Self-handicapping: when we avoid effort to protect our self-esteem

Humans are very good at getting in their own way. We make our lives more challenging than they need to be, often without realizing it. Why do we place these hurdles in our way? What can we do to address our self-handicapping behaviors? Self-handicapping as an insurance policy In short, self-handicapping is an insurance policy …

Read more

Taste: why we like what we like

You may think your likes and dislikes are formed through rational decision-making. After all— whether it is books, movies, music, food, romantic partners, or fashion—your tastes are a defining part of your identity. But the reality is more complicated than that. Our genes, our culture, and our experiences define why we like what we like. …

Read more

90 journaling prompts to spark new personal insights

Journaling offers many benefits, including improved mood, fewer stress-related visits to the doctor, feeling of greater psychological well-being, reduced depressive symptoms and absenteeism from work, improved working memory, and more. However, many people struggle to build a journaling habit. The blank page of a journal can feel daunting, and many journaling methods assume a well-ingrained …

Read more

Personal values: how knowing yourself can guide your actions

Ask anyone their opinion on one of the many political and ethical divides of the moment, and you will receive a strong opinion as to what “ought” to be. While people tend to appeal to logic to justify their stance, many of these positions are actually guided by their personal values. Our values are our …

Read more

The power of the weekly review

Every Sunday evening, I sit down for a weekly review. It’s easy to mindlessly go through a task list without ever stopping to ask whether these tasks align with our goals. The weekly review is an opportunity for self-reflection and decision making. “The Weekly Review will sharpen your intuitive focus on your important projects as …

Read more

As we may die

My grandma just passed away. Oma was 86 years old. She was born in Algeria, in a small village called Sidi Okba. She had tattoos on her face, which she didn’t like and tried to get rid of several times, to no avail. She also didn’t like drunk people and violence. What Oma liked, though, …

Read more

Dear Diary: the science-based benefits of journaling

We spend a lot of our time writing. Answering emails, filling forms, messaging with friends. Despite the advent of video and audio forms of content, writing is still a staple of communication on the Internet, with many magazines, blogs, and newsletters attracting millions of readers. But comparatively few of us write for personal purposes such …

Read more

The science-based benefits of gratitude

When going through tough times, our automatic reaction is to complain and dwell on negative events, which can result in even more anxiety and unhappiness. The word gratitude comes from Latin gratus, which means ”pleasing” or “thankful” depending on the context. Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for the people, experiences, and things we have. While …

Read more