happiness

Smile More for a Happier You

Pop culture and media try to convince us that smiling people are happier…and you would be too, if you smiled more. But can the act of smiling actually influence the way you feel? The psychological hypothesis of facial feedback proposes that facial movements do in fact influence one’s emotional state. Yet since this theory was… read more

The Self-Absorbed Brain

Ever been accused of being self-absorbed? Well new research confirms that you are…but don’t feel too bad about it. Your brain is automatically and instinctively self-centered; in fact, all healthy human brains are! The Association for Psychological Science published a fascinating research study on the apparent automaticity of the human brain’s self-absorption. Participants were tested… read more

The Importance of Exercise for Young Adults

We all know and understand the overall health benefits of exercise at any age. Current research has revealed the unique importance of exercise for young adults, and how it can impact lifestyle, brain function, and future quality of life. Many young adults (age 18-35) are encountering life changes such as career development, marriage, and parenthood… read more

Four Facts You Need To Know NOW About Dementia and Brain Training

I went jogging with my mom the other day, and despite her looming three-quarter-century birthday coming up (75 for those non math-minded folks) she kept me on my toes. She has been a lifelong runner and physical fitness is important to her. But what about her brain health? Unfortunately, most of the aging population is… read more

Don’t Look At Me With That Tone of Voice!

Every day we are confronted with a myriad of facial expressions and correlating interpretations. I head into a meeting with a new colleague: Is that a welcoming smile, a condescending smirk, or a fake show of teeth to hide nervousness? What about that look I got from my daughter’s ballet teacher: was she frowning in… read more

Me, Me, and More of Me

Juliana came in from school and rushed straight to her room. After 45 minutes of meticulously arranging her hair and make-up she sat in the afternoon sunlight by her window and smiled coquettishly into her smart phone. She spent half an hour posing, snapping pictures, and editing every perceivable flaw. Finally happy with the results,… read more

Ultimate Romance? Put Away Your Smartphone!

Just picture it…a glowing young couple gaze across the candlelit table at one another, fingers entwined. She leans in for a kiss when the moment is interrupted by a buzzing vibration next to his elbow. In one swift moment the romance dissipates as he picks up his smartphone and smoothly shifts his connection away from… read more

Surefire Stress Busters to Slow the Speed of Life

February is here, Spring is right around the corner, and time is rushing by at breakneck speed. And yet. And yet I sat there in the winter sunshine and did nothing. Of course there were ten-thousand-and-one things on my to-do list, emails to return, phone calls to make, kids to pick up…but that could all… read more

A New Year; A New Brain

It was the evening of January 1st, 2019 when my oldest son garnered the family’s attention at the dinner table. “It’s New Year’s Day,” he announced with a dramatic flair, “and I’ve got something important to tell you all.” While his tone was serious, I detected a twinkle in his eye that alerted me to… read more

Giving: The Happiest Gift of All

Research now offers scientific evidence for accuracy of the age-old-adage, “it is better to give than to receive.” In a delightfully Christmas-themed post this past week, Science Daily shared the good news of research results soon to be published by the Association for Psychological Science. Researchers conducted two experiments designed to measure self-reported feelings of… read more

Ditch Your Phone For A Happier Home

Parent Screen-Time Coincides with Child Behavior Problems.  The spaghetti sauce simmers on the stove, salad is ready to go, and I toss the noodles with olive oil. I pour a glass of merlot and plop down on the couch for a five-minute break. I scroll through Instagram posts, comment on my friend’s beach pictures, and… read more

Trained For Happiness

Even though traumatic brain injury frequently results in a cascade of negative emotions including depression, brain training might help! Researchers at the Center for Brain Health at UT Dallas measured depression outcomes for 79 people with TBI before and after two types of brain training. Not only did the group with TBI and depression show… read more