With the Christmas party season upon us, many will be dreading much more than simply the prospect of small talk over sausage rolls with their colleagues.
There's one brain bias that affects 80% of adults and it has a familiar name you may not expect: optimism. It can be hugely helpful in our social lives and in keeping us motivated even if the trade off is, at times, the denial of reality.
So in the early days, including from the time of Aristotle and later in the 16th and 17th century most of physiognomy consisted of this whimsical comparisons between the physiognomy of humans and animals.
Many of the fears that parents have and try to hide from their children are not quite hidden. Emotional fears, financial, or any fear at all is picked up on by children. The good news is that fear is normal. We all have fears...
Conformity is how we have been conditioned to participate in a false sense of security which results in us being out of integrity with ourselves. On a deep, unconscious level we are aware of this and this awareness largely informs our suffering.
Sometimes trying your best isn't enough; when the situation demands it, you need to be perfect.
Forgiveness is radical. Both forgiving and asking for forgiveness go against deeply ingrained psychological and political truths. We fight against it. We reject its premises. We think we want to be -- or at least, want to appear to be -- blameless at all times. By forgiving another...
These days, with the rise of social media apps like Facebook and Instagram, it is easier than ever to benchmark the number of “friends” you have against your peers.
Motivation, rather than habit, drives addictive behavior in the face of adverse consequences and constantly changing circumstances, new research suggests. “We’re challenging the definition of addiction as a habit…”
No submarine could operate without its sonar, no driver without maps and signs. Yet most of us arrive at adulthood with many of our inner signal readers numbed out — or totally blocked.
Being by yourself—even for just 15 minutes—may decrease your strong positive and negative emotions, and instead reduce stress and induce calm, a new study suggests.
Black Friday is upon us once again. Deals for cut-price clothes, televisions, appliances – you name it – are popping up. And for a limited time only. While stocks last, you could snag a bargain before Christmas.
Mental health providers may want to take a closer look at including exercise in their patients’ treatment plans, a new study suggests. “Physical activity has been shown to be effective in alleviating mild to moderate depression and anxiety.”
The relationship with your guides is equivalent in many ways to your relationships with other people. It is very important to express your gratitude daily. These two points are so important, I want to drive them home by sharing a not-so-comfortable experience of mine from a few years ago, when I had a major meltdown about money.
My ears perked up when, in recent weeks, I heard Donald Trump and Ivan Pavlov mentioned twice in connection with each other.
Have you ever heard the saying “You get what you give”? This short saying is true. When you do nice things for others for unselfish reasons, the Universe will reward you tenfold.
Reoccurring demands and challenges can be particularly frustrating. Everyone knows what it feels like to go two steps forward and one step back. Your frustrations are actually the key to finding inner freedom. Each one requires surrender and acceptance.
Shame is an unhealthy and extremely toxic emotion that makes a person very sick inside. It plays out in families and in society in a self-destructive and violent way, and it is at the root of addiction as well as all forms of abuse. You can heal your shame...
It seems that each week, a new development about the Affordable Care Act calls into question the future of health care in the U.S.
We all have opinions, beliefs, preconceived notions, etc. And I've noticed, in myself and others, a tendency to discount anything that falls outside of what we've decided we "like". For example, when I discovered a...
Revenge in fiction can be shocking, but it often embeds a moral message. There is heroic revenge, a staple of the American movie world, in which the determined hero or anti-hero acts against an evil protagonist (the law being ineffective or absent).
Twin research has led to all kinds incredible insights into an important mystery: nature vs. nurture or how the environment and our genes affect our health.
Many of us listen to music while we work, thinking that it will help us to concentrate on the task at hand.
Hear the word psychopath and most of us think of violent, dominant men. There are lots of male psychopathic monsters from movies to illustrate this point. Think Alex in A Clockwork Orange, or Patrick Bateman in American Psycho.
October is a dismal time of year. The clocks go back, which accelerates the onset of darker evenings and the “shorter days” inevitably lead to calls for the tradition of putting clocks forward or backward to stop.
Our culture has changed immensely as a result of the smartphone. We can get reassurance for every doubt just by texting our friends. We can feel approval by getting “likes” on our Instagram post or Facebook status.
Sometimes I like to say what would we do without our crises? Or – who would we be if we never met a good crisis? Just think about it. Without our crises, most of us would never grow or develop! We’d just stay stuck in our ruts...
When most people think of bias, they imagine an intentional thought or action – for example, a conscious belief that women are worse than men at math or a deliberate decision to pull someone over because of his or her race.
