Emotional Intelligence: Getting In Touch With Your Feels

Emotional Intelligence: Getting In Touch With Your Feels

"The emotions are of quite extraordinary importance in the total economy of living organisms and do not all deserve being put into opposition with 'intelligence.' They are, it seems, themselves a high order of intelligence." - O. Hobart Mowrer

As most things in life, it can often be easy to simplify our emotions into two categories: good and bad. When we feel down, we try to change it. When we feel good, we cling to it. When we feel anything at all, we rationalize it because we’ve been told not to make decisions with our hearts, but rather with our heads.

Read More

What Happens When You’re Spiraling...

What Happens When You’re Spiraling...

We’re all familiar with the idea of “spiraling” down, or out of control. Chances are you’ve been caught in the cycle more than once. No matter how hard you try, somehow you just keep sinking deeper and deeper into an infinite hole of rumination, negativity, anxiety or fear.

Well, as it turns out, “spiraling” is actually a pretty good description of what goes on in the emotional process, though it can be hard to detect the nuances when you’re smack in the middle of it.

Let’s break it down.

Read More

Perspectives on Happiness

Perspectives on Happiness

We wasted no time in diving deeper into some of the central questions and themes surrounding happiness and ongoing happiness research in Week 2 of Harvard’s “The Science and Application of Positive Psychology.”

While it may sound like a simple subject, let’s start with just a couple thought starters:

  • Are you happy? Are you happy “enough”? Are you as happy as you want to be?

  • If your definition of “success” was simply to be happy, how would you be doing?

  • Should happiness be the main goal at all? What about the Zen idea of “transcending” happiness, rather than maximizing it?

Read More

Positive Psychology & What it Means to Flourish

Positive Psychology & What it Means to Flourish

I’ve spent the last several months pouring over research, trialing out various activities and “interventions,” and writing dozens of journal entries, papers and reflections in a graduate course called “The Science and Application of Positive Psychology” offered through Harvard.

Still in the midst of a quarter-life crisis and career change, I signed up for the class because I knew I wanted to pursue a path somewhere in this large and mushy arena they called “positive psychology.” I was also so energized by my yoga teacher training and recent explorations in self care, mindfulness and meditation, that I developed an insatiable desire to learn and understand all the science and theory that was out there behind it.

Read More

He Who Moves to California

He Who Moves to California

One of the highlights of my past year was coming home to California. But, while a an escape from the long winters back East was a welcome change, it was far from the only reason.

According to Nobel prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman, while we might expect climate to have a greater impact on well-being, overall life satisfaction as reported by people in California is actually no different than that of people in the Midwest. But Kahneman also suggests that one who has recently moved to California will respond quite differently.

Read More

On Change

On Change

Whether we feel stuck or perhaps afraid of change, it only takes a step back to realize just how inevitable a force - far bigger than us and far beyond our control - change is.

When I came back home after just a few months of immersive soul-seeking, self-defining, view-shattering travel, I felt like an entirely different person. But it soon became clear that I wasn’t the only one who changed. I came home to find myself packed between moving boxes in friends’ apartments, introducing myself to new boyfriends and fiances, finding out about new buns in the oven, and congratulating others on new jobs.

Read More

On Being

On Being

When was the last time you watched the clouds? Perhaps you were a kid pointing out funny shapes, and perhaps even this has been lost on the next generation of iPhone-carrying tots. But I mean have you ever really, seriously taken enough time to gaze up and notice just how huge and majestic those big puffs of paint looming overhead every single day can truly be?

Read More