Monday, June 2, 2008

    Involuntary Defeat Strategy (IDS)

    Often times, depression and anxiety can be closely linked to one another. A person whom experienced losses, defeat, or rejection in their past (low positive effect), will likely also experience anxiety (high negative effect). The more sever the depression, the higher the anxiety. Low depression is attributed to attachments, while higher levels of depression are contributed to social ranking.

    A person with low positive effect will feel inferior to his or her peers within the same social environment, feeling submissive and often times defeated in any social competition. That's because in any social competition a hierarchy does exists--peers rating and perceiving each other.

    A study completed by a professor at the University of Toronto showed that any time people come together in a group, a hierarchy will exist, and the ranking of each person becomes predictable, based on the people with lowest positive effect. Predictability was based on the ability for a person to hold positive attraction--how prominent, respected, influential, a person is--how likable are they?

    The lower on the social ranking a person is, the higher the level of depression they may experience--feeling anxious, trapped and unable to escape from their social environment, retreating to themselves with no support from family, friends or peers, feeling a sense of rejection.

    IDS is the social rank competition theory (Gilbert, 2000; Sloman, 2000) which contributes depression to the inability for a person to terminate IDS at the end of a social rank competition. Everyday millions of North American's deal with the social pressures of society and fight to be part of and or hold a position in their social environment.

    Overcome depression by getting along with those around you and in time you too will get ahead and on top of the social rank.

    Bruno LoGreco Master Life Coach and Mentor - Life Coach Toronto


    i am storm. said...

    the thought comes to mind that your place in the hierarchy is also subjective -- if you are blue or have a low level depression, i would think that your perception of your position in the social hierarchy may be skewed. where others perceive you to be, might be much higher than where you perceive you to be -- a vicious cycle begins to fuel itself, no?


    Liara Covert said...

    The organiser of a study also introduces biases which may not be acknowledged or accounted for in his own analysis. A point to add is all people who seem to make up a group may not actually believe in hierarchies or view themselves somewhere within the levels. An example would be someone who has dissolved fears and insecurities you discuss. As you discover unconditional love and self-acceptance, you no longer judge, criticize or compare. You sense power inside you for what it is.

    Traisas said...

    Do you have a link to the study itself?

    Something strikes me as a bit odd about this but I can't quite put my finger on it.

    How would something like this (a person's place in any given 'social hierarchy' specifically) be actually measured or evaluated? And, what types of social situations were considered by the study? Introverts who become extroverts under the influence of alcohol may have a higher standing within their hierarchy on any given night but ultimately have a higher level of depression as a result of ultimately having their social habits be inconsistent with their supposed social standing (while out with their peers). And that would seem counter to what you are suggesting (just as one example off the top of my head).

    Maybe I read too much into it or misunderstood. Still, interesting topic!

    Bruno LoGreco said...

    Hi Storm - I guess it depends on the level of positive effect in their life. If there is a lack of self esteem, their perception can be completed skewed.

    The professor did - which i failed to mention :( - use a scale (a measure) in his study that determined the level of rating/perception each person within a group participates in. The study tested 100 students. I couldn't write fast enough and I missed the calculation. To your point Liara - after the lecture I reviewed my notes and I had the same thought as you - What about the people that discover unconditional love and self-acceptance, are they 100% perfect in their everyday life? The answer is No - In my case - I have judged, not in a negative manner, but I've had passing thoughts about a person--where they've come from and why...

    Hi traisas - unfortunately I don't. It was on TVO yesterday afternoon - The show was called, "Ideas." The show showcased the top 10 professors from around Canada. Each professor gave a one hour lecture.

    The professor did illustrate ( I missed it) the scale and the measurement used to test his theory. No specific social group was targeted - The study focused on teenagers and how the behaviors are carried into adulthood. The study did include the hierarchy of an existing social environment, peer to peer.

    Keeping in mind that this study was used to examine people that experience depression and the triggers which promote anxiety. A person must experience enough (don't know how much, each person is different) of a loss, defeat or rejection and they are unable to turn off their IDS. The remedy to turn off the IDS, as the professor suggests, get along with those around and you will get ahead.
    It will require some work on self, but the statement is correct.

    Traisas said...

    Do you remember the name of the professor?

    Bruno LoGreco said...


    University of Toronto (Scarborough) professor Marc Fournier (Psychology) delivers his lecture entitled, Dominance and Depression, in the first half of this rebroadcast of the 2008 Best Lecturer competition.

