Many of us suffered terrible losses in 2021. In the field of positive psychology, we lost two of our most influential scholars: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Ed Diener. In their honor, I’d like to remember and appreciate the contributions they made to the understanding of human flourishing. [Read more…] about Ten insights on human well-being and potential from two giants we sadly lost in 2021: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Ed Diener
Yes, starting today is OK too.
I started meditating soon after 9/11. I was living in Manhattan, an already chaotic place, at an extremely chaotic time. I realized I had no control over my external environment. But the one place I did have a say over was my mind, through meditation. When I started meditating, I did not realize it would also make me healthier, happier, and more resilient.
Having witnessed the benefits, I devoted my PhD research at Stanford to studying the impact of meditation. I saw people from diverse backgrounds from college students to combat veterans benefit. In the last 10 years, hundreds of studies have been released.
Here are seven evidence-based reasons you might want to get on the bandwagon as soon as you can: [Read more…] about Seven evidence-based reasons to start meditating yesterday
Just a few weeks ago, a group of middle school students in Alabama made the news for posting positive notes on the lockers of fellow students. For Christmas, a few Attleboro, MA, students chipped in to buy their beloved school janitor new boots as a present. And in December, a Michigan waitress received a $2,020 tip for a $23 dinner bill, sparking the “2020 Tip Challenge.”
People perform acts of kindness both to do good and to feel good. Research finds that being kind makes us happy, can help to lower our blood pressure, and encourages stronger social connections. Now [Read more…] about To boost your mental well-being, simply recall, right now, an act of kindness
Technology can be bad for us—for example, when social media gives us FOMO (fear of missing out) or traps us in filter bubbles that prevent us from seeing multiple points of view on important issues. As a society, we are increasingly concerned that technologies like smartphones and social media result in more social comparison, bullying, and loneliness—all stumbling blocks to happiness. Technology seems to be bad for our happiness when it interferes with the mental, social, emotional, and behavioral processes that contribute to well-being.
But we often fail to realize (and discuss) the ways that technology can also support happiness and well-being—for example [Read more…] about Four guidelines for smart use of smartphones
We humans evolved to be social creatures. By gaining the skills to cooperate with others, we were able to stave off predators, eat more consistently, and care for each other’s young, allowing our genes to carry forward.
So, why do we still struggle at times to get along—even to the extent that we war on one another? And how can understanding our evolutionary heritage help us have better relationships and more happiness today? [Read more…] about New book suggest ways to understand behavior and boost happiness in light of human evolution
As a child, I was convinced that my dad just went to work to play. My father was a neuroscientist at Baylor University, and his office was full of brightly colored blocks to test intelligence, books by MC Escher to study perception, and even a soundproof room covered in blue foam that I thought was for gymnastics [Read more…] about Why “Untrained Brains Are A Bit Like Puppies,” And How To Put Together the Building Blocks of a Smarter, Happier Mind