Does It Really Pay To Be Generous?

Does It Really Pay To Be Generous?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.

Use Your IGS To Move From Fear, Anxiety, Stress, and Reaction

Use Your IGS To Move From Fear, Anxiety, Stress, and ReactionMahatma 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...

Why You Shouldn't Blame Lying On The Brain

Why You Shouldn't Blame Lying On The BrainThe 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.

How To Overcome Exam Anxiety

How To Overcome Exam AnxietyDo 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?

Wherever You Look, Looking is the Key

Wherever You Look, Looking is the KeyThere 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.

You Can Manage This Moment -- One Minute At A Time

You Can Manage This Moment -- One Minute At A TimeNo 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.

Learning That People Can Develop And Change Boosts Cooperation

Learning That People Can Develop And Change Boosts CooperationA 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.

Why Male Chauvinism Appeals To Some Voters More Than Others

Why Male Chauvinism Appeals To Some Voters More Than OthersEven 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.

Why Narcissists Are More Likely To Break The Rules

Why Narcissists Are More Likely To Break The RulesWhat 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?

What Determines Whether You're A Night Owl Or Early Bird?

What Determines Whether You're A Night Owl Or Early Bird?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?

How Do Children Develop A Sense Of Self?

How Do Children Develop A Sense Of Self?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.

Getting Comfortable in Your Own Skin

Getting Comfortable in Your Own SkinThe 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.

Step Aside and Experience a Miracle in the Making

Step Aside and Experience  a Miracle in the MakingI 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 . . .

How Monkeys Make Friends And Influence Each Other

How Monkeys Make Friends And Influence Each OtherFor 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.

Peace Is Your Responsibility: Are You Ready To Be Peace?

Peace Is Your Responsibility: Are You Ready To Be Peace?To really know about peace is to embody the truth that you and peace are one. But since so many aren’t aware of what they truly are, how can they possibly know lasting peace? This lack of awareness is why, despite the efforts of activists, seekers, and indeed so many in the world who desire peace, an enduring peace escapes us.

How Do I Know If I Drink Too Much?

How Do I Know If I Drink Too Much?While alcohol is a legal and common way many societies stimulate social interaction, when consumed at high levels over long periods it can undermine physical health and cause cancers and other disease.

What Sad Songs Say To Some People, But Not Others

What Sad Songs Say To Some People, But Not OthersTear-jerkers such as Adele’s Someone Like You frequently top the charts these days, while gloomy classical compositions like Mozart’s Requiem have moved people for centuries. Both portray and bring about a strong sense of loss and sadness.

A Sober Crowd Makes Drinking Seem More Risky

A Sober Crowd Makes Drinking Seem More RiskyPeople were more likely to underestimate their own level of drinking, drunkenness, and the associated risks when surrounded by other drunk people, a new study shows. Those people also felt more at risk when surrounded by people who were more sober.

8 Easy Steps To Stop Procrastinating

(mararie/flickr)It’s 10:00 at night, and you have a paper due tomorrow morning. You’ve been trying to come up with a good idea all afternoon, but you became distracted by your friends’ Tumblr posts.

Why Guilt Can Be Good For You

Why Guilt Can Be Good For YouWe spend so much time helping people who punish themselves and constrain their lives with an overdeveloped sense of guilt that it's easy to forget the other side of the coin.

Cannabis Makes You Lazy Only In The Short Term

Cannabis Makes You Lazy Only In The Short TermAfroman’s 2001 hit Because I Got High tells a potentially important story: smoking cannabis makes you lazy and demotivated. In fact, the fable of the lazy stoner has been around for decades. But is there good evidence in support of it?

How Guilt Is A Wonderful Teacher

How Guilt Is A Wonderful TeacherI remember once believing that guilt was a wasted emotion. Like all emotions, there is a place for guilt. A centered spiritual being, one who has moved past limiting beliefs, will feel guilty doing something that goes against who she is or wants to be.

How Consciousness Can Heal Our Emotions

How Consciousness Can Heal Our EmotionsWe develop the capacity to experience happiness, ecstasy, and tranquility to the degree to which we can free ourselves from the residue of our emotional body.

How Advertisers Seduce Our Subconscious

How Advertisers Seduce Our SubconsciousIn 1957 Vance Packard’s book The Hidden Persuaders shocked the world by revealing that messages exposed subliminally, below our level of perception, were able to increase sales of ice cream and Coke.

We Can All Be A Little Radicalized

We Can All Be A Little Radicalized

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.

Cultivating New Behaviors: You've Got A Problem? So What!

Cultivating New Behaviors: You've Got A Problem? So What!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.

Why Getting The Giggles Is So Contagious

Laughter: works better in company. CREATISTAIt 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.

What Drives Smartphone Addiction?

