Why You Should Eat Popcorn With Chopsticks – And Other Psychological Tricks To Make Life More Enjoyable
It happens fast. You crack open a bottle of your favorite drink and put it to your lips. The delicious flavor is nearly overwhelming. But a minute later, you’re barely noticing the taste as you drink it.
The daily fluctuations in the stock market can have a serious emotional impact on people watching their stock portfolios, when the less stressful strategy would be to pay attention to long-term trends.
Immediate rewards may boost motivation more than waiting to reward yourself until the end of a task, according to new
There are many different ways in which the brain is rewired differently than the norm.
The pressures of young adulthood coupled with the demands of university leave undergraduates at risk for depressive symptoms. In fact, nearly 30% of undergraduates suffer from depressive symptoms, which is threefold higher than the general population.
Twenty minutes go by and during that period your fear escalates and you convince yourself the upcoming shot is going to hurt like hell.
School shootings and the March for Our Lives rallies held in cities around the world on March 24 2018 rekindled debates over how to keep students safe. “The notion of ‘it can’t happen here’ is no longer a notion,” said Sheriff Tim Cameron of St. Mary’s County, Maryland...
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently acknowledged his company’s responsibility in helping create the enormous amount of fake news that plagued the 2016 election – after earlier denials.
If we could see our angry emotional reactions clearly, it would become obvious that they deplete us and narrow our life. Yet, in spite of the fact that we hurt ourselves and others with our anger, we hold on to this restricting emotion with a puzzling tenacity.
Yawning is generally triggered by several things, including tiredness, fever, stress, drugs, social and other psychological cues. What is the purpose of yawning?
Who we are, and what makes us “us” has been the topic of much debate throughout history. If who we are is attributed to a non-physical substance independent of the brain, then physical damage to this organ should not change a person. But there is an overwhelming amount of neuropsychological evidence to suggest that this is, in fact, not only possible, but relatively common.
Although riots are an extreme form of public disorder, exposure to community violence is a common experience for many children.
I’ve learned that acts of kindness provide me deep contentment. Knowing I helped brighten someone’s day makes my heart feel full long after the event itself has passed. Thoughtfulness is the action that emotionally connects me to the people I know and also to people I may never meet.
In this world it is very natural to worry about our loved ones. We don’t want them to be hurt or to suffer in any way. Yet what if this worry is somehow hurting instead of helping? For years my mom has struggled with severe migraines. One night I was lying in bed thinking about her and...
As it happened, our current litter was born yesterday, Sunday, on the last day of our mentorship retreat! If I could have planned the worst possible time for our Gracie to give birth, it would have been that day! We were expecting her litter starting in the next few days.
There are so many things to be grateful for! Birds singing, sunshine, trees and the shade they provide, the love of our friends, the comforts of modern living, etc. etc. Yet, surrounded by this beauty and love, we often rush through our busy-busy day...
Looking back, I see how much of my life I spent worrying about stuff or being nervous and insecure about stuff or not really enjoying the fullness and richness of my life. I had to admit that to myself. Because it seemed to me – in retrospect...
You might hesitate to make a character judgment about someone based on a first encounter. Most adults would probably want to see how a stranger acts in several different circumstances, to decide whether someone new is nice, mean or trustworthy.
There was a time in my life when if someone asked, Are you angry with me? I replied, No-o-o-o. Because I didn't like taking issue with a difficult situation involving a difficult person, we both missed an opportunity to grow together through the experience.
Risk is everywhere and associated with everything. For example, the Center for Disease Control a decade ago estimated over 20 million people a year ended up in emergency rooms because of bathroom injuries.
Things are sure coming to the surface lately. It seems that issues we have managed to avoid for years are now rearing their heads to be faced. Our way of dealing with reality, or in some cases of avoiding dealing with reality, has come back to...
Dr Vasant Lad defines depression as a popular diagnosis characterized by "a loss of pleasure and interest in life... accompanied by a sense of pressure, hollowness or emptiness, and low self-esteem." We all can feel down sometimes, but when it becomes our dominant attitude...
The public backlash against Cambridge Analytica and Facebook centres on their practices of harvesting psychological data to influence political behaviour.
People can, with greater-than-chance accuracy, figure out whether you’re liberal or conservative just by looking at your face, and emotional expressivity seemed to be driving it in our analysis.
New research shows that when mothers who have experienced childhood trauma feel supported by the people around them – such as therapists, physicians, friends and neighbours – their risk of pregnancy complications is substantially reduced.
