Author: Sam Harris

  • Why Letting Go of Control Can Help You Enjoy Life

    Feeling the need to be in control is natural. It’s something we all inherently want, and we feel best when we know exactly what is going on in all the different areas of our lives. It’s important to realize, though, that we can never control everything. Trying to do that leads to many different negative […]

  • Why Perfectionism Stops Us from Creating New Habits

    When we decide to create a new habit — exercise, healthy eating, meditation, writing — we can get excited and optimistic, and have an idea of how it will go perfectly. This is such a hopeful time! Unfortunately, reality has other plans. Our perfect idea of how our new habit will go is pretty much […]

  • What Is Conventional Wisdom?

    Conventional Wisdom Conventional wisdom refers to commonly held and widely accepted ideas and beliefs. It can encompass ideas that are generally held by the majority of people as well as long-accepted expert opinions within a field or institution. This type of knowledge can have both benefits and drawbacks. Sometimes these ideas allow people to understand […]

  • The Dangers of Bottling Up Our Emotions

    Keeping our emotions close to our chest can often feel safer, but it isn’t always the healthiest way to move through life. This approach prevents us from discussing our needs (which can turn into a cyclical issue) and prevents us from truly connecting with others. Over the long term, bottling up emotions can even backfire […]

  • How to Be Happy Again

    Finding New Ways to Be Happy What does it mean to be happy? There are so many ideas and perspectives when it comes to being happy. By definition happy means characterized by or indicative of pleasure, contentment, or joy. Truthfully, Your ‘happy’ is whatever it means to you. Of course, not everyone will agree, but […]

  • What to Do When Your Summer Reality Doesn’t Live Up to Expectations

    The new normal is coming just in time for a safe and social redo of last year’s isolated summer. With it, the answer to that question is going from a far-off hope to a potential reality. Travel, concerts, parties, and whatever else you fantasized about in those dark days all await. However, for a myriad […]

  • How to Rekindle A Relationship

    There are many reasons why you may want to revisit a former relationship. Perhaps you’re seeing your ex in a different light or circumstances have changed in your own life. Maybe you moved back to your hometown and want to check out a former crush. Maybe you’ve grown and realize that your last love was […]

  • Quick Ways To Deal With Sudden Anxiety

    If your anxiety is sporadic and getting in the way of your focus or tasks, there are some quick natural remedies that could help you take control of the situation. If your anxiety is focused around a situation, such as being worried about an upcoming event, you may notice the symptoms are short-lived and usually […]

  • How To Tell Your Friends You’re Depressed

    Deciding to tell the people you love that you’re struggling with depression is a big step. Not only is it challenging to find the energy to reach out to people, but there are naturally worries about how the news of your diagnosis will be received. Unfortunately, there are too many misconceptions about mental health and […]

  • Common Misconceptions About Psychotherapy

    What you can and cannot expect from psychotherapy In my experience consulting with patients who are considering whether or not to pursue psychotherapy to improve their mental health, the path to this decision is as varied as the people who travel down it. Sometimes, it is the concern of a friend, partner, or family member […]

  • Six Ways to Feel Better About Being Single

    Sometimes being single can feel freeing or even empowering. You can do whatever you want, whenever you want without having to worry about what your partner is doing. But there are also times when being unattached can be lonely and frustrating. COVID-19 has only helped to exacerbate these downsides for some single people. After all, […]

  • How to Stop the Negative Chatter in Your Head

    A neuroscientist explains how to curb unhelpful thoughts Did you make your New Year’s resolutions? I hope you put “cognitive reappraisal” on the list. Psychologists use this term to refer to the practice of replacing negative thoughts with ones that are both more positive and true. People who control their self-talk in this manner have […]

  • What Is Codependency? Recognizing the Signs

    What Is Codependency? Recognizing the Signs

    Codependency refers to a mental, emotional, physical, and/or spiritual reliance on a partner, friend, or family member. “The term was originally coined in the 1950s in the context of Alcoholics Anonymous to support partners of individuals who abused substances, and who were entwined in the toxic lives of those they cared for,” says Dr. Renee […]

  • Is It Possible to Have Functional Depression?

