“I can feel your sadness.” This is a declaration we are certainly hearing frequently these days. And it’s not to be taken lightly. Experiencing another person’s sadness, for example, and having the ability to share in their feelings is called emotional empathy. It is emotional empathy that helps us build emotional connections with other people and ultimately serves as the thread of our existence as social beings.
Our ability to share in the joy of another person’s success or achievement, as well as our sense of heartbreak when someone experiences a personal tragedy, are fundamental elements of our social fabric. Simply stated, our social existence depends deeply on our ability to participate in the emotional experiences of others. Continue reading
When we were children, we were told that “please” and “thank you” were “magic words.” Indeed, they are. These days it seems like there is a palpable decline in what used to be common activity as it relates to socially appropriate behavior. And now, more than ever, expressing gratitude can go a long way towards helping someone feel happier.
There is actually science that clearly supports both how we as a culture tend to undervalue the importance of demonstrating gratitude as well as how it positively affects the recipient. And that is unfortunate because we know that the expression of gratitude improves the well-being of both the expresser as well as the recipient. So, if expressions of gratitude are such powerful tonics, why don’t we do more of them? Continue reading
It’s probably been a while since you’ve heard someone say, “You know, he may have a point,” or “I see where she’s coming from, I never thought of it that way.” We are becoming an increasingly polarized society, digging in our heels with respect to our own beliefs, and closing ourselves off to any interaction with others whose beliefs may differ from our own.
Whether it’s left-wing versus right-wing, Democrats versus Republicans, or vegans versus carnivores, the ability to engage in interactive dialogue seems to be on the wane, and this is not a good thing. The ability to visit with the ideology of another person, especially when that ideology is contrary to our own, clearly offers a benefit in terms of expanding both our knowledge base. Just experiencing or attempting to understand the beliefs of another person allows us to refine our own framework for navigating the world in which we live. Continue reading
By: Austin Perlmutter, M.D.
As we enter the 2020s, we’re faced with a strange paradox. Despite widespread access to all the things that are supposed to make us happy, we’re lonely, anxious and depressed. We are separated from sustainable joy.
We call this state disconnection syndrome. Continue reading
In the second episode of our Unhack Your Brain miniseries, Austin and I explore our modern relationship with technology and social media.
Certainly, the technological advancements of the past two decades have impacted all our lives for the better, from giving us access to information to better connecting us with loved ones near and far. But at what cost? Continue reading
There’s a painful paradox in the modern world: superficially, we seem to be more connected than ever, and yet, in some of the most important ways, the exact opposite is true. In fact, we are increasingly lonely, separated from nature, and struggling to connect with ourselves.
Here’s the thing: we know we need more healthy connection in our lives. Our bonds with those we care about, the natural environment and our own sense of self must be reclaimed for good mental and physical health. Brain Wash describes a variety of ways to start bringing these types of connection back into our lives. In addition to those techniques, here are 4 powerful methods for reclaiming meaningful connection in your life. Continue reading
There seems to be and ever-rising level of concern these days regarding the potentially damaging effects of our increasing internet usage. While it is compelling to let anecdotes enter into the conversation, it’s always more meaningful to look at what the scientific literature is telling us. Continue reading