When asked how he had become so successful, he replied, that until days ago he was living as the “Other”. “What is the Other?” asked Pilar. “The Other believes that the obligation of man is to spend a lifetime thinking about how to have security...
The first step to connection is to open ourselves to the possibility that we can survive the hurts and failures that inevitably accompany our humanity and that of those around us. Self-protection, in the long run, is self-destruction. If we hide out long enough...
A recent report showed there had been a steep rise in incidents of self harm among teenage girls. The findings, based on data from GP practices across the UK, show that self harm among girls aged 13 to 16 has risen by 68% in the past three years.
The phrase “rape culture” elicits strong responses. Prominent among them are confusion, scoffs, anger and even anonymous vitriol from internet “haters.”
Although the energy field of the heart has been proven to be quite powerful, in our culture today the voice of the heart is often muted or ignored altogether. When our heart’s intelligence isn’t activated, we can easily feel confused, or we may listen only to the voice of the head telling us what we should do.
If you think of forgiveness as “letting someone off the hook,” you believe that you are doing someone else a favor by forgiving them. After all, they are really guilty and deserve your judgment and condemnation.
Many people mistakenly think or fear that their choices and behavior will displease others and be the cause of another person's displeasure or unhappiness. It could be their partner, their parents, their children, their friends. The fear is that if you or I do what feels best to us – it might make someone else unhappy.
There are few emotions as uncomfortable as resentment. An old saying sums it up well: "We drink the poison and then wait for the other person to die." Resenting others, we do poison ourselves. When our energy is spent on...
Blue light has been claimed to reduce suicides on train stations. Red makes the heart beat faster. You will frequently find this and other claims made for the effects of different colours on the human mind and body. But is there any scientific evidence and data to support such claims?
Men are bad at looking after their health, or so the received wisdom goes. Indeed, evidence has shown that men have significantly higher death rates than women from cancer due to delays in seeking medical help.
Because of recent global financial upheavals, people are more aware than ever of their need to feel that the ground beneath them won’t open up and swallow them whole. Even those who know they can count on friends, family, and community to support them in a time of crisis long to...
Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago won the Nobel Prize for his extraordinary, world-transforming work in behavioral economics. Thaler demonstrated how nudging – or influencing people while fully maintaining freedom of choice – “may help people exercise better self-control when saving for a pension, as well in other contexts.”
Part of your life isn’t working. The part of your life I’m talking about is wherever dissatisfaction and doubt are making you spin in circles, feeling dissatisfied with whatever you have, or stuck in doubt about what you should do. Where in your life do you feel that way?
Get mad when you read the news these days? It's more than just what you're reading. When you perceives unfairness or inequality, says Molly Crockett, the brain receives it more-so as an attack on identity.
I feel fear exactly as you do. I’m certainly no daredevil, despite what you might expect of a member of The Hollywood Stuntmen’s Hall of Fame! Nor am I an “adrenaline junkie,” despite the Guinness World Records I hold.
The giant global photographic agency, Getty Images, has announced it plans to ban retouching of images of models “to make them look thinner or larger”.
Almost everyone carries accumulations of old emotional pain, what Eckhart Tolle calls the “pain-body.” This pain-body feeds on what has happened in the past, and feeds on negative thinking and drama in relationships. Your joy-body stores family, ancestral, and collective joy. It feeds on positive, transporting experience.
Child abuse and other traumatic childhood experiences may alter the brain, making the effects of trauma last into adulthood.
Living with anxiety and fear creates unhappiness and despair in all our relationships. However, most of us suffer from too much anxiety and fear primarily because our communications provoke these destructive emotions through criticism, accusation, punishment and humiliation. So reducing the anxiety and fear caused by...
Recently, Alice Campbell and I revealed the demographic traits associated with people expressing support for equal rights for same-sex couples
Fox squirrels are a lot more organized than we thought—storing their stashes of nuts by variety, quality, and possibly even by preference. A new study is the first to show evidence that squirrels arrange their bounty—at least 3,000 to 10,000 nuts a year—using “chunking”...
When an event sobers us, it dashes cold water on our face to extricate us from the drunkenness of the meaningless activities we often engage in. We are awakened from the addictive behaviors we use to distract ourselves from our pain.
Almost in disbelief we were confronted by Barry’s diagnosis of throat and thyroid cancer, which within weeks lead to many medical consultations, pathology tests, ultrasounds and on to surgery. As his partner and then caregiver, the challenge of supporting him through that journey was daunting.
Can you recall the last time you complimented your spouse? What if compliments aren’t flowing in your relationship? If that’s true, expressing appreciation may feel awkward at first. Accept the feeling and do it anyway!