    There are many misconceptions about what depression looks like. You might envision someone who is too distraught to get out of bed. Or you may imagine someone who isn’t able to work or do activities due to their low mood. But, in reality, depression takes many forms and can range greatly in severeness. Sometimes, people […]

  • What Is Ghosting?

    Ghosting is a relatively new colloquial dating term that refers to abruptly cutting off contact with someone without giving that person any warning or explanation for doing so. Even when the person being ghosted reaches out to re-initiate contact or gain closure, they’re met with silence. As you can see, it’s called ghosting because it […]

  • What to Do When You Have No Motivation

    Whether you can’t get motivated to clean your house or you just aren’t feeling motivated to lose weight, a lack of motivation can be the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals. When you have no motivation to complete a task (or even start one), consider the possible reasons why you’re struggling. Then, develop a plan […]

  • Are You in (Sleep) Debt? Here’s How to Dig Yourself Out

    Catching up on sleep: how to pay off your ‘sleep debt’ (and why it’s a big deal) Being in debt is never a great feeling, whether it’s staring at a large credit card balance or dealing with the effects of a mounting lack of sleep. But what even is sleep debt, and what does it […]

  • Check Yourself

    Overconfidence in one’s predictions, knowledge, or ability can be hazardous, but so can needless self-doubt. What we all need is calibration. In his new book, Perfectly Confident, Don Moore, head of the Moore Accuracy Lab at the University of California, Berkeley, highlights the risks of too high and too low levels of confidence, both at […]

  • Online Counseling

    It’s Convenient, help is available at your time and place. Providing the same treatment as in person therapy sessions. Telehealth Video Therapy Sessions are HIPAA compliant, the simple & secure online counseling solution. Communicate as often as you want and whenever you feel it’s needed. Start your video sessions today, no download required and all […]

  • You’re Only as Old as You Feel

    Simply asking people how old they feel may tell you a lot about their health and well-being. Not long ago, Stephanie Heller, a New Jersey realtor, was leaving her gym after a workout when she noticed a woman in the parking lot struggling to bend down. “I don’t know if she dropped something and had […]

  • When Your Marriage Needs Counseling

    If your marriage is having problems, do not wait too long to seek professional help. Marriage counseling (also called couples’ therapy) can be very effective, especially if couples seek it out sooner rather than later. Start by finding a counselor who specializes in marriage or couples therapy. They are out there and willing to help. […]

  • When Efforts To Eat ‘Clean’ Become An Unhealthy Obsession

    Whether it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, raw food, or all-organic, many people these days are committed to so-called “clean eating” — the idea that choosing only whole foods in their natural state and avoiding processed ones can improve health. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to eat this way, but sometimes these kinds of food preferences can […]

  • Stressed Out By Politics? Here’s How To Keep Caring Without Losing Your Cool

    The political headlines have been relentless lately. Calls for impeaching the president. Debates over health care, immigration and gun control. Fights over who tweeted what. Discussions of these issues can quickly get heated and toxic. They can affect relationships and even your health, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE. It […]

  • How to Find Your Happily Ever After City

    The United States is “one of the most mobile countries in the world,” according to a 2013 Gallup survey in which nearly 1 in 4 adults reported that they had moved within a five-year window. Some motivating factors for movers include the pursuit of higher education, proximity to cultural institutions and job opportunities. But relocating […]

  • How Parents Can Stay Close to Grown-Up Children

    Many parents sending kids off to college worry that their time as a family is over. But that isn’t always the case these days. The Sugerman family’s trip to Southern Utah this past May involved a treacherous drive. There were hairpin turns; the three adult children needed to move boulders to clear a path for […]

  • Optimists For The Win: Finding The Bright Side Might Help You Live Longer

    Good news for the cheery: A Boston study published this month suggests people who tend to be optimistic are likelier than others to live to be 85 years old or more. That finding was independent of other factors thought to influence life’s length — such as “socioeconomic status, health conditions, depression, social integration, and health […]

