In 2020, my blog in Psychology Today, “The Clarity,” reached over a million readers. One of my favorite topics is the science of mirrors and reflections. Though many have a love/hate relationship with the mirror, the mirror can be a doorway into greater self-awareness — and self-compassion.

Here are the…


Photo by Edgar Pereira on Unsplash

Three ways to shift your perspective on loneliness.

Everyone has experienced loneliness. Yet, each person seems to think their experience is unique, which ironically seems to isolate us further. We might consider loneliness as a matter of perception. …


Fake smiles, Real smiles

Photo by Laura Dewilde on Unsplash

Everyone knows how to fake a smile. We learn when to show and hide our genuine emotions from early face-to-face exchanges. Parents instinctively want to shield their children from negative social experiences. So they reward emotional displays that will encourage and facilitate acceptance from others. Children learn to behave in…


What does loneliness look like in the brain?

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Social connection is fundamental to our well-being. Feeling close to other people promotes well-being, whereas disconnection from others can compromise mental and physical health. Yet, how the brain reflects our subjective experience of attachment to people has remained unclear until recently. How does our brain represent interpersonal closeness and distance…


A counterintuitive approach to dealing with a new reality.

If you’ve been quarantining for a while, you are probably tired of looking at your own face. People are experiencing “Zoom exhaustion” from the full-frontal exposure of their own and other people’s faces of increased size, intensity, and duration. You might also feel like you are under a microscope, because…


As coronavirus spreads around the world, we are required to make radical changes in our daily lives quickly. Perhaps the toughest is social distancing. We need to stop seeing our friends, getting together in groups, and even touching each other. Social distancing means suppressing our deeply innate and evolutionarily hard-wired…


When anxiety hits, it can make you feel disoriented as though everything is spinning out of control. You might feel immobilized, not sure where to turn — or engage in acts that you think will reduce the sense of confusion, but they only end up making things worse.

People may…


Want to get more done? Try this new approach to managing your most valuable asset: Time

Working from home has its advantages. For one thing, it saves time by avoiding a bustling, congested, and germy commute, skipping the beauty routine, and just working in PJs.

Yet, you may find it challenging to stay focused without the structure of a work setting. Do you ever find yourself…


Many people are aware of the idea that loving others starts with loving ourselves, but it’s still common to worry that banishing self-doubt and rumination is dangerous: That it could turn us all into pompous narcissists.

As a psychology professor, let me reassure you: That’s not going to happen.

I…


Photo credit: Ben White

Be inspired by the latest ideas.

This year’s wonderful books offer new and uplifting perspectives, deep insights into current problems, and inspiration for positive action in 2020. Here are my favorites.

1. Permission to Feel by Marc Brackett

A professor at Yale University’s Child Study Center and founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence…

Tara Well, PhD

Psychology Professor | TEDx Speaker| Writer on the power of reflections. Look out for my book “Facing Yourself” 2022 www.MirrorMeditation.com

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