How many times have you had a good idea only to keep it to yourself for fear of looking like a crackpot? Well, this fear of appealing foolish is crippling. Worrying what other people think squelches our joy, our fun, and all those good ideas our planet needs.
Drinking to forget may make the fearful memories associated with post-traumatic stress disorder worse, not better, experiments with mice suggest.
“I just get so angry when he says he will call and then doesn’t,” says Ellen about her boyfriend.
How can we learn the important lessons without having to go through an ordeal? We don’t have to take ourselves to the edge of death, because if we listen to what’s happening and act on it, then we can learn the lesson just as well. After all, there are several ways to learn...
A study that investigated how messages containing different emotions spread across social networks found that “anger is more influential than other emotions like joy, which indicates that angry tweets can spread quickly and broadly in the network”.
Empathy is the ability to share and understand the emotions of others. It is a construct of multiple components, each of which is associated with its own brain network.
Finally a new year is here after the most politically divisive 12 months in a very long time. In the UK, Brexit shattered dreams and friendships. In the US, the polarisation was already huge, but a bitter election campaign made the divisions even deeper.
Many public conversations we have about science-related issues involve communicating risks: describing them, comparing them and trying to inspire action to avoid or mitigate them.
Everyone has experienced guilt at one time or another. In fact, millions of people are burdened by feelings of guilt of all sorts.
Why is it so hard to stick to resolutions that require us to make effective or lasting changes? I would argue the problem isn’t that we try and we fail –– the problem is how we treat ourselves when we fail.
The election divided the year into “before” and “after.” But there remain signs of hope for 2017.
The battle against wrinkles has lasted for centuries. Long before surgical facelifts, people ingested powders and potions, stretched their faces using thread and tape, and rubbed their skin with Crisco, acid and animal blood to fight the signs of aging.
As early as January, when David Bowie departed the scene, some were already looking dubiously at 2016. It began to feel like the end of an era. And when Brexit came in the summer, it was clear that in some ways it was.
Anyone who has ever tried to give up drinking, or goes somewhere and says they’re not drinking, knows people encourage us to drink and are unhappy when we don’t.
A quick thought experiment: imagine if you’d been told on January 1 of everything that lay ahead in 2016. Would you have believed that...
Most people who play lotto have at least some kind of intuitive understanding they are probably not going to hit the jackpot.
A very common example of the ubiquitous nature of the critic is the phenomenon of “imposter syndrome” — the feeling that you don’t deserve to be where you are in life. It’s estimated that 70 percent of people have imposter syndrome.
Most of us have something we say we’re afraid of, whether it be spiders, needles, or something more unusual like zombies.
Each year, the average American family donates approximately 3.4 percent of its discretionary income to charity. So what inspires individuals to donate to charity?
It’s often said that a person’s tolerance rises with their education level. So on this basis, the higher a person’s educational attainment is, the more likely they are to accept racial or ethnic minorities.
While feelings are a central component to caring, caring is not an entirely emotional experience. There’s also an intellectual component to caring, a mental stance that one must maintain to create lasting closeness. This stance is that your partner is fully human.
Who gets to walk on the red carpet? What makes red-letter days so special? Where is the red line that must not be crossed?
If you’ve only ever seen yourself as unsure and perhaps your self-esteem is not strong, you may be more vulnerable to becoming overwhelmed by fear—stressed by the worry that your pain might devolve into a worst case scenario of unknown proportions.
In recent years, we’ve started to see cases of promising sharing and collaborative practices falling into the traps of neoliberal ways of thinking and doing
There are many benefits to knowing more than one language. For example, it has been shown that aging adults who speak more than one language have less likelihood of developing dementia.
On average, Americans spend 50 minutes a day on Facebook. That’s a lot of online socializing. It’s also about the same amount of time workers take for their lunch break.
Worldwide, it has been a rough year for democracy. Citizens in the UK, the United States and Colombia made critical decisions about their nations’ future, and – at least from the perspective of liberal values and social justice – they decided poorly.
Overconfident CEOs tend to lead to less corporate social responsibility in a company, our research shows. The more confident the CEO, the less their firm invests in activity that has a positive impact on society.
