March 11, 2019

We all know that when someone yawns, then we start yawning too. New research shows that our emotions cause the same chain reaction.  A study out of Yale University—lead by sociologist Nicholas Christakis—documented a variety of interactions of approximately 5,000 people living in one town over the course of 32 years. When discussing the results of this study, Christakis says, “We were able to show that as one person became happy or sad, it rippled through the network.” The study… Read more

March 5, 2019

Lent is upon us and many of us are still praying and thinking about what Lenten sacrifice or practice we should implement over the next forty days. Sometimes it can be difficult to know what we should do for Lent. Of course there are the popular ideas of giving up social media or giving up chocolate, and while these can absolutely be helpful to our personal growth and relationship with God, these and other popular Lenten ideas can often be… Read more

February 18, 2019

“Hi! How are you?”, “I’m fine…” End of conversation. This type of exchange is very common, but has become entirely ineffective when it comes to actually getting to know and understand how someone is feeling. The greeting, “How are you?” has essentially become a closed ended (yes or no) question and leaves it entirely up to the person asking the question to decide how positive or negative we are feeling.  A new Yale study published in the Journal of Pediatric… Read more

February 10, 2019

We live in a busy world. Our daily schedules are hectic enough, and with the currently popular push to prioritize self-care, it can often feel as though our own happiness is just another thing we have to schedule onto our to-do lists.  But it shouldn’t be this way! So how do we find happiness in our every day lives, just based on what we are already doing? New research out of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Recovery Research Institute identified… Read more

February 3, 2019

There are lots of things for us to be angry about, but new research shows we often don’t do anything about it. A new study out of Carnegie Mellon University reveals that we typically become angry about two types of injustices. First, when a bad thing happens to a good person and second when a good thing happens to a “bad” person despite their bad behavior.  In the first instance—such as when a natural disaster devastates a town—the research shows… Read more

January 30, 2019

Like so many of my fellow Catholics, I have been truly sickened by the NY Legislature’s passage of the law allowing abortion up to birth.  Worse, the bloodlust is spreading as other states are either passing or considering similar legislation. In light of the NY law’s passage, most of the public conversation has focused on whether Governor Cuomo could or should be excommunicated.  I would absolutely  support such a canonical response to Cuomo’s advocacy of what I believe are moral… Read more

January 27, 2019

Parenting styles can come in many different shapes and sizes, but does how much warmth we show towards our children influence their ability to develop empathy and a positive moral compass? A new study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry evaluated the small differences in parenting practices among 227 identical twins. The researchers for this and subsequent studies included questions such as “I often lose my temper with my child” and “My child… Read more

January 23, 2019

The Catholic Family Life Symposium Helps Families Find Time for Christ Major conference with 30 experts at the University of Notre Dame July 19-21  will discuss the renewal of Catholic family life, Families are under more pressure than ever today. School, work, social media, drugs, materialism and other issues all challenge each member of the family and make it more difficult to find a spiritual connection. The constraints on time alone make it tough for families to even have dinner together!… Read more

January 21, 2019

As parents, we often want to protect our children from negative encounters or situations that we experience in our adult lives. But is this the best approach? New research reveals that kids may know more about how we feel than we might think.  A study conducted at Washington State University Vancouver evaluated mother’s and father’s interactions with their children after experiencing an anxiety inducing event (such as public speaking with negative feedback from the audience). The participants were separated into… Read more

January 14, 2019

The Christmas Season is over, but that doesn’t mean our spirit of giving should be.  New research conducted at Northwestern University reveals that giving to others provides us with an ongoing source of happiness—no matter how frequently we do it.  In these studies, individuals were given a small monetary allowance each day for about a week. One group of individuals was instructed to keep the daily allowance for themselves, while another group donated the money each day to a charity… Read more

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