The key to happiness is being less optimistic and accepting a certain amount of unhappiness.
- The centuries old philosophy of Stoicism may hold the key to a kind of happiness that is more grounded in reality.
- The two main ideas of stoic happiness are that problems are caused by your reactions to events not the events themselves, and the only things you can control are your thoughts and your actions.
- Choosing strategic pessimism over optimism and positive thinking is one way to avoid "unnecessary disturbance and anxiety."
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The actor's greatest heroes exhibited humility in their actions, a view he tries to emulate.
- Ethan Hawke is inspired by others' excellence and ability to see the context of the larger community, those who value their work but don't take it too seriously.
- One of his heroes, River Phoenix, exhibited this kind of humility by taking on roles that were meaningful to him but were seen as controversial.
- "Phil Hoffman used to say this all the time, that it's the most important thing in the world and it doesn't matter, and you have to hold that coin together and flip it around. It's all true all the time," he says.
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When you struggle with anxiety or depression, sex may be the last thing on your mind. But understanding the physiological and mental benefits of a healthy sex life can help it become a tool for well-being.
- The physiological responses our bodies have to sex can minimize the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Deficiencies in nitric oxide are associated with irritability, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and less energy. Having sex increases your body's nitric oxide levels.
- Sex also increases epinephrine, oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin, all of which are linked to mood, behavior, and well-being.
What is the hive mind? Turns out there are antisocial and prosocial dimensions to it.
- The hive mind is a shared intelligence or consciousness between groups of people. It determines what we think is culturally acceptable, what we think is fashionable, and even what we think is true. We source most of our information and beliefs from other people and not from ourselves, says psychology professor Sarah Rose Cavanagh.
- The hive mind often comes under fire in the U.S. because it is a highly individualistic culture that frowns upon things like mindless conformity, echo chambers, and group think. Those are the antisocial aspects of collective thinking.
- There are also prosocial features, explains Cavanagh. The hive mind allows us to draw on collective knowledge in positive ways, without needing to reinvent the wheel each time.