Study reveals insights into how we change as we age

Landmark 35-year research project yields surprising findings about happiness, relationships, generational differences and more

Study reveals insights into how we change as we ageIn recent years, there has been a growing interest in the differences between generations and the sociological forces defining their worldviews and behaviour. Stereotypes abound: the silent generation is inflexibly conventional, the baby boomers are narcissistic, generation X members are lazy. And millennials just take too long to grow up. But few of these assumptions…

Fight, flee or learn to manage stress

It may be that the impact stress has on our health has less to do with its cause and more to do with how we think about it

Fight, flee or learn to manage stressSocial science seems to have found the secret to a long and happy life. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal tells us, “Go after what creates meaning in your life and then trust yourself to handle the stress that follows.” In recent years, however, we’ve looked at stress as our enemy, seeking instead to live in complete ease.…

A new social media approach: thoughtful, informed

Social media has become immersive entertainment. But it’s also ruthless and stressful for many people

A new social media approach: thoughtful, informedEach of us has an agenda (however fleeting) to influence people around us. We want them to agree with our perspective, our angst even. Sometimes we succeed in gaining momentum with a group – raising dissenting voices into a fevered pitch that results in others (the accidental audience members) being hooked into the current melee.…

Managing boundaries without emotion or nasty payback

We’re often reluctant to establish a line when dealing with others because we don’t want to be seen as difficult. So instead we stew in our anger and resentment

Managing boundaries without emotion or nasty paybackHave you ever lived near or worked with someone who seemed to have a problem respecting personal space? About 15 years ago, a neighbour decided he wanted to build a garage. There was a tree on his property line that he didn’t want to take down, so he figured he would just appropriate needed space…

Our relationship with our stuff is mutual, says U of A researcher

Study of fashion blogger’s account of wearing the same dress every day for a year shows how much we depend on possessions

Our relationship with our stuff is mutual, says U of A researcherWhen you exclaim “I love that!” about a favourite possession, do you really mean it? A University of Alberta study based on a fashion blog is asking people to think more deeply about what they own – and whether they really need to buy more. A year of reflections in Frock Around the Clock, a blog about…

How working from home could be bad for your career

Working from home could enhance your work-life balance, but negatively impact your development and career trajectory

How working from home could be bad for your careerAs we approach three months working in pandemic lockdown, many organizations are toying with the idea of making remote work a more permanent fixture. The potential advantages are obvious: financial savings from reduced office space, reduced commuting time for employees, the ability to hire from outside the region. For many organizations, the experiment with virtual…

What has all this togetherness done to your relationship?

Besides creating an economic crisis, COVID-19 is bringing conflict into some homes. Rate (and improve) your relationship

What has all this togetherness done to your relationship?Not all of us are living happily ever after. Are you surprised? I didn’t think so! If absence makes the heart grow fonder, the opposite might also be true about too much time spent together in close quarters. A former colleague recently told me that call volumes for domestic disputes are on the rise. This…

The importance of social connection in a time of isolation

Social isolation has become a defining feature of modern Western societies and there’s a growing concern about its effects

The importance of social connection in a time of isolationWhen people look back at this pandemic, they will remember many things, but perhaps most of all they will recall the changes in social behaviour. There’s the obsessive washing of hands, not touching our face, forgoing handshakes, hoarding toilet paper, wearing masks, working from home and, of course, social distancing – or, more accurately, physical…

Why you don’t believe me when I say “I’m listening”

If you have to choose between what I’m saying and how I look while saying it, you will intuitively discount my words and believe what you see

Why you don’t believe me when I say “I’m listening”If I am dropping eye contact or checking texts messages or rotating my shoulders while you are speaking, you don’t feel heard – even if I tell you I’m listening and can repeat every word you just said. Here’s why . . . Most explanations of human behaviour assume that people are strongly influenced by…

Staying connected and building spirit in isolation

We’re living proof that people are naturally active and creative, when given the time. COVID-19 has given many of us that time

Staying connected and building spirit in isolationThe COVID-19 crisis has been a challenge for many of us. We’re used to interacting freely and going where we want to go. Now many of us are forced to work from home and others are not able to work at all. Our movement is limited, we have to practise social distancing and we’re constantly…

We need physical distance, not social distance 

Don’t let physical distancing make loneliness worse. Here are three tips to reduce isolation and increase connection

We need physical distance, not social distance The message is simple: Work from home, don’t meet in person – or if you must get together, keep your social distance! But as we increase our efforts to fend off the spread of COVID-19, we need to watch that we aren’t worsening another threat to public health: loneliness. The ‘loneliness epidemic’ has seen rates…

Facebook groups keep us connected during pandemic

Facebook groups are a great way to stay connected, interact with each other and offer support wherever needed

Facebook groups keep us connected during pandemicWe’re in unprecedented times. We need connection now more than ever, but we also need to stay two metres back. And as more and more information about the COVID-19 pandemic is released, it seems like this might be the way we have to do things for a while. But how do we stay connected to…

Horribly haywire: why communication falters

None of us are at our best when our boundaries are being pushed

Horribly haywire: why communication faltersWe've all heard the nursery rhyme “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” But we know better. In fact, we know all too well that words can hurt and so does the interpretation of our nonverbal behaviours (like not paying attention, interrupting or day dreaming when someone is speaking).…

How to move on from hurt feelings and bad situations

You have every right to choose a new path, but make sure you're not overreacting based on your own insecurity or a misinterpretation of the situation

How to move on from hurt feelings and bad situationsThere are infinite ways our feelings get hurt – and a few clear ways to deal with such circumstances. Perhaps someone expressed a thought unkindly. You found yourself reacting to a perceived slight. Maybe you spent a good deal of time working on a project only to have your name missed when the recognition was…

Technology has proven itself to be a double-edged sword

Just as technology can bring us together, it can also separate us

Technology has proven itself to be a double-edged swordCommunication technology has come a long way in a relatively short time. In my lifetime, we have moved from twice daily mail delivery and phones that required the services of an operator to connect callers, to the instantaneous communication of smart phones and text messaging. At the click of a mouse, we can “join the…
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