The conviction of radical Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary for swearing allegiance to Islamic State shows that those breaking the law by inviting support for a terrorist organisation can and will be prosecuted.
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.'
We are currently living in what I call the Never Enough Story, a cultural myth characterized by ideas of separation, unworthiness, and scarcity. It is a culture that indoctrinates each and every one of us to the idea that we are separate, on our own, and there is never enough to go around.
Personal problems are only as big and as real as we make them. In fact, they only exist if we allow our egos to create them and then we feed them through our incessant attention. Take a look at the following suggestions for changing how you look at the “imagined problems” in your life.
Guilt is a difficult burden to carry around with you. And guilt perpetuates what you are guilty about; how does it do that? Guilt is a very negative, destructive energy. It is different from remorse, the feeling we get when we know we have done something wrong and we’re dreadfully sorry. In the case of remorse...
It is 25 years since cricket commentators Brian Johnston and Jonathan Agnew famously got the uncontrollable giggles on live radio, while reporting on that day’s Test Match between England and the West Indies.
We may expect great transformations throughout human culture, as mankind becomes more responsible for its knowledge, and thus its deeds.
Crisis hotlines have been around for years, but until recently there’s been very little data on which counseling strategies seemed most effective at helping people cope. The recent emergence of text-based crisis help lines is changing that.
Humans have evolved a disproportionately large brain as a result of sizing each other up in large cooperative social groups, propose researchers.
We all experience the ups and downs of life sometimes. We might be treated badly by others or miss out on something we think we deserve, like a promotion at work.
All we can ever hope to do, Sigmund Freud once wrote, is “to change neurotic misery into common unhappiness”. This pessimistic statement from arguably the most influential psychological theorist of modern times captured the mood that prevailed in psychology through most of the 20th century.
According to new data, supporters of Donald Trump prefer to get their news from television and enjoy watching crime dramas.
Older African Americans and Latinos have an edge over whites when it comes to being able to quit smoking, according to a study of nearly 3,000 smokers.
It’s time for humanity to write new parables. New voices. A new language. It’s time for new books. New songs. New pictures. Tradition and nostalgia served their place to bond us and then, to separate us. Fear kept us from grace. It kept us from one another. It kept us from the divine. It kept us lonely and isolated and frightened. Always frightened.
Individual tendencies toward physical aggression may lead someone to support aggressive foreign policy interventions, new research suggests.
How many times a day do you check your smartphone? According to a recent survey, the typical American checks once every six-and-a-half minute.
Have you ever looked at yourself in a full-length mirror and wished you looked more like the beautiful people who grace the covers of glossy magazines? If so, you are by no means alone.
I clearly remember learning to walk. I remember falling and the frustration of trying to stand on my feet unsupported, without the help of parents
Reading this will help you to identify the two voices that make you human: your ego with its chatty, self-serving endless quirkiness, and what I’m calling the wise Observer that is patient, non-judgmental and loving. While they appear to be completely different...
In a recent study, people with the highest levels of financial stress looked like they had aged more over a decade than people with lower levels of money woes.
Nature is good for us – surely nobody has missed that fact. These days, both scientists and policymakers agree about the importance of offering everyone access to green spaces, regardless of social background.
During the summer school holidays, the social rhythm of life can become as crazed as a Keith Moon drum solo. So it’s important to remember to switch off from time to time.
When parents observe shyness in their child, they may wonder if it is normal or cause for concern. For instance, in social situations, the child may cling to their parent, be hesitant to speak, reluctant to interact with others, and play alone when in groups more often than other children their age.
There are some striking similarities between cults and terror groups. An all-encompassing ideology can, when exhibited by a group or individual, have destructive effects on society.
I saw a documentary that introduced Jawara women who wear the bones of their dead husbands around their necks. In some cases, the widow totes the man’s skull. In our culture many of us also wear the skulls, bones, or remnants of dead husbands, lovers, family members, business partners, or friends around our necks—not physically, but energetically. We hang past memories, resentments, and upsets...
Public debate on the effects of violent video games can become especially contentious in the wake of a rampage shooting, such as the recent killing of nine people in Munich.
Children are not as adept as adults at understanding complex emotions like stress, and aren’t likely to be able to tell you when they have too much on their plate. A child who is stressed out isn’t likely to appear so. Rather, their anxiety is often portrayed through a series of signs, which can be physical, emotional, or behavioral.
How does the architecture of our brain and neurons allow each of us to make individual behavioral choices? Scientists have long used the metaphor of government to explain how they think nervous systems are organized for decision-making.
Ella Fitzgerald sang that “into each life some rain must fall,” but it has felt like torrents of grief have fallen upon us in recent months.
