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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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5 Ways to Flip the Switch on Misery

Chronic complainers think they are expressing their feelings about their lives — but they do it repeatedly, incessantly and annoyingly, to anyone who will listen. Of course, none of it is their fault — they feel like helpless victims, that there is nothing to do to change their pitiful circumstances. […]

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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 […]

aging

Three Quandaries of Getting Really Old

In the college classes I teach, students are concerned about what happens in what they call “old age.” Of course the best answer is, “It surely beats the alternative.” But often, that’s not enough. Some students actually express the desire to die relatively young — as young as 50! (Which will seem old to them — until they get close to it.) But perhaps that’s because […]

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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 […]

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Inside The Dream Mind

What goes on inside your brain when you’re dreaming? Well, as it happens, no one seems to know exactly. Not the mystics with the crystal balls, not the dream interpreters, and not even, as you might suspect, scientists. While several theories are floating about in both the scientific and non-scientific worlds about what dreams are […]

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You Are Getting Sleepy: The Art of Hypnosis

While driving on a trip from New York City to the Catskills, which I had taken numerous times, I noticed a tree was missing in a spot along the route. I was surprised that I recognized one tree among many miles of scenery. I knew that I could not have paid attention to every single tree or house or any other item on the route. How could my mind keep track of such things when I wasn’t […]

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5 Ways to Conquer Distraction in a Super-Connected World

The human race has reached a point of information overload, or at least a point where some feel so overwhelmed by an unrelenting firehose of messages delivered 24/7 by our various devices that they would risk their lives while driving just to retrieve one more text message or phone call. Our brains have evolved to adapt and change easily, so we are in the midst of a grand experiment […]