alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.

emotion

Do Animals Have Souls?

In common parlance, the word ‘soul’ pops up everywhere. We may speak of a vast, soulless corporation or describe an athlete as the ‘heart and soul’ of his team. Soul music gets us swaying. We want our lover, body and soul. In each case, ‘soul’ connotes deep feeling and core values. ‘Feelings form the basis for what humans have described for millennia as the … soul or spirit,’ the neuroscientist Antonio Damasio eloquently expounds in his groundbreaking book Descartes’ Error (1994).

Keep reading... Show less

10 Foods to Avoid If You Don't Want to Be in a Bad Mood

Everyone has their own version of comfort food. Maybe it was a snack you enjoyed eating as a kid, or simply something that satiates your sugar craving. Regardless, it always serves the same function—to make you feel "better." But what if all this time the very thing you think is improving your mood is actually making it worse?

Keep reading... Show less

Exploring Those Confusing Feelings You Have, Yet Can't Name

What do you call that urge you've sometimes had "to pinch or squeeze something that is unbearably cute?” Filipinos call this gigilWhat do you call that feeling you get when someone does you a favor you really didn’t want them to do and you have to thank them for it? In Japanese, the word is arigata-meiwakuIn English, our library of adjectives for often ineffable emotions can feel limited. The inability to verbally categorize our feelings can leave us overwhelmed and frustrated.

Keep reading... Show less

Back to Nature: How One Woman's Healing Journey Became a Source of Inspiration for So Many

Understanding the human condition is one of the most elusive quandaries in the life of the mind. Henry David Thoreau used the propensity of nature to provide clarity in objectively understanding this condition. He famously sought solace from humanity at Walden Pond, “to drive life into a corner and reduce it to its lowest terms.” Walden, the book published in 1854 that resulted from his experiences at the pond, became a literary classic, especially celebrated among those who seek refuge in the wilderness as a means to reconnect with nature.

Keep reading... Show less

Is Yogurt the Secret to Happiness?

Scientists have long known that the brain sends signals to the gut, a process that reveals why stress, for example, can express itself through gastrointestinal symptoms. But it wasn’t until 2013, when researchers at the UCLA uncovered the first evidence that the signal can go the other way as well: from gut to brain.

Keep reading... Show less

Please, Everyone, Can We Stop Pretending We Must All be Constantly Happy?

I am going to come out of the closet, and make a shocking, even shameful, admission. I am not a happy person. In fact I am the sort of chap who complete strangers come up to in the street and advise to cheer up, since it might never happen.

Keep reading... Show less

The Secret to Happiness? Stop Feeling Bad About Being Unhappy

I am going to come out of the closet, and make a shocking, even shameful, admission. I am not a happy person. In fact I am the sort of chap who complete strangers come up to in the street and advise to cheer up, since it might never happen.

Keep reading... Show less

8 Ways to Deal With Anger

“My dear, you have to take control of your feelings before they take control of you” ---- Violet Grantham, Dowager Countess, Downton Abbey

Keep reading... Show less

5 Ways Positive Thinking Makes You Miserable at Work

Some people take the pursuit of happiness too far:

Keep reading... Show less

What Happens In Your Brain When You Get Mad, And How To Control It

I’m late for one of my jobs and after noting my empty gas tank and fighting with a broken car door, I pray to a god I don’t believe in to get me through the first traffic light, which is the longest light on the earth. Children have been conceived, born, and taught to read while waiting for it to turn green. I need to breeze through it. 

Keep reading... Show less

Imagination, Not Science, Is The Key To Solving Climate Change

Contrary to popular belief, humans have failed to address the earth's worsening emergencies of climate change, species' extinction and resource overconsumption not because of a lack of information, but because of a lack of imagination, social scientists and artists say.

Keep reading... Show less