Look at the people in other cars in front of you, behind you, passing around you, and recognize that each one of them is just like you: They want happiness and they want to be free from suffering. To each person you focus on say or think something like...
Imagine for a moment all the things you say or don’t say, and all the things you do or don’t do in one day because of what others might say about you. If you wrote out a list, it might take a long time. Do you realize how much power you give to other people’s opinions? What if you could recover that power?
For the most part, I live happily in a large life, with my energies and joys in so many areas of my personal and professional lives, yet I have worked for decades, non-stop, both through my own inner exploration and my formal academic education, to create my current inner and outer worlds.
Some of us may believe that the only thing giving us problems in our life is on the outside -- an outside enemy. If this is our perception, perhaps we don't realize that placing the blame on someone else seldom, if ever, solves a problem. Nor does blaming contribute to our achievement of the wisdom we came here to gain...
The practice of giving thanks for your body is particularly difficult for women, because our relationships with our bodies are fraught with so much difficulty and dissatisfaction. The media reinforces such an impossible and singular image for young girls and women to live up to, and places so much emphasis on appearance, that virtually none of us—even if we happen to match the ideal—comes out unscathed.
From the Talmud we have the adage, “We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are.” Lacking this awareness, we can easily fall into the deception of regarding any particular worldview as the correct version of reality and defend it—sometimes with great hostility—by dismissing or denouncing the perspective of others. History is replete with examples of wars and other tragic tales caused by the collision of worldviews.
Some activists believe we must be constantly aggrieved to set right the injustices of the world—that good anger corrects bad anger. But an enlightened activism respectfully acknowledges all anger and sorrow while demonstrating the superior strategy of mercy...
A past experience is stored in your memory like a video with a separate 'feelings' track, which releases these feelings whenever the memory-box is opened. This feelings track can be re-recorded, replacing the original. To do this, you simply go back to the time the event began and rerun...
Immediately after a natural disaster, it’s normal to experience fear, anxiety, sadness or shock. However, if these symptoms continue for weeks to months following the event, they may indicate a more serious psychological issue.
Blame is a series of actions and reactions. They all work together to generate the Blame Syndrome. The three parts are: The Blame Attack (the initial criticism — no matter how minor); The Emotional Impact (negative feelings caused by being blamed); The Reactive Response (blame is fired back).
The events that have been transpiring here in the US and around the world have impacted me deeply. As we got closer to the election last November here in the US, I could feel the upwelling of waves of hatred in my community and in the collective. I desperately hoped that I was wrong...
Backsliding comes with almost every new habit you're trying to ingrain. I call it the "Dwindle Effect" because the initial impetus to change an old habit can wane.
If you’re anything like me, you haven’t gotten along too well with your fear up to now. You two may spend a lot of time together, but I doubt you’re very friendly. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Obesity is a highly stigmatized condition. Those with obesity are frequently subject to prejudice and ridicule at home, school, work and even from health care professionals.
Without us knowing, our brains are busy making associations. While on the surface we may sincerely believe that men and women are equal, or that people on benefits are just regular folks who happen to need help, our unconscious minds might not be so progressive.
The Oxford dictionary defines chaos as complete disorder or confusion. In general when we speak of chaos we associate it with a negative state and negative energy. When someone says, “My life is chaotic” or “Chaos is everywhere” we understand that person to mean, “My life is a mess and I am a mess”.
Don't let yourself become a victim of your emotions. When you are scared, it isn't the real you that is scared, it is your personality interpreting circumstances that may be adverse. You are not these emotions; they don't own you...
If we don’t grow from suffering, we die from it. Suffering can tether a person to the darker side of life so strongly that it makes passion and the enjoyment of life almost impossible. When you’re drowning in the depths of suffering, creativity and your Soul’s expression are the last things on your mind.
A few weeks ago, Joyce and I got to experience the total eclipse high in the mountains of Idaho, in the exact center of the “zone of totality.” It was, for us, the experience of a lifetime. In our seventy-one years of living...
I want to share a story with you because it shows well the dance between our thoughts and outcomes, and illustrates the power of the heart. This story happened when I made a strong request to the universe to help me become more aware of how my thinking affected reality. Be careful what you ask of the universe!
Beloved author and founder of Hay House Publishing, Louise Hay, transitioned this morning, August 30, 2017 of natural causes at age 90. She passed peacefully in her sleep. Louise was an incredible visionary and advocate.
The realization that my anxiety was caused by deeper feelings of lack of trust and fear of being hurt by others was not enough to allow me to wake up in the morning feeling rested and quiet inside. From my experience...
