It’s easy to be kind or loving to someone you like. Why should you bother to be loving toward the contemptuous, the hateful, the miserable, or people who are simply annoying?
I know some remarkable people, even some who are considered great human beings, but I have never known anyone whose heart is open all the time. Even the Dalai Lama speaks of anger arising and of saying things that, much to his chagrin, can never be taken back. Forgiveness of oneself and others is...
We all experience everyday annoyances with the people around us. What turns an irksome characteristic, situation, or event into a source of continued frustration? It’s our expectations, our “shoulds” that cause aggravation and annoyance...
Prior to becoming a therapist, I believed as the majority of people still do, that trauma and subsequent PTSD are experienced by only a small portion of the population and limited primarily to combat soldiers and first responders such as firefighters, police and EMT’s; as well as residents of war-torn countries and victims of catastrophic events.
Depression is listed as the leading cause of disability worldwide. Yet research shows depression is far more prevalent in Western cultures, such as the US, Canada, France, Germany and New Zealand, than in Eastern cultures, such as Taiwan, Korea, Japan and China.
Why is it that so many of us feel we need crisis in order to face our fears, to bring about the change we already know we need to undertake? After my last big crisis, I asked myself this question. It seemed my crisis meter had an alarm clock and every ten years I brought about a doozy.
The work I do isn’t “my” work. These are ideas whose time has come and they need capable scribes. Our true wages in life consist of the satisfaction we get from a job well done. Aside from that, well, the rain falls on the just and unjust alike.
We have little control over the future. And the future is where we tend to look for our security, seeking the assurance that everything will be all right. The illusion is that we have control over many variables in our daily life and that...
Fear drives our impulses to forcibly control others, and to try and make the whole world behave as we want. Fear stimulates our mistrust of one another. It fosters close-mindedness, terror, judgment, bullying, frustration, and the awful destruction of human-on-human violence. Fear explains why...
Regret gets a bad press. It is a painful emotion experienced upon realising that a different decision would have led to a better outcome.
Perhaps you have questioned or judged yourself for being too sensitive or not feeling at home in the mainstream. When I ask my seminar audiences, “How many of you believe or have been told that you’re weird?” Almost everyone raises their hand.
As I was walking through the V&A museum in London a few days ago, two statues immediately grabbed my attention. It was Heraclitus and Democritus, a couple of Greek thinkers known as the “weeping and laughing philosophers”.
What could I do to enhance the enjoyment or fulfillment of this action? Or, how would I relate to this action if my goal was to get as much enjoyment or fulfillment as possible out of it?
If you have trouble losing excess weight, it's likely that your body and mind are conspiring to keep that extra weight on you. When you're bored or sad or upset, the brain's natural tendency is to make the body do something to feel better, and food provides the immediate gratification.
Have you ever told a friend experiencing a troubling situation “I know exactly how you feel”? This empathic response is usually driven by a connection we’ve made with our own similar experiences.
Health-care providers are finding it increasingly difficult to provide compassion — in the midst of growing patient workloads, paperwork, institutional demands and workplace stress. They run the risk of depleting their compassion “gas tanks” in the process...
"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life." Don’t take my word for it. Try it. Make a list of the things that might give you pause or make you groan or recoil. Express your appreciation for these things in your life. Welcome them like old friends...
Facebook recently announced that it now has over 2 billion monthly users. This makes its “population” larger than that of China, the US, Mexico and Japan combined.
We touch the real heart of compassion when we can engage with someone who is suffering from carrying so much aggression, so much negativity, so much emotion that they can’t help but cause trouble and drive people away. If you can approach such a person and give them some support...
It was only when I began to study patience closely that I came to see how anger and patience are related. In fact, anger is the direct consequence of losing our patience. For it is precisely because we don’t have tolerance for something or someone that we get mad...
Most parents view their children’s playing of electronic games as potentially problematic – or even dangerous.
Sometime around 2011 or 2012, it suddenly became very easy to predict what people would be doing in public places: Most would be looking down at their phones.
