A Noble Sadness: The Benefits of Sorrow

What are the benefits of sadness, sorrow and grief? We tend to shy away from these emotions, because they make us feel vulnerable. But could sadness lead to love and belonging?

Moped Mind: Mindfulness and Nonduality Inspire in Vietnam

On the eve of the 41st anniversary of the Fall of Saigon, here are some reflections on mindfulness and nondual awareness, inspired by Vietnam and – crossing the street!

Could #Striving Be the New #Woke?

Buddha was called "The Awakened One." Are you "woke"?

Trillin v. Twitter: Have They Run Out of Ordnance Yet?

Calvin Trillin drew online ire for a satiric poem about Chinese food. What does this tell us about the psychology of anger, racism and social media?

Sense and Sensibility - and Sexting? A Wake-Up Call

Teen girls are at risk from social media, pornography and sexual pressures. What are the dangers and what can we do? Here are the stories, as told by Nancy Jo Sales.

Top Pacific Heart Stories of 2015-2016

April 1, 2016 marks the end of my 5th year of blogging for Psychology Today. Here are my top and essential reads for the last year.

Trump's Language: Psychology, Politics & Danger of Disgust

Donald Trump often uses the word "disgusting" in describing his opponents, protestors or people he doesn't like. What is the psychology of disgust and its potential dangers?

Social Media - Do We Need a Medium?

A year after deactivating Facebook, I feel happier and the world seems more vivid and interesting. Here's why I think that is.

#Oscarssowhite: Antidote for Anti-Asian Racism is CAAMFest

Diversity has become an important issue for the Oscars. Yet tonight featured racist anti-Asian jokes. These jokes can perpetuate bullying and worse. The antidote - CAAMFest!

Donald Trump Should Be Charged With a Crime!

Donald Trump has been regularly making threats. Why are black men being charged while this billionaire gets off scot free with inciting violence, causing trauma to half of us?

The Year of the Monkey: Which Monkey Are You?

It's the Lunar Year of the Monkey. Are we more bonobo-like, favoring sex, or chimp-like, favoring aggression?

The Power Tactics of Donald Trump

Jay Haley’s 1969 essay “The Power Tactics of Jesus Christ” came to mind recently. Trump is no Jesus, of course, but we have to grapple with his alarming use of power.

The Facebook Charitable Initiative Disaster

Facebook CEO and Founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, just announced they would be giving away most of their fortune. But is the applause misplaced?

Friendship Gardens – the Modern Victory Gardens

A meditation about both changes in San Francisco and the necessity of community, home and belonging in this time of war and refugees. World War II called for Victory Gardens. Maybe our time of division calls for Friendship Gardens.

Slow Is From the Heart

A trip to Cambodia, 40 years after the fall of Phnom Penh to the Khmer Rouge, leads to an encounter with ancient wisdom in the form of a dancer, Vong Metry. Here's what she taught me, and what is so relevant in the aftermath of violence and rage.

The Assault on the American Mind

Are students less resilient? Or are they protesting in their own way by demanding safe spaces and trigger warnings? A response to "The Coddling of the American Mind" in Atlantic.

Social Media Shaming: A Call to Conscience or Mob Madness?

Recently two books explore the good, bad and ugly of online shaming. Here's a brief review and reflections on where we are in the age of social networks

No, the Dalai Lama is not a Sexist (Taming the Angernet)

Social media scapegoating hit a new low a few days ago, in the attempted shaming of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. A Jezebel article about the Dalai Lama went viral. Here are the facts and a response, and my own reflections on the "angernet."

Bringing an “Empathy” button to Facebook

Facebook announced that it was working on an alternative to the "Like" button. Some users clamor to "Dislike" posts, but here are some other, more pro-social options.

6 Reasons You Have to Read This Article – NOW!

Click to learn the ouroborus of listicles. Click to find out what Ouroborus means.

Sex, Love and Politics at the Movies

Mora Stephens' new film "Zipper" explores private needs and the public good. Starring Patrick Wilson, Lena Headey and with an appearance by John Cho, it's a great conversation starter about politics, the libido and ethics.

Geek Heresy: Bursting the Hi-Tech Hype Bubble

Kentaro Toyama takes aim at geek myths and cybersolutionism in his new book Geek Heresy. Social media gets a close look as well. Toyama draws important conclusions from his work in India, Africa and the U.S. on what really makes a difference in personal and societal development. Hint: it’s not your smartphone.

Why I’m Quitting Amazon - Workers of the World Unite!

The NYT's article on Amazon grabbed headlines this week. Toxic workplaces are anathema to the advocates of emotional intelligence. That's why I'm taking my business away from Amazon.

Otome: What We Can Learn About Love from J-Romance Games

Otome are romance simulation games, primarily for girls and women, initially made in Japan but now spreading worldwide. I was interviewed for the Bullet Train podcast as a psychiatrist to comment on what we can learn about love from otome. A lot, it turns out!

Is Donald Trump a Walking Subreddit?

Trump, the Reddit Revolt and this moment in the American psyche. Dealing with the Machiavellian dark drives of paranoid hatred. The problems of connection and disconnection are being surfaced - but how will they be solved?

Turning Point in Trust

Trust vs. Mistrust is the first Eriksonian developmental stage. America has been in the grips of mistrust socially and politically for decades. The last two weeks have brought a meaningful sign of hope, as we've stood for equality and against bigotry. This coming together marks a historical turning point in trust. There's work to be done, but there's reason to hope.

Fighting Back Against Bias in "Intellectualism" or "Reason"

David Niose's arguments against anti-intellectualism are interesting, but betray some significant cognitive distortions. Reason, in the end, cannot be totally free of bias without humility and relationship.

Headquarters? What Headquarters? Behind Pixar's Inside Out

Inside Out is a fantastic movie, highlighting the inner life of a girl, with plenty of positive female role models in the form of emotions. Sadness is the unlikely hero. We learn a lot about childhood vulnerability, emotional regulation, and adaptation. But emotional regulation, and the idea of a “Headquarters” in our mind, bear a closer look.

No, Self-Centeredness Is Killing America

David Niose argues that "America's social and political dysfunction is rooted in dangerous pathology: anti-intellectualism." But my view is it's not anti-intellectualism, but self-centeredness which is at the heart of social and political problems, including the racist hatred that motivated the Charleston massacre. The good news: We can do something about it.

Forgiving the Unforgivable: From Hatred to Empathy

What are the psychological and evolutionary imperatives that undergird hate and racism? How can we undercut hatred with forgiveness and love? An interdisciplinary, cross-cultural understanding and reflections on the Charleston massacre.

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