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Podcast #742: The Power of Talking to Strangers

Look around a grocery store, airport lobby, or subway car, and you’ll see a bunch of people who are physically together but distinctly separate, each off in their own world, often looking at their phones. In public environments like these, we rarely think to talk to others, and hope no one talks to us. But my guest today says that initiating these...

The One Question NOT to Ask for Healthy Introspection (And What to Ask Instead)

We’d all like more insight about ourselves. Gaining greater self-awareness can allow us to make improvements in our relationships, career, and life in general. When we’re trying to figure out what makes us tick, we typically ask ourselves, “Why?” “Why do I hate my job?” “Why do I always fall for the wrong person?” “Why can’t I lose weight?” “Why...

Podcast #741: The Exercise Prescription for Depression and Anxiety

If you went to the doctor about treating your depression or anxiety, you might expect to be written a prescription for Zoloft or Xanax. But if you went in to see Dr. Jasper Smits, he might write you a different kind of prescription, one that instructed you to take a jog around the block. Dr. Smits is a professor and clinical psychologist, as well as...

Sunday Firesides: There Are No Second Chances

In the immediate aftermath of an awkward date, blown job interview, aborted attempt to meet a mentor, abandoned decision to share a heartfelt belief with a friend — any scuttled act of potential courage — comes the invariable cognitive salve: “I’ll do it next time.” Yet, no matter how embarrassment-diminishing, self-incrimination-resolving, and dissonance-soothing...

How to Take a Punch (To Minimize Its Damage)

Typically when we imagine ourselves in a fight, we visualize ourselves pummeling our opponent, while somehow emerging from the melee unscathed.  The reality is that in most fights, the other guy will give just as much as he takes, which means you’re going to get hit.  So how do you take a punch so that it does the least amount of damage possible? ...

Podcast #740: Life’s 10 Biggest Decisions

How many of your life’s ten biggest decisions have you already made? My guest today, psychologist Dr. Adrian Camilleri, would often ask this question to friends and family, and found that it generated a lot of interesting conversation. It also generated a lot of his own thoughts, which made him want to dive more deeply into it and empirically study...

Nietzsche’s (Surprisingly Sound) Advice on Choosing a Spouse

Plenty of advice on what makes for a good, happy marriage has been thrown around for centuries.  Ironically enough, it was a lifelong bachelor, who possessed rather ambivalent feelings on the institution, who offered some of the very best insights on this front.  Friedrich Nietzsche never walked down the aisle himself, though he proposed marriage...

Podcast #739: Rewild Your Life

If you have one, take a look at your pet cat or dog. These animals descended from wildcats and wolves, but today live pretty sedate lives, walking around your house and yard, waiting for you to deliver some kibbles to their bowl. My guest today says that modern humans are, in a similar way, domesticated versions of our former, wilder ancestors, and...

How a Man Handles a Miscarriage

With our archives now 3,500+ articles deep, we’ve decided to republish a classic piece each Sunday to help our newer readers discover some of the best, evergreen gems from the past. This article was originally published in February 2013. Expect a rollercoaster ride. That’s all I can say. Climb into the car near the front of the rows, buckle your seatbelt,...

How to Do the Monkey Bars

When you attempt to do the monkey bars, after taking an extended post-childhood hiatus from the practice, you’re apt to think one thing: “$@%#! This feels awful!” That terrible feeling is partly due to the fact that your arms have to support a lot more weight than they did when you were seven. It’s also due to the fact that you probably don’t do...

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