Book Review (Part 2) – The Emotional Life of Your Brain

(This is Part II for Part I please click here, book available from Amazon here) The core of Davidson’s book crystallises research as to how we uniquely react and respond to ‘life’s slings and arrows’.  Individual response is unique mix across six dimensions — Resilience, Outlook, Social Intuition, Self Awareness, Sensitivity to Context, and Attention.  We have a mix of these styles which means we could easily bounce back from a setback (resilience domain) but not very good at reading the body language of others (social intuition domain)....

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Book Review (Part 1) – The Emotional Life of Your Brain

(This is Part I for Part II please click here) Some texts are perfect for particular needs of our time.  For me The Emotional Life of Your Brain is one such book. It’s written by a pioneer in neuroscience Professor Richard Davidson and an award winning health & science correspondent Sharon Begley – who has a deft skill at making such books light on the eye and easy to digest. I must admit to Davidson being a bit of a hero of mine, both because of this pioneering work (in 2006, he was named one of the 100 most influential people in the...

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Is gritting your teeth really good for you?

On a recent return flight to Amsterdam from the UK I overheard a fellow-passenger giving a flight attendant a really bad time. It was hard to catch the full story from where I was sitting but it involved the passenger asking for hot water in a plastic, see-through cup. Apparently cups of this sort are not safe to hold hot water and the only alternative was the purchase—for three euros—of a polystyrene cup. Not surprisingly the passenger found this rather excessive. What was more surprising was his response—he proceeded to cross-examine the...

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