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Emotional Health and Well-Being

The Power of a Heartfelt Apology

Updated on February 6, 2020

If I can share just one bit of relationship advice to our sons before I no longer have much influence on their development, it is this:

A genuine apology from the heart can heal, nourish, and inspire in ways that no amount of money or counselling can.

I feel this holds true in every type of relationship, including between life partners, parents and their children, friends, work colleagues, teachers and students, and businesses and their clients. Based on my life experiences thus far, I've come to believe that many humans don't appreciate the value of delivering a heartfelt sorry.

In the moment that we realize that we have made a mistake or we are told by someone that we have hurt their feelings, whether our mistake was purposeful or inadvertent, do we have the emotional intelligence to process our mistake, take full responsibility for it, and deliver a genuine apology? Read more

 

Jonathan Haidt on Social Media-Driven Anxiety Among Kids

For more of Jonathan Haidt's thoughts on a number of pressing current issues, I highly recommend the following book:

The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure Read more

 

The Magic of Untethering from My Cell Phone

Earlier this year, I decided to untether from my cell phone. I have a feeling this will rank among a few of the best decisions of my life when my time here is up.

Why untether? Primarily because on careful reflection, I concluded that having my iPhone on me for most of my waking hours was hurting my quality of life in a significant way. In constantly being available for the world to put me into reactive mode, spending my energy on issues that don't need my immediate attention right now or ever, I have far less capacity to be fully present in the moment. Read more

 

Some of My Core Beliefs Heading Into A New Decade

The best investment that we can make is in our own development.  When we improve ourselves and pursue skills and experiences that bring us fulfillment, we are able to give so much more to those around us.

Sleep is the safest healing agent.  Whenever we are in the midst of a health challenge, one of the best actions we can take to restore wellness is to get more quality sleep.

An ideal diet is one that allows for steady energy and alertness and comfortable bowel movements. Read more

 

Adult Freeloaders Mailbag

This past summer, in sharing some thoughts on how to deal with adults who regularly take advantage of others, I received a number of thoughtful replies, two of which I share here with for added perspective for those who may benefit. Please note that these messages are being shared with permission.

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Dr. Kim, Read more

 

What To Do When A Loved One Is Chronically Negative

Untitled

Dear Dr. Ben,

This was such a wonderful, delicate yet at the same time powerful read.

Among many insights in your post, the biggest gift for me this time was being able to connect the dots in my own life, as you shared that you don't talk with your parents about your hopes and dreams or any important decisions. I finally realized why the dynamic with my mom has been so complicated, especially since I began living more consciously. I always had such a deep desire to connect with my mom and share my life with her, but after sharing I usually have to spend so much time coping with her energy of fear and doubt. It feels so discouraging... I have realized that because she is not working on her own wounds, she will not be able to understand my increasing inner freedom and desire to act in accordance to my heart voice.  Read more

 

Sometimes You Just Have To Say Good-Bye

When I was in graduate school, I was lucky to be grouped with a fellow intern who I'll call Jason. Not lucky as in blessed to have a friend who I enjoyed spending time with; lucky as in fortunate to learn what I should stay away from.

I'm not going to attempt to be generous in my recollection of Jason. He was a prototypical user, someone whose idea of being a good friend was gracing you with his good looks over lunch in exchange for you picking up the tab. Read more

 

Powerful Things to Say to Your Kids

Originally posted in November of 2012

I've long believed that the words we choose in everyday conversation and correspondence play a significant role in shaping our relationships.

For example, from the time that our boys began asking questions to which some parents might answer "because I said so," Margaret and I have tried to preface our answers with "because from my experience, that would lead to..." Read more

 

The Pursuit of Wealth and Prestige

Today, it's become somewhat normal to continually pursue things that we think will help us feel better.

More money, splashy vacations, a trophy spouse, trophy kids - you name it, the vast majority of us humans chase after these things that the monkey brain tells us will bring security, recognition, and happiness that supposedly comes with.

Ironically, the more we chase after things that we feel will make us happier, if we truthfully look deep within, we know that we aren't any happier or fulfilled. Read more

 

When Our Loved Ones Suffer

When a loved one experiences something hurtful and is suffering, I think the instinct for most of us is to identify silver linings and do what we can to fix things.

As a parent to 13 and 11-year old boys, I've come to feel that while there is value in trying to be helpful when they are feeling down, what I'd most like to do beyond offering empathy and a comforting presence is to have them feel the belief that I have in them to eventually find a way to a better place, to transcend their suffering through their own thoughts and efforts. Read more

 

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