Christmas is traditionally a time for giving. And for most of us, giving means buying – the perfect excuse for major retailers to conduct an advertising assault that pulls on our heart strings and empties our pockets.
There’s no denying it anymore: Hatred is erupting all over the United States, after having long simmered beneath the social surface. In the face of such upheaval, how can you prepare to protect those who are being threatened—to stand up for the worth and dignity of every person, even when it’s uncomfortable or scary?
Today many fears seem woven into the very fabric of our society, such as fear of terrorism, fear of epidemics, fear of a bad economy, fear of commitment, and fear of losing a job, as well as fear of being separated from people we love, fear of loved ones dying, and the all-encompassing fear of the future...
You have a constant stream of thoughts running through your mind, and we use the term “inner critics” to describe the thoughts that criticize you or tell you that you should be ashamed or feel guilty if you do what you want to do.
In a newly published study, we found that employees who “cut corners” tend to be morally compromised, low in conscientiousness, self-focused and impulsive. This in addition to the potential for corner-cutting to increase risks.
Donald Trump’s astonishing rise to the presidency has put racism at the heart of American politics. But it’s important not to overstate America’s progress during the Obama years, nor to ignore the ways in which racism extends far beyond...
Of the approximately sixty to seventy thousand thoughts we have each day, most of them are exactly the same as the thoughts we had yesterday. Not incidentally, most of these thoughts seem to be negative or critical, which is why...
In 1960, I was fourteen years old and my mother was the first civil rights activist that I knew. She did not march the streets. She lived her beliefs. She had Blacks, Muslims, Gays and other minorities over to our house for dinner almost every Sunday.
It was a few days after Halloween, and the Butterfingers had already disappeared. A bowl of Tootsie Rolls and lollipops sat on a shelf in the meeting room, resigned in their plain, wrinkled wrappers, and waiting for a desperate staffer.
Kids ages 7 to 12 rate gender as more important to their social identities than race, say researchers. The research also suggests children of color think about race differently than their white peers do.
He cautioned against leaders who capitalize on difficult situations to have us believe that our destiny and salvation lies in their hands.
The shopping frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the starting gun for many to the annual ritual of excessive spending over the Christmas period. The average Black Friday consumer is expected to spend £203 ($252 US) on the day this year, double last year’s figure.
Unpleasant things happen in life. They happen to everyone. The only difference between a happy person and one who gets depressed is how they respond to disasters. Imagine you have just had a wonderful afternoon and when you return home, you find a huge truckload of dung has been dumped right in front of your door...
Customers who are fearful are more likely to be ethical in a tricky situation as the stakes increase, while angry customers will behave unethically no matter what the stakes, our research shows.
When we allow our fears to drive our choices, the actions we do not take and the opportunities we allow to pass us by are symbolic of us rejecting the life we genuinely desire. Conversely, when we find the courage to face our fears directly...
For most of us, the fear of punishment or social rejection keeps us from behaviour deemed unacceptable and prevents us from committing crimes. But how many would transgress if they knew they could get away with it?
As I reflect on the tradition of Thanksgiving, I am reminded that Thanksgiving needs to take place every day, and every single moment of the day. Maybe that's what mindful meditation is all about... remembering to be grateful and appreciative...
Like strangers, and every person in our path, we encounter acquaintances and friends for a reason. More accurately, we attract them. Sometimes the reasons appear obvious, and at other times the reasons are not obvious at all and may take months or years to dawn.
As post mortems of the 2016 presidential election began to roll in, fingers started pointing to what psychologists call the confirmation bias as one reason many of the polls and pundits were wrong in their predictions of which candidate would end up victorious.
Learning healthy ways—a collection of skills that researchers call resilience—to move through adversity can help us cope better and recover more quickly, or at least start heading in that direction.
Scientists have studied twins for many years to understand how genes and environments influence differences among individuals, spanning conditions such as cancer and mental health to characteristics such as intelligence and political beliefs.
We want to wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving. This year, with all that is happening in our country, it seems more important than ever to take a break from the news and focus on gratitude and loving.
