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:
- cage number one: the mice were caressed, talked in a low, gentle voice
- cage number two: the mice were physically challenged and talked in an aggressive, harsh voice
- 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?