Showing posts from June 16, 2019

Three Keys to Infusing SEL Into What You Already Teach

Teachers can incorporate SEL into everyday classroom lessons—and make education come alive for everyone.

By Meena Srinivasan

At the end of a recent professional training, I had a rather candid conversation with an assistant principal. He was frustrated with his school’s sole focus on enhancing academic rigor at the cost of compassion toward students. By only valuing student achievement, he said, his school was doing a disservice to students, making them stressed and unhappy, and killing off their motivation to learn.

His complaint is a common one among educators and school leaders. We are often asked to make choices between strengthening social-emotional learning (SEL) skills and growing academic skills in our students. But this is a false dichotomy. The skills that students need to learn are the very skills that SEL provides—things like reflection, perseverance, and focus. The question isn’t whether we can or should teach these skills, but how to do it, especially when we’re already swa…

Island of Plenty

Eva and her family live an isolated life on the remote island of Stra Dmun, in the middle of the North Atlantic Sea, with the occasional helicopter visit their only connection to the outside world. While they are geographically isolated, Eva states that she never feels lonely. Eight generations of her family have lived on this island, with children seeing first hand the full cycle of life all around them. Summer and winter are both enjoyable to Eva, who feels rich because she gets to be a caretaker of the natural life here. She rejoices in the many small good moments that make up her days.

The Soul of a Naturalist: An Interview with Sy Montgomery

Sy Montgomery is a bestselling author who has written 21 books for adults and children. Here she discusses her writing, her experiences, her book "The Soul of an Octopus", and more.

With Kids, Love Is in the Little Things

Researcher Barbara Fredrickson explains how a parent’s love helps kids thrive.

By Maryam Abdullah

That moment when your baby meets your reach to pick her up and molds to your body as you hold her. When your preschooler calls out to you, emphatically pointing at the crescent moon he discovered, and you join him in looking up at the night sky. Or when your fifth grader catches your proud gaze in the audience of other parents during her elementary school graduation ceremony. 

According to emotion scientist Barbara Fredrickson, these small moments are when love happens between parents and their children.

Her research highlights that positive emotions like love, joy, and gratitude help us grow and become better versions of ourselves. While she used to think that all positive emotions were equally helpful, she has come to realize that love might be unique.

She now calls out love as especially beneficial for our health and growth. Apart from slowing down aging, love broadens our awareness of oth…

Happiness is Practice, Not Pleasure

Put aside your preconceptions of happiness and join Krista Tippett with French born Tibetan monk Matthieu Ricard, author of Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill. Ricard reframes happiness as not simply a pleasure or sensation to be experienced, but as a skill to be practiced and cultivated. He asks, "What are the inner conditions that foster a genuine sense of flourishing, of fulfillment?"

Can a Happier Spouse Help You Live Longer?

Older adults have a lower risk of death if their partner is more satisfied with life.

By Jill Suttie

My husband Don is generally a pretty cheerful guy. He has a great network of friends, takes good care of himself, and does work that is meaningful to him.

Certainly, Don’s happy disposition is a boon for me, as his happiness makes our relationship run more smoothly. But could it have any impact on my health—perhaps even extending my life? A new study by Olga Stavrova of Tilburg University in the Netherlands looked at that very question.

Stavrova analyzed data on over 4,300 couples from the Health and Retirement Study at the University of Michigan, an ongoing project studying adults ages 50 and older. She specifically wanted to understand the relationship between a spouse’s life satisfaction at one point in time and their partner’s survival over the eight years that followed from that point. This was a little tricky to figure out, as there are so many factors to consider when looking at lo…

Cultivating Courage in Young People

The youngest generations of our world are shaping the future. With extraordinary drive and determination, they are paving the way to a society in which their voices are heard and their opinions matter. This article explores how we can help them as they build on their strengths, develop resilience, and stand up for what they believe in. Tips include allowing them to embrace their failures and honor their full range of emotions. Read more to learn about how we can create a safe and supportive space for the young changemakers among us.

Is Marriage Really Bad for Women’s Happiness?

Paul Dolan claims that women might be happier if they stay single. What does the research say?

By Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas

“If you’re a man, you should probably get married,” says behavioral scientist Paul Dolan. “If you’re a woman, don’t bother.”

Dolan is a professor at the London School of Economics. In his new book, Happy Ever After: Escaping the Myth of the Perfect Life, Dolan matter-of-factly pits fairytale archetypes of marital bliss against the empirical evidence.

Unfortunately, Dolan inadvertently misunderstood the data that justified this particular sage advice. He based his opinion on telephone poll results supposedly showing that women professed lower happiness levels when their spouse was out of the room, which would theoretically produce a more honest answer. In fact, interviewers weren’t asking if he’d stepped out of the kitchen to go to the bathroom. People who answered yes to “spouse absent” were married but no longer sharing a household with their spouse, a much sadder sc…

Sleep is Your Superpower

Sleep is your life-support system and Mother Nature's best effort yet at immortality, says sleep scientist Matt Walker. In this deep dive into the science of slumber, Walker shares the wonderfully good things that happen when you get sleep -- and the alarmingly bad things that happen when you don't, for both your brain and body. Walker shares the research on how quality of sleep impacts our immune system, hormones, heart, learning, memory and even our genetic code. He offers some helpful tips here.

Deepening Our Comfort with Uncertainty

While many of us associate uncertainty with discomfort and fear, there is an exquisite beauty to be found in the transformation that takes place when we can welcome the unknown. Kristi Nelson, the Executive Director of A Network for Grateful Living, examines what it means to surrender to the unpredictable nature of our days and the rewards that manifest as a result. "Much of our freedom depends on cultivating greater perspective about being with uncertainty, however and whenever we can," she writes. Read more to learn how you can lean into the impending unknown with gratitude and awareness.