Tag Archives: Greater Good Science Center

Christine Carter to talk about managing life’s complexities

Christine Carter. Photo: Blake Farrington
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By Jill Suttie

In 2009, Christine Carter felt like she had it all. Working her dream job at the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, she was helping further the study and dissemination of the science of happiness. She had two wonderful kids, a best-selling book called Raising Happiness, a popular blog, and frequent requests for speaking engagements.

Then she got sick. At first, it seemed like no big deal—just a little strep throat. But she took a round of antibiotics and didn’t recover; then she took more. Nine courses of antibiotics later, she still hadn’t healed. Instead, she ended up in a hospital with a severe kidney infection. The diagnosis?

“Exhaustion,” says Carter. “My body had basically lost the ability to heal itself.“

That’s when she realized something was really wrong. Her life had become completely out of whack, and it was taking its toll.

“Here I was, an expert on how to sustain high performance and be happy, and I could not get myself healthy, because I was overwhelmed and exhausted,” she says. “The irony was not lost on me.”

That’s when Carter began to chart a new course. Using her background in studying elite performance and productivity, as well as happiness, positive emotions, and well-being, she put together a plan to reinvent her life. That experience, as well as correspondence from her readers complaining that they felt overwhelmed, inspired her to write a book about her path to healing: the newly published The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work. … Continue reading »

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Express thanks online, get happier with new Cal study

The staff of the UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center, from left to right:  Dacher Keltner, Vicki Zakrzewski, Christine Carter; Ann Shulman, Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Jason Marsh, Jeremy Adam Smith and Jesse Antin, and Elna Brunckhorst. Photo: Elyna Anderson
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With gratitude on everyone’s mind this week, a recently launched online study at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center makes it easy to, in one fell swoop, give thanks and contribute to a growing body of research on the subject.

The endeavor is based on the work of UC Davis psychology professor Bob Emmons, who has found that students who kept gratitude journals for a short period of time experienced strengthened resilience, became less vulnerable to daily stresses and suffered less from minor health complaints such as rashes and headaches.

Emmons teamed up with the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley to launch a new website, Thnx4.org, earlier this month. The website functions as an interactive, shareable gratitude journal, as well as an online database for researchers who are studying gratitude. Entries made by participants are kept private (for research purposes only) unless participants elect to share them, either via an anonymous public feed or through their own social networks. … Continue reading »

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Greater Good Science Center: On the fine art of gratitude

Practicing gratitude appears to work for Emiliana Simon-Thomas, who will talk up the science of gratitude at an event Saturday. Photo: Courtesy Simon-Thomas
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Practicing gratitude is all the rage (witness the popularity of Oprah’s gratitude game) and perhaps a perfect Berkeley-based pastime — when peace-loving residents aren’t embroiled in road rage in the parking lot at a Berkeley Bowl.

Indeed, since 2001 the good people at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center have taken it upon themselves to study the fine art of gratitude. Beginning in 2004 they launched the Greater Good magazine (now solely online) and the site also features the award-winning Raising Happiness blog, aimed at parents, who, on any given day, may need a gentle reminder about the joy to be found in rearing offspring — whether babies, toddlers, or teens.

Why is gratitude good? Feeling a sense of abundance, an enjoyment of simple pleasures, and an appreciation of others can lead to stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure, more joy, optimism, happiness, and other positive emotions, increased generosity and compassion, and decreased loneliness and isolation, scientists suggest. … Continue reading »

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How to keep toddlers (and you) happy over the holidays

kids home crafts
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By Belinda Lyons-Newman

This time of year presents the opportunity and challenge of finding fun creative things to do with little ones who may be home from preschool or other childcare during the holidays. What better place to be for the holidays than right here in our wonderful city? If you are looking for some fun Berkeley activities with your toddler between now and the end of the year read on for my top picks:

Lawrence Hall of Science

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Berkeley tweeters part 2: They’re out there

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Earlier this month we took a look at well-known Berkeley tweeters. We identified those who do — among them Dave Winer and Markos Moulitsas — those who sort of do, such as Michael Pollan, and then we compiled a wish-list of noted Berkeley people who we hope will take to the Twitter-waves.

Of course, our readers then weighed in with many good suggestions of Berkeleyites to follow on Twitter, as well as adding a … Continue reading »

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Berkeley ‘Happy kids’ blog wins national award

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A blog on raising happy kids by Christine Carter, executive director of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center (pictured left) has won the Council on Contemporary Families‘ 2010 Award for Online Coverage of Family Issues.

The blog, Half Full: Science for Raising Happy Kids, is part of Greater Good magazine which blends personal stories with published research to address specific parenting topics.

Jurors said they were impressed by “the range of issues, the quality of the writing, and the … Continue reading »

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