Martin Seligman was weeding the garden with his five-year old-daughter Nikki. It was 1999, and he had recently been elected as president of the American Psychological Association (the APA) — the largest and most prestigious organization of psychologists in the United States. Nikki was singing and dancing while throwing weeds up in the air. Seligman, on the other hand, was grumpy and becoming increasingly annoyed. He yelled. And his daughter walked off, upset.
Returning a few minutes later, she had this to say: “Daddy, do you remember before my fifth birthday? From the time I was three to the time…
Mindfulness may be the perfect medicine. All the research points to its immense benefit to physical and mental well-being. Zero cost, no equipment, side effect free — it can be performed anywhere. If it came in pill form, we would all pop at least one every day.
And yet, for me, it’s just not working. I must be broken.
Mindfulness as medicine
“Mindfulness helps us see clearly so we can make wise choices and respond to life effectively,” says Shauna Shapiro in her hugely successful book, Rewire Your Mind. …
Fear of public speaking is real and, for most of us, limiting. Whether it’s that sense of dread far in advance of the presentation or the rising feelings of panic as we wait for our turn to stand and talk, it can be gut-wrenching.
Standing in front of people can, at minimum, be uncomfortable but also causes panic attacks and depression. Most of us have experienced a racing heart, sweating, wanting to run away, or avoiding such requests to talk in the first place.
If left unchecked, public speaking anxiety can even affect educational performance and increase the chance of…
While stress may never be your friend, it needn’t be your enemy.
If managed, stress is an opportunity for growth, development, and learning. Yet, for this to happen, we need to change our perception of what pressure is and what it means to us.
Fear and anxiety are major causes of stress and result in a combination of responses, including:
Physical: clammy hands and heart palpitation.
Cognitive: decreased rational thinking and reduced memory performance.
Behavioural: avoidance of situations, nervous pacing, fidgeting.
Yet, stress can be enhancing when its creative power is harnessed and its adverse effects minimized.
“ A sense…
Soon after the pandemic hit, I was told my job was being cut.
Rather than being upset, angry even, I felt a wave of relief. After all, I was no longer a good fit for where I worked. Over the last eight years, my employer and I had both moved on, just not in the same direction.
But I felt vulnerable.
One of the things we fear most is vulnerability.
Yet, perhaps surprisingly, as vulnerability expert Brené Brown writes in Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, vulnerability is the…
As I write these words, I am conscious of how I will answer three questions.
After all, I am taking your time as a reader. I just hope I am giving something tangible back and restoring balance.
Translated, the Japanese word Naikan means looking inside. Born out of the austere practice of self-examination known as mishirabe, Ishin Yoshimoto wished to provide a more accessible path to compassion and awareness.
And that’s what I’m asking myself. How much am I contributing to the world as I write, and how much am I removing?
In Naikan: Gratitude, Grace, and the Japanese Art…
Our sense of terror at the staggering death toll and the highly contagious nature of COVID-19 worldwide may be shaped by the meaning we give to life.
A 2020 paper explored the pandemic’s effect on our–uniquely human–awareness of the inevitability of death. It recognized that humanity’s constant craving for knowledge combined with its drive for self-preservation results in “an ever-present potential for existential terror,” says Tom Pyszczynski, a psychology professor at the University of Colorado.
As we continue to witness images of overrun hospitals, makeshift morgues, and tragic stories from those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19, we are…
Exploring human potential — through psychology and science