Fight or flight: understanding how the stress response works

Imagine standing on stage in front of a few hundred people. Your heart is beating fast, your hands are sweaty, and you can feel a knot in your stomach. This is the fight-or-flight response at play. While it may be helpful in dangerous situations, such as an encounter with a wild or angry animal or …

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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 …

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Emotional exhaustion: a leading indicator of burnout

The modern world operates in such a way that we all face a torrent of stressors throughout the day, at work and outside of work. Unfortunately, this means some of us live in a constant state of stress, which can lead to emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion. Emotional exhaustion is one of the most invisible …

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The psychology of revenge bedtime procrastination

Have you ever come home after a long day at work, with a narrow window of time to eat, shower, and go to bed, but decided to carve out some leisure time at the expense of your sleep? This is called “revenge bedtime procrastination”, and it can be extremely harmful to your physical and mental …

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An ode to slowness: the benefits of slowing down

Hustle culture uses speed as a measure of performance. How fast can you ship a new feature? How many prospective clients can you call in an hour? How much of your day can you devote to work? If you’re not fast, are you even being productive? This harmful mindset results in burnout, poor decision-making, and …

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Musturbation: the irrational demand for perfection

Do you sometimes feel like you must achieve demanding goals in order to be happy and successful? That you must deliver the best work or get the best grades; that you must educate the most well-behaved children; that you must follow the perfect diet or exercise routine? Anything but perfection is not good enough. Well, …

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The three types of burnout

Burnout has been traditionally defined as a combination of exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficiency. When we are burned out, we don’t have the emotional energy to invest ourselves into work, we distance ourselves from colleagues and customers, and we may feel incompetent as a result.  While the dimensions of exhaustion, cynicism and inefficiency give us a …

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Anxious for no apparent reason? It may be time to press “reset”

Racing pulse, tense muscles, dry mouth, restlessness, irritability, difficulty concentrating… The symptoms of anxiety are many, but sometimes we can’t pinpoint why exactly we experience this panicky feeling. Objectively, everything seems to be going well, and yet the sensations of anxiety are definitely there. If you sometimes suffer from anxiety, you are not alone. According …

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Nootropics, adaptogens, brain foods… What the heck is going on?

In a world where cognitive performance is considered a clear advantage to succeed—whether as a student or a busy professional—it’s not surprising the idea of popping a pill to enhance your brainpower is appealing to many. And marketers have noticed: the market for cognitive enhancers is a multi-billion dollar industry. Between drinks supplemented with “adaptogenic …

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The benefits of stretching: why your body needs to move

Do you feel tight from sitting in your chair all day? Is it becoming harder to extend your legs or your arms? You may need to get up and stretch. A stretching routine is not just for athletes. Stretching helps our muscles and joints stay flexible and strong, which in turn helps keep our body …

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