Tourette syndrome is a mysterious medical curiosity that has puzzled doctors for more than a century. People who have it suffer from tics and other behavioral problems, such as obsessive compulsive traits and attention deficit disorder.
You may think that you love your child more than your best friend, or your husband more than the store clerk. But Love is one. It has no degrees and can’t really be separated into different forms.
Many consumers like the products they buy, but some people go beyond liking. They actively advocate for the companies and concepts behind those products.
It was in April 2016 that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that the social media platform was providing its nearly two billion users the opportunity to livestream content.
Many Americans are morally outraged that U.S. President Donald Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey, who had been investigating possible links between Trump’s election campaign and the Russian government.
Around one in five people in Western countries could be putting their health at risk simply by going to work.
The belief that there is a link between talent and left-handedness has a long history. Leonardo da Vinci was left-handed.
Perfectionism is an insidious demon that must be fought with every weapon you’ve got. Here’s what’s so tricky about perfectionism: it (sort of) turns procrastination into a virtue. Because it’s good to have high standards, right? And it’s good to expect the best from yourself, right?
Feeling lonely can make us self-centered, research shows, and the reverse is also true, though to a less extent.
Using the analogy of the hologram, the entire hologram now reflects back to me my decision. For example (and I know you will relate to this), I have decided to purchase a Volkswagen. I am now seeing Volkswagens all around me. They weren’t there before, but now I can’t get away from them!
Selling access to rewards programs that offer cash for meeting weight loss goals may incentivize program participants to lose more weight, new research suggests.
The word “addiction” brings to mind alcohol and drugs. Yet, over the past 20 years, a new type of addiction has emerged: addiction to social media.
The Greek philosopher Aristotle described pride as the “crown of the virtues”.
Puberty hormones might impede some aspects of flexible youthful learning, a study with female mice suggests.
Your decision to remain calm inside regardless of what’s happening outside makes you larger than circumstances. You’re able to move through misfortune without it dragging you down, dampening your spirit, or blocking your path. Your calm allows you to...
When people experience delusions or hallucinations there is usually some loss of contact with reality whereby normal processes of thought and perception are disturbed.
In his song “Time Was,” counterculture singer Phil Ochs reminisces about a past “when a man could build a home, have a family of his own.
Most of us have probably seen the video of Uber founder and CEO Travis Kalanick scolding one of his own drivers, cursing and lamenting that “some people don’t like to take responsibility for their own shit.”
The danger with anger is not that we have it, but that we may not choose to release it. We feed anger with our doubts and fears. We create stories about the insult and injury we experienced. The resentment becomes a self-righteous retreat...
I’m in a spiritual blackout right now, and it’s not pretty. Typically, I feel like I have an open line of conversation with spiritual guidance, and then the spiritual blackout comes along. Wham! Someone shuts a trapdoor overhead...
Every parent dreads the day their child asks where babies come from. But perhaps we should be more concerned about how children learn where other things come from.
If you’ve ever suffered from problems with your emotions or behaviour, you might have struggled with disturbed sleep, too. But are emotional or behavioural difficulties always associated with poor sleep?
Whenever Martha had to deal with someone who was getting on her nerves or was seriously upsetting her, she was supposed to think, 'Peace be with you!'
People who find ways to incorporate their gifts into their lives are happier, more satisfied, more confident, more creative, more engaged in their work, and learn faster. Don’t build your life around your weaknesses, hoping that you’ll improve...
Most people are thoroughly hypnotized within the Material Myth, which means they feel separate and different from each other. The Material Myth is governed by the illusion of separation in consciousness (which is what gives rise to the ego in the first place).
The human race is in so much trouble that it needs to colonise another planet within 100 years or face extinction.
Many people have probably heard the term “positive psychology”, but know little about what it means in practice. Positive psychology aims to find ways to make life better for people, and ensure they’re the most mentally healthy person they can be.
