psychology

Your Brain on Grief, Your Heart on Healing

“Grief is a heart-wrenchingly painful problem for the brain to solve, and grieving necessitates learning to live in the world with the absence of someone you love deeply, who is ingrained in your understanding of the world… For the brain, your loved one is simultaneously gone and also everlasting, and you are walking through two worlds at the same time.” …

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The Healing Power of Flowers, Light, and Variety: Florence Nightingale’s Remedy for Physical Breakdown and Psychological Burnout

“People say the effect is only on the mind. It is no such thing. The effect is on the body, too.” …

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The Science of Working Out the Body and the Soul: How the Art of Exercise Was Born, Lost, and Rediscovered

“A history of exercise is not really — or certainly not only — a history of the body. It is, equally, perhaps even primarily, a history of the mind.” …

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We Are Made of Music, We Are Made of Time: Violinist Natalie Hodges on the Poetic Science of Sound and Feeling

“Time renders most individual moments meaningless… but it is only through the passage of time that life acquires its meaning. And that meaning itself is constantly in flux.” …

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Hope, Love, and the Remedy for Despair, from Gabriel Marcel to Nick Cave

“To love anybody is to expect something from him, something which can neither be defined nor foreseen; it is at the same time in someway to make it possible for him to fulfill this expectation.” …

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The Magpie in the Mind: The Emerging Science of Thinking with the Whole World Beyond the Brain

“By reaching beyond the brain… we are able to focus more intently, comprehend more deeply, and create more imaginatively — to entertain ideas that would be literally unthinkable by the brain alone.” …

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Losing Love, Finding Love, and Living with the Fragility of It All

“What an astonishing thing it is to find something. Children, who excel at it — chiefly because the world is still so new to them that they can’t help but notice it — understand this, and automatically delight in it.” …

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Aloneness, Belonging, and the Paradox of Vulnerability, in Love and Creative Work

Wisdom on the elementary particles of our shared humanity from Alain de Botton, Brené Brown, Elizabeth Alexander, and other visionaries across the spectrum of the creative life. …

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Why Self-Care Can Assist You in Stress Management

Many of us have so many duties in life that we neglect to look after our own needs. This is especially true for those who are responsible for a large number of people. Self-care is a vital element of stress management, even if it’s difficult to prioritize when you have so many other things on your to-do list.

How Self-Care Can Help You

When we’re physically and emotionally exhausted, we’re less equipped to handle the challenges that life throws at us. Or, to put it another way, when we are physically and emotionally at our best, we are more robust and capable of handling life’s stress. A massage, a hot bath, or some other type of pampering rejuvenates you on the inside and out. Taking time to maintain self-care provides a number of advantages.

Physical Health Possibly Beneficial

While self-pampering may not necessarily result in significant gains in general health, like a good diet and exercise, the calm it provides…

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Pattern, Perspective, and Trust: Barry Lopez on Storytelling

“It is through story… that we can distinguish what is true, and that we may glimpse, at least occasionally, how to live without despair in the midst of the horror that dogs and unhinges us.” …

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The Light That Bridges the Dark Expanse Between Lonelinesses: James Baldwin on How Long-Distance Love Illuminates the Power of All Love

“As long as space and time divide you from anyone you love… love will simply have no choice but to go into battle with space and time and, furthermore, to win.” …

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Highlights in Hindsight: Favorite Books of the Past Year

Trees, hummingbirds, snails, Stoicism, storytelling, Orwell’s roses, the crucible of consciousness, the end of the universe, and more trees. …

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How the Great Zen Master and Peace Activist Thich Nhat Hanh Found Himself and Lost His Self in a Library Epiphany

“To live, we must die every instant. We must perish again and again in the storms that make life possible.” …

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Nick Cave on Creativity, the Myth of Originality, and How to Find Your Voice

“Your imagination… is mostly an accidental dance between collected memory and influence… a construction that awaits spiritual ignition.” …

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The Antidote to Melancholy: Robert Burton’s Centuries-Old Salve for Depression, Epochs Ahead of Science

“Whosoever… is overrun with solitariness, or carried away with pleasing melancholy and vain conceits… or crucified with worldly care, I can prescribe him no better remedy than… to compose himself to the learning of some art or science.” …

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What Love Really Means: Iris Murdoch on Unselfing, the Symmetry Between Art and Morality, and How We Unblind Ourselves to Each Other’s Realities

“Love is the extremely difficult realisation that something other than oneself is real.” …

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Resolutions for a Life Worth Living: Attainable Aspirations Inspired by Great Humans of the Past

Life-tested wisdom on how to live from James Baldwin, Ursula K. Le Guin, Leo Tolstoy, Seneca, Toni Morrison, Walt Whitman, Viktor Frankl, Rachel Carson, and Hannah Arendt. …

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The Secret to Superhuman Strength: An Illustrated Meditation on the Life of the Body, the Death of the Self, and Our Search for Meaning

“Also: This is it.” …

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Of Trees, Solitude, Love, Loss, and the Stubborn Symphony of Aliveness: The Best of Brain Pickings / The Marginalian 2021

From the Stoics to the snails, by way of music, matter, and the mind. …

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Unselfing into Oneness with the All: Transcendentalist Queen Margaret Fuller on Transcendence

“How is it that I seem to be this Margaret Fuller? What does it mean? What shall I do about it?” …

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Against the Trap of Efficiency: The Counterintuitive Antidote to the Time-Anxiety That Haunts and Hampers Our Search for Meaning

“Productivity is a trap. Becoming more efficient just makes you more rushed, and trying to clear the decks simply makes them fill up again faster… Since finitude defines our lives… living a truly authentic life — becoming fully human — means facing up to that fact.” …

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Nietzsche on Walking and Creativity

“Our first questions about the value of a book, of a human being, or a musical composition are: Can they walk? Even more, can they dance?” …

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Carl Jung on How to Live

“There is no pit you cannot climb out of provided you make the right effort at the right place… do the next thing with diligence and devotion.” …

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The Scar: A Tender Illustrated French Meditation on Loss and Healing

Uncommon consolation from the body to the soul. …

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Music, the Neural Harmonics of Emotion, and How Love Restrings the Brain

“Who we are and who we become depends, in part, on whom we love.” …

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