A present, focused mind is a happy mind

Posted by on Dec 4, 2012

When are humans most happy? To gather data on this question, Matt Killingsworth built an app, Track Your Happiness, that let people report their feelings in real time. Among the surprising results: We’re often happiest when we’re lost in the moment. And the flip side: The more our mind wanders, the less happy we can be. (Filmed at TEDxCambridge.)

Matt Killingsworth talk (10 minute video)

ACT, Anxiety & stress, Mood & Emotion

The problem with positive thinking explored

Posted by on Nov 14, 2012

This theme seems to be making its way from psychology research into the mainstream media more and more (see the TIME article I posted on June 21). Decades of the “positive thinking” industry have little to show, and folks are looking for something more realistic and useful…

The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking (7 minute NPR interview with author)

ACT, Cognition, For clients, Mood & Emotion

One family’s struggle with Bipolar I — and the mental health system

Posted by on Jun 30, 2012

This is an a incredibly well written feature that does two things. It shows how hard it is to care for a loved one caught in the grips of the darker side of mania. It also shows how the institutions and laws we have offer little hope of providing any kind of treatment for someone who doesn’t want it — even if they have shown themselves to be a danger or unable to care for themselves. Balancing public safety (which often means family members) with civil rights in the case of conditions like schizophrenia and Bipolar I, proves to be a challenge — one we are failing to meet adequately.

When My Crazy Father Actually Lost His Mind (NY Times)

Mood & Emotion

Why more choice makes us unhappy

Posted by on Jun 23, 2012

The explosion of choice in affluent countries, argues psychologist Barry Schwartz, not only leads to paralysis, but dissatisfaction with our choices and ourselves, as there are always other choices which might have been better than the one we selected. He starts by detailing the explosion of choice, from salad dressings to mutual funds, and then at 7:50 begins explaining why more choice leads to more unhappiness. This is a good listen for all, including parents who might get more clarity on why limiting our children’s choices and freedoms, and keeping their expectations within reasonable limits, may actually help them feel better about themselves.

Cognition, Mood & Emotion, Parenting & Children