  • Women May Be More Adept Than Men At Discerning Pain

    The pathway to opioid abuse for women often starts with a prescription from the doctor’s office. One reason is that women are more likely than men to seek help for pain. Pain researchers say that not only do women suffer more painful conditions, they actually perceive pain more intensely than men do. “The burden of […]

  • Got Pain? A Virtual Swim With Dolphins May Help Melt It Away

    Virtual reality is not new. But, as people search for alternative ways to manage pain — and reduce reliance on pills — VR is attracting renewed attention. Imagine, for a moment you’ve been transported to a sunlit lagoon. And, suddenly, it’s as if you’re immersed in the warm water and swimming. That’s what Tom Norris […]

  • The Swaying Power Of Scented Spaces Isn’t Always Right Under Our Nose

    There’s a new smell tingling tourists’ noses in the Big Apple, far above the trash bag-lined sidewalks — and this scent is by design. Atop One World Trade Center, New York City’s tallest building, a fragrance carrying hints of citrus, beech trees and red maples wafts through the glass-enclosed observatory deck. When the observatory commissioned […]

  • How to Renew Your Compassion in the Face of Suffering

    Mass suffering can make us feel helpless. Focusing on solutions, rather than emotions, may be the way out. If you’re concerned about the humane treatment of migrants arriving at our borders, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Children separated from their families. Disease spreading rampant through detention facilities. People unable to shower for more than a […]

  • Getting a Good Night’s Sleep Without Drugs

    Alternatives to prescription drugs for insomnia offer better, safer and more long-lasting solutions, experts say. Shakespeare wisely recognized that sleep “knits up the ravell’d sleave of care” and relieves life’s physical and emotional pains. Alas, this “chief nourisher in life’s feast,” as he called it, often eludes millions of people who suffer from insomnia. Desperate […]

  • ‘Guilty’ Pleasures? No Such Thing

    Go forth and read that trashy novel We know them when we see them: The TV shows and movies we love, even though we just know they’re bad. The trashy books we simply can’t put down. The awful earworms we hate to love. Yes, these are our guilty pleasures — what some people consider the […]

  • How Our Body ‘Listens’ to Vibrations

    We all know the feeling of a mobile phone vibrating in our hands when announcing an incoming call. If we perceive these vibrations so clearly, it is due to specialized receptors that transduce them into neural signals sent to our brain. But how does the latter encode their physical characteristics? To understand this, neuroscientists from […]

  • How Hard Is It to Become an Expert at Something?

    Expertise is what separates the amateur from the true master in almost any field, from medicine to science to sports to artistic performance. The idea of whether experts are “born” or “made” relates to the age-old nature versus nurture debate in psychology—do genetics or experience play more of a role in shaping who we are? […]

  • The Science Of Smiles, Real And Fake

    The notion that you can smile your way to happiness is an enduring one. Back in the 1800s, Charles Darwin was among the first to come up with what modern scientists further developed into the “facial feedback hypothesis.” That’s the idea that smiling can make you happier and frowning can make you sadder or angrier […]

  • What Are the Signs of a Midlife Crisis?

    Midlife can be the unhappiest time in a person’s life People who are having a midlife crisis are thought to be struggling with their own mortality and, somewhere during midlife, they ditch some of their responsibilities in favor of fun. That’s why the term “midlife crisis” often causes people to picture mistresses and sports cars. […]

  • Does Drinking Coffee Actually Improve Memory?

    Coffee drinkers often wonder if caffeine can improve their memory. That’s because many who religiously consume the beverage notice that they seem more alert when they’ve had coffee. One coffee drinker, who described himself as “generally quite a forgetful person” swore that his memory improved after a cup of joe. But is there actually a […]

  • Not-So-Social Media: Why People Have Stopped Talking On Phones

    Emma Wisniewski felt exposed. The New York-based actress had moments where she had to open up in a way that made her feel particularly vulnerable. She had to talk on the phone. In front of people — her fellow actors and the audience. “I’ve done several plays now that required talking on landlines, and what […]

  • Can Mindfulness Treat Chronic Back Pain?