Being too self-critical is rampant in our society. We beat ourselves up over real and imagined imperfections. Whenever we criticize ourselves, we compound the issue. We turn one problem into two -- there's the social blunder, a poor financial decision or disapproving glance in the mirror -- and the demeaning self-loathing that follows.
Understanding how the human brain works is one of the most important goals of science. And one of the first steps to uncovering its secrets lies in working out how the brain is actually organized.
We are naturally geared for compassion, to share and bond and ease the pain and stress of others. There is room in business for compassion and you do not need to go to great lengths to begin spotting the opportunities for that type of connection.
North America is in the midst of a drug overdose disaster. In British Columbia, Canada, where nearly 1,000 people died of overdose in 2016, officials have declared a public health emergency.
If you sometimes experience anxiety that gets very intense, you may not be getting the help you deserve because you are ashamed of feeling anxious or having panic attacks. This is unfortunate because understanding what anxiety is and what triggers it can be a great help in demystifying and dealing sanely and appropriately with it.
It is hardly a new observation that political leaders seeking populist appeal will exacerbate popular fears: about immigrants, terrorists and the other.
When leaders abuse their power over others, they end up feeling the negative effects, too, a new study suggests.
Homo sapiens is a very moody species. Even though sadness and bad moods have always been part of the human experience, we now live in an age that ignores or devalues these feelings.
Like a grotesque mask reflected in a pool, narcissism has two faces, neither of them attractive.
Many people have intuited that nature has healing powers, but now researchers are discovering more about how our bodies and minds benefit from our interactions with nature.
You've probably heard about those addiction studies with caged lab rats, in which the rats compulsively press the heroin dispensing lever again and again, even to the point of choosing it over food and starving themselves to death. These studies seemed to imply some pretty disheartening things about human nature.
Memory could be the key to how quickly we get tired of certain experiences, such as listening to music or eating certain foods.
We judge people all the time. Research shows that when we first meet someone, we instantly use features such as their attractiveness and facial expressions to form an opinion about how approachable and trustworthy they are.
People with loosely knit Facebook friend groups—small numbers of friends who don’t know each other well—tend to react more dynamically when excluded in real-world social situations, a new study suggests.
The relationship between mind, brain and body has kept philosophers and scientists busy for centuries. Some of the first interesting – albeit gruesome – experiments on the role of the body in human consciousness considered life after decapitation.
Men who took high doses of testosterone performed worse on a test designed to measure cognitive reflection—the process in which we stop to consider if our gut reactions are right.
When you are suffering in some way, it may seem easier to focus your attention anywhere but on the painful situation at hand. So you distract yourself. Distractions can include focusing on the future, working too hard, compulsively...
Acceptance of your fellow travelers has the power to change the journey for everyone you meet today. Its power isn’t restricted to just the interchange between two individuals. It permeates the encounters both of these individuals have with...
The internet has brought change to almost everything in our lives. In particular, the ways we acquire knowledge have significantly changed, partly due to online knowledge repositories such as Wikipedia.
Most research into teen bullying tends to focus only on the victim. This means we know little about how the bully is affected.
Being grateful seems like something you do for others, but it is a wonderfully selfish act as well. So although saying thanks has positive effects on those who hear it, it turns out that those who are thankful have lots to gain.
Reminders of death make people more likely to support killing animals, regardless of their existing attitudes about animal rights, according to new research.
When you hear someone laugh behind you, you probably picture them on the phone or with a friend – smiling and experiencing a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.
Victor Frankl said, “It’s the last of all human freedoms, the ability to choose.” We can choose to look at whatever we want. So if we choose to hold bad thoughts about someone, simply release them and send love to the people who bother you...
The portrayal of a heartbroken woman devouring a tub of ice cream under a duvet is a well-established television cliché – think Bridget Jones
Imagine picking up the morning newspaper and feeling moral outrage at the latest action taken by the opposing political party
I’ve spent my life hiding my scars. I cope so well that no one, not even my husband knew the extent of what I deal with on a daily basis. Therapy has revealed my deepest hurts, brought them to the surface, and forced me to experience the pain I’ve been hiding so deeply in order to finally release it.
