March 21, 2021

Never Let Them See You Sweat

Emotions do not start and stop. Emotions are continuous interpretations of our world. In the 1970s Walter Mischel’s studies demonstrated our ability to control our impulses has a huge impact on our entire life. Children who were able to postpone gratification of one marshmallow for the reward of two marshmallows if they could wait fifteen minutes scored 200 points higher on their SATs a decade later. Self-control allows us to make responsible choices when faced with other appealing short-term options. Trying to hide your feelings from someone is called expressive suppression. Studies show suppression is distracting because it requires having […]
April 28, 2020

Uncertainty Reigns

People crave certainty. Knowing what is coming next frees our brain to perform. It is easy to drive and talk to your passenger at the same time until the car in front of you slams on its brakes. We instantly respond to the threat. Our brains will focus on that uncertainty until it is resolved. Then we can go back to our normal functioning. Those brake lights have been facing us for several weeks, even months. Our uncertain world has no defined outcome.   This level of stress over time becomes distress. Stress shows itself differently among different people.   And […]
February 24, 2020

Happiness is Natural

Some stress is good, even required to elicit activity. Too much stress is bad leading to feeling overwhelmed. Amy Arnsten, Neurobiology and Psychology Professor at Yale University calls this the “Goldilocks of the brain.” Stress must be just right to achieve peak performance. This sweet spot is different for everyone, and even different in the same person over time and different based on the task being performed. We find ourselves in the zone when we achieve that perfect amount of stress. High stress over time can have a debilitating effect on the mind and body. The body reacts to a […]