Happiness Articles

Neurosignaling for the Masses? What I Think About Thync

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Neurosignaling for the Masses? What I Think About ThyncThync is a new consumer device and app that hopes to help the average person better control their emotional energy state. The company claims the device allows a user to choose between two mood states: more energized and focused (for increasing attention), or more relaxed and calm (for decreasing stress).

The current version of the Thync device uses modulated transcranial direct current stimulation, or what founder W. Jamie Tyler likes to refer to as just transcranial electrical stimulation (TES). Using a specific wavelength, new proprietary electrodes, and exact placement, Thync believes it can help moderate your moods.

So what do I think about Thync? Does it really have the potential to affect our mood?

The 6 Worthwhile Benefits of Life in the Slow Lane

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Summer landscape with green grass, road and clouds

“Stop beating yourself up. You are a work in progress; which means you get there a little at a time, not all at once.” — Unknown

I’ve been practicing yoga, on and off, for fifteen years.

It’s helped me through and out the other side of infertility, kept me company on the long and winding road of adoption, and helped walk me out of the shadows of depression.

It’s a big part of my life, part of who I am — a faithful friend, the kind that welcomes you back with open arms even after you’ve been inattentive.

5 Tips for Becoming a Better Listener

Monday, January 26th, 2015

listenI’m a big fan of Elizabeth Bernstein‘s work in the Wall Street Journal, and she wrote an interesting piece, “How Well Are You Listening? We’re naturally bad listeners, even with loved ones; steps to avoid burn-out.”

Here are some of the key steps she outlines, for being a better listener:

1. Look for hints that a person wants to talk — and signal your willingness to listen. My husband rarely wants to “talk,” but when he does, I put my book down flat in my lap, to show that I’m paying close attention (and to prevent myself from sneaking a look at the page).

Do Comfort and Adventure Have to Be Mutually Exclusive?

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

Woman Outdoors Looking Away

“Which do you prefer, adventure or comfort?” I was asked recently, matter-of-factly, as if the two were mutually separate entities, and I, given the option to choose only one.

I closed my eyes and I wondered. Now, at the age of 53, I see clearly that my answer is remarkably different than the answer I would have certainly given in my 20s.

“I am seeking comfort,” I shot out too quickly, “…and adventure,” I added, clearly coming across as someone who has trouble making decisions.

Psychology Around the Net: January 24, 2014

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

Fear

Ever wonder what makes you — and keeps you — a loyal customer? How about ways to strength train your brain? Oh, and speaking of your brain — where does all that fear and anxiety come from, anyway?

We have it all and more in this week’s Psychology Around the Net.

Fear Pinpoinited: Scientists Discover Exactly Where Anxiety Resides in the Brain: Tests on mice have helped New York’s Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory researchers pinpoint the area, or “circuit,” in the brain where “fearful memories and behavior” are controlled. Could this lead to new anxiety treatments?

Your Identity Versus Your Stuff: Letting Go of Things to Find Yourself

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Your Identity Versus Your Stuff: Letting Go of Things to Find YourselfIt’s long been said that the things you own end up owning you. They fill our lives and take up space. We buy new homes just to accommodate all this stuff. How come it always seems like we’re getting more and more stuff? And why is it so hard to part with?

A lot of us have things in our house that we have never used, haven’t used in years, or have no use for to begin with. Oddly enough, we tend to avoid asking ourselves, “Is this thing important? Why am I hanging onto it?”

Of course, I have stuff on the brain. I’m packing my Brooklyn apartment to move across the country to California (as I described here). The trip is part of an emotional journey to see if it’s possible for a person to learn to be laid-back. I think letting go of a lot of useless items is a good place to start.

5 Tips for Finding Love with a Mental Illness

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

3 Therapy Exercises to Help Couples ConnectDating can bring joy and passion or make you feel lonely and misunderstood. When you add a mental illness into the mix, things can get even more complicated — if you let them. But you’re hardly alone in your confusion.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, in any given year, roughly one in four adults experiences mental illness. Of these, many are enjoying loving, stable relationships. Many others don’t even know they have a mental disorder.

Mental illness is a medical condition that can be treated with medication and therapy. It doesn’t have to limit your social life, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t look for a partner.

Maybe Your Comfort Zone Isn’t What You Think It Is

Monday, January 19th, 2015

20 Calming or Invigorating Mini Meditations to Practice Every DayWhile thinking outside the box and transcending fear has long been praised, I recently read a book excerpt arguing against getting out of your “comfort zone.” Instead of pushing your limits, author Meghan Daum suggests embracing our limitations.

“I am convinced that excellence comes not from overcoming limitations but from embracing them,” she writes in her book The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion.

It seems interesting, but it brings up another important question: Is your comfort zone even what you think it is? Are we embracing a lifestyle where we are both satisfied and competent? Or underneath do we feel we are missing out on something?

Like Jung and Wharton, Do You Remember When You First Knew Yourself?

Monday, January 19th, 2015

mirroremptyIn my writing about habits and happiness, I keep coming back to the same idea: to shape our habits, to build our happiness, we have to start with a knowledge of ourselves — our own nature, our own interest, our own temperament.

It sounds so easy to know yourself — after all, you hang out with yourself all day! But it’s very, very challenging. We’re so distracted by how we wish we were, or by what think we ought to be, or by what other people expect from us … we lose touch with what’s actually true.

7 Tips to Avoid Letting Money Negatively Affect Your Relationships

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

Money Lock

It is said that money is one of the No. 1 challenges in relationships; however, it is not just the lack of money that causes problems. The pursuit of money and the use of money are also capable of challenging, if not destroying, our relationships.

As we put a firm step into the New Year, here are some reminders for maintaining healthy relationships with your loved ones, business associates, and with yourself. These golden rules can take you farther than simple riches can.

A Fun Way to Shape the New Year: Pick a One-Word Theme

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

Magnetic-WordsI love New Year’s resolutions — and I’m not the only one. Some 44% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions.

There’s one kind of resolution that I particularly love: identifying one idea, often summarized in just one word, as an overarching theme for the entire year.

My sister often does this kind of resolution. This year her theme is “Novel.” One year was the year of “Free Time,” another was “Hot Wheels” — that year, she got a car and started driving; she and I have both struggled with a fear of driving, which was much tougher for her, given that she lives in Los Angeles and I live in New York City.

Psychology Around the Net: January 17, 2015

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

The Paralysis of Analysis: On Overthinking

Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

This week’s edition of Psychology Around the Net will help you fill your weekend with ponderings about potentially healthy ways to change your perspective, what it really takes to fall in love (or, at least, feel closer to someone), how your state ranks when it comes to mental health services, and more.

Enjoy!

5 Ways to Adjust Your Perspective in 2015: Feeling moody? Want more creative inspiration? What about help focusing on the “important things”? These five tips might surprise you.

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