    You can watch it at:

    Liara Covert said...

    A person who doesn't believe in hierarchies may simply choose to see beyond rigid structures. Imagine a world where you accept people and situations without judging, ranking or comparing. How would it feel?

    Perfection is a state of mind you grow to know within yourself. Its an experience that just "is." If you feel compelled to judge, study and differentiate, then you are still viewing yourself as superior and inferior in some way. So long as you believe in duality, you are still learning about unconditional love and self-acceptance but not yet experiencing them as they are.

    Bruno LoGreco said...

    I don't agree with hierarchies - Nor do I think we all walk around ranking or perceiving ourselves. I certainly don't.

    While I agree with you Liara - when I do judge i'm not judging because I want to feel superior, I'm analyzing so I can potentially engage in conversation with the person for the purpose of providing support.

    Some clients are ready to go through the process, they are open and honest, while others are curious about the process and not truthful - this is when experience and intuition come into play.

    Traisas said...

    Thanks for finding the link to the video. I'll try to watch it later on today and give some better feedback :)

    On the question of judging and comparing: I think everybody judges and compares all the time. I think it's an inherent part of how we choose to act in any situation. That doesn't necessarily mean it's negative or that one's judgements have to be rigid. But certainly even if you are going to do something as simple as engage in a conversation with someone you've just met, whether you are conscious of the fact or not, every word that the two of you exchange contributes to the forming of a perception/image/idea of who/what the other person is. You are making judgements in order to create context, in order to comprehend/understand any given situation.

    The key, I think, is to not allow seemingly passive ASSUMPTIONS that you may have, to be applied to other people. As well as recognizing when you are "projecting" of your own personality traits onto other people (that is, assuming someone has a certain trait simply because you do).

    But then again, I am no psychologist :)

    chris said...

    Hmmm...Does this mean that people in the third world country who are fully aware of their lower class or social status are more depressed or more susceptable to depression than people who are in
    G8 countries?

    What about students who are not popular are they more prone to depression?

    bart said...

    i'd agree that depression and anxiety are linked since there is enough clinical evidence by now that stress and anxiety, and the chemical changes they introduce into the system, break down the seratonin levels which are needed for feelings of well-being and ability to cope with one's surroundings in a meaningful way...

    i'm not sure of the suggestion you've put in here about the connection between depression and one's place in a social hierarchy though... while depression can be cause by the unwillingness and/or inability to accept one's life circumstances by reacting in a negative way and causing the chemical imbalances, these imbalances can also be caused by many other factors, including diet, hereditary defects and/or mental/physical disturbances introduced in one's environment...

    hope this helps... keep well....

    San said...

    Interesting study, Bruno. It's sad to think that a person's perceived social standing can have such an impact on self-esteem. I wonder where the notion of being inner-directed, or self-directed, comes into play. I'd bet that those who come from a position of inner power and self-direction are charismatic and attract that social reinforcement by being self-directed. Could be a which came first?/chicken or egg question.

    Bruno LoGreco said...

    traisas - projection is definitely a good topic to write about, but I'm not sure that a person dealing with high level of depression would have it in them to project - they are too busy inside their own heads.

    Chris -oddly enough depression is a mental disorder only diagnosed in the western world. The east, specifically developing nations, are not familiar nor experience depression. Servants, cast systems, etc. are a way of life in some countries. Thousands of generations have lived and died knowing only poverty as a way of life - nothing to be depressed about - they don't know any other way.

    Every child is different and without the background it's hard to say. However, an unpopular child with high positive effect in his/her life will not be prone to depression, regardless of popularity at school, but throw in one physical move for the child, between age 6 to 13, and we now have the recipe for depression, throw in a second move and we are definitely going to be dealing with depression.

    Depression can be caused by any number of environmental influences, past and or present. Depression can stem from attachments or social, with the exception if it's heredity. Involuntary Defeat Strategy is better explained in the link provided. Hope this helps bart.

    Its a way of life for so many people living in the West. But to your point San, like attracts like -I would venture to guess that a person dealing with this type of depression, social based, are likely to have influencers within their life that are influenced by social ranking. It could very well be a question of which came first? Chicken or egg?

    Thank you everyone for all the comments - I really enjoyed discussing this topic with the various view points. Depression can be a caused by any number of reasons, loss, change of life, not finding your purpose, any number of circumstances could cause depression. The level of depression and the length of time a person experiences depression will all depend on external influences, influences which could have occurred at a very young age. Everybody is different, everybody responds to different influences - I hope my response to everyone's comments has helped.

