The discussion after last year's Newtown shootings was dominated by two topics: gun control and mental health. Many people focused on possible illnesses of the shooter, but there’s another side to the mental health discussion. In the aftermath of a tragedy, communities need help healing.
Residents of Newtown, Conn., have decided against a public commemoration to mark the first anniversary this coming Saturday of the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, which left 20 first graders and six educators dead.
Instead, the town is endorsing a “year of service” and is asking residents to put a candle in their window on Dec. 14, the day of the shooting, to show their commitment to the idea of service to each other.
From Faith Middleton: I'm featuring New York psychiatrist Dr. Mark Epstein's fascinating new book, The Trauma of Everyday Life, because it explains the big pay-off for learning to notice the small and big traumas we all experience daily in an unpredictable world. By comprehending these traumas, he says, we permit their release, which leads to less stress and a greater sense of feeling fully alive. Dr. Epstein is a Harvard trained psychiatrist with a private practice in New York City. He's interested in the interface of psychotherapy and Buddhist philosophy.
Could the microbes that inhabit our guts help explain that old idea of "gut feelings?" There's growing evidence that gut bacteria really might influence our minds.
"I'm always by profession a skeptic," says Dr. Emeran Mayer, a professor of medicine and psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles. "But I do believe that our gut microbes affect what goes on in our brains."
In 1965, the Yale psychologist Stanley Milgram, spread stamped and addressed but un-mailed letters around public locations in New Haven. Most of the letters were picked up and mailed by strangers who could not possibly derive any material reward for doing the right thing. The strangers also lived out their values based on the address.
From Faith Middleton: How do we "curate" our own personalities—ditching self absorbed childish behaviors, yet maintaining a child-like sense of wonder about the world? Bruce Clements and I explore this human conundrum.
What makes trick-or-treaters happy is candy. And more candy is better, right?
Well, it turns out that might not actually be the case. A few years ago researchers did a study on Halloween night where some trick-or-treaters were given a candy bar, and others were given the candy bar and a piece of bubble gum.
I've been writing a newspaper column for The Hartford Courant since 1982. For my first 15 years or so, I tended to write the column at The Hartford Courant. In the last ten years, I have written columns in the following places: a sports bar in San Francisco; a boat moving along the Rhine; the famous Brasserie Balzar in Paris; an outdoor clearing in the Yucatan jungle where, bizarrely, there was WiFi; and a living room in Kobe, Japan.
From Faith Middleton: Music and art can make your life bigger. And, under the theory that the world is now “flat,” music and art just might dissolve boundaries, making the world a more manageable place.
Psychologist Dr. Nancy Horn explores how we control one another and try to control ourselves.
Questions: Have you ever been called controlling? Why do couples struggle with who is in charge? When is it smart to give up control? When does a manager become too controlling? When is control a great idea? Is government over-controlling in an age of terrorism?
"Almighty and most merciful Father; We have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against thy holy laws.
I really meant to donate to the NPR fund drive. I just forgot. Well, actually I didn't. But still, I should have donated. I feel so guilty! Guilt is a funny thing. It's a pervasive emotion with the power to both motivate--and oppress.
Why do grownups and kids fight about food? Is there a way around it? I talk with New Haven psychologist Dr. Nancy Horn about re-framing the food fight strategy. Maybe you've had a food fight… or two million. No? Think about it…
I'm featuring New York psychiatrist Dr. Mark Epstein's fascinating new book, The Trauma of Everyday Life, because it explains the big pay-off for learning to notice the small and big traumas we all experience daily in an unpredictable world. By comprehending these traumas, he says, we permit their release, which leads to less stress and a greater sense of feeling fully alive. Dr. Epstein is a Harvard trained psychiatrist with a private practice in New York City. He's interested in the interface of psychotherapy and Buddhist philosophy.
We all know love matters, but today, positive emotions expert Barbara Fredrickson joins Faith to show us just how much. Even more than happiness and optimism, love holds the key to improving our mental and physical health as well as lengthening our lives. Using research from her own lab, Fredrickson redefines love not as a stable behemoth, but as micro-moments of connection between people—even strangers. She demonstrates that our capacity for experiencing love can be measured and strengthened in ways that improve our health and longevity. Finally, she introduces us to informal and formal practices to unlock love in our lives, generate compassion, and even self-soothe.
Colleges have known for years that students use prescription stimulants to focus and stay awake while studying. But new research finds that the rate of stimulant use among medical school students is higher.
Jadon Webb says he and a colleague got the idea for their research while in medical school, listening to a professor’s lecture.
"He was talking with us about life in medical school 50, 60 years ago. And in the course of talking about it, he was joking about how whenever exams came up, everyone had to use speed."
So how might we best portray the realities of marriage? In a novel, perhaps? A long-running TV drama or sitcom? What about a movie?
Serious business indeed. It seems hard to translate the ins and outs of a long relationship in a 2-hour capsule. Hollywood has been trying since the silent film age, but not always with success. Wesleyan Film Historian Jeanine Basigner calls a story about marriage a “screenwriter’s nightmare” in her book I Do and I Don’t: A History of Marriage in the Movies.
Remember Sarah Palin? Last month, Politico ran an item suggesting that CNN's Wolf Blitzer had picked out new eyeglasses that closely resembled those of much younger, hipper New Yorker politics writer Ryan Lizza.
We have a two-year running tradition of doing an episode in August gathering our music experts to argue about what song is the "Song of The Summer." (And on which critic Eric Danton suggests there is no such thing.)