Suspension and expulsion is widely used in Australia, the UK and the US to respond to problematic behavior. But evidence shows these tactics aren’t effective in changing a student’s conduct, and carry major long-term risks for their welfare.
Several days ago we attended the Cultural Awareness Program at Mt. Madonna School where our grandson is in first grade. His grade of ten adorable students reenacted a Buddhist story from Cambodia. In this story a single mother has three grown sons. She is very concerned that her sons do not help her or anyone else, and care only about money...
Even the most terrible events always contain hidden blessings. The masters know this great truth and remain undisturbed by events... Others swing from elation to depression as they move through positive and...
Mental health and emotional intelligence must be a focus in communities like this — communities that are home to marginalized Black youth.
Conspiracy theories are known for connecting apparently unrelated events. Consider the X-Files’ Fox Mulder holed up in his office, frantically joining seemingly random dots.
Growing up in a rinky-dink Canadian city, I was tortured a lot. Part of the problem was that I was stunted by an environment filled with second-hand tobacco smoke and devoid of nutritious food.
Author and neuroscience journalist Maia Szalavitz says that your brain doesn't necessarily choose to become addicted to gambling.
ALLOWING IS THE KEY. That, in a nutshell, is what I learned is the key to life, to creating your own life. Those four seemingly simple words are the basis of the power we can harness in life to use for our benefit. It took me many years to...
Are you thrown off by unforeseen complications? Are you frantic to meet deadlines or goals? Do you hate to wait? Are you a slave to the clock? Well, the price you pay is huge. First and foremost, your hurried pace and unease rob you of...
The Native American perspective was that we don’t own anything but we are stewards of everything. That could be described in a single word: responsibility. Ownership is onerous.
I talk with a lot of people in the course of a week…and I can tell you that people are dealing with a lot right now. There is a huge amount of change, uncertainty, anxiety, fear, transformation, loss, grief, joy, revelation, ecstasy, and hope all happening at once.
I used to get really freaked out by the idea that the more I turned to Love, the more the ego would roar at me and whip me back into place. I am well aware that the ego will pull out any evidence to “prove” to us that we are not of Love. Some have referred to this as an “ego backlash.”
Acceptance is a major theme of world religions. In modern life, however, acceptance is tension-filled and problematic. The urge to fix, change, and improve pops up at every turn. Reinhold Neibuhr summed up this tension in his Serenity Prayer, written in 1934: 'God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change...'
Reproductive hormones that develop during puberty are not responsible for changes in social behavior that may occur during adolescence, research shows.
The academic discipline of psychology was developed largely in North America and Europe.
National Day of Unplugging is soon upon us. For the good of your mental and physical health, unplug your smartphone – not just for one day a year, but routinely.
Rather than narcissism, frequent use of first-person singular pronouns—I, me, and my—may indicate a tendency for emotional distress, new research finds.
Generally we think of fear as something negative to be conquered, however fear isn’t always bad. In the right circumstances and in small doses it looks like caution or prudence, and it can play a constructive role in your decision making.
The inaccuracy of generalizations lead to much confusion in our attitudes, which then translates into inappropriate actions. I’ve learned to pay very close attention to how people speak and write and have discovered that expressed generalizations are all too common...
The American people have been roughed up over the last decade. A sense of vulnerability and danger tinges their view of public affairs.
In the cosmic sphere of energy, wu-wei is the feminine (yin/passive/receptive/earth) principle of the universe. Translated into English from Lao-tzu’s perspective, wu-wei means “non-doing,” “non-action,” or “effortless action.” These translations are literally correct and lead us to the intuitive and ultimate psychological experience of wu-wei.
Sometimes our perceptions can get us into trouble. What appears so clearly to be our reality may not be real at all. Or it may be partially correct, but not the whole picture. We humans have a tendency to interpret our partial experiences as the whole truth and ignore other people's partial experiences.
Many adults have a history of childhood abuse. As harmful as these early experiences can be to our psyche, an accompanying form of abuse frequently compounds them. This is the abuse we give ourselves. This form is even more widespread and affects most of us in one way or another.
Everybody can appreciate acts of kindness. But when it comes to explaining why we do them, people often take one of two extreme positions. Some think kindness is something completely selfless that we do out of love and care, while others believe it is just a tool that we cunningly use to become more popular and reap the benefits.
The time came when my life was disrupted by soul longing for wholeness, manifesting as serious depression. Through grace, I found my way to a workshop on healing into wholeness. There I met Linda Star Wolf who taught us how to discover our power animal.