    A recent study reveals 8 weeks of mindfulness-based and cognitive therapies (MBCT) may ease chronic low back pain. If you’ve ever had back pain, you know it’s one of the worst kinds of pain to have. Chronic low back pain affects millions globally and is often very hard to treat. In many cases, it can […]

  • Never assume you have the slightest clue what anyone else is feeling

    We even smell things differently. Does this mean no amount of talking will ever clear things up? Every now and then, ambling through the day, you’re reminded with a jolt that the inner lives of others are an utterly foreign land, from which you’re permanently banned. This point usually gets made as a reason to […]

  • How The Brain Shapes Pain And Links Ouch With Emotion

    When Sterling Witt was a teenager in Missouri, he was diagnosed with scoliosis. Before long, the curvature of his spine started causing chronic pain. It was “this low-grade kind of menacing pain that ran through my spine and mostly my lower back and my upper right shoulder blade and then even into my neck a […]

  • We Gossip About 52 Minutes A Day, Not Be As Toxic As It Sounds

    Almost everyone gossips. And a new study finds that people spend about 52 minutes per day, on average, talking to someone about someone else who is not present. But here’s the surprise: Despite the assumption that most gossip is trash talk, the study finds that the vast majority of gossip is nonjudgmental chitchat. “We actually […]

  • Floating Away Your Anxiety And Stress

    When I mentioned to a friend that my baseline neurosis has evolved from daily stress into anxiety, her response was – “Go for a float!” A float? Yes — spend an hour in a dark, soundproof room floating in a body-temperature warm pool. “The heavy salt concentration does the work for you,” my friend told […]

  • How to Stop Your Smartphone from Hurting Your Health

    You can manage your technology use to protect your health and happiness. As psychologist Chris Willard often says, our phones can be our greatest enemy or greatest friend. While they can save us time and energy, educate and entertain us, and keep us safe in emergencies, they can also distract us from the things we […]

  • Stress Takes A Toll On Health And Family

    Stress is part of the human condition, unavoidable and even necessary to a degree. But too much stress can be toxic — even disabling. And there’s a lot of toxic stress out there. More than 1 in every 4 Americans say they had a great deal of stress in the previous month. And half of […]

  • Empathy seems like a good quality in human beings. Pure and simple.

    It allows us to consider the perspective of others — to put ourselves in their shoes and imagine their experiences. From that empathetic vantage point, only good things can come, right? Not necessarily, according to author Fritz Breithaupt. “Sometimes we commit atrocities not out of a failure of empathy but rather as a direct consequence […]

  • Researchers Discover ‘Anxiety Cells’ In The Brain

    Scientists have found specialized brain cells in mice that appear to control anxiety levels. The finding, reported Wednesday in the journal Neuron, could eventually lead to better treatments for anxiety disorders, which affect nearly 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. “The therapies we have now have significant drawbacks,” says Mazen Kheirbek, an assistant professor […]

  • Are We Ready For An Implant That Can Change Our Moods

    Our thoughts and fears, movements and sensations all arise from the electrical blips of billions of neurons in our brain. Streams of electricity flow through neural circuits to govern these actions of the brain and body, and some scientists think that many neurological and psychiatric disorders may result from dysfunctional circuits. As this understanding has […]

  • Strategize To Catch Up On Lost Sleep

    There are lots of reasons why many of us don’t get the recommended seven hours or more of sleep each night. Travel schedules, work deadlines, TV bingeing and — a big one — having young children all take a toll. Research published recently in the journal Sleep finds that up to six years after the […]

  • Misophonia: When Life’s Noises Drive You Mad

    For 18-year-old high school senior Ellie Rapp of Pittsburgh, the sound of her family chewing their dinner can be … unbearable. “My heart starts to pound. I go one of two ways. I either start to cry or I just get really intensely angry. It’s really intense. I mean, it’s as if you’re going to […]

  • Do All Hipsters Look Alike?

