Happiness Essential Reads

Happiness versus Success

Over the decades - as both a psychiatrist practicing in Silicon Valley and a civilian living here locally - I have witnessed so much success and yet so little happiness. In our valley of material riches and natural beauty, the two are regrettably too often in opposition.

What's The Most Important Decision You’ve Ever Made?

Life is full of choices and although we may not ponder each decision we make, some can turn out to have surprisingly important effects on our happiness. Use this 10-item quiz to take stock of the ones you’ve made and ask yourself which have had the greatest impact on the direction your life has taken.

What’s the Key Imperative for Lasting Love?

In the idyllic state of romantic love, you typically attempt to secure the object of your passion by putting their wants and needs ahead of your own. It’s as though you’re saying to yourself: “So I can make you mine, I’ll make fulfilling your desires more important than my own.” But that relational stance yet includes a crucial contingency clause. . . .

Smart, Successful, and Yet Not Happy?

Why aren't the smart-and-the-successful as happy as they could--or should--be? In this article, I attempt to provide a broad answer to this question.

Simple, Everyday Actions That Support Mental Health

Learn simple ways to support yourself and others for better mental health.

Three Simple Steps to Heal Conflict and Strengthen Love

By Ken Page L.C.S.W. on May 23, 2015 in Finding Love
This simple technique is designed to deepen all of your intimate relationships, including your relationship with yourself. Each of its three steps leads to a deeper state of authenticity, a gentle, skillful “overthrow” of the inner and outer voices which hold us back from deeper love.

What You Need to Know About a Know-it-All

The feeling of knowing is an essential brain sensation, without which we would not likely strive to learn. And yet, the feeling of being right is not necessarily connected to actually being correct.

Nine Lessons from Mad Men: The Emotional Cost of Dishonesty

What emotional price do we pay for our lies? Here, I share nine lessons from Mad Men on how to stop your lies from destroying your happiness.

Why Anticipatory Nostalgia Promotes Gratitude

By Jaime Kurtz Ph.D. on May 19, 2015 in Happy Trails
Think ahead—what might you miss as you embark on your summer travels?

A Crash Course on Happiness

Are you a "seeker"—someone who's always been interested in happiness? Have you wondered about what it would take to sustain happiness? Are you curious about the true and the fake determinants of happiness? If so, you may be in luck!

The Power of Wisdom to Enact Social Change

Many believe that the rise of technology and the logical problem solving mindset can solve the world’s problems. But after years of creating technologies to help improve poverty, health, and education, Kentaro Toyama started to reach a different conclusion: Social change comes from the heart, mind, and will of people. Technologies are only as good as the wisdom of people.

Why Some Men Find It So Hard to Give In

We expect men to be dominant and women to be submissive, according to traditional gender roles. A man who submits to the authority of others, therefore, runs this risk of violating society’s norms. For some men, the shame of giving in hits particularly hard.

6 Ways That Tonight's Dreams Could Change Your Life

Can we benefit from thinking about our dreams? Will attending to our dreams waste our time or, even worse, mislead us into inferences of false meaning?

Finding Meaning Through Mental Time Travel

Imagine returning to the home where you grew up, opening the door, and walking right back into your childhood or youth? What would you learn about yourself and your life story? How would you live your life differently today?

Music's Effects on Cognitive Function of the Elderly

By William R. Klemm Ph.D. on April 30, 2015 in Memory Medic
Music can be therapy for old age.

Can Women Ever Be Taken Seriously?

Gravitas, or the assertion of power through body language, is a concept usually associated with men. However, it is possible under the right circumstances for women to have a piece of the power dynamic pie.

Why Betrayal Hurts So Much (and Who Seeks Revenge)

A betrayal by someone you trust is one of the most challenging interpersonal situations you can face in life. Whether through infidelity or a failure to fulfill a promise, betrayal leads to a desire for revenge, particularly in some people. New neuroscience research suggests who’s most likely to be hurt by a betrayal and why.

Don't Aim for Happiness

Loss and melancholy cannot be avoided. Poetry assists acceptance better than manuals of happiness.

5 Ways to Heal a Broken Heart

How do you recover from one of the most painful life experiences?

Dropping Your "Me" Story

You are not experiencing suffering, you are suffering your experience.

Why Regret May Not Always Be a Bad Thing (But Sometimes Is)

By Peg Streep on April 22, 2015 in Tech Support
Regret, paradoxically, can both make you unhappy and, sometimes, provide the boost you need to make better choices for yourself and increase your happiness. A look at how regret functions in different individual's lives.

Why We Get Such Dumb Advice About Love, Money and Health

Does not every teenager already know you should comb your hair and look for a kind, suitable partner? What kind of dumb advice is this?

Why I Can't..... or Why Can't I?

Our beliefs and thoughts impact our lives more than any relationship.It would be wise to evaluate how we came to them and whether they truly serve us.

When You Need Compassion, Who Can You Really Count On?

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on April 19, 2015 in The Squeaky Wheel
When you want to reach out after an emotionally distressing event, which person is more likely to be compassionate and supportive, someone who has been through a similar experience or someone who has not? Read on to find out...

10 Tips to Change From Reactive to Proactive in Situations

All of us encounter experiences in life when we may be temporally overwhelmed by a negative emotion, be it anger, pressure, nervousness, despair, or confusion. In these situations, how we choose to “master the moment” can make the difference between proactive versus reactive, and confidence versus insecurity. Here are ten ways to be less reactive in difficult situations...

The Expert's Guide to People Watching

The art of people watching most likely dates back to earliest civilization. Putting psychology’s knowledge about nonverbal behavior to use can help you become a pro at this basic human pastime.

If You Judge People, You Have No Time To Love Them

By Allison Carmen on April 16, 2015 in The Gift of Maybe
"If You Judge People, You Have No Time To Love Them." Mother Teresa Our judgments interfere with many of our relationships. Often we get so consumed with everything our spouse, child, friend or co-worker is not doing right, that we often forget to see what is special and wonderful about them.

The 4 Styles of Humor

What do you find funny, and what sort of humor appeals to you? Research has focused on different humor styles, and distinguishes four types.

The Best Time to Plant a Tree Was 20 Years Ago, No Matter

By Richard Smith Ph.D. on April 14, 2015 in Joy and Pain
Feeling like life has passed you by? No matter how much time you think you've wasted, starting today there still plenty of time to start afresh. Before you know it, you will reflect on your life with satisfaction.

What to Do When Your Life Takes an Unexpected Turn

As you make your way through life, you are guided by both the long- and short-term goals you’ve set for yourself. However, your plans may take an unexpected turn. From research on “career shocks,” you can learn to manage the unexpectedly good and bad that life throws your way whether in your career or your relationships.