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Archive for the ‘Happiness’ Category

Taking in the Good

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010 by Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Scientists believe that your brain has a built-in “negativity bias.” In other words, as we evolved over millions of years, dodging sticks and chasing carrots, it was a lot more important to notice, react to, and remember sticks than it was for carrots.

That’s because – in the tough environments in which our ancestors lived – if they missed out on a carrot, they usually had a shot at another one later on. But if they failed to avoid a stick – a predator, a natural hazard, or aggression from others of their species – WHAM, no more chances to pass on their genes.
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Dr. Hanson is a neuropsychologist in San Rafael, California. His practice includes adults, couples, families, and children, as well as psychological assessments of children and adults related to temperament, school performance, and educational and vocational planning. For more information, please visit his listing on the Therapist Directory

5000 Synapses in the Width of a Hair

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010 by Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

How much change in the brain makes a difference in the mind?

That’s the issue raised by a very interesting comment regarding my previous blog, “The Brain in a Bucket.”

So I’ve taken the liberty of posting the comment here (hoping that’s OK in blog etiquette; still learning as I go), and then responding. Here it is:
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Dr. Hanson is a neuropsychologist in San Rafael, California. His practice includes adults, couples, families, and children, as well as psychological assessments of children and adults related to temperament, school performance, and educational and vocational planning. For more information, please visit his listing on the Therapist Directory

The Brain in a Bucket

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010 by Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Have you ever seen a real brain?

I remember the first time I saw one, in a neuropsych class: the instructor put on rubber gloves to protect against the formaldehyde preservative, popped the lid off of a lab bucket, and then pulled out a brain.

It didn’t look like much, a nondescript waxy yellowish-white blob rather like a sculpted head of cauliflower. But the whole class went silent. We were looking at the real deal, ground zero for consciousness, headquarters for “me.” The person it came from – or, in a remarkable sense, the person who came from it – was of course dead. Would my brain, too, end up in a lab bucket? That thought gave me a creepy weird feeling completely unlike the feeling of having my heart or hand in a bucket some day – which gets right at the specialness of your brain.
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Dr. Hanson is a neuropsychologist in San Rafael, California. His practice includes adults, couples, families, and children, as well as psychological assessments of children and adults related to temperament, school performance, and educational and vocational planning. For more information, please visit his listing on the Therapist Directory

New Year’s Resolutions: How To Make Them So You Can Keep Them

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009 by Dr. Ilona L. Tobin

For the past four years, Betty has made a New Year’s Resolution to exercise more. She’s also vowed to lose weight (an annual resolution since 2000), and to finally start that novel (this one goes all the way back to 1995.)

Like two out of every five Americans, Betty begins every new year with stout resolve and good intentions. But like most who make New Year’s Resolutions, by the time the spring fashions hit the shop windows, all that resolve has gone the way of last year’s colors. No exercise program. No weight loss and, sadly, no novel. Not even a beginning chapter.

What goes wrong?

Betty’s problem and the difficulty most people face in keeping their resolutions is that changing behavior involves more than simply vowing to do so. A lot more. So, whether you want to do more or less of something, quit something altogether or start something new, here are a few tips that can help.
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Ilona Tobin has been a psychologist and a marriage and family therapist for more than 25 years in Birmingham, Michigan. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory.

Manifest Your Inner Shmoo

Monday, May 18th, 2009 by Ruth Gordon, LCSW

Okay, life’s been complicated and tough. Of course, it always has been that way, but no one told us that when we were growing up. We thought if we just followed the yellow brick road that a genuine Wizard of Oz who was all-powerful would solve all of our problems. Wrong! So, what’s a human to do?

Well, the shmoo was put on earth to spread love and to please those who needed him/her. So, how do we get in touch with the shmoo of peace and serenity?

Those of you who are able to maintain your optimism regardless of what’s going on around you probably don’t need to read the rest of this. My guess is that even the most positive of you have, at some time or another, felt like you just couldn’t handle one more setback.

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Ruth Gordon is licensed clinical social worker in both Massachusetts and Florida. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory. This article may not be reprinted, reproduced, or retransmitted in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author.