Article | May 19, 2021
As the COVID-19 pandemic upended the healthcare system, hospitals and doctor’s offices doubled down on technology and implemented a host oftelemedicine services, from virtual visits to remote patient monitoring and customized treatment plans.
The results were unexpected. Not only did telemedicine help bridge the gap between physicians and patients during the health crisis, but arecent J.D. Power studyfound that telemedicine also delivered increased customer satisfaction, outpacing other healthcare services.
Patient-centered care played the largest role in this shift. Technologies that let staff reach patients anytime, anywhere enabled providers to shift their functional focus away from simply treating issues to building better relationships.
Article | May 19, 2021
Yes, empathy has become a fad.
Connecting to another human is actually something cool kids do now. If a brand doesn’t have an impact model that includes a practical social issue, consumers tend to not take that brand seriously. In this case, empathy needs to be revisited beyond the trend itself for these strategies to have real, lasting impact.
Practical strategies around compassion meanwhile have similarly become an intrinsic part of social impact organisations. They have become so commonplace that prosocial behaviour has strayed into a kind of tokenism. It is common for instance for consumers to donate their hard-earned money to companies who focus their energies on trying to alleviate real-world issues.
The question then is whether this proxy for compassion isn’t in fact watering down human connections, as well as our positive impact on the issues business and organisations seek to solve with our help.
Postmodern behavioral science
If it is, then we must understand why and how to change that. This is where postmodern behavioral science provides a possible better alternative to social impact strategies. Postmodern behavioral science suggests that the current approach to understanding human behaviour lacks even a rudimentary understanding of empathy, defined in the area of social impact as a discursive strategy that allows us to feel what the group we are trying to help is feeling.
Of course, compassion has very close ties with empathy. Empathy is an innate ability we all have, one that we can learn to develop and fine-tune over time. It is our emotional connection to another human, though one that lies beyond our own ego. It takes the perspective of the person who is struggling and seeks to understand their life, their struggle, and their worldview. It also resolves to value and validate their perspective and experience — something that donating money to a social impact cause does not.
In its broader definition, empathy is a shared interpersonal experience which is implicated in many aspects of social cognition, notably prosocial behavior, morality, and the regulation of aggression.
Empathy has a host of positive after-effects when applied as an interpersonal experience. If a social impact organisation is preoccupied with raising capital, then it is likely to disregard the practical worth of empathy for those who truly want to achieve its mission.
One way that behavioral science can contribute is to utilise tools that can help augment the experience of those in need for those needing to understand those needs. Both AR and VR can help people visualise and follow the stories of those who require compassion. These create virtual environments for partners, governments, and consumers to experience with the people they seek to help.
But of course, much of human behaviour is geared toward seeking pleasant experiences and avoiding unnecessary pain. Our in-built hedonic valuation systems guide decisions towards and away from experiences according to our survival instincts.
This is precisely why business owners who want to encourage empathy in their customers go the easy route, but should seek a more participatory frameworks to inspire and provide experiences for those on board with a social mission.
Then there are issues like financial literacy in underserved populations, access to clean water, education for women and girls, and environmental conservation, to name a few of the problems that social impact companies are attempting to tackle.
If a company is trying to tackle an issue such as access to clean water, then rather than start there, it should first ask exactly how this issue arose and developed. It should question the beliefs that underpin this chronic social inequality, those that inform policies, practices, cultural taboos, and beliefs about water and people’s access to it.
To simply respond to an issue in its developed form is to leave it unfixed. We must be willing to reverse engineer the origins of that issue that got us to where we are. In other words, human behaviour is not the only component to consider in this.
The main behavioral framework public servants should take with them is to develop a nudge unit solely based on the relationship between behavioural science and technology.
This is mainly because technology is an inevitable part of how we now relate to one another. Immersive Compassion meanwhile should embrace tools like AR/VR that seek to create empathetic environments and valuable impact longevity.
To fully embrace empathy as an organisation is to create relevant and rigorous responses that go as far as to alter the infrastructure of its target goals. Optimising social impact comes down to optimising human experience.
Article | May 19, 2021
There are times that we encounter negative thoughts that can be overwhelming.
