Students and educators have started a new school year in the midst of a pandemic, an economic crisis, a reckoning with racial injustice, and a divisive political climate. Everyone’s mental health is at risk, and schools are searching for ways to support young people’s well-being in addition to their academic learning. [Read more…] about Study: A combined teaching + app gratitude program helps adolescents address anxiety and improve mental health
How anxiety affects your focus (BBC Worklife):
Feel like you can’t concentrate on anything at the moment? You’re not alone. The extra anxiety caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has impaired our working memory, experts say … What’s happening is a malfunction of working memory: the ability to grasp incoming information, form it into a cohesive thought, and hold onto it long enough to do what you need to with it.
In other words, working memory is the ability to reason in real time, and it’s a big part of what makes the human brain so powerful. But research has showed that rapidly changing circumstances, worry and anxiety can all have a significant impact on your ability to focus.
Young people who are hooked on watching fantasy or reading science fiction may be on to something. Contrary to a common misperception that reading this genre is an unworthy practice, reading science fiction and fantasy may help young people cope, especially with the stress and anxiety of living through the COVID-19 pandemic.
I am a professor with research interests in the social, ethical and political messages in science fiction. In my book [Read more…] about Reading science fiction can help children build critical thinking and resilience
Psychologist and neuroscience expert Rick Hanson studies the mental resources that promote resilience, from calm and gratitude to confidence and courage. According to Hanson, the coronavirus crisis is exposing some of our psychological vulnerabilities, and reminding us how important it is to nurture our social and emotional strengths.
In his new book, Neurodharma, Hanson writes about how we can cultivate more equanimity, wisdom, and moral action using meditation and other practices. As he illustrates with neuroscience research, practicing positive states of being like these can lead to physical changes in the brain, which in turn [Read more…] about Q&A with Rick Hanson on Neurodharma, brain science, personal practice and well-being
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
Everyone’s talking about yesterday’s Academy Awards—and so we thought we’d give out our own version of the Oscars, the Greater Goodies.
Whereas the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes achievements in acting, directing, editing, and so on, the Greater Good staff picked our winners for their ability to illustrate specific keys to human well-being, such as growth mindset, resilience, purpose, and forgiveness.
Some of the movies are action-filled blockbusters, like Wonder Woman or Star Wars: The Last Jedi; others are quiet independent films like The Florida Project and Lady Bird. We hope the Greater Goodies help you see all of these films in a new light—and perhaps you can apply their insights to your own life. [Read more…] about Forget the Oscars — the Greater Goodies honor Ten Films that Highlight the Growth Mindset, Resilience, Purpose and more