To call gambling a “game of chance” evokes fun, random luck and a sense of collective engagement. These playful connotations may be part of why almost 80 percent of American adults gamble at some point in their lifetime. When I ask my psychology students why they think people gamble, the most frequent suggestions are for pleasure, money or the thrill.
When outcry against offensive behavior on social media goes viral, people may see those challenging the behavior less as noble heroes doing the right thing and more as bullies doling out excessive punishment, according to a new study.
We live in an age of rude politicians. In the US, Donald Trump has periodically monopolised the headlines since 2015 with his rude and obnoxious behaviour, often showcased via Twitter or at international summits, where he has pushed presidents out of his way and left his counterparts visibly exasperated.
There are physical, emotional, mental and even business benefits to being virtuous, kind and acting with integrity.
Has this ever happened to you? Somebody says something to you that immediately triggers negativity within you. You don't have a clue why you are so upset and you wonder just where that feeling came from.
While many factors are at play, we can blame our brains—at least to some degree—for our poor saving habits, according to a new study.
Calling someone manipulative is a criticism of that person’s character. Saying that you have been manipulated is a complaint about having been treated badly.
What is anger? It's only a game. Something has come along and contradicted your ego -- that's all that has happened.
A new study suggests that two sets of dynamics initiate and perpetuate the kinds of leaps of faith firefighters and others in high-risk occupations routinely take: supporting and sustaining. The findings convey what goes into a person’s ability to make critical trust-related judgments.
Some of us handle stress better than others. Our ability to handle stress without turning to substances is determined not only by our innate constitution but also by the social support we experience early in life.
I have been impressed by ordinary people who don't talk much about spiritual matters; they just live it. After hearing and talking about unconditional love for many years, I find it quite refreshing to see it in action with no hype or flourishes. These hidden gurus masquerade as hotel cleaning ladies, shoe shiners, or rental car shuttle bus drivers.
Gratitude may be more beneficial than we commonly suppose. One recent study asked subjects to write a note of thanks to someone and then estimate how surprised and happy the recipient would feel – an impact that they consistently underestimated.
The Russian attacks on the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the country’s continuing election-related hacking have happened across all three dimensions of cyberspace – physical, informational and cognitive.
Our habits of thinking and speaking are so deeply ingrained that often we are not truly aware of the words we use or of what they actually mean. You might begin by deleting from your conversation all the popular...
How we perceive the emotion on someone else’s face depends on how we understand these emotions, research finds.
Women who respond positively to benevolent sexism aren’t unaware of its links to sexism, new research suggests.
When we do not allow ourselves to experience emotions and suppress them instead, our souls create situations in which we are forced to feel them. That being the case, simply allowing ourselves to have the feeling might allow the energy to move through us and the so-called problem to...
Who is the most generous person in the world today? Ask folks in the West, and the most popular answer would probably be Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft.
I wanted to find a place for myself to cast myself in a book and me starring on paper and play with the persona of the movie star, which I think people are interested in and find entertaining. I always did.
We've become so focused on how we'll maneuver to fit it all in that we no longer stop to smell the roses or breathe in the fresh air. Desperately we strive to gain control over the unknown. And we are hard on ourselves when we don't measure up to some internalized standard. Summed up, we're "stressed" out. Does this apply to you or someone you know?
Americans have been barraged by a series of major news events – some of them unsettling. Many have been left unsettled OR anxious OR jittery about the future of the decades-old U.S. relations with Europe
Difficult experiences cause us to reflect about what is happening and no doubt lead to us making the changes necessary to help us grow—provided we are ready to listen to the underlying message. Otherwise we keep repeating the same old patterns until we finally understand what our experiences are trying to tell us and change our behavior.
Some of the most important decisions you will make in your lifetime will occur while you feel stressed and anxious. From medical decisions to financial and professional ones, we are often required to weigh up information under stressful conditions.
Starting your morning by focusing on the stress to come may harm your mindset throughout the day, according to a new study.
Okay. You’ve got some kind of symptom. Whether you consider it to be the result of an accident, some organism, or just bad luck, you’ve got something to deal with, something to understand, some action to take.
Anger is more often than not a symptom of profound disappointment. In many cases, it can also represent a feeling of inferiority or an inability to express frustration in an educated or controlled way. Sometimes it’s just an instance of someone being emotionally...
Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, proposed that there were four distinct personality types. His theory was that a person's personality type determines their vulnerability to mental dysfunction and their susceptibility to illness.
If you'll pardon the levity, most of us are afraid of fear. We think it's a bad thing. Because so many of our experiences with fear have been negative, we fail to see fear as positive or useful. It is both. Let me repeat: Fear is positive and useful.
Trusting love is a radical severance from one’s preferences, addictions, and obsessions. It is a persevering willingness to enter and re-enter the unknown. It is a commitment to listening to the voice of one’s Soul anew each day.
Today, there is a crisis of trust in science. Many people – including politicians and, yes, even presidents – publicly express doubts about the validity of scientific findings.
Oppositional defiant disorder is a pattern of disobedient, hostile, and defiant behaviour directed towards authority figures.
For a long time, I hated being human. I used to hate being stereotyped into any category, even being human, because humanity has done so many bad things since it moved out of 'the gardens.'
Children as young as 5 have a nuanced understanding of fairness, according to a new study.
When you’re experiencing recurring unpleasant feelings or familiar unmet needs and self-defeating thoughts, are you generally kind and gentle with yourself? Do you unconditionally accept all of your emotions, sensations, needs, and thoughts? Do you give yourself the empathy, compassion, warmth, and understanding you’d offer a close friend or family member?
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
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.
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.
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.
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...
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 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.
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...
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...
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.
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.
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...
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.
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...
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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...
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...