In an actual war, to be attacked means to have our survival threatened. Thus, we might chose between surrender, withdrawal, or counterattack. When we feel attacked (criticized or judged) by others in conversation, we often move into that same...
When psychologists talk about a “moral circle” they are referring to how far we extend our moral consideration towards others. That is, whether we care about the well-being of others, and act accordingly.
We have witnessed some exceptional performances during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. For any athlete to deliver a gold medal performance, mental toughness is an essential ingredient. But what exactly is mental toughness — and how does an athlete develop it?
Mindfulness is big business, worth in excess of US$1.0 billion in the US alone and linked – somewhat paradoxically – to an expanding range of must have products.
How many times have you been told that something great will happen as long as you believe it is possible?
Susan, a woman in her fifties, came to one of my workshops and asked to work with the process called Healing Relations with the Unborn. She related the following story of an abortion she had undergone as a young woman, with lingering painful after-effects.
As children we rebelled against our parents, against authority. Yet now that we are adults and are in charge of our own lives, whom are we rebelling against? The answer is the same: authority. Yet we are often the rebeller and the rebellee at the same time. Strange concept? Possibly, but one that we give...
In all areas, I believe balance is key to living a peaceful and successful life. As the saying goes, “All work and no play” makes for a dull life. But what about all creativity and no responsibility? Even if that were a possibility, I’d like to argue that this would not make anyone happy.
Being constrained by a civilization’s laws and regulations, combined with a low tolerance for emotional expression, produces discontents for some if not all of that civilization’s inhabitants. Underneath our fashionable veneers we are still animals...
We all have a choice. We can submit to apathy and indifference or we can choose hope. This dialogue is about choosing hope and recognizing that we each have a responsibility to make a difference in the world.
When children learn about news like the deadly school shooting that claimed more than a dozen lives on Feb. 14, 2018 in Broward County, Florida, a logical question for them to ask is: Will the same thing happen to me?
Why is it awkward to listen to a recording of your own voice? What makes us cringe?
How do you shed light on fear, and see it for what it really is? You question it by asking, “Says who?” Like a boogieman in your mind, you need to stand up to it and let it know who’s in control and the boss of your thoughts. It’s either you or your fear-based thought. It’s important to decide who’s really in charge of your thinking.
Our brains can detect an object’s value almost as soon as we see it, a new study shows.
In the earliest stages of our education, it gets drilled into us that certainty is good, and phrases like "I don't know" or "I'm not sure" are lesser ways of thinking.
Fear is one of the most fascinating and crippling human emotions. All of us, at one time or another, have been overcome with fear. There are two kinds of fear: actual fear and psychological fear.
Cyberbullying has become a significant issue for young people learning to navigate a life that is increasingly online. Like bullying that occurs face-to-face, cyberbullying can have serious effects on the physical and mental health of victims.
Pop quiz, hot shot! What do cows drink? If you're like the vast majority of people, you probably just had the word "milk" flash in your brain.
Fear is one of our greatest teachers. From the time we have our first childhood lesson of keeping our hands off the hot stove to our mature ability to recognize danger and get out of the way, fear has earned our respect and has tremendous influence over our behavior. But sometimes fear holds us back...
Living behind a glass wall can be lonely. You can see the others out there, yet you somehow remain separated from them. Your wall may be called "I'm not good enough" or "No one understands me or loves me". These glass walls have a way of magnifying the negative. Yet whatever you see through the wall is only the...
Letting go is a hard one. Every part of humanity is designed to hang on. We hang on to our family connections, to the certificate we got at school, to our money, we embrace and hang on to our children, we lock our car and hang on to it. I think the whole definition of letting go is to stand outside the emotion.
The way you think about decisions gives you a remarkable decision-making super power that enables you to make decisions with confidence even when you have just the smallest glimpse of data. As a matter of fact it’s so good that, if you were the only one who had it, you could charge a fortune on your own psychic hotline. Fortunately for the rest of us, we all come hard-wired with this amazing capability, and all we have to do is learn to use it effectively.
Is there anything going on in your life that just wears you out? A thankless job, a chronic illness, a troubled relationship? Have you gone over and over this situation or circumstance without finding a solution or a way out?
Many people will have hit the shops or gone online to bag a bargain in the January sales over the last few weeks and may now be feeling the pinch until their next payday.
Just because you have a thought doesn’t necessarily mean it is true. Most thoughts are just old circuits in your brain that have become hardwired by your repetitive volition. Thus, you have to ask yourself, “Is this thought true, or is it just what I think and believe while I am feeling this way?"
