A new perspective uses an analogy between digestion and cognition to help explain the function of a key neurochemical
Practice is at the heart of Korean philosophy. In order to lead a good life, hone your daily rituals of self-cultivation
«As social beings, we penetrate the consciousness of others, and so humans are linked externally through conduct but also internally through thought.»
Why does the hand want to draw what the eye sees as beautiful? Why do we respond to beauty by creating the beautiful?
There are no transcendent insights that rise above human difference. Yet wisdom exists if we look in the right places
It is enormously empowering – even intoxicating – to lose yourself to a crowd. That is why we need contrarians
Anger is the emotion that has come to saturate our politics and culture. Philosophy can help us out of this dark vortex
Anger is a complicated emotion, but one you can learn to control. Here’s how.
For people with depression, anxiety and other conditions, reaching high wellbeing – not just recovery – is a real possibility
«enhanced focus on wellbeing will spark a broader conversation that encourages providers to better align patient care with patient goals»
It’s not always easy to tell what’s a sensible safeguard, and what’s an anxiety-fuelling habit. A few questions can help
«bring a stick to hit shrubs along the path. Does the behaviour allow for engagement in valued activities?»
Your brain does not process information, retrieve knowledge or store memories. In short: your brain is not a computer
Adopt these lifestyle changes and you will not only sharpen your mind today but also reduce your risk of dementia later on
«Train your body Just as mental health and brain health are deeply entwined, so too are your overall physical health and your brain health»
Instead of a code encrypted in the wiring of our neurons, could consciousness reside in the brain’s electromagnetic field?
«Our non-conscious mind appears to be a parallel processor, whereas our conscious mind is a serial processor that can operate only one task at a time.»
Can electrical impulses in the brain explain the stuff that dreams are made on? What a new consciousness-detector reveals
By using ‘distanced self-talk’, you can leverage the structure of language to take a step back and see the bigger picture
«Through adopting this more distanced self-perspective, Aurelius was able to recognise that his feelings of anguish were temporary»
If language began with gestures around a campfire and secret signals on hunts, why did speech come to dominate communication?
The Stoics approached self-improvement as an athlete approaches sport: the key is to keep practising in the face of failure
«When we do not act upon what we think is right, we are acting like an athlete who trains but never competes. What is the point?»
We have a great deal of trouble telling what is innate and what is learned in human nature, whether ideas or emotions
Whether divining ancient wisdoms or elevating the art of cold reading, tarot is a form of therapy, much like psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis explains how authoritarians energise the hatred, self-pity and delusion while promising heaven on Earth
The neuroscientific picture of addiction overlooks the psychological and social factors that make cravings so hard to resist
Dream-hacking techniques can help us create, heal and have fun. They could also become tools of commercial manipulation
«Since sleep loss is known to increase risk-taking behaviour, one might expect to be hit with targeted ads for online gambling.»
Struggling to understand is perfectly honourable. Being wilfully stupid is something else and we should strive to fix it
«What exactly is stupidity? How does it relate to morality: can you be morally good and stupid, for example?»
Honesty has fallen out of fashion, yet it is essential to self-improvement. How can we cultivate this neglected virtue?
«honest behaviour is a matter of not intentionally distorting the facts as the honest person sees them.»
Self-compassion techniques aren’t self-indulgent – they’ll tame your inner critic while helping you change for the better
«So I dedicated 10 minutes to sit down and reflect on the same questions I ask my clients to help them clarify their values. These were my answers:»
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not self-indulgent to practise self-compassion. In fact, it helps you to care for others
From career choices to new purchases, use René Girard’s mimetic theory to resist the herd and forge your own path in life
«These are people whose desires are in some sense intertwined with your own – they can affect your desires, and you can in turn affect theirs»
By learning to question and clarify your thoughts, you’ll improve your self-knowledge and become a better communicator
«So far as possible, you should try to extract the maximum truthful and reasonable content from what others say, especially if they disagree with you»
There’s more to words than meets the eye. Deepen your appreciation of literature through the art of slow, attentive reading
«From reading deeply, you gain experience as well as knowledge: you gain from reading literary works in all their unique particularity.»
Taking a break isn’t lazy – learning to recharge is a skill that will allow you to enjoy a more creative, sustainable life
«To Aristotle, work was drudgery and necessity; only in leisure could we cultivate our mental and moral abilities, and become better people.»
Follow the Daoist way – reclaim your life and happiness by letting go of the need to produce, strive or serve a purpose
«You are not a mere tool in the building of a larger project, or a vessel in a grand ritual; you are a glorious part of the greater Universe,»
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