For some people, the more they try to get rid of their thoughts, the stronger they become.
As a result, here is a brief list of techniques that a person can use to help manage their negative thinking.
1. Do not focus on your fearful thinking: The first thing a person must do is not to dwell on the fear provoking thought when it comes. The more a person tries to reason out on the fear behind the thought, the stronger it becomes. The next time you encounter a negative situation, get into the practice of not dwelling on it.
2. Think of a red stop sign: At times, a person might encounter a fearful thought that may be difficult to manage. When this happens, visualize a red stop sign which can serve as a reminder to think about something else. Regardless of how scary your negative thinking may be, do not dwell on it. This technique is great in dealing with your negative situations and depression.
3. Its only fear: The difference between an obsessive thought and a regular one is that an obsessive thought is based on fear. With this in mind, try to find the source of the fear behind your negative thinking and then find ways to get rid of your worries.
4. Your thoughts are exaggerated: Sometimes, a person may encounter a lot of scary thoughts coming at them all at once. Instead of getting upset, remember that your negative thinking is exaggerated with worry. Ignore the fear behind these obsessive thoughts, regardless how the strong the fear may be.
5. Challenge your negative thinking with positive statements and realistic thinking: When encountering thoughts that make you fearful or depressed, challenge them by asking yourself questions that will maintain objectivity and common sense. Focus on the reality of your situation and not on your negative thinking.
6. Carry a small notebook of positive statements with you: A person should keep a small notebook of positive statements that makes them feel good. Whenever they come across a positive and uplifting verse that makes them happy, write it down in a small notebook. A person can then carry this notebook around in their pocket and whenever they feel anxious, they can read their notebook.
7. Take it one day at a time: Instead of worrying about how you will get through the rest of the week or month, try to focus on today. Each day can provide us with different opportunities to learn new things and that includes learning how to deal with your situation. In addition, you will not feel overwhelmed with everything if you focus on one thing at a time.
8. Get help: Take advantage of the help that is available around you. If possible, talk to a professional who can help you manage your fears and anxieties. They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem. By talking to a professional, a person will be helping themselves in the long run because they will become better able to deal with their problems in the future.
Article | May 19, 2021
Do you know a friend or loved one who suffers from fear, anxiety, and depression and do not know what to do to help them?
It can be frustrating to watch someone you know struggle with their mental health and not be able to do anything to relieve their suffering.
With this in mind, here are seven ways to help the person cope in these kinds of situations.
1. Learn as much as you can in managing anxiety and depression: There are many books and information that will educate you on how to successfully overcome fear and anxiety. Share this information with the individual who is struggling with their fears. The key is to get your friend to understand how important it is to seek some guidance when it comes to their mental health.
2. Be understanding and patient with the person struggling with their fears: Maintaining depression and anxiety can be difficult for the individual so do not add more problems than what is already there. Do not get into arguments with your friend who may be having a difficult time with their anxieties. Make an effort to listen to the person rather than making judgements.
3. Talk to the person instead of talking at them: It is important not to lecture the individual who’s having a hard time with anxiety and depression. Talk to the person about their issues without being rude. Most people will listen if you approach them in a proper manner. Remember to treat others the way you would want to be treated if you were the one who was struggling.
4. Ask for some ideas: Seek advice from a professional who can assist the person you know with their mental health issues. A counsellor can give you some ideas on how to overcome anxiety, fear, and depression. Getting help from a therapist is the number one priority in getting the individual to do something about their problems.
5. Find out why the person won’t get assistance: Address the issues on why he or she will not seek treatment. Many people who are struggling are fearful and frustrated. Try to find out the reasons why your friend won’t get the help they need and then try to find the ways that will overcome their resistance of seeking some guidance.
6. Remind the person on the consequences of not getting help: Another way to convince the individual who is struggling with fear and depression is to tell them what may happen if they don’t get some counselling. Anxiety and depression can make things worse and usually won’t go away by themselves.
7. You can’t manage your mental health all by yourself: A person’s fears and anxieties can be difficult to manage and more than likely he or she will need some help. Many people think that they can overcome their mental health problems on their own. This is a mistake. The individual should admit they have a problem and then seek treatment to get their life back on track.