Articles in Relationships
What happens when the oldest old look back over the course of their lives and share their stories with younger generations? Can helping older people retell their stories can be an effective way to support and prolong their well-being?
Curtains up! Light the lights! July 20-21 and the Canadian Positive Psychology Conference will soon be upon us! The conference will feature highlights of current research in the field, but we will also be hearing from practitioners who have successfully applied positive psychology in their practices. We are anticipating a rich dialogue between research and practice.
Most of us don’t realize that we have a few central narratives running through our lives because the stories we tell ourselves are so familiar that we don’t even realize they are stories. In my work with clients, I’ve found that it’s often not the events of life that allow or prevent success in love, work, and happiness. It’s the stories we tell ourselves — and we can change our stories.
Seven hundred people attended a 3-day event on Contemplative Studies including early morning yoga, guided meditations, keynote addresses, panels, master lectures, and posters describing research projects. With hundreds more on a waiting list, the magnitude of the event demonstrated the fervor emerging in the scientific community around contemplative practices.
Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter that acts as a hormone. Oxytocin is released in the body when we feel safe and connected and tells the brain, “Everything is all right.” Humans have evolved as hyper-social creatures. Oxytocin helps us navigate our world of complex social relationships by rewarding positive social behavior with feelings of contentment and relaxation.
What does Positive Psychology tell us about positive masculinity and how it relates to femininity and sexuality? My curiosity led me through the men’s movement of the 80′s and 90′s, to the work of psychologist and author Christopher Blazina, and to Roy Baumeister’s provocative article about what there is that is good about men.
We are members of the Sandwich Generation, providing advice and support to both our children and our parents. For our children, we can draw on memory to understand what they’re going through. But for our parents, memory doesn’t serve. We’ve never experienced what they’re experiencing. Informed imagination has to take over.
So as far as I’m concerned, sexy is a function of good sleep, food, mood, and exercise. With poor habits in these four categories, we live a second rate version of our lives. But with good habits in all four categories, we can be and offer others the best of who we are.
One of my favorite YouTube videos, called “Free Hugs,” shows a young man, then a group of people, standing in a mall in Australia offering free hugs. Why did I wake up this morning thinking about “Free Hugs?” First, I read an op-ed piece in the New York Times with the fact that “more people live alone now than at any other time in history.” Second, I watched the amazing HBO movie about a woman named Temple Grandin who invented a “squeeze machine” for herself.
In Malaysia, we are celebrating 15 days of the lunar new year beginning January 23, with much ado. The expressway has been packed with tens of thousands of vehicles moving North and South depending on where Home is. I thought about the reasons for going home in that crazy traffic. Most return home for filial reasons, some with great joy and expectation, while others go home obligatorily. From these thoughts and from reading Hollis’s book about the second half of life, I came up with 5 lessons about life in families.