Man of the House

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I’ve had many humbling experiences in my life, including voluntarily going homeless for one week every year as part of an awareness-raising project. But my most humbling experience so far has been being unemployed.

Since I left my job in October, I went from being the man-of-the-house to the man-in-the-house. My new househusband role begins at 6:45 am when I wake up to make and pack my wife’s lunch. By 7:15 am, I’ve also ironed her clothes. At 7:30 am, I’m warming up the car to drop her off at the train station fifteen minutes later

After that, phase two begins. I make sure the house is clean, the laundry is done and dinner is made while also searching and applying for jobs. It sounds easy enough, right? Let me tell you, it’s one of the most difficult jobs I