How Do We Know What Makes Us Happy?

How Do We Know What Makes Us Happy?

We are influenced by social comparison more than we like to admit. When you see what others enjoy, you may suddenly feel that you need that to be happy. You don’t want to think this way. Like a child who urgently wants the red cupcake after another child chooses it, a...
Science and Political Correctness 

Science and Political Correctness 

I just got back from Mexico, where I presented the Spanish translation of my book Habits of a Happy Brain. Here I am on the Mexican equivalent of The Today Show, after furiously working on my Spanish for a few weeks. A few reporters showed up with dog-eared copies of...
The Simple Source of Phone Addiction

The Simple Source of Phone Addiction

Imagine yourself getting great news on your phone. It stimulates your dopamine, which paves a neural pathway connecting your phone to your dopamine. The great feeling of dopamine tells your brain “this meets my needs.” Of course you don’t consciously think...
The Value of Being “Wild”

The Value of Being “Wild”

“Wild” means meeting your own needs. We don’t feed wild animals because it undermines their ability to meet their own needs. I was reminded of this by a blog warning to tourists in Costa Rica: “Don’t Feed the Monkeys. Conditioning them to expect human handouts...
A Positive Approach to Addiction

A Positive Approach to Addiction

Positive psychology can help recovering addicts discover their power over old habits. A positive approach to recovery can make an important contribution to a field that can be unwittingly negative. Despite good intentions, many treatment strategies weaken a recovering...
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