My heart aches for the division and anguish revealed in our November election. The fabric of our society is indeed torn and I wonder, can we find a way back together?
We are a divided nation; that is an understatement. What’s more, we increasingly hear we are living in our own “bubble” or echo chamber that differing views cannot penetrate.
For years I understood the concepts of loving more and unconditional acceptance. I knew the woman I wanted to be: more loving, more accepting, more compassionate. But in day-to-day living I struggled with keeping my heart open, especially when I felt afraid...
On the night of the US election, Manhattan’s magisterial, glass-encased Javits Centre stood with its ceiling intact and its guest-of-honour in defeated absence.
Throughout primary school, I became accustomed to being in the crossfire of two opposing camps. When a French friend would insult my English friend, I would raise my hand, step forward, and launch into my own variation of Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream” speech...
Would you be more grateful for a trendy new sofa or for a relaxing family vacation?
The thoughts that have accompanied me throughout these recent weeks regarding the US presidential elections are both ‘God Bless America’, in the literal sense, and “God Help America” (and the World). Viewing events consciously through half closed eyes...
For many women, people of color, LGBTQ people, Muslims and immigrants, the victory of Donald Trump seems to have endorsed discrimination against them.
How do we become aware of our own thoughts and feelings? And what enables us to know when we’ve made a good or bad decision? Every day we are confronted with ambiguous situations.
What do you look for in a partner? Surely that depends on what the partner is for – you’d probably want a business partner to be innovative, a choir buddy to be musical and a romantic partner to be attractive and funny.
Mahatma Gandhi once instructed his devotees to “be the change you wish to see in the world.” His point was: don’t identify the problems of the world and kvetch over the shortcomings of humanity. He advocated instead actively embodying the higher qualities of being...
Privacy campaigners this week applauded Facebook’s decision to block big UK insurance firm Admiral from using young people’s social media data to help set their car insurance premiums.
The vitriolic presidential campaign left many of us feeling anger, and the election of Donald J. Trump as President hasn’t erased it. Hearing about or seeing vicious personal attacks, criticism of parents who have lost a child to war, accusations of fraud and talk of sexual assault have affected our psyches, souls and bodies.
Whether you support Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, fear might be the biggest factor driving you to the polls.
What we’re being called to do as a species before we either destroy ourselves or most of life on our planet is to meet ourselves fully. We must have the courage to meet our own prejudices and encounter every single place within us that would rather resort to blame than to face the collective human pain body.
That famous phrase, “an man’s home is his castle”, neatly captures longstanding ideas about what the private home really is: a place which we can control and defend, a private territory where we decide who enters and who doesn’t.
The desire to create a more humane business often coincides with the desire to be a force for good in the world. This reflects the higher purpose we feel emerging inside us as a result of greater self-awareness. Such increased self-awareness eventually expands to include the surrounding community and the world as a whole...
The recent finding that telling lies induces changes in the brain has stimulated a number of misrepresentations that may wreak more harm on our understanding than the lies on which they report.
Fear continues to saturate our lives: fear of nuclear destruction, fear of climate change, fear of the subversive, and fear of foreigners.
Do you feel like your mind freezes during exams? Do you find yourself thinking “I really can’t do this”? Does your heart race fast or do you find it hard to breathe during exams?
This Halloween may be the scariest in a long time. Facing the usual huge crowds of zombies, witches and vampires, deep down, many of us most fear running into one of the “killer clowns” that have been spotted in creepy places across the world over the past few months.
There is a story that has kept popping up in my work over the years. It is one of the tales of Nasruddin, a Sufi amalgam of wise man and fool. He has the peculiar gift of both acting out our basic confusion and at the same time opening us up to our deeper wisdom.
No matter what challenges or difficulties you are facing, it can be a big help to remember that if you can only do one minute at a time, there's nothing to worry about. One minute at a time. That’s all you have to do.
A research team of psychologists has found that teaching Jewish-Israeli and Palestinian-Israeli teenagers that groups are generally capable of change—without ever mentioning a specific adversary—can significantly improve their ability to cooperate.
In 1959, Peter Tripp, a popular New York DJ, pledged to stay awake for 200 hours for charity while continuing to host his radio show.