Male grooming is now a multi-billion worldwide industry, thanks to a growing number of men spending more on their appearance. Face wash, moisturiser, pore strips and hair removal products are now commonly featured in many a man’s bathroom cabinet – and now also, makeup.
Within two weeks, 94 percent of women survivors will experience PTSD. #HealMeToo wants to give them a place to share and recover.
After the feasting of Christmas, January is a time of detox and self-denial. It’s when people start new diets, begin new exercise regimes and make new year’s resolutions.
Quitting smoking is a popular New Year’s resolution—but many have trouble sticking with it. “Many people underestimate how difficult it is to not only quit smoking, but to maintain the change.”
When the stock market plummeted in 2003 and I lost a third of my savings, I had a very hard time getting over the fact that I didn’t see it coming. Some young part of myself still believed I should be all powerful and all knowing. It’s a form of magical thinking many of us have developed...
For many parents, sorting the “normal” quirkiness of childhood behaviour from the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be anxiety provoking.
In a new study, researchers found a notable change in the brains of 16 women who wrote daily about gratitude in an online journal.
Modern citizenship in the West increasingly involves a duty to care for ourselves – to eat healthily, exercise enough and even screen ourselves for disease – to minimize our health-care costs to the state.
It is vital that we learn to tell the difference between a prompting from our Spirits and one coming from the fearful ego — our own, or those of others. Any call to action not coming through your Spirit as inspiration can probably be labeled as a should, an...
A while back, in a conversation with my inner guidance, I was trying to find out some specifics on a project that I was working on. As in, when is this going to take place? Who's going to be handling it? Where is it going to be done? When is it going to be complete? All questions that my restless mind wanted to know. NOW!
In our roles as academics, young people knock on our doors almost every day. They are typically ambitious, bright and hard-working.
It’s a new year, which means that it’s also time to imagine new beginnings and better futures. It’s time, in short, for New Year’s resolutions. Gratitude, in particular, has become a popular resolution. For many of us, living gratefully seems to promise more happiness in our lives. But what if we’ve got gratitude all wrong?
Don’t let the past define the present. This is such an obvious idea that when I first encountered it my reaction was, “Of course! That’s not new information.” And then I promptly fell back into my normal way of seeing life that was through the lens of the past. I did this so unconsciously that I honestly didn’t see how powerful my attachment to the past had become over the years.
Do you really have sovereignty over own your mind anymore? Tristan Harris, a design thinker and former ethicist at Google, points to how smart phones changed our contract with advertisers, and our relationship with reality.
The mere thought of holiday traditions brings smiles to most people’s faces and elicits feelings of sweet anticipation and nostalgia. We can almost smell those candles, taste those special meals, hear those familiar songs in our minds.
At this time of year, readers worldwide turn to Charles Dickens, and A Christmas Carol in particular. Such is Dickens’ association with the season that a new film has even credited him with being “The Man Who Invented Christmas” with his famous tale. So did he? And what did Dickens really tell us in the pages of A Christmas Carol?
We can get side-tracked by our ego that wants to be right at any price. It doesn't care about lost friendships, or uncomfortable work relations, or families torn apart by pride -- it only cares about being right. How often do we let "being right" step into the way of peace...
This time of the year brings a lot of changes to the usual day-to-day life of hundreds of millions of people: The weather is colder, trees are naked, snowy days become plentiful and friendly critters are less visible around the neighborhood.
Even if you think of yourself as a human lie detector, there are some untruths that will sneak under the hood. For that, you can thank your brain, and it's absolute adoration for all things familiar, says Derek Thompson, senior editor at The Atlantic.
Good scientists are not only able to uncover patterns in the things they study, but to use this information to predict the future.
Those who recover the best from painful events are those who find something meaningful in the experience. The exercise below helps us see events and circumstances from a different perspective and find meaning in what otherwise might seem to be baffling or meaningless events.
We like to think of our memories as sepia celluloid snippets of our life upon this Earth.
People set themselves up for difficulties through their memories of pain. For instance, in the past, you or someone you know may have lost money, a job, a house, or a relationship. These issues, rife with fear and other negative emotions, establish a deep pattern in memory and...
We can replace angry or hostile thoughts with thoughts of loving-friendliness. Loving-friendliness radiates to the whole world the wish that all beings enjoy a comfortable life with harmony, mutual appreciation, and appropriate abundance. Though we all have the seed of loving-friendliness within us, we must make the effort to cultivate it.