A friend told of a family situation that you may relate to. For many years, she’d been estranged from her sister, who now lived across the country. Growing up, they’d been very close, and my friend could hardly recall why they’d stopped talking. Year followed year, and my friend could never bring herself to call.
If you're waiting for a change and frustrated it's not happening, maybe it would be beneficial to give up all hope! Sounds strange? "Hope" is a double-edged word. Hope in its best sense is something that keeps you going in difficult times. But "hope" can also be...
I doubt I shall ever see blue in the same way again, since blue paint on my skin was the only thing covering my nakedness. I was among the 3,200 people – strangers to one another when it all began
We all want to be loved. But if we've experienced a love loss in the past, it can be hard to get over that fear. You can spend your whole life trying to avoid being in a similar situation, so you don't have to feel vulnerable that way again. Or, you can...
Scientists have for the first time watched the human brain making a purely voluntary decision to act. Unlike in brain imaging studies where researchers watch as people respond to cues or commands, Johns Hopkins researchers found a way to observe people’s brain activity as they made choices entirely on their own.
It is generally thought that science helps good ideas triumph over bad. The weight of evidence eventually pushes false claims aside.
People are notoriously overconfident. Regardless of the context - sports, finance, politics - people believe that their judgements and decisions are better than they really are.
Thousands of case studies proved beyond any reasonable doubt that cancer can be cured by a change in one’s thinking! In the patients who were able to resolve the conflict through recognizing their innocence and mistaken self-blame and guilt, not only did the pattern in the scan resolve itself (disappear), but so did the cancer.
The notion that our minds produce thoughts automatically was a breakthrough insight for me. For years, I battled to still my mind, to stop thinking. Once I embraced the perspective that my thoughts are another sense, my relationship with thinking changed.
What is the cutest thing you have ever seen? Chances are it involves a baby, a puppy or another adorable animal. And chances are it is forever imprinted on your mind. But what exactly is this powerful attractive force and how is it expressed in the brain?
As social species, the social networks of lizards, hyenas, and dolphins influence every pivotal aspect of their lives: finding a mate, reproducing, getting sick, or surviving.
When rats are given an anti-anxiety medication they become less empathetic and are less likely to help free companions that are trapped.
The tragic mass shooting at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando has sparked renewed interest in the causes of homophobia.
It’s necessary to be conscious of the way we store events in the body and how they create layers of similar emotions—grief with grief, joy with joy, anger with anger, and love with love. These layers are like the strata in rocks, building great cliffs of emotions that are touched each time another similar emotion is experienced.
Back in the old days, plain old products became “brands” when shoppers trusted them to deliver superior performance. Along the way brand advertising arose as a way of boosting consumption and building trust.
Anxiety disorders – defined by excessive fear, restlessness, and muscle tension – are debilitating, disabling, and can increase the risk for depression and suicide.
Funky moods obscure our experience for hours, days, weeks, or even longer. Left unattended, they shape our personalities and determine the quality of our lives. We think that we have no control over our moods but the truth is quite the contrary.
In a 1997 U.S. News and World Report survey, 1,000 Americans were asked the following question: “Who do you think is most likely to get into heaven?” According to respondents, then-president Bill Clinton had a 52 percent chance; basketball star Michael Jordan had a 65 percent chance; and Mother Teresa had a 79 percent chance.
In early May, with Donald Trump on the verge of solidifying the Republican nomination, his opponent Ted Cruz ranted to the press
No matter what your field, or how much you love your job, you’re always going to have days that drain you. Days where you feel exhausted and stressed, days that you are happy to see come to an end. When you are finally done with work and you get home to unwind, there are some healthy ways to go about it.
Life is intelligent, and it’s powerful, too. Yet, we rarely consider it as anything other than unpredictable and unknowable. What an amazing journey we’d have if we trusted life. Instead, in our fear of the unknown, we have turned life into a series of attempts to make the future as predictable as possible.
How come some people love wild roller coaster rides, while others are scared of them? It all starts with your thoughts! It really is up to you in the end. If you have the mechanism to be afraid, you also have the mechanism to enjoy life and move through anxiety!
If we only knew how many times we are rescued by divine intervention, we would completely trust this higher power. There would then be nothing to worry about – ever! Joyce and I had yet another powerful reminder of this truth – and divine miracle – last week.
Sometimes in life we come to a point where we want to leave everything behind and run away from society. It feels as though we cannot take one more abusive comment from our boss, another long drive in traffic or another broken night of sleep. We feel as though our cup is so full that the next time...
It’s as easy as riding a bike … or so the saying goes. But how do we manage to stay upright on a bicycle? If anyone ventures an answer they most often say that it’s because of the “gyroscopic effect” – but this can’t be true.
