How life goes on – The New York Times

The 7 p.m. screening of “World’s Ugliest Man” at the cinema across the street was packed with people the night before. Dating couples, groups of friends, solo-goers arrive early to secure good seats. How many people watched their first movie outside the house in a few months, or years?

I go to the movies because, in theory, going to the movies is fun. It was one of those activities that, before the onset of fatigue, were central to my idea of ​​the good life. I go because I’m trying to practice behavioral activation, the theory that your actions can affect your mood, which executive coach Brad Stulberg wrote about recently in The Times. When motivation falls short, “you shift your focus to starting with what you’ve planned in front of you,” he writes, “pursuing your feelings, whatever they may be, for the ride. “

Balancing my emotions when watching movies is a success. Being in an audience, getting emotional in concert, even getting past the bitter end of my line, who have been sitting all the way through the credits, feels great. It was like a two-hour workout for my weak core muscles.

With the bossiness of a weekend fighter who completed a tough workout at the gym and signed up for Tough Mudder, I decided to head to a museum the next day. “You don’t have to feel good to get started,” Stulberg told my colleague Lindsay Crouse last year. “You need to give yourself a chance to feel comfortable.”

In the short story I wanted to tell, the next afternoon I found myself wandering the MoMA, awakening to the healing power of art. Instead, I couldn’t get out the door. I reasoned that it was impractical to go to the museum on a Tuesday; I have work to do. But going to the museum is a treat, the behavior that triggers me is counterproductive. It seems absurd that I need to grit my teeth to participate in something supposed to be fun.

Stulberg warns against becoming your own drill sergeant. His advice isn’t to force yourself to live, no matter what, but to start by “reflecting on what’s most important to you, what makes you happy.” and well-founded”.

So I skipped the museum. Instead, I called my friend Andy, a clinical psychologist. For many people, the key isn’t getting them to do what they think they’re, she said Candlestick are doing, but are exposed and receive comfort from others.

Of course. The most emotional part of going to the movies is not the movie itself (although it’s as good as I’ve heard) but being around other people, shedding tears at the end and realizing that the people on either side of me are sniffles, too.

And so it makes sense that the best part of my week wasn’t any generic cultural outings, but the virtual documentary party some friends and I threw together. since the pandemic started. One weekly video day, that’s two equal parts viewing and socializing. I thought we’d switch to face-to-face meetings when it was safe, but now I’m not so sure. What began as a substitute for socializing has become a source of joy in its own right.

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For more: How life goes on – The New York Times

Fry Electronics Team

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