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    Ten Powerful Self-Coaching Tips

    By Bruno LoGreco

    Are you living the life of creativity and happiness that you've always dreamed of, or are you allowing your fears or other outside factors to influence you?

    Following the path that your heart's desires requires courage and might require a shift in attitude. There are several methods you can use to act as your own life coach and start working toward the life you dream of.

    Ideas for self-improvement

    You don't need to change every aspect of your life at once in order to improve your attitude and outlook on life. Self-improvement can feel daunting if you try to change everything at once.

    A good way to embark on your journey of self-coaching is to make one change and see what kind of impact it has upon your life. The following tips are designed to help you improve your life and become your own life coach. Try out one of the following tips at a time to positively impact your attitude and daily life.

    1. Find some ‘you' time. Everyone needs time alone to meditate and recharge. You may think you don't have extra time in your day. Start with 10-20 minutes to use for meditation or silent reflection.

    2. Ask yourself what you truly want in life. Are you living your life according to your true dreams and desires? You may be unaware of your desires that lie hidden beneath your surface needs and wants, so take the time to find out.

    3. Write everything down. Even if your thought seems silly, write it down! You may be surprised by the inspiration and ideas you can come up with.

    4. Journal daily, but with a twist. Instead of just writing about today, try writing about yesterday.

    5. Keep track of the "happy moments." Each day has potential for many small moments that bring joy and happiness. If you don't make a special note of them, you may not even recognize the small joys in your day.

    6. Choose one task each night to complete the next day. This way, you have focus, and you accomplish at least one task. Tasking and taxing yourself with effort is important in reaching goals.

    7. Smile when you wake up. Smiling is contagious. By smiling you improve your mood and can potentially improve someone else's day as well.

    8. Give thanks each night. Gratitude will improve your outlook on life and help you see all the good and wonderful moments of your day.

    9. Try something new. A new experience fuels creativity and your enjoyment of the day.

    10. Create at least one memorable moment each day. Make each day unforgettable, even if in a small way!

    Taking the next step with a life coach

    Self-coaching tips are great ideas for helping you improve your life. However, you can take your life to the next level with a life coach and mentor. A professional life coach can help you set goals and help you move forward with your dreams. If you're looking for the right path toward happiness, a life coach can help you discover the path your heart truly desires.

    Want to learn more about self-improvement? Bruno LoGreco is a Life Coach Toronto and mentor. Visit BrunoLoGreco.com and find out how to unleash your potential for success and happiness.

    The Success Indicators on Your Life Path

    Many people seek out a particular goal in their life path and are content when they achieve it. The chance to broaden their horizons or learn new things within an existent structure is not as appealing to them as it is to some others. This is an issue that arises in many individuals because they mistakenly think they have achieved what they wanted to in their lives. The plethora of environmental noise around them begins to infringe upon their goals and forces them to lose sight of what they truly wanted.

    A good way to think of this problem is to envision a large square box. This is not just any box though. Rather, in this case, your box has been divided into three separate, but equally shaped rectangular boxes, all stacked on top of one another. Each of these rectangular boxes is a highly important expression of your life goals -- individual levels of success. Within each of these levels of success is an indicator that tells you how close you are to becoming successful in this area of your life.

    Every area of your life that you identify as a potential path for success can be further divided, containing the many different events and obstacles you will encounter as you strive to reach your goals. Think of each sector of your life as being divided even further, with three new sections within one of the three stacked boxes (sectors). Within each stacked box are three separate sections, divided by dotted lines that make up the life path you will follow. These dotted lines are not the same as the solid lines dividing the sectors -- they are a path that you have envisioned since childhood -- a series of goals and pathways to success that you want to follow.

    As young people, these life paths may not be fully formed. Or they might be crystal clear in our minds--long, straight life paths from the early days of college and adult living to the ultimate goal of success that you have always strived for. You can see exactly what you need to do to reach each success indicator and achieve what you have set out to accomplish. And you probably did just this. After all, your goals as a youth were to be successful in the same way that you saw thousands of others live their lives. You wanted to reach your success indicators and experience the measure of success by which you would measure you life for decades to come.

    However, nothing is ever as simple as we envision it during youth. There are countless factors that interfere with your ability to clearly see those success indicators and life paths to success. These factors, or "Environmental Noise," can be detrimental to even the most focused of individuals. Think of what would happen if you dumped the contents of downtown New York into your box and tried to maintain your focus on those goals. Would you even be able to see your life path anymore?