    The hipster effect: Why anti-conformists always end up looking the same. Science explains why efforts to reject the mainstream merely result in a new conformity. You’ve probably seen this effect—perhaps you are a victim of it. You feel alienated from mainstream culture and want to make a statement that you are not part of it. […]

  • Are All Our Organs Vital?

    Even the appendix and tonsils are less expendable than we thought. Medicine has not always shown a lot of respect for the human body. Just think about the ghoulish disregard early surgeons had for our corporeal integrity. They poked holes in the skull and copiously drained blood with leeches or lancets—a practice that remained a […]

  • What An Insect Can Teach Us About Adapting To Stress

    What if we told you that you could learn a lot about handling adversity from the life of a bug? In their explorations of humans and how we interact with the world around us, the team that makes NPR’s Invisibilia stumbled on a surprising fact about the insect world — one that could inspire a […]

  • How to Identify a Malignant Narcissist

    While narcissism has been a personality trait that has been around for a long time, narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and narcissistic personality traits have been in the public eye more often in recent years. As awareness increases surrounding narcissistic traits, people are wondering if they are dealing with a narcissist rather than someone who is […]

  • Ghosting: What It Is, Why It Hurts, and What You Can Do About It

    You’re in a relationship. Suddenly, and maybe without any warning at all, your partner seems to have disappeared. No calls, no text messages, no connection made on social media, no responses to any of your messages. Odds are, your partner hasn’t unexpectedly left town because of a family emergency, and isn’t lying dead in a […]

  • Searching For Anger’s Animal Roots

    For comedian Lewis Black, anger is a job. Black is famous for his rants about stuff he finds annoying or unfair or just plain infuriating. Onstage, he often looks ready for a fight. He leans forward. He shouts. He stabs the air with an index finger, or a middle finger. To a scientist, Black looks […]

  • Got Anger? Try Naming It To Tame It

    Over the past three years, I’ve had one major goal in my personal life: To stop being so angry. Anger has been my emotional currency. I grew up in an angry home. Door slamming and phone throwing were basic means of communication. I brought these skills to my 20-year marriage. “Why are you yelling?” my […]

  • How the Glorification of Busyness Impacts Our Well-Being

    Being excessively busy can get in the way of you living your best life How many times have you started your day looking at a long to-do list, checking numerous emails, forecasting multiple appointments and obligations for the day and wondering how you are going to get it all done? Our world is busy and […]

  • What Does FOMO Mean and How Do I Deal With It?

    FOMO, or “fear of missing out,” is a real phenomenon that is becoming increasingly common and can cause significant stress in your life. It can affect just about anyone, but some people are at greater risk. Here is what you should know about the history of FOMO, what research says, how to recognize it in […]

  • The Unbearable Heaviness of Clutter

    A cluttered home can be a stressful home, researchers are learning. Do you have a clutter problem? If you have to move things around in order to accomplish a task in your home or at your office or you feel overwhelmed by all your “things,” it’s a strong signal that clutter has prevailed. And it […]

  • Channeling The Pain Of Depression Into Photography

    In a particularly difficult season of depression, photography was one of the tools Tara Wray used to cope. “Just forcing myself to get out of my head and using the camera to do that is, in a way, a therapeutic tool,” says Wray, a photographer and filmmaker based in central Vermont. “It’s like exercise: You […]

  • If You Feel Thankful, Write It Down. It’s Good For Your Health

    Over this past year, lifestyle blogger Aileen Xu has kept a monthly gratitude list. Sometimes it was the big stuff: “I’m grateful that my family is so understanding. I’m grateful so many people care.” And sometimes it was life’s little blessings: “July 2018: I’m grateful for good hair after I shower.” Xu started making such […]

  • The Top Insights from the “Science of a Meaningful Life” in 2018

    There is plenty of science to convince us that social connection is key to well-being. But relationships are complicated, bringing good and bad into our lives. This year’s top insights speak to the practical forces that unite us or divide us—both in intimate relationships and in our communities. They offer some hints about how to […]

  • Could Depression Be Caused By An Infection?

