Browsing Category Psychology

Physician-assisted suicide now legal in the state of California, as SB-128 goes into effect

Dr. Jack Kevorkian is the largest advocate of euthanasia in American history, and he began the widespread conversation about end of life options.

He’s known to have said “Dying is not a Crime,” and his advocacy led in part to Oregon’s passing of the Death with Dignity act, which made Oregon’s jurisdiction one of the first in the world that allows terminally ill patients to determine the time of their own death. In euthanasia, the attending doctor administers the final lethal dose. In PAS (physician-assisted suicide), the attending doctor merely provides the final lethal dose and the patient administers it (PAS is the one to have been recently legalized in California). It bears noting here that there are a number of terms associated with end of life rights, but we’ll deal with PAS primarily.

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The science of why we LOL!

People generally feel pretty good when they laugh, and we expect people are happy when they hear it. Even when you laugh as a distraction, or in reaction to something unpleasant, it helps put you in better spirits. Why is that?

It turns out it’s not just a human thing. Laughter is observed in many mammals, of all ages. It can be observed during play, tickling, and often around friends. Laughter is also a social thing. We are thirty times more likely to laugh when we’re with other people than when we are alone.

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Tony Robbins becomes Chief of Investor Psychology at Creative Planning

Tony Robbins is a harbinger of disruption.

He has written 3 best-selling books, Unlimited Power, Awaken the Giant Within, and Money: Master the Game, and they each focus on changing your way of thinking about personal achievement, giving you roadmaps for reprogramming your mind and body to reach your ultimate level of success and, thus, master your life. He’s a master of empowering people to take charge of their destinies despite their circumstances–and he’d know something about that due to his experience as a child of divorce and domestic violence.

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The consequences of sleep deprivation and being a night owl

Sleep deprivation can be poisonous to one’s health physically and mentally but can the same be true for a night owl?

Even if you stay up at night, there should be no problem choosing to sleep the necessary eight hours during the day, right? This is a question asked often by people interested in sleep habits, especially those who, for one reason or another, choose, prefer, or have to stay up at night.

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Overcoming OCD: What my compulsions taught me

There I was, trapped in my room with no where to go.

It had become my last refuge and now a self-contained cell. I was a living contradiction: both the prisoner and the gatekeeper.  This is what OCD had reduced my life to: hiding away from all of my fears in the confines of my room. Fear of the outside kept me trapped. Can you imagine what it feels like when you perceive the entire world as a threat? Once a normal teen and then .. a nervous wreck.

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Understanding the Hedonic Treadmill and how to achieve sustainable happiness

Want to be happier?

Arthur Schopenhauer had once remarked:

“How insatiable a creature is man! Every satisfaction he attains lays the seeds of some new desire, so that there is no end to the wishes of each individual will.”

It seems as if our friend Schopenhauer was on to something which is that we always seem to be several steps away from having what we think we want, yet when we get it, desire itself still remains and the fixed state of happiness we assumed obtainable still seems out of reach.

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What’s your perception of depression?

Depression sucks. It sucks the life out of you, leaving you wondering if you will ever find happiness, energy or motivation; You may even question if you deserve the things you so earnestly desire. Sometimes depression can last a little while and at other times it seems endless. Depression causes real problems that can affect every part of a person’s life. Some believe that depression is an ‘addiction’ to self-pity, a downward spiral based on recurring thoughts that a person is never good enough and that the world is against them. Dr. Grieger calls the phenomenon a ‘victim’ mindset, where a person refuses to take responsibility for themselves or their happiness (consciously or not), and blames their problems on circumstances or people. Others like world renowned life coach Anthony Robbins refers to it as ‘learned helplessness;’ a person fails at something, repeatedly, whether by their own fault or not, and ‘learns’ that what they do doesn’t matter. So they stop trying. Some people view depression as a serious illness that has specific causes and treatments. They identify depression as a medical malady that requires medication, sometimes therapy, and then is over and done with. Others think that depression is just a mood that hits now and then, but will eventually pass, whether action is taken or not. The range of perspectives pertaining to depression are vast.

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What happens in our brain when we try to decide

It was Saturday morning and I was on my way to meet Caroline for brunch. It had been a while since I saw her and in order to express my apology for being such a ghost, and such a terrible friend, I told her I’d save her a trip on the bus and that I’d pick her up in my Suzuki; I wanted to provide the best door-to-door service. As we sat down at the table in Apertif in Bayside, Queens, the waiter arrived with our water, as well as.. *play dramatic music* our menus. I knew this feeling all too well. Oh, what it meant to be paralyzed by indecision. There I sat, intimidated by a list of food items, and the complimentary croissant that was placed on my side plate remained untouched.

“Should I get the flatboard or the sandwhich?,” I thought to myself. I wondered if it was possible to get mushrooms on the sandwich, instead of ordering the flatbread. “Then again, there’s brie on the sandwhich, would mushrooms go well with brie?,” I pondered hopelessly. I wanted to design my own sandwich and then I thought about what a nightmare of a customer I’d be. This wasn’t a deli. Dare I be so inconsiderate? My order didn’t require many changes (although please, no onions), decision making just pained me. I didn’t have the stomach for it nor enough time to weigh all the options. What was my belly in the mood for? I hate to say but I wasn’t sure.

This was where the work came in. The work I started five years ago. I had to talk myself into making a decision. I had to force myself. How much of my own life could I possibly miss due to this absurd anxiety? When the waiter arrived with our mimosas, Caroline and I said a toast. When he asked if I was ready, I had decided: “Two minutes.” (Intro by Cheyenne Burroughs)

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Formula for Success: Myth or Reality?

The question of what allows a person to be successful is a question that has been asked of many people, who have sought the answer that would allow them a long, prosperous life. The answer is rarely simple, since what defines success is difficult to measure. Whether one talks about financial success or popularity or perhaps some other goal they seek to achieve, how one would be able to attain this goal would probably be the underlying definition of what it means to be successful. What creates a successful person? Their innate personality or their environment? To answer that question, one has to look at another old question, often asked in psychology:

Nature or nurture?

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