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What is Face Blindness?

It happens to most of us from time to time; someone comes up, calls us by name and launches into a chummy conversation. Though you can’t recall their face, within seconds it’s clear you and this someone have a relationship of some sort. And so, you nod politely, desperately analyzing their […]

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Try More Sleep and Reap the Rewards

The average human spends one-third of their life sleeping, but rumor has it that things were a little bit different for Leonardo da Vinci: da Vinci would only take 1-hour naps every 4 hours. Looking at one of the most influential geniuses of mankind, one might think that sleeping might actually be […]

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The Power of Green

It’s not just fresh air that helps clear your mind when you take a walk in the park — simply being around plants and trees has a beneficial effect, too. What can numb pain, make you a better person, and help you concentrate … ? A plant. It may sound far-fetched, but it’s true. While big pharmaceutical companies spend billions trying to come up with new medications to […]

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Empowering Our Children With The Gift Of Happiness

As a mother of two young girls and as a pediatrician who cares for kids from birth through age 21, I cannot count the times I have heard a mother say, “All I want is for my child to be happy.” It is of utmost importance that a mother be equipped to empower her children with the tools to guarantee a lifetime of happiness. Happiness is a choice. We must choose to be happy, and we must teach […]

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I Can’t Decide! Why An Increase in Choices Decreases Our Happiness

Generally, the ability to choose is a good thing. It enables us to be the driver of our own destiny, fill our need for self-determination and express who we are to the world. Logic would assume that the more choices we have, the better the options, resulting in a greater satisfaction by getting exactly what we want; a secret to happiness. But as our options have continued to increase […]

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The Best Diet You Can Go On

Our culture teaches that if you work hard enough at anything, you’ll be successful. Recent studies, however, suggest that hard work may not be enough when it comes to weight loss.
At a time when obesity is a national — and increasingly an international — epidemic, scientists are weighing in on the billion-dollar weight-loss industry to try and figure out what it takes […]

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Can We Trust Our Intuition? A Q&A with Daniel Kahneman

Daniel Kahneman is the world’s pre-eminent investigator of the ways in which the limits of our cognitive abilities shape our judgments. Since the late 1960s, his work, much of which was carried out in close collaboration with the late Amos Tversky (1937–1996), has focused on our intuitive judgments. One of Kahneman and Tversky’s favored methods of studying such […]

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How to Keep Calm and Carry On

One of my scientific heroes, positive-psychology researcher Barbara Fredrickson, published a study a few years ago showing that the largest variable in determining our level of life satisfaction is resilience – the ability to bounce back quickly from life’s small and large upsets. It wasn’t having […]

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Can Addiction Be Positive?

Is there such a thing as “positive” addiction? It sounds contradictory. But what exactly is addiction? An issue of the Harvard Mental Health Letter advises us that uncontrollable craving and prolonged use of a substance are involved. The idea of craving was highlighted by research in the 1990s […]

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What Buddha Can Do For Your Brain

Just as we can get better at playing tennis or cooking steak, we can get better at using our brains, re-training it so that we become happier, more resilient people, says neuropsychologist Rick Hanson, Ph.D., co-author (with Richard Mendius, M.D.) of the bestselling book “Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom.” Using principles at the intersection of psychology […]