    Sometime around 1907, well before the modern randomized clinical trial was routine, American psychiatrist Henry Cotton began removing decaying teeth from his patients in hopes of curing their mental disorders. If that didn’t work, he moved on to more invasive excisions: tonsils, testicles, ovaries and, in some cases, colons. Cotton was the newly appointed director […]

  • Scientists Improve Mood By Stimulating A Brain Area Above The Eyes

    There’s new evidence that mild pulses of electricity can relieve depression — if they reach the right target in the brain. A study of 25 people with epilepsy found that those who had symptoms of depression felt better almost immediately when doctors electrically stimulated an area of the brain just above the eyes, a team […]

  • Breathing Through the Nose May Offer Unique Brain Benefits

    Folklore, spiritual traditions and even mothers have for ages drawn an implicit connection between respiration and state of mind: Breathe in deeply through your nose, we are told, to clarify thoughts, achieve serenity, defuse tantrums. There isn’t a lot of scientific evidence to back up these ideas, but a growing number of experiments have been […]

  • Do You Really Know Why You Do What You Do?

    Experimental psychologist Petter Johansson researches choice blindness — a phenomenon where we convince ourselves that we’re getting what we want, even when we’re not. In an eye-opening talk, he shares experiments (designed in collaboration with magicians!) that aim to answer the question: Why do we do what we do? The findings have big implications for […]

  • Can’t Stop Worrying? Try Tetris To Ease Your Mind

    If you’ve ever played Tetris — whether it was at an old-school Gameboy, or just on your iPhone — then you know: It’s 8-bit enchantment. “Years of my life were lost disappearing into a game of Tetris on my Nintendo system,” says Kate Sweeny, a psychologist at the University of California, Riverside. But maybe the […]

  • We Just ‘Fell Back’ An Hour, Tips To Stay Healthy During Dark Days

    When it comes to turning back the clocks on our devices, technology has us covered. Our smartphones automatically adjust. But our internal clocks aren’t as easy to re-program. And this means that the time shift in the fall and again in the spring can influence our health in unexpected ways. “You might not think that […]

  • A Toolkit for Unhooking from Criticism

    Fact: Work Brings Criticism. Here’s how to detach the emotion from the comments. It’s happened to all of us: feedback on our creative work has, at one time or another, caused us to get stuck. Maybe a client hated your designs, and your confidence was shaken for the months that followed. Or a client hated […]

  • Own Your Behaviors, Master Your Communication, Determine Your Success

    This speech is a call to action. We spend about eighty percent of our day at work, the rest is at home. If we have a bad day at work we are likely to take that negativity home with us and vice versa. It is of paramount importance that we create healthy environments in the […]

  • 7 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Mental Focus

    Staying on task can be difficult, but it can be particularly challenging when you are surrounded by constant distraction. In today’s always-connected world, diversions are nothing more than a click away. Even during quiet moments, distraction is literally at your fingertips as you find yourself checking your Facebook or trying to catch that elusive Pokémon. […]

  • A Brain Scientist Explains How She Stays Mentally Fit

    As a specialist in Alzheimer’s prevention, Jessica Langbaum knows that exercising her mental muscles can help keep her brain sharp. But Langbaum, who holds a doctorate in psychiatric epidemiology, has no formal mental fitness program. She doesn’t do crossword puzzles or play computer brain games. “Just sitting down and doing Sudoku isn’t probably going to […]

  • Can a Mood-Predicting Smartphone App Work?

    Evidence behind a digital tech intervention remains scant In the world of digital health, Silicon Valley-based Mindstrong stands out. It has a star-studded team and tens of millions in venture capital funding, including from Jeff Bezos’ VC firm. It also has a captivating idea: that its app, based on cognitive functioning research, can help detect […]

  • Are You Struggling With Secondhand Stress?

