iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Dr. Hendrie Weisinger

GET UPDATES FROM Dr. Hendrie Weisinger
 

Are You Psychologically Green? Part I

Posted: 06/24/09 05:50 PM ET

Green with envy and Green with Greed have proven to be losing strategies for individuals and our country alike.

Today, though, there is a new psychological green that brings with it optimism, productivity and a sense of thriving instead of surviving.

Today, being psychologically green means tuning into your instincts, getting back to basics, and back to our human nature. Whereas physical green is analogous to protecting our planet, psychological green is about protecting and honoring our human nature.

We have laws that force us to protect our planet, It's too bad we don't have laws to protect our human nature! The fact is, we have become disconnected from our instinctual tools that help us thrive, such as cooperation, curiosity, and care-giving to name just a few. Take a look at the plights we have now and you will see for that they are a result of going against our human nature, from being "instinctually disconnected." No wonder we are often so unhappy and unfulfilled. No wonder we sometimes get into the wrong relationships, take the wrong jobs, and make the wrong choices.

At the same time, look at the individuals, families, organizations, and countries that are thriving, and you will conclude that they are doing nothing more than staying in synch with their human nature, that is why they are growing. It is our instinctual tools that allow us to thrive and to solve the everyday problems that we encounter. Today psychological green is true to the color of nature-green for growth."

What can we do to create a culture of psychological green? How do we get back in touch with our human nature?" The answer lies in using the genius of your instincts, the tools Mother Nature has given you to thrive. Here are three tips to get you started:

1. Listen to your emotions
Emotions are the voice of your instincts. Too often, we rely on the opinions and recommendations of others to make our choice. Friends tell you, "He is perfect for you." Parents and counselors tell the high school graduate, "This is the school for you." We follow the advice, despite the nagging feeling that tells us, something isn't right. Listening to your emotions and feelings is the beginning for getting connected to your shelter seeking instincts, their function being to get yourself into an "empowering environment," one that helps you grow.

2. Allow yourself to feel vulnerable
You are hardwired to care -- ask others for help. It is Mother Nature's instinctual tool that helps you protect your vulnerabilities. Most people deny their vulnerabilities and as result, become disconnected from their care-soliciting instinct. Why does this happen? One reason is that feeling vulnerable is uncomfortable (as it should be since it communicates we are at risk.) Another reason is the conventional pop psychology message that successful individuals solve their own problems, the emotionally healthy too. Thus, we seldom ask for help when we really need it. Being comfortable with feeling vulnerable will allow you to take advantage of your care-soliciting instincts.


3. Develop others
Can anyone deny the world would be better place if we all became more touched by our care-giving instincts, the evolutionary function being to develop the future. Fact is, Presidents have written books on the importance of care-giving, but Mother Nature said it first. Both males and females are hardwired to be maternal and paternal-it is in your genes. Early parents who were good care-givers increased the survival chances of their off spring, and just as the Roman Empire had to develop their strongest into young warriors, so do companies have to develop young talent into their "warriors." There are all sorts of reasons that inhibit our care-giving instincts, such as withholding love because of anger-animals never do this. Some catalysts to get to your care-giving nature: at work, focus on developing others; at home, prioritize your children; with your partner, tune in to their physical and mental health. Care-give to your parents more often. Also, do things for your community.

In my next post, I will give you three more tips to become psychologically green for the purpose of helping you thrive!

I'd like to hear your thoughts on "psychological green."

www.drhendrieweisinger.com