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Happiness is a complex thing. First of all, it isn’t easy to define. Second of all, even if we agree on the definition, it won’t miraculously bring us to understanding what is needed to become happy. There are just too many elements at play: the place you were born, people you grew up with, the social and economic situation in your country, as well as many other factors.

At the same time, psychologists studying happiness notice certain patterns in how people act and think and how happy they are. …

Image by the author

Writers of the past didn’t have much choice when it came to the selection of writing tools. Of course, they could choose a typewriter brand, paper quality, or notebook type, but as far as the writing process was concerned, that was pretty much it. Computers were not there yet, so no word processors or fancy magic tools could be of any help. …

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Many people hearing the word-combination “ancient monk” imagine someone with an expressionless face, shoulder depression, and a bald patch — an image learned from ancient paintings.

These paintings, of course, are only a representation and don’t portray real people.

Moreover, the pictures don’t capture the less known part of these monks’ spiritual lives. Many of them left a rich writing legacy that reflected their daily thoughts, struggle, and love for God.

Although their writing is only the tip of an iceberg, it provides a glimpse into the hearts of one of the most spiritual people in the entire history.


Don’t use it to save your ass. Use it to foster love.

Image from rieslingtrocken on Pixabay

Even if you’re not fond of martial arts, you probably heard of Aikido. This exotic Japanese martial art became popular in the West around the 1970s, thanks to Steven Seagal, an actor, and a teacher in the past, who is also famous for receiving a Russian passport from the hands of Putin… Yeah, okay, I guess this doesn’t add to his popularity.

Anyway, this post is not about Seagal. It’s not even about the Aikido from the viewpoint of martial arts (which has quite an ambivalent reputation among fighters, to start with).

This post is about one Aikido trick that…

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Look, my friend, the summer is almost gone.
I’ve walked miles of coastline searching through
warm sand for time and now must disappoint
you — the ocean devoured it. How much is left,
you ask. Well, read my lips: “None.” Funny, huh?
Ten years ago, I would laugh at this. Make stupid jokes.
Guess what? Now I want to cry.

Look, my friend, the summer is almost gone. Something happened to this town and, sadly, settled here for good. Yesterday I talked to this prostitute two doors below, she said the cutest thing (probably heard on some “you-can-do-it” show): “Happy…

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Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have caught myself thinking how happy would I be when all of it is over. When the world gets back to the usual way of things, the way, they used to be before 2020. What a life would that be!

Still, somewhere deep in my mind, I always knew that I was lying to myself. First of all, I wasn’t happy before the pandemic! Secondly, I won’t miraculously become happier just because Covid-19 is not there anymore. None of us will. …

Photo by author

The conductor looks at us with small eyes over the surgical mask.

“I won’t let you in with bicycles,” she says.

We are approximately eight people with bicycles on the platform. The train has six places reserved for bikes, but they are already taken. Everyone is furious. Someone takes photos of the conductor. Others write down her name with threats to talk to her manager. But she is adamant: rules are rules.

I feel angry too. I recall the man from the information desk, who assured us that reservation for bicycles is not needed (it is needed) and that there…

Strong feelings can have physical manifestions

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Once viewed as a mere competitor of rational thinking, emotions hold a somewhat unique place in the overall picture of our wellbeing. Still, understanding one’s own emotions can be a daily biggest struggle.

During my PhD studies, I examined research on emotions and aspects, but knowing the theories did not always help me in understanding my own feelings. Why do I feel so bad? Why do I have no desire to do anything? What is this chest pain when somebody hurts me?

I learned that there are ways to increase awareness about what’s happening with our emotions, and how this…

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People have always had a thing for nature.

Nearly 40 years ago, E.O. Wilson, a prominent American biologist, introduced the biophilia hypothesis: our love for nature is the very essence of our humanity that has many psychological benefits, such as happiness and sympathy towards others.

It was around the same time that Rachel and Stephen Kaplan, psychologists from Ann Arbor, started collecting empirical evidence to this claim laying the foundation for the field known today as environmental psychology. …

Stories give us a safe place to explore emotions

Photo by Nicole Wolf on Unsplash

If you don’t have much time, you may wonder whether reading fiction is of any use and if self-development books would be a better time investment. After all, fiction is just for fun, isn’t it? Well, don’t jump to conclusions, because the benefits of leisure reading may be far more reaching than you probably expected.

Fiction reading is indeed meant for fun. Humans have always had a thing for a good story, and, in the past, books were one of the primary sources of entertainment available to the literate part of the population. …

Evgeny Kim

Figuring out how to live a happier life in an ever-changing world. Site:

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