The empathy gap: why we underestimate the influence of emotions

“I would do much better!” you think, watching someone give a presentation about a topic you are familiar with. “I don’t feel like smoking at all, I’ll definitely be able to quit tomorrow,” you say with a relaxed tone, right after smoking a cigarette. These are illustrations of the empathy gap: our tendency to underestimate …

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The rational benefits of emotions

Rationality and emotion may seem antithetic. One is objective, the other subjective. One relies on mental models, the other on gut feelings. When it comes to making decisions, we tend to favour the reassuring formal process of rationality over the impulse of our emotions. In school, we are taught how to think better, but rarely …

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From closed mind to open mind

Do you consider yourself an open-minded person? Most people would say yes. Which, paradoxically, shows a form of closed-mindedness by failing to consider your own shortcomings.  Closed-mindedness in the inability or difficulty to consider different ideas or opinions. While it is easy to spot in others, we are all guilty of closed-mindedness depending on the …

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Creating calm: how to manage stress

Ambition makes some levels of stress inevitable. However, while stress is a basic survival response, it can often be triggered in situations that are far from being life threatening—such as too much work, public speaking, or conflict. In addition, long-term stress is detrimental both for your mental and your physical health. The good news is: …

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Worrying well: how to bring wisdom to your worries

Worry is traditionally seen as a negative emotion. But is it possible worry has a positive function, and that we just don’t tend to use it well? Physician and researcher Martin L. Rossman argues that worry is actually an adaptive function to better solve problems and imagine creative solutions. And worrying well is a skill …

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Emotional agility: how to build resilience in times of crisis

“Life’s beauty is inseparable from its fragility.” This quote by Dr Susan David perfectly encapsulates the importance of emotional agility. We love and we lose, we are healthy and ill, we complain about someone, then we miss them when they’re gone. The complex interplay between beauty and fragility is at the core of life. Dr …

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Noterday: letting go of yesterday

“If your yesterday was much better than your today, then today you will most probably walk around in your yesterday.” Mehmet Murat ildan, Turkish playwright and novelist. I love playing with words. They’re living vessels of what it means to be human. Some words feel so natural we never stop to question their meaning. Take …

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How to manage conflict: reframing your anger

Whether with a colleague, friend, or family member, conflicts are a natural and inevitable part of being human. They can occur over differences of opinion and communication in goals, strategies, money, politics, and more. While they can destroy relationships when managed poorly, learning how to manage conflict in a healthy manner can actually lead to …

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Understanding the emotions behind procrastination

You have a deadline. You know you should get to work. But instead of focusing on what’s urgent and important, you spend your time on something else. Despite the inner voice telling you to get started and the rising anxiety, you’re procrastinating. While the neuroscience of procrastination is mainly based on a fight between your …

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