Halloween is a chance to seek out the spooky, as well as the gross and horrifying. We enjoy the emotional rush—free of any actual danger—from both, says Daniel Kelly.
Even after mounting evidence of Donald Trump’s exploitative and demeaning treatment of women, his standing in the polls still hovers above 40%. On the face of it that’s more than a little shocking – but less surprising is the gender split among his supporters.
A new study shows low socioeconomic status and fear of abandonment early in life can lead to poor health in adulthood—regardless of adult socioeconomic status.
How often in your life have you avoided doing something because of the terrifying story you concocted in your head? Maybe you avoid ﬂying or swimming in the ocean (amazing how the ﬁlm Jaws forced many of us back on to the beach). We’ve learned to tell ourselves the story of fear so well...
I've been holding back. I've been biting my tongue until I can process the current events and search inside myself for my personal truth before I add to the noise. I've been wanting to transform this whole thing into something positive and I wasn't having much luck...
As Hurricane Matthew approached the Atlantic coast earlier this month, more than 2.5 million people were told to evacuate in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.
What drives professional sportspeople to break the rules of the game? And what makes them believe, or hope, that they won’t get caught? Or think that their actions will bring glory to them and their team?
Sleep is critical for physical and mental health, and our quality of life. While 3% of the population are genetically programmed to function with less than six hours sleep regularly, the rest of us need around 7.5 hours a night. But what determines whether we like to go to bed early or late?
From the moment they are born, babies are exposed to information that can teach them about who they are. By touching their own face and body, or by kicking and grabbing things, they start to enjoy the influence of their actions on the world.
Decisions are based on the way choices are framed. This is because people use emotion when making decisions, leading to some options feeling more desirable than others.
The best way to move into authenticity with ease is to roll up your sleeves and get comfortable in your own skin. No one even has to be around for this to start, it’s just about you being comfortable with yourself.
A few years ago, I discovered that a friend was cheating on their partner. This immediately blackened my perception of my friend. Then I remembered that I had done something quite similar some years earlier.
Anger fuels our dark side. We give into the impulse to strike out justifying our mean words and destructive actions by unspoken thoughts such "You hurt me and so I'm going to hurt you back." We escalate, tell ourselves "they deserve it" and erroneously think...
Without knowledge of what’s happening, sensitive individuals may grow up coping in unsatisfying ways. But this doesn’t have to be the case. For someone who is highly empathic, refining and modulating this deep way of knowing involves several keys...
Human memory does not operate like a video tape that can be rewound and rewatched, with every viewing revealing the same events in the same order. In fact, memories are reconstructed every time we recall them.
I began the practice of “stepping aside” only after years of stepping into business that was clearly not my own. I had mistakenly assumed that helping others make their decisions was an important calling. It showed them I cared. It was my way of remaining important to them. Or so I thought . . .
Small but insidious dragons lurk to intercept us on our spiritual journey through the land of ecstasies and voids. One of these is the infamous sheltering dragon.
"Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened." Those nine words by Ted Geisel (Dr.Seuss), one of our country’s favorite storytellers, contain so much wisdom. They apply to many different aspects of life, but I would like to focus on the area of relationships.
Whether it’s better to brag or to be humble can depend on what perception you seek to change and whether the truth will ever come to light, research suggests.
The biases we hold below the surface influence how we view this election season, says Efrén Pérez, an associate professor of political science and sociology.
Most people will categorically agree that one of the most difficult emotions to express is forgiveness. More lives have been destroyed by bitterness and the inability to forgive than perhaps any other negative emotion. Even the most minuscule issues that we refuse to let go of can poison...
For us humans, getting involved in an aggressive conflict can be costly, not only because of the risk of injury and stress, but also because it can damage precious social relationships between friends – and the same goes for monkeys and apes.
You don’t have to be a naturally mindful person to reap the emotional benefits of meditation.
Magicians, dictators, advertisers and scientists all know it. It is possible to influence people without them even realising it.
Feeling accepted seems to feature so highly in our lives. We set such great store by how others perceive us. Even amongst people you would count as close acquaintances, do you let them see the real you?