We feel good when we do a good deed, so there must be a psychological benefit to helping others? But how can we know for sure? The best way to study the health benefits of kind deeds is to look at studies of volunteering.
Are you imagining music in your head? If so, it’s probably a certain Kylie Minogue hit. Sorry. But hopefully, once you’ve read this, you’ll be in a better position than you were before to get rid of it, or any other imaginary music playing on repeat in your mind’s ear.
Just as I was putting pen to paper for this piece I was amused to receive an invitation from a wonderful organization called “Julie’s Bicycle” to an event with the compelling title: “How to be a COPtimist: Culture, Creativity and COP21.”
Ah, yes! Gratitude is magical. Once you get into the groove of it, you will know why. There is nothing so freeing and so exhilarating as pouring out gratitude, not just for what we can easily see as benefits, or enjoyable things and situations, but for every moment of existence and for whatever happens.
God knows that we are artists of life. One day He gives us a chisel, another we may receive brushes and a canvas, and still another day He gives us a pen to write. But we will never use a chisel on canvas, or pens on sculptures. Each day has its own miracle.
When we talk face-to-face, we exchange many more signals than just words. We communicate using our body posture, facial expressions and head and eye movements; but also through the rhythms that are produced when someone is speaking.
When was the last time you opened your laptop midconversation or brought your desktop computer to the dinner table? Ridiculous, right? But if you are like a large number of Americans, you have done both with your smartphone.
"When emotionally aroused, either excited or frustrated, older adults may be more susceptible to being victimized by scammers than are younger individuals," says Ian H. Gotlib. "In the present study, they were more likely to want to pay for an item advertised misleadingly, regardless of how credible they believed the advertisement was."
In addition to mixing up sibling for sibling and daughter for son, study participants frequently called other family members by the name of the family pet—but only when the pet was a dog.
"If stereotypes we have learned can change how we visually process another person, this kind of visual stereotyping may only serve to reinforce and possibly exacerbate the biases that exist in the first place," says Jonathan Freeman.
“Is it possible I could have steeled my purse against him?” the Romantic essayist Charles Lamb asked in 1822, writing about a man who sat each day by the road begging alms. “Give, and ask no questions.” Today, charities must answer plenty of questions before they can persuade an often wary public to untie their purse strings.
"It's very surprising and disappointing to find such low rates of people helping each other and that African-American patients and those in poorer counties are left to wait longer for help," says Erin York Cornwell.
This week the world saw – via that new, visual means of wildfire gossip-mongering known as “trending on social media” – Lil’ Kim’s new face and hair. For anyone who doesn’t know Lil Kim, she isn’t a teenage Instagram model – born Kimberley Jones in 1974, she’s one of the most successful female rappers the world has ever seen.
What’s the downside to not apologizing? Little by little, not fixing our wrongs becomes a pattern. In our relationships it destroys trust, openness, and true closeness. We carry this secret burden and it nags at us.
"Effective action, including technology research, could pay huge dividends in terms of new, environmentally friendly industries and jobs that serve our national interests and the well-being of our citizens," says Lee Ross.
Retirement may not automatically lead to better health but it presents an opportunity to engineer a healthier lifestyle.A few years ago, my mother had a bit of a crisis in the lead-up to her retirement. She struggled with her self-worth, perceived value to society and fears of boredom.
All of the work that my colleagues and I have been doing leads inevitably to this central conclusion. Well-being is fundamentally no different than learning to play the cello. If one practices the skills of well-being, one will get better at it.
“Claustrophobia” is generally described as an irrational fear of confined spaces, and it has been estimated to affect some 5-7% of the world population. Clearly, some people are more distressed than others when they are in confined spaces, but a fear of physical restraint is so normal that it seems illogical not to
The dumb female blonde is a staple of Hollywood movies, such as Reese Witherspoon in “Legally Blonde.” Amazon currently sells many joke books that poke fun at blondes’ perceived lack of intelligence.
People are often forgiven for actions that they would never get permission for in the first place – a phenomenon described as “Stuart’s Law of Retroaction”. Children who watch TV for longer than they are allowed to, teenagers who elope without telling their parents and adults who empty joint
“Life is a series of addictions and without them we die”. This is my favourite quote in academic addiction literature and was made back in 1990 in the British Journal of Addiction by Isaac Marks. This deliberately provocative and controversial statement was made to stimulate debate about whether excessive and potentially problematic activities such as gambling, sex and work really can
So many women are still afraid of being called angry, still afraid of owning their own power, still of afraid of being called a “bitch” or not being feminine or not being spiritual. Which in reality translates into being afraid to say no to the people around them who are actually stepping on their toes!