You may become conscious of your inner victim when you experience rejection, violation, injustice, inequality, prejudice, and blame for things you did not do. It is easy to point a finger at someone else, but to take responsibility for your actions, beliefs, and the roles you play in the victim...
Imagine letting go of your stuck, heavy energy and releasing it so you feel lighter, more radiant, more connected. Imagine being supported as you shift into your heart, opening to the beautiful world around you. Imagine...
It’s easy to be kind or loving to someone you like. Why should you bother to be loving toward the contemptuous, the hateful, the miserable, or people who are simply annoying?
I know some remarkable people, even some who are considered great human beings, but I have never known anyone whose heart is open all the time. Even the Dalai Lama speaks of anger arising and of saying things that, much to his chagrin, can never be taken back. Forgiveness of oneself and others is...
We all experience everyday annoyances with the people around us. What turns an irksome characteristic, situation, or event into a source of continued frustration? It’s our expectations, our “shoulds” that cause aggravation and annoyance...
Prior to becoming a therapist, I believed as the majority of people still do, that trauma and subsequent PTSD are experienced by only a small portion of the population and limited primarily to combat soldiers and first responders such as firefighters, police and EMT’s; as well as residents of war-torn countries and victims of catastrophic events.
Depression is listed as the leading cause of disability worldwide. Yet research shows depression is far more prevalent in Western cultures, such as the US, Canada, France, Germany and New Zealand, than in Eastern cultures, such as Taiwan, Korea, Japan and China.
Why is it that so many of us feel we need crisis in order to face our fears, to bring about the change we already know we need to undertake? After my last big crisis, I asked myself this question. It seemed my crisis meter had an alarm clock and every ten years I brought about a doozy.
The work I do isn’t “my” work. These are ideas whose time has come and they need capable scribes. Our true wages in life consist of the satisfaction we get from a job well done. Aside from that, well, the rain falls on the just and unjust alike.
We have little control over the future. And the future is where we tend to look for our security, seeking the assurance that everything will be all right. The illusion is that we have control over many variables in our daily life and that...
Fear drives our impulses to forcibly control others, and to try and make the whole world behave as we want. Fear stimulates our mistrust of one another. It fosters close-mindedness, terror, judgment, bullying, frustration, and the awful destruction of human-on-human violence. Fear explains why...
Regret gets a bad press. It is a painful emotion experienced upon realising that a different decision would have led to a better outcome.
Perhaps you have questioned or judged yourself for being too sensitive or not feeling at home in the mainstream. When I ask my seminar audiences, “How many of you believe or have been told that you’re weird?” Almost everyone raises their hand.
As I was walking through the V&A museum in London a few days ago, two statues immediately grabbed my attention. It was Heraclitus and Democritus, a couple of Greek thinkers known as the “weeping and laughing philosophers”.
What could I do to enhance the enjoyment or fulfillment of this action? Or, how would I relate to this action if my goal was to get as much enjoyment or fulfillment as possible out of it?
If you have trouble losing excess weight, it's likely that your body and mind are conspiring to keep that extra weight on you. When you're bored or sad or upset, the brain's natural tendency is to make the body do something to feel better, and food provides the immediate gratification.
Have you ever told a friend experiencing a troubling situation “I know exactly how you feel”? This empathic response is usually driven by a connection we’ve made with our own similar experiences.
Health-care providers are finding it increasingly difficult to provide compassion — in the midst of growing patient workloads, paperwork, institutional demands and workplace stress. They run the risk of depleting their compassion “gas tanks” in the process...
"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life." Don’t take my word for it. Try it. Make a list of the things that might give you pause or make you groan or recoil. Express your appreciation for these things in your life. Welcome them like old friends...
Facebook recently announced that it now has over 2 billion monthly users. This makes its “population” larger than that of China, the US, Mexico and Japan combined.
We touch the real heart of compassion when we can engage with someone who is suffering from carrying so much aggression, so much negativity, so much emotion that they can’t help but cause trouble and drive people away. If you can approach such a person and give them some support...
It was only when I began to study patience closely that I came to see how anger and patience are related. In fact, anger is the direct consequence of losing our patience. For it is precisely because we don’t have tolerance for something or someone that we get mad...
Most parents view their children’s playing of electronic games as potentially problematic – or even dangerous.
Sometime around 2011 or 2012, it suddenly became very easy to predict what people would be doing in public places: Most would be looking down at their phones.
Tourette syndrome is a mysterious medical curiosity that has puzzled doctors for more than a century. People who have it suffer from tics and other behavioral problems, such as obsessive compulsive traits and attention deficit disorder.
You may think that you love your child more than your best friend, or your husband more than the store clerk. But Love is one. It has no degrees and can’t really be separated into different forms.