Nerdo Science

In an earlier post I gave a simplified introduction to four key regions of the brain that influence how we feel. The most important take-away is the understanding of how the neural circuits work. There is a circuit for every thought, feeling, and action we have. By making small tweaks we can “swing the vote” […]

The “Feeling” Brain

Most people know by now that the human brain developed in three stages. The first to come along was the stem brain which we inherited from dinosaurs, next came the limbic followed by the prefrontal cortex, which – for better or worse – sets us apart from other animals. This post will focus on the […]

Thoughts, Beliefs and Multiple Me’s

Much of life is spent trying to manage our self-images. Closely related to our self-images are our identities – how we define ourselves according to the roles we play. Both our self-images and our identities become part of the stories we spin about ourselves. Our stories are almost always a skewed version of the truth […]

Childhood Play

Understanding how we played as children, what we liked and didn’t like, is a key component toward bringing back play into our adult lives. Childhood play tells us about the things that came naturally to us. For example, as a child I loved to explore. I used to drop little objects in a shoe box […]

The Power of Play

What is play? A classic definition is to engage in recreation or amusement that relaxes or refreshes the body and mind. With one small caveat, it must come from the heart. We need play because life is serious. It helps create balance and is different than just having fun. In play, we lose ourselves. We […]

Fill ‘er Up

Brené Brown consistently delivers whole-hearted, thought-provoking material. The woman in on fire. Here she interviews Oprah Winfrey in classic researcher style, asking pointed questions on tender subjects. On the topic of shame, Oprah shared how she learned to overcome the diminishing question “Who do you think you are?” Instead of shrinking from self-judgment and aligning with the critic, […]

The Power of Touch

  I don’t come from a family of huggers, even though I was born one. The funny thing is that I didn’t know I carried the recessive hugging gene until I moved up to the Bay Area for college. The drive from San Francisco to Orange County took about seven hours, so I drove home […]

Meaning in Life

Positive psychology presents a compelling argument for cultivating happiness. Those who walk the talk report more satisfying relationships, better health and a brighter outlook on life. Make no mistake, the goal is not to be happy all the time. It’s about developing the skill base to renew ourselves when internal resources run low. Think of […]

The Power of Love

While falling in love is an experience we all cherish, it doesn’t do the heavy lifting in life. The maintenance of love requires many repeated gifts of tolerance, compassion and generosity. Giving daily in small ways makes us healthier and happier. It’s also associated with reduced risk of illness and lower rates of depression. Best […]