The psychological and emotional toll of business travel is more abstract, but just as real. Frequent flyers experience “travel disorientation” from changing places and time zones so often. They also suffer mounting stress, given that “time spent travelling will rarely be offset through a reduced workload, and that there may be anxieties associated with work continuing to accumulate (eg ‘inbox overload’) whilst away”.
Oh, you better believe it.
Source: Frequent flyers: The sad, sick life of the business traveller | The Economist
The Most Dangerous Idea in Mental Health – Pacific Standard: The Science of Society.
A disturbing and disheartening story. I was raised in a fundamentalist environment which was all too credulous about these kinds of claims. Beliefs about a cult-infested world—and claims of recovered memories of abuse—were very much part of my childhood.
It’s disappointing to think that the world of therapy is still this immature. I remember a time when recovered memories were widely accepted. Now, just a few decades later, that field of therapy is considered to be discredited. The therapists have moved on to new fads, and never mind the millions of families that have been affected by “memories” which were most likely suggested rather than recovered.
It’s also a fresh reminder of just how malleable the human mind is. Suggest aliens, and it will manufacture an abduction. Suggest dancing and people will dance themselves to death. Suggest spiritual warfare, and it will manufacture demon possession—something I’ve witnessed firsthand, on more than one occasion. I’ve been to spiritual “therapy” retreats where the subtext was all too clear: if you really want focus, attention, sympathy, and, finally, catharsis, get a demon cast out of you. Bonus points for satanic cult memories.
Which is not to say I think anyone is faking it. That’s the thing about minds: they don’t work nearly as reliably as we like to think they do. You can get people to believe damn near anything under the right conditions.
We assume that things we are attracted to will relieve our suffering and raise our happiness. My brain says, “Get famous.” It also says, “Unhappiness is lousy.” I conflate the two, getting, “Get famous and you’ll be less unhappy.”
But that is Mother Nature’s cruel hoax. She doesn’t really care either way whether you are unhappy — she just wants you to want to pass on your genetic material. If you conflate intergenerational survival with well-being, that’s your problem, not nature’s. And matters are hardly helped by nature’s useful idiots in society, who propagate a popular piece of life-ruining advice: “If it feels good, do it.” Unless you share the same existential goals as protozoa, this is often flat-out wrong.
via Love People, Not Pleasure – NYTimes.com.