    Yes, stress is contagious. Here’s how to keep it from spreading. Rushing around the office or at the shopping mall, tapping a pen on a table, finishing other people’s sentences, sighing repeatedly, slamming down the phone…people behave like this when they’re stressed. What’s worse is that this kind of stress is contagious — you can […]

  • The Benefits of PTSD Group Therapy

    When it comes to seeking out treatment for PTSD (or any other psychological difficulty), you may wonder if it would be helpful to attend group therapy. There are many benefits to attending a group, and in many cases, group therapy can be just as helpful as individual therapy. Some of the advantages of group therapy […]

  • On The Virtues of Sleep

    In the sixth century, Pope Gregory I compiled an infamous list of seven deadly sins. Of these seven, sloth is the only sin that shares its name in English with an animal. But are these curious animals truly guilty of vice? Sloths personify laziness in Western culture through a reputation for sleeping a lot (though […]

  • Benefits of Group Therapy for Mental Health Treatment

    Being part of a group can offer insights that you may be too close to your situation to see. Discover why participating could be a helpful type of treatment for you. At first, the idea of participating in group therapy might seem intimidating. Who wants to share their story with strangers? But group therapy, in […]

  • Why You Should Take Time to Mourn During Career Transitions

    Grief is common when you leave a job you love. On my last day in the newsroom at a North Carolina alt-weekly, I found myself choking back tears. For the first time in almost a decade, my desk was completely clean. All of my old reporter notebooks, past newspaper editions and sticky notes with scribbled […]

  • Mono no Aware: The Transience of Life

    Mono-no-aware is a challenging perspective to put into words successfully; it can be literally translated to “the ahhness of things” or to “the bittersweet poignancy of things.” What comes most easily to mind is the beauty of the cherry blossom; the flower blooms intensely, yet only for a short period of time each year. As […]

  • The Theory of Mind Myth

    ‘I don’t understand what you think that I’m saying.’ (Marital argument, overheard at a local diner.) Following a mass shooting, the gunman’s next-door neighbours are stunned, and tell reporters that he was a good, kind man. Meanwhile, former classmates and co-workers describe him as a ticking time bomb. Pundits attribute Donald Trump’s latest Twitter tirade […]

  • Can Mindfulness Help Your Brain Cope with Rejection?

    A new study finds that rejection is less distressing to mindful people (and their brains). One of your best friends hosts a party without inviting you; your romantic partner seems oblivious to your attempts at conversation; work colleagues make important decisions behind your back. How long do you usually stay upset after these events? An […]

  • Mood Changes To Muddled Thinking, Might Be Dehydration

    Was it hard to concentrate during that long meeting? Does the crossword seem a little tougher? You could be mildly dehydrated. A growing body of evidence finds that being just a little dehydrated is tied to a range of subtle effects — from mood changes to muddled thinking. “We find that when people are mildly […]

  • Hate Where You Live? So Does Everyone Else

      I can’t help being suspicious of anyone who claims to be entirely happy with their surroundings. According to a recent survey, more than a third of New Yorkers want to leave New York. Then again, as the journalist and entrepreneur Elizabeth Spiers pointed out on Twitter, wanting to leave New York – and giving […]

  • Heat Making You Lethargic? Research Shows It Can Slow Your Brain

    Can’t cool off this summer? Heat waves can slow us down in ways we may not realize. New research suggests heat stress can muddle our thinking, making simple math a little harder to do. “There’s evidence that our brains are susceptible to temperature abnormalities,” says Joe Allen, co-director of the Center for Climate, Health and […]

  • Are Work Friendships a Good Thing?

