Podcast: A conversation with Debra Park on teaching, learning, and well-being

We have to help our students learn how to develop healthy habits which will improve not only their academics but of course their mental health in general… If we’re going to teach our students then I believe as teachers we need to develop our own personal well-being habits. After retiring from teaching high school psychology for 33 years, Debra Park, M.A., “graduated” back to college and has been teaching undergraduate courses at Rutgers University, Camden NJ. As a Part-Time- Lecturer in … [Read more...]

The Overlooked But Powerful Depression Treatment


Did you know the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association recommend exercise to treat depression? The American Psychological Association website reveals: "Exercise…is good for your head. A 1990 meta-analysis of 80 studies... reached the following conclusions: Exercise was a beneficial antidepressant both immediately and over the long term. Exercise was an equally effective antidepressant for both genders. Exercise plus psychotherapy was … [Read more...]

How To Enjoy Studying: Flow


FLOW is a state of total absorption in an activity where the individual is so focused that nothing else seems to matter.  Time flies by and the activity becomes a joyful, even ecstatic, experience.  Flow occurs most commonly when people are pursuing their passions, such as dance, music, arts and competition sports.  However, students sometimes report entering this highly enjoyable state while studying, especially while they are studying subjects to which they are naturally inclined.  To think of … [Read more...]

Want to Feel Better? Start With Your Gut


As of recent, the psychological implications of gut health, and the role of the microbiome in emotional well being has received more media attention. As we learn more about the way a healthy gut environment influences mood, immunity, and inflammatory responses, we can expect advances in the way a host of ailments — including depression and anxiety — are treated. For this reason, this week’s post is a guest blog by Andrew Farretta, a licensed acupuncture physician who specializes in the gut-brain … [Read more...]

Happiness and Our Gut Bacteria – new studies and what we can do


  COULD our gut bacteria truly influence our state of happiness? It appears so. Researchers worldwide are now investigating the remarkably real relationship between the bacteria in our gut and how we think and feel. Gut bacterial make-up has been linked to depression, and probiotics, which change the population of gut bacteria, have been shown to alleviate depression in several small studies. This is what’s known to date: Massive MIcroorganisms Massive numbers … [Read more...]

A Classic Post Revisited: Jefferson’s Happiness


Five years ago we posted "Jefferson's Happiness". Amid economic downturns around the world today, this is a great time to revisit the post and ask ourselves again: What is happiness?  It seems that many Americans have been pursuing the Wall Street version of happiness with a vengeance, encouraged by the 2006 blockbuster “Pursuit of Happiness,” in which Will Smith and his real-life son become best buddies in an epic journey from rags to riches. Try typing “pursuit of happiness” on … [Read more...]

8th Grader Helps Stressed and Miserable Students by Romano Orlando

Romano Orlando

When I first started this project, I had more downers than believers. Most people don’t like to see something new, and happiness has never been chosen in the 45 years that this project has been run. My 8th grade class was assigned the task to find a problem in our community and take a step to solve it. We had to write an essay, come up with an action plan to help solve this problem, and give a final presentation at the end. I couldn’t find the right topic for me, but then I took a look around … [Read more...]

Happiness by Romano Orlando – Student

school child

“The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.” -Benjamin Franklin In order to understand happiness, one must understand what happiness actually is. The definition of happiness is, “feeling pleasure and enjoyment.” However, what is pleasure? What is enjoyment? Thomas Jefferson, an original Son of Liberty, once said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with … [Read more...]

Stop Bullying by Teaching Happiness

Upset Teenage Girl With Friends Gossiping In Background

Guest Post from Jenn Eichner There is much debate over the effectiveness of anti-bullying campaigns currently active in many high schools. I have read research and opinion pieces which suggest that the campaigns may actually be counter-productive. There appears to be little discussion, however, on alternative measures and even less dialogue with students about their take on the subject. I recently received a firsthand opinion from a 10th grade student concerning her school district’s … [Read more...]

Take Time to Exercise and You Will Be Happier


New research by Russell Clayton and colleagues, which is due out in the next issue of Human Resource Management, concludes there is a positive relationship between exercise and work life balance. Based on Clayton’s research, people who take the time to exercise feel more self-efficacy. In other words they are confident they can get things done. Completing a regular exercise routine, gives them proof that they are capable of handling bigger challenges, including getting major projects at work … [Read more...]