What Drives Smartphone Addiction?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.

When Is Childhood Shyness A Cause For Concern?

When Is Childhood Shyness A Cause For Concern?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.

Is Your Nervous System A Democracy Or A Dictatorship?

Is Your Nervous System A Democracy Or A DictatorshipHow 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.

Here’s What Free Will Looks Like In Your Brain

Here’s What Free Will Looks Like In Your BrainScientists 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.

When Bad Ideas Refuse To Die

When Bad Ideas Refuse To DieIt is generally thought that science helps good ideas triumph over bad. The weight of evidence eventually pushes false claims aside.

3 Ways to Step Beyond Overthinking

3 Ways to Step Beyond OverthinkingThe 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.

How Cute Things Hijack Our Brains And Drive Behavior

How Cute Things Hijack Our Brains And Drive BehaviorWhat 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?

Freeing Yourself of Bad Moods

Freeing Yourself of Bad MoodsFunky 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.

We Behave A Lot More Badly Than We Remember

We Behave A Lot More Badly Than We RememberIn 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.

De-Stressing After A Long Work Day

De-Stressing After A Long Work DayNo 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.

How to Enjoy Life and Move Through Anxiety

How to Enjoy Life and Move Through AnxietyHow 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!

Angels on the Road: Trust Me, I Have Your Back!

Angels on the Road: Trust Me, I Have Your Back!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.

Why Doing Good Can Do You Good

Why Doing Good Can Do You GoodWe 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.

Got To Get You Out Of My Head: How To Eradicate Earworms

Got To Get You Out Of My Head: How To Eradicate EarwormsAre 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.

In Loud Rooms Our Brain Hears In A Different Way

In Loud Rooms Our Brain Hears In A Different WayWhen 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.

Why We Mix Up The Names Of People In Our Family

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. (Credit: e_haya/Flickr)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.

A Bit Of Claustrophobia Is Normal

tight spaces 4 4“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

Why There's No Such Thing As An Addictive Personality

Why There's No Such Thing As An Addictive Personality“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

Uncovering the Clues of Your Food Cravings

Uncovering the Clues of Your Food CravingsDo 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.

I'll Punish Your Bad Behavior To Make Me Look Good

Standing up for what’s right can come with a cost to the individual – but also a benefit. Michael Fleshman, CC BY-NCWhat 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...

Why There Are No Limits To Your Willpower

Why There Are No Limits To Your WillpowerWe’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?

Connecting with Truths about What’s Really True for You

 Connecting with Truths about What’s Really True for YouMany 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.

Past Pleasures Make It Hard To Say No

Past Pleasures Make It Hard To Say NoOur 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 (PIU) Is The New Addiction On Campus

It’s not just the students who are addicted. Chris Owens, CC BY-NC-SAProblematic 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

Are Male And Female Brains Really Different?

sex differences 2 11Along 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 ...

Turning On Your Brights & Beaming Your Radiance

Turning On Your Brights & Beaming Your RadianceSweet 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.

Drinking Is Bad For You And That's Why It's Fun

Drinking Is Bad For You And That's Why It's FunWhy 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.

Is Seeing Sacrifice As "Going Without" Holding Us Back?

Is Seeing Sacrifice As Going Without Holding Us Back?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.

How to Thrive Rather than Just Survive the Holiday Season

How to Thrive Rather than Just Survive the Holiday SeasonIt's obvious that the holiday season is upon us. The idea is to thrive and enjoy during this time rather than just survive. Give yourself two great gifts for the next weeks - a lack of stress and actually celebrating the true spirit of this time of year – joy, love, and peace.

Why Keeping Calm Is The Secret To Aging Well

Why Keep Calm Is The Secret To Aging Well

As we get older our physical and mental abilities decline, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Research suggests that the way we live our lives - our diets, our exercise regimes - can have a big impact on how we age. And it’s not just about the things we do to age well, it’s also about the things we avoid.

Why Birth Order Is A Myth For Determining Behavior

Why Birth Order Is A Myth For Determining BehaviorAnyone with siblings knows they can differ from us in maddening ways. They share our parents and our family history, but their personalities can be so different. Birth order offers an intuitively appealing explanation for these perplexing differences.

What Are False Memories?

What Are False Memories?Recent media reports have raised questions over the therapy undergone by several people making allegations of historical sexual abuse against prominent public figures. In particular, it has been suggested that certain forms of therapy run a high risk of unintentionally generating false memories of sexual abuse.

Check Back In and Find the Lesson in Life’s Challenges

Check Back In and Find the Lesson in Life’s ChallengesThe best advice I’ve ever heard is what I will tell you right now: When something in your life goes wrong, look for the lesson that you can learn from this event. Somewhere there is energy that is trying to teach you something.

The Greater Design of Evolution: The Collective Rise of Consciousness

The Greater Design of Evolution: The Collective Rise of ConsciousnessThe history of our species is brutal, tragic in the cruelty we have afflicted upon one another, upon other species, and upon Earth herself. Our situation has come to a critical stage. Are there some heretofore hidden processes in us that we could activate, some homeopathic remedies for our violence that could stimulate more empathy, connectedness, and love?

How To Free Yourself from Regretting the Choices You’ve Made

How To Free Yourself from Regretting the Choices You’ve MadeDo you regret choices you’ve made, opportunities you think you’ve lost, time you see as wasted? If you’re vigorously shaking your head up and down, please stop and listen a moment. You’re succumbing to self-condemnation. When we do, we cultivate a downward-spiraling sense of self-worth...

Adopting Perspective In The Face of Challenge

Adopting Perspective In The Face of ChallengeFor many, the first sign of difficulties can be enough for them to become discouraged and stop doing what they intended, while others find the determination to discover another way to prevail. Rather than giving up, they look for the opportunity within the challenge—and it’s there, always.

What Is Living Consciously and How Is It Done?

What Is Living Consciously and How Is It Done?No one does this conscious-living thing perfectly, so the idea isn’t to always be grounded in the present, but to be there as often as possible, certainly more often than not; know when you’re slipping out of it; and be able to bring yourself back as quickly as possible.

Why Is It That Kids Get Hostile When They Expect Hostility?

Why Is It That Kids Get Hostile When They Expect Hostility?When children expect aggression from others, it may cause them to be overly aggressive themselves, a new study finds.  While the pattern is more common in some cultures than others, a four-year longitudinal study involving 1,299 children and their parents finds it is true in 12 different cultural groups from nine countries around the globe.

From Guilt to Bliss Through "Indulging" in Chocolate

From Guilt to Bliss Through "Indulging" in ChocolateThink of the last time you ate some chocolate. Did you feel you had to sneak it? Did you eat too much and regret it afterward? Did you hog down the lot of the precious morsels? And how did you feel after your escapade? Were you able to enjoy the chocolate fully? I certainly hope so!

Why Unplug In This Age Of Distraction?

texting and drivingA common experience: you are walking down the street and someone is walking in the opposite direction toward you. You see him but he does not see you. He is texting or looking at his cellphone. He is distracted, trying to do two things at the same time, walking and communicating.

Learning How to Fail: Taking Risks and Learning From Mistakes

Learning How to Fail: Taking Risks and Learning From MistakesWe do not teach people how to fail in our education system. The purpose of exams is to get questions correct. The people who are rewarded in school are the ones who get the best grades, not the ones who take the biggest risks or the ones who learn from their mistakes.

Why Leaders Typically Can Not Change

Why Leaders Typically Can Not ChangeIt’s said that success has many fathers, while failure is an orphan. In the modern world of business, that’s not quite true. Increasingly, when things go wrong, CEOs depart, with failure’s paternity quickly ascribed to the boss in the big office.

Can We Unlearn Social Biases While We Sleep?

Can We Unlearn Social Biases While We Sleep?Your brain does a lot when you are asleep. It’s when you consolidate memories and integrate the things you’ve learned during the day into your existing knowledge structure. We now have lots of evidence that while you are sleeping, specific memories can be reactivated and thus strengthened.

How Sharing Your Success Is Perceived As Bragging More Often Than You Think

How Sharing Your Success Is Perceived As Bragging  More Often Than You ThinkImagine you just received a great bit of news at work – a promotion, pay rise, new car, an acceptance letter from the top journal in your field. If you are like me, you would probably like to open your door or pick up your phone and share your happiness with co-workers and friends. But research that colleagues and I have recently carried out suggested you should think twice.

How We Project Our Goals Onto Other People

How We Project Our Goals Onto Other PeopleThe more committed we are to achieving a goal—catching a train, buying a movie ticket, getting groceries—the more likely we are to assume others have exactly the same objective. The new study by New York University psychology researcher Janet Ahn points to the types of assumptions we make about others’ behavior, which may have an impact on social interaction.

Do We Learn Better When We’re Punished?

Do We Learn Better When We’re Punished?A simple experiment with a small group of college students suggests that punishments influence behavior more than rewards. In fact, punishments—in this case, losing money tokens—had a measured impact two to three times great than winning money. The results appear in the journal Cognition.

Resisting, Repressing, and Ignoring Unpleasant Emotions Doesn’t Work

Resisting, Repressing and Ignoring Unpleasant Emotions Doesn’t WorkLife teaches us that we cannot be released from powerful, stressful emotions by resisting, ignoring, or repressing them – no matter how hard we try. In fact, life teaches us just the opposite. We learn from experience that resisting, repressing and ignoring unpleasant emotions just tend to make things worse.

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