Man’s Search for Money/Man’s Search for Meaning

“See, money doesn’t just buy you a better life — better food, better cars, better p***y — it also makes you a better person. You can give generously to the church, or political party of your choice. Save the f****n’ spotted owl with money.” Jordan Belfort in the movie The Wolf of Wall Street “Suffering ceases to be suffering at the...[ read more ]

The New Normal: Mental Health in the Age of Isolation

I promised myself I wouldn’t write about Covid anymore, but anyway…   A group of British researchers, led by PhD candidate Emma Sorenson, asked 17,000 school students about their subjective wellbeing during the first UK lockdown in early 2020. The researchers found that about 1/3 of the 8-18-year-olds reported that their mental wellbeing had improved during lockdown. Ms Sorensen said...[ read more ]

Happy Valentine’s Day: The Dark Attachment

God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. John 4:16 All you need is love. The Beatles   Sami* was confused. “We’ve broken up before but always find our way back together, it’s like we’ve got this destructive cosmic glue that brings us back together”. Her boyfriend, Carl, was verbally abusive...[ read more ]

Fragility: That which does not Kill me Makes me Weaker

Researchers from Texas A&M University School of Public Health surveyed over 1,000 Texans about their recent exposure to disasters (natural and man-made) and their overall mental health (as assessed by a 12-question survey). They discovered that people who experienced two or more disasters within the last five years of the survey had poorer mental health than the national average. The...[ read more ]

Nothing to Fear Except Fear Itself: The FEAR System

This is the third in my series on the late Dr Jaak Panksepp’s model of the neurological origins of human and animal emotions. Follow these links or earlier articles on the RAGE and SEEKING Systems.   Born Afraid We all know the feeling of being afraid. This subjective unpleasant feeling is usually associated with the urge to avoid or escape,...[ read more ]

Happy New Year! Best of 2021

Here we are again, another year over, a new one just about to begun (to mangle John Lennon). I usually use my end-of-year-post to rate my favourite articles of the year just gone. Self-indulgent – yes. But hopefully helps readers to pick out the wheat from the chaff. (Not that any of my material is chaff, all only the highest...[ read more ]

Gamify Life: Use a To-Do List

I often half joke that the most beneficial life changes that I made as an adult are drinking coffee and using a planner. Most people are way ahead of me with the old coffee life-hack. However, the use of a planner or diary, if my clients are a good guide, is much less widespread. But now the New Year is...[ read more ]

The RAGE System: The Seat of Anger?

Can a dog be angry? This is a question that Neuropsychologist Jaak Panksepp explores in his chapter on the RAGE system. Panksepp proposes the RAGE system as an ancestor and key ingredient for the human emotion of anger. So, can a dog be angry? Dogs appear angry. If another dog eats their food they will snarl, approach the “rival” in...[ read more ]

Hypocrisy: It’s Good for You!

“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. Jesus, John8:7  “Hypocrisy has its place in the ages of strong belief: in which even when one is compelled to exhibit a different belief one does not abandon the belief one already has” Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols  “My life is a paradox Seems that I care a lot Meaning that...[ read more ]

The SEEKING System: The Brain’s Reward Pathway?

This is the first in my series on the neuro-evolutionary origins of emotions. A theory proposed by the late Jaak Panksepp in his book The Archaeology of the Mind. See here and here for my intros into the neuro-evolutionary origins of emotions.   “When I’m down by more than $100, that’s when I start to get really crazy. I won’t...[ read more ]

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