Six decades of research suggest the effect of media violence on aggressive behavior is the same across different cultures.
We can deal with blatant discrimination through legal channels and receive some corrective action, but these kinds of compensation cannot heal hearts. Our goal is deeper healing. We want nothing less than total release from the pain and fear that racist conditioning breeds.
It is so common for self-employed people to have ADHD, the disorder could be renamed “the entrepreneur’s trait.”
In my younger years, I focused on unimportant issues, punctuated by worry and anxiety. My perfectionist attitude and fear of making mistakes forced me to assure everything was in order, often making unimportant events a priority, for I was concerned about how my life looked to others. I am not proud of my focus, but it is the truth.
How much do you trust your memories? Do you consider the events and perspectives you remember as gospel truth, or as more malleable, fickle things that bend and warp with time and shifting context?
Running on a shoestring budget, Future in Our Hands-USA helps people living almost 7,500 miles away in Kisumu, Kenya, get clean water from new wells.
The Republicans’ controversial effort to repeal the perhaps optimistically named Affordable Care Act because of rising premiums may be fatally stalled.
Donald Trump appears to have a straightforward definition of fake news: Stories that are critical of him or his presidency are “fake,” while those that praise him are “real.”
The idea that selfies are somehow damaging our mental health is spreading. There is concern that there may be a link between an apparent recent rise in mental health concerns in millennials and taking, editing and posting selfies online.
When we believe whatever our story-telling brain fabricates, we are pushing our own buttons! As we listen to this sort of mind chatter, our survival alarm quickly escalates to higher levels of activation. Then our upset reactions seem completely justified!
Emotional intelligence can mean the difference between behaving in a socially acceptable way and being considered to be way out of line. While most people will have heard of emotional intelligence, not many people really know how to spot it – in themselves or in others.
Are you suffering from what I call the ‘never good enough’ syndrome? Are you always wanting more than what is? And are you beating yourself up because you don’t have it? Are you convinced that what you have now is not as good as what your neighbors have or what your best friend has.
Our preferences for liberal or conservative political books also attract us to different types of science books, according to a new study.
In order to stop pointing out others' faults, we have to work on our underlying mental habit of judging others. Even if we don't say anything to or about them, as long as we are mentally tearing someone down, it's likely we'll communicate that through...
The Victorian government has announced it plans to teach its Respectful Relationship program to preschoolers as a way to target and prevent sexist behaviour among children aged three and four years old.
I have been asking myself deep questions about the next stages of my work and my life: how do I teach? How do I live? What, now, is my highest calling, my deepest contribution toward creating a peaceful, kind, compassionate, thriving world that supports and respects all life, human and non-human?
Low-income black students who have at least one black teacher in elementary school are significantly more likely to graduate from high school and consider college, research shows.
Since the later part of the 20th century, schools in Australia have opted for strict uniform policies, where students will wear an identical set of clothes. Often that extends to the style of hair that’s allowed; what backpack, shoes, and even, in some instances, what underwear to wear.
Comparison is one of the ways the ego solidifies itself — either by making us feel special or small, which are two sides of the same coin. Thomas Jefferson captured this in one succinct sentence: Remember that no one is better than you, but that you are better than no one.
When we think about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), we most often think of soldiers traumatised by their experiences of war. But the statistics tell another story.
Psychologists have developed new tests and mathematical models to help capture and quantify the snap moral and empathetic judgments we make all the time, such as when seeing footage from a war-ravaged country.
All schools in south-east Queensland, and many in northern New South Wales, have been closed following tropical cyclone Debbie, which hit the area this week causing large-scale destruction.
We move through our daily activities in terms of our past experiences, which are the building blocks of our personal belief systems. Our belief systems are the glasses through which we each view the world and anticipate what is likely to unfold. Our behavior is always loyal with our beliefs...
Homo sapiens is probably an intrinsically gullible species.