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Ever feel that stress makes you more cranky, hot-headed or irritable? For men in particular, we think of stress as generating testosterone-fueled aggression – thus instances of road rage, or the need to “blow off steam” after work with a trip to the gym or a bar. On the other hand, in circumstances of extreme stress such as during natu…Read More
Marketing executives want us to believe that happiness lies in a product that will taste delicious, magically fill our bank accounts, or transform us into a supermodel that looks not a day past 20. Our social norms promise that happiness will lie in status, accomplishments, relationships, and possessions. We are always on the lookout for the ne…Read More
Just by looking at someone, you experience them. Ever fallen in love at first sight or had a “gut feeling” about someone? You internally resonated with them. Ever seen someone trip and momentarily felt a twinge of pain for them? Observing them activates the “pain matrix” in your brain, research shows. Ever been moved by the sight of a person helpin…Read More
“I am not a victim” said a young Marine in our study. Recently returned from Afghanistan, he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. A man or woman with the courage to go to war does not easily embrace victimhood. Complementary therapies based in yoga and meditation, however, may provide empowering alternatives to traditional treatment…Read More
A few weeks ago, an unprecedented letter arrived at our office at the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University. Here is an excerpt:
The purpose of the inmate’s letter was to request reading materials pertaining to research on meditation and the brain. His goal upon his release is to get a Ph.D. in psyc…Read More
Why is falling in love scary? Why do people often shut down in the face of intimacy? Because of an intense fear of vulnerability. Dr. Brene Brown, Professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, explains this phenomenon: “Vacillating between I am here and I love you…and I’m going to reveal my innermost to you…and I…Read More
Edwin Rutsch from the Center for Building a Culture of Empathy is doing amazing work compiling and providing educational materials on empathy research in order to promote a culture of empathy. He has a scoopit page, a website, a facebook page, a magazine, and a youtube channel. In addition to posting research articles, he interviews scientists…Read More
We all know the basics of health 101: eat your veggies, go to the gym and get proper rest. But how many of us know that social connection is as important? Social connection improves physical health and psychological well-being. One telling study showed that lack of social connection is a greater detriment to health than obesity, smoking and hig…Read More
Rich Low dreamed of Iraq long after he returned home from the war.
The memories haunted him when he was awake, too. About six months after his deployment, he was driving at night when a sudden burst of lightning snapped him back to Baghdad and the bomb that exploded near him during a thunderstorm.
Low’s pulse raced as adrenaline surged th…Read More
Science tells us compassion is good for our health, and we know that helping others makes us feel good, but sometimes it feels like there just aren’t enough hours in the day. There is so much to do, can I possibly find time to contribute? Yes! In minutes, at no or low cost, and from your desk, you can contribute.
1. Lend A Few Dollars, Change So…Read More