    Everyone must travel their life path with environmental noise inundating them from all sides. It begins to become cloudy. The dotted lines, our life paths, begin to look like the straight lines and the success indicators start to be confused with any number of different distractions.

    And then something will happen and you will realize that you are in fact nowhere near the original success indicators you set for yourself. Everything has changed and yet you are stuck in a way. You are deep within the center of the middle rectangular box and you have no idea which way to go or how to get back on track. The noise only grows louder and you grow dizzy trying to regain your focus.

    It is in this instant that you must clear the noise and return to the basic, almost instinctive mode of thought you experienced as a child. What did you want from life? Where did you want to go? What do you need to get to that point? What was my life path? All of these questions must be asked without the distractions of the world around you muddying up your thought process. When you can revert to a very simple perspective of the world and only spend time thinking of what you want from life, you can be that much more successful.

    You can succeed in life despite the environmental noise, cruising down your life paths and moving through your rectangles with ease, but oftentimes you need a helping hand to clear away the noise and look at life with fresh eyes. There is nothing wrong with asking for help to weed out these distractions and remove the clutter from your life sectors with a professional life coach.

    Is your life path inundated with environmental noise? Learn how you can lift the noise and begin reestablishing your success indicators today. Visit www.brunologreco.com a Life Coach Toronto today.


    Top 10 Benefits to Journaling

    By Bruno Logreco

    There are countless reasons to maintaining a journal. The top ten benefits of journaling may differ from person to person. However, there seems to be general themes that are attractive in the collective unconscious. Many people are looking to daily entries of their personal experiences to reap some of the following rewards.

    Maintaining a journal is a natural way to exercise the brain. People who make regular entries are taking time to develop writing and communication skills that are very valuable in everyday interactions. This mental exercise also helps to allow your thoughts to flow freely.

    Creativity is a second benefit to consider. This is an important aspect of journaling. The right hemisphere of the brain is associated with visual, imaginative and intuitive facets of thought. When you take time to write, you free the right hemisphere. The ideal entry will be one that puts the inner editor on hold. Thoughts and ideas should flow freely and naturally.

    The uninhibited nature of this form of writing serves a third benefit of developing self awareness. People often create different faces to meet various circumstances. We tend to recreate in distinct situations including the work environment, the community and even when at home.

    The process of keeping a journal helps you recognize the various aspects of your unique personality. The growing self awareness is a powerful force that can lead to even greater benefits in the future. Gaining insight into the self is among the most important aspects to maintaining a journal.

    The fourth benefit is the ability to set priorities. Once you get a grasp on the thoughts and emotions that are filtered through your personal experience, you begin to gain control of them. The process eventually leads to a greater understanding of what is and what is not important.

    The ability to re-see the past is another great benefit of keeping a journal. The pages can be revisited with a fresh perspective. It can be very surprising how much your understanding of an event changes over a relatively short period of time. Some writers find great moments of epiphany when rethinking and rereading entries.

    Journaling is a fantastic problem-solving resource. The approach of using entries to come up with various solutions to troubles is a little different than approaches for self awareness and growth. Many people choose temporary brainstorming techniques that serve to give viable solutions to problems.

    The seventh benefit of journaling is variety. You can choose what kind of entries you want to make. Common choices include brainstorming sessions, automatic writing and reflective notes. Personal journal entries can be made upon inspiration, when you first wake or right before you fall asleep. Some choose to do a combination of these.

    Purging is the eighth benefit to this practice. Many people find it helpful to place negative thoughts and feelings down on paper. Once the negative energy is placed on the page, they are free to let it go. This practice also works well when dealing with anger towards another individual. Purge the negativity and work towards a constructive approach.

    The ability to communicate with others is another benefit of keeping a journal. Those who work with life coaches can find a wealth of resources for sessions. Journaling can help you tap into your fears and dreams, helping your coach gain insight through entries that you choose to share.

    The tenth benefit is improvement in your overall health. Journaling reduces stress. It provides time for you to meditate. The process helps to make the positive forces in your life surface and it helps to bring the harmful elements into light. The result of personal journaling is a new perspective on how you can take control of many aspects of your life.

    Want to learn how online journaling can help you reach goals and problem solve? Learn more about life coach Toronto at brunologreco.com and journaling at iijournal.

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