Keep your soul in good shape: managing your psychological calories

You know the story of the 3 mice groups? I guess not. It’s a very interesting one and I thought it would be a very good start point for this post… So, without further ado: a group of researches in psychological behavior took 3 identical groups of mice, and put them in 3 separate cages, with no visual or auditive contact between one another. Each time the mice were fed, the researchers did the same protocol:

  1. cage number one: the mice were caressed, talked in a low, gentle voice
  2. cage number two: the mice were physically challenged and talked in an aggressive, harsh voice
  3. cage number three: the mice were just fed, no interaction

After a while, they conducted some tests and evaluated the 3 groups based on a number of criteria. The results showed 2 very advanced groups (in terms of psychological developments) and one group significantly left behind. What was that group? I bet you would answer: the second group, of course, they were shouting at them, they had a very aggressive behavior, that must be!

Well, surprise: the problem group was the third one. The mice that weren’t talked at all, that were just fed with no interaction at all. Surprising, huh?

Based on these results the researchers come out with an interesting concept: psychological calories. Each time you interact with someone you are receiving some calories. You take the energy of the person you are interacting with and use it in some way. The better the interaction, the better the form resulted by its usage.

And, of course, there is a fundamental quality of these calories: they can be even positive, or negative. If you have a happy encounter, you will be receiving positive calories. If you are dealing with aggressive people, you are receiving negative calories.

During your entire life you are exchanging psychological calories. Like in a physical feeding process for your body you are developing eating habits for your psychological calories. You can get the habit of eating violence, and you will eat more and more of it, or you can get the habit of eating happiness, and then getting more and more of it.

One thing to remember about your soul calories is that the negative or positive value has nothing to do with your soul needs. You can go out with negative calories as well – the second group of mice did it, right? – but the choice you’ll make will have a direct effect on your well being. You can be an energetic person, always ready to fight, and still be ok. You will be consuming mainly negative calories, and your soul will be imbalanced. Imagine a sumo fighter on the street, and you’ll have a good image of what your soul is looking like on a negative psychological calories diet. But that was your choice.

The shape of your soul is dictated by the psychological calories you are feeding it with. If you are keeping a healthy diet for your soul, you’ll have a wonderful, shining life, if you are keeping an unbalanced diet, you will be suffering from all the over-caloric illnesses your body can have: anger, sadness, pessimism (read: heart attacks, obesity or blood tensions problems).

And remember you are getting those calories out of an event that you can control: your interactions. Have you ever thought what calories you are receiving upon each interaction you have? If you just felt anger after meeting with your boss, then you are getting negative calories, if you are feeling happy after talking with your kids, you are getting positive calories.

Managing your psychological calories is more like a soul diet: you are only feeding with things that are good for you. You are choosing the people you are interacting with, and the situations in which you involve, based on your soul taste. It’s like consulting a giant soul food menu: if I chose this guy, it will cost me half an hour of my life, and I’ll get mainly positive calories. Or, if you are getting with this guy, it will cost you three hours, and you will mainly get negative calories.

Getting the habit of controlling your soul calories is not as difficult as a regular diet. Because most of the time you will actually enjoy hanging out with people that are your positive calories source. As opposed with a body diet, where things you have to eat are presumably either bad tasting, either boring.

And the best thing of this model is that, surprisingly enough, your positive soul calories won’t make your soul fat. Actually, the more positive calories you get, the more happiness and well being you’ll give back to the people you are interacting with.

Did you get a positive or a negative calorie out of this post?

6 thoughts on “Keep your soul in good shape: managing your psychological calories”

  1. “A Better Life” all the time ,to prevent spamming and it seems to be working!!!… Lots of positive cals here i guess… I was wondering suppose we are always with ppl giving us possitive cals aren’t we loosing on Adventure part, the part where u go out of your confort zone, handle new ppl and situation? Im not sure but i think we should have a proper balance of Positive and neg cals… Like in case of chocos, in large quantities they wil cause health problems, but they also have their good side… Help release dopamine (makes u feel happy) ,coco as such improves resistance to certain desease… +/- come as a package… Its upto us , how we make use of these gained cals…

    Reply
  2. Thanks for the feed-back 🙂 Looks like soul dietary habits are having a really huge impact on our lives 🙂

    Reply
  3. PS: I figured out the mice group who had been “left behind” will turn out less interactive, since they weren’t taught any kind of reaction. Pretty logical to me and not so surprising.

    It’s the same with people: those who are loved or are aggressed develop a certain kind of response. Those who are not talked to or given any kind of feedback become sitting ducks.

    Reply
  4. All positive calories in this post. Up, up, up! The more posts, the better and merrier. 🙂

    Now, for the feedback…

    I believe that living on a positive diet or transforming the negative intake into something good is a PERMANENT challenge.

    Let me give you an example: at one point, I based my soul-diet on a close relationship with God. Hence, the people I revolved around were mainly positive people and I was mainly shiny-happy.

    Once I dropped out from the “+diet”, the ratio of people I came in contact with suddenly turned to “-” and I was getting more of the bad calories. Soon after, I started having physical-diet problems as well, headaches and all the things that come from eating and “eating” disorderly.

    The point is I made a CHOICE to switch from one side to another, but I also make choices EVERYTIME i meet someone, talk to them or interact in any way, exchanging energy supplies.

    I’ve been thinking about it for a while. Maybe not in terms of Psychological Calories, but surely in terms of +/- interaction, and sorting out people and situations that can impact +/- on my soul. Reading your post, I gained a whole new perspective on approaching things / people.

    Thanks!

    Reply

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