The subject of narcissism has intrigued people for centuries, but social scientists now claim that it has become a modern “epidemic”. So what is it, what has led to its increase, and is there anything we can do about it?
I’ve been an avid hiker my whole life. From the time I first strapped on a backpack and headed into the Sierra Nevada Mountains, I was hooked on the experience, loving the way being in nature cleared my mind and helped me to feel more grounded and peaceful.
Generally, people consider life to be a natural phenomenon in which one profits without giving anything in exchange. But the miracle requires an exchange: what we were given, we must share with others. If we are not united, we cannot grasp the miracle.
This modern world has a general approach to anxiety and fear: ignore it, avoid it, or take a drug to not feel it. These methods actually keep fear, anxiety, and panic going. These methods send ourselves the message that the fear is too great to handle, and avoidance is...
Do you have a daily showdown with your personal cookie monster? Or does your food demon prefer the crunch of potato chips or pretzels? If you're like most people, you've become the underdog in this internal war.
Nearly every religion, family, and belief system plays on guilt to keep its adherents in line. Yet there are ways to escape from the prison of guilt. Here are the top seven, along with practical applications to become free.
When I was growing up, I was basically allowed to express one feeling, and I had to go to my room to do it. When I came out of my room, I was expected to feel “better,” even if I didn’t. The basic message was that feelings were to be barely tolerated and best kept hidden.
What makes human morality unique? One important answer is that we care when other people are harmed. While many animals retaliate when directly mistreated, humans also get outraged at transgressions against others. And this outrage drives us to protest injustice, boycott companies, blow whistles...
We’ve all experienced those moments when we’ve been working really hard on a task, finally finish and feel like a well-deserved break so we grab a coffee and relax for a few moments. What goes through your mind next?
Many times, after hearing a client’s predicament, I ask them, “What’s really true for you about this?” or “What do you know when you’re feeling good?” Most of the time, an answer comes tumbling out of their mouths before doubts and “shoulds” take over.
Our brains are wired to pay more attention to things that have previously brought us pleasure—a bias that may explain why it’s so hard to break bad habits or stick to New Year’s resolutions.
Problematic Internet Use is now considered to be a behavioral addiction with characteristics that are similar to substance use disorders. Individuals with PIU may have difficulty reducing their Internet use, may be preoccupied with the Internet
Why do you need forgiveness to reach your Dream? When you’re not forgiving, you’re angry and tight. You’re holding onto old hurts and hugging your rightness around you like a parka against the stinging winds of change. Your arms are crossed and your mind is crossing out possibilities. If you think about it...
Along with just about every other aspect of real or imagined differences between the sexes, the idea that your biological sex will determine the sex of your brain – and so your behaviour, aptitudes and personality – has a long and ...
Sweet Sara. That’s what people always used to call me. It didn’t matter where I went in the world — whether it was to visit a cousin in the Midwest, have tea with a girlfriend in Bangkok, or read a piece of fan mail from someone I’d never met before. Everyone I knew at some point arrived at “Sweet Sara” as my nickname.
Whether you're endlessly agonizing over an issue, it's a tough place to hang out. Maybe this, maybe that. You drive yourself nuts, occupying yourself with your dilemma. You feel incapable of making up your mind and feel confused, stuck, indecisive, or ambivalent.
Why do we drink alcohol? And what would make us do less of it? The government has its own answers – on January 8, the chief medical officer for England, Dame Sally Davies, announced the new government alcohol guidelines. There is now no “safe” drinking level, and the recommended lower-risk maximum per week has been reduced to 14 units, for both men and women.
It’s no secret that people slow down mentally after making a mistake. Monkeys do, too. Neuroscientists call it post-error slowing or PES.
Smugly looking down from a moral high ground – and secure in the knowledge that we don’t share their character flaw – we often dismiss those who are obsessed with the doings of others as shallow.
Ending guilt asks only that you accept what is right now, and stop forcing your mind to dredge up and continually relive old wounds, pains, and regrets. Forget the past; it is gone and is therefore unreal. Healing can only occur by aligning with Reality, which is located in the present.
You’re at the park with the kids. Everyone’s having fun, and then a strange dog appears. There’s no owner around. It’s eyeballing the kids. Immediately your threat system becomes activated.
Research has shown that about half of all adults make New Year’s resolutions. However, fewer than 10% manage to keep them for more than a few months.
New Year’s resolutions are set with the best of intentions. But they notoriously fail to translate into lasting behavioural changes.
Humankind is fit only to be exterminated – that might sometimes seem like the only answer to our ever-growing population, environmental degradation and the human threat to biodiversity. But if you accept it’s impossible to reconcile this with any meaningful morality, we need a new approach to how we conduct ourselves.