the same traits that you dislike in your own personality.
#2 – Your brain treats both rejection and physical pain in the same way.
If you have ever had to face the pain of rejection in life then you know that it is no laughing matter, however, did you realize that your brain is responding in the same way as it would if you actually suffered a physical injury? When you are experiencing physical pain, your body will create and release a natural painkiller into your system to dull the pain and help you to survive the situation. When people experience social rejection, the body responds, in the same way, confirming that the pain one feels from rejection is real.
#3 – You are attracted to people as they represent various undiscovered qualities in your own personality.
When you find yourself attracted to someone, stop for a moment to consider what qualities specifically you are attracted to. These specific qualities reflect areas in our own personality that we need to grow and fill if we are to achieve the best version of ourselves. Look back on the times that a relationship has ended, or you have had a parting of ways with a friend – you often miss who you were when you were with them as much or more than you miss the actual person. This is due to the fact that they bring out these qualities in our own personality.
#4 – Your reality is a creation of your subconscious mind.
When you view the world around you, your reality is not actually a reflection of the physical world around. It is a reflection of the way that your subconscious mind perceives this physical world. For example, you may taste, touch, smell, see or hear a number of different stimuli, however, your senses send this information to your brain where they then interpret the information and construct your version of reality from this data.
#5 – You are not actually your identity.
Have you ever felt as though you can’t accomplish something because your abilities and beliefs of who you fundamentally are dictate that you wouldn’t be good at something or possess a specific ability? Your identity is not actually a real reflection of who you are as a person. In fact, your identity is a creation of yourself based on how you choose to subconsciously define yourself. Understanding this is important, as this may cause you to impose limitations on yourself that have actually been created by your self-identification. Remember that your potential is infinite, and you can alter your definition of yourself at any given time.
#6 – Everyone you meet is really a fragment of your psyche.
This isn’t to say that the people you meet in life aren’t fundamentally real – They physically exist, however, the way that you view these people and the labels that you assign to them is a reflection of your own perception. For example, if you create an image of someone as being amazing and worthy of your attention and respect, then you will lift them up and put them on a pedestal, overlooking the faults that for some will cause them to be seen as a monster.
#7 – There are people who truly believe that a celebrity is in love with them.
Many of us have joked around about it, pointing out a celebrity that we are physically attracted to and making comments about our attraction to them. We may even joke that they are ‘obviously’ attracted to us, calling this celebrity our ‘husband,’ ‘girlfriend’ or ‘partner.’ However, we generally draw the line at that point. However, there are some people who suffer from a condition called erotomania who genuinely believe that the celebrity they are attracted to is in love with them, constructing a relationship in their mind.
#8 – There is not a single person in the world that actually views themselves as being evil.
While you may view the actions of someone as being inherently evil or ‘bad,’ the person behind these actions doesn’t actually see themself as being evil. Instead, they will rationalize their actions, justifying the decisions that they have made. For example, they may believe that they are actually helping or ‘saving’ someone else, or that they are the victim, acting in the only way that they can in order to protect themselves in the situation. At the end of the day, they view themselves as being no more evil than you see yourself.
#9 – Your mood affects what you perceive.
The way that you feel on any given day actually has the ability to impact the way that you perceive the world around you. For this reason, you may actually create a different version of reality on two different days due to the different moods that you are feeling at the time. Furthermore, your mind will continue to reinforce these perceptions. For example, if you are already sad, you are going to see the sadder side of everything that you experience.
#10 – You are always seeking reasons to reinforce your beliefs.
Whatever beliefs you hold to be true will be artificially strengthened, even against all odds, because we subconsciously seek out proof that these beliefs exist, ignoring anything that may contradict it. We do this in order to avoid a feeling called ‘cognitive dissonance,’ an uncomfortable feeling that occurs when the beliefs that we hold and the facts that are presented do not add up. This causes us to question the belief, which leads to questioning everything we believe in. Instead, we avoid this by remaining blissfully ignorant with that which we hold to be true.
#11 – Experiencing depression actually ages you.
Every one of us will feel down or upset at one time or another in our lives, however, for those who experience genuine depression, this condition can actually cause them to physically age faster than their healthy counterparts. The reason for aging is that the depression causes the individual cells in our body to age. Scientists are continuing to research whether or not this aging process can be reversed.
#12 – Your memories are not entirely accurate, in fact at least 1/3 of your memories are slightly edited, forgotten or false.
When you are remembering something from your past you are not actually remembering the event. Instead, you are remembering a memory about the event, a thought pattern or the emotional association that you have created. The brain cells associated with memory are regularly changing and updating, providing us with new ways to problem solve and operate. These changes, however, also impact the way that we remember details, altering our memories. When it comes down to it, your mind is not nearly as accurate as you likely believe that it is.