The power of nostalgic thinking

The benefits of thinking fondly about the past are vast because nostalgia delivers two ingredients essential to well-being: A sense of meaning and connection to others. When we think nostalgically, we often feature ourselves as the protagonist in a momentus event (a wedding or a graduation, for instance) that involves the people we care most […]

We want to belong

Belongingness, the found, profoundly shapes our thoughts and emotions. It’s absence leads to ill effects, it’s presence to health and satisfaction. We need to feel like we belong in a group. Without it we have a bad time, physically and emotionally on a much deeper level than one might think.

Edit your friends

Yes, older people have much smaller social networks than when they were younger. But the reason isn’t loneliness or isolation. The reason is both more surprising and affirming. It’s what we choose. As we get older, when we become conscious of the ultimate ending, we edit our friends.

Pursuing Significance

What the end of the decade does seem to trigger, for good and for ill, is reenergized pursuit of significance. This can be run that marathon, or sex with a younger partner to show you still have it. The search for significance isn’t all good so we need to watch for it. We need to […]

The “uh-oh” effect

When we reach a midpoint, sometimes we slump, but other times we jump. A mental siren alerts us that we’ve squandered half our time. That injects a healthy dose of stress — Uh-oh, we’re running out of time! — that revives our motivation and reshapes our strategy.

Start School Later for Teens

While younger students score higher on standardized tests scheduled in the morning, teenagers do better later in the day. Early start times correlate strongly with worse grades and lower test scores, especially in math and language.

Naps done right

Done right, naps can be a shrewd response to the trough and a valuable break. Naps, research shows, confer two key benefits: They improve cognitive performance and they boost mental and physical health.

You’re Smarter at certain times of the day

First our cognitive abilities do not remain static over the course of a day. During the sixteen or so hours we’re awake, they change — often in a regular, foreseeable manner. We are smarter, faster, dimmer, slower, more creative, and less creative in some parts of the day than others.