    We tend to avoid work friendships, but connecting with colleagues can ultimately make us happier and more productive. How often have you had the following conversation at work? How are you? Good. You? Fine. It is a script we stick to even if we are dying inside. It’s hard to build real connections with your […]

  • The Psychology Of Dealing With Change

    The Psychology Of Dealing With Change

    Many people spend a great deal of effort trying to avoid change, but it will inevitably catch up to you. Whether it’s starting a new job, moving to a different city, the end of a relationship, or a loss of a loved one, try these strategies to cope with change Any life is a life […]

  • Emotional Resilience Is a Trait You Can Develop

    Those with a higher degree of emotional resilience are able to handle the stresses that come with daily life more effectively and calmly. They are also able to manage crises more easily. Fortunately, emotional resilience is a trait that can be developed. In fact, it’s a trait that is absolutely worth developing for many reasons, […]

  • Opening Up About Depression And Suicide Could Help Someone Else

    Fifteen years ago, I broke up with my very nice boyfriend and plunged headlong into a dark depression. I loved Marc but had known from the beginning that he wasn’t the man for me. I still believe that breaking up was the right move, but I chose a bad time to do it. I was […]

  • Common Medications Linked To Depression

    If you take Prilosec or Zantac for acid reflux, a beta blocker for high blood pressure, or Xanax for anxiety, you may be increasing your risk of depression. More than 200 common medications sold in the U.S. include depression as a potential side effect. Sometimes, the risk stems from taking several drugs at the same […]

  • Imposter Syndrome Hits Men Harder Than Women

    The idea that some of us experience “imposter syndrome” was first mooted in the 1970s by two US clinical psychologists who noticed the preponderance of high-achieving women who felt they had somehow cheated or fluked their way to success and feared being found out. Research on the syndrome has since exploded and it’s become clear […]

  • How to Build a More Forgiving Community

    As groups, organizations, and nations, we can find love and healing after being wronged. There are many ways to hurt another person. There are also many ways to forgive that hurt. On an individual level, we can forgive ourselves or we can forgive others. Self-forgiveness is the experience of getting successfully past self-condemnation by responsibly […]

  • What Is Consciousness?

    Scientists are beginning to unravel a mystery that has long vexed philosophers Consciousness is everything you experience. It is the tune stuck in your head, the sweetness of chocolate mousse, the throbbing pain of a toothache, the fierce love for your child and the bitter knowledge that eventually all feelings will end. The origin and […]

  • At the end of the day, escape, don’t marinate in politics

    One of the many baffling aspects of this baffling year has been the way people keep recommending cultural products – films, novels, TV shows – on the grounds that they’ve got something to say about “the current climate”. Apparently, after a busy day in a world defined by Trump, Brexit, brutal inequality, misogyny and looming […]

  • The Secrets to a Happy Life, From a Harvard Study

    What does it take to live a good life? Surveys show that most young adults believe that obtaining wealth and fame are keys to a happy life. But a long-running study out of Harvard suggests that one of the most important predictors of whether you age well and live a long and happy life is […]

  • The Negative Effects of Feeling Out of the Loop

    The Psychology of Popular Media Culture Celebrities are people famous for being famous. Have you ever given any thought to how it happens that pop-culture figures become so well-known, even when they have risen to the top upon a wave of interest for which there was not the slightest rational explanation? What is the real […]

  • Can Government Policies Make Us Happier?

    World happiness expert Richard Layard explains why policymakers need to focus on improving mental health and human relationships, not just the economy. The World Happiness Report has been published every year since 2012, giving countries important data about the well-being of their people and how it compares to other nations’. One of the primary proponents […]

  • How to Build a Relationship Based on Interdependence

    Most of us value connection with others, especially in our romantic relationships. In fact, we are wired for connection and it allows us to create bonds and intimacy with our partner. The success of long-term relationships depends heavily on the quality of our emotional connection with each other. When we think of our ideal relationships […]

  • Addicted to digital technology? Here’s how to beat the habit

    Banning yourself can have the perverse effect of making your phone more enticing. What you need to do is make it boring Recently, I bought a piece of digital technology to help me conquer my low-level addiction to digital technology. Yes, yes, I know this makes me sound like a sucker, no better than those […]

  • Do the Patterns in Your Past Predict Your Future?

    On paper, Shon Hopwood’s life doesn’t make a lot of sense, not even to him. “I don’t have a great excuse as to why I did these things. And everybody always wants that,” he tells me. “It closes the circle for people. But that’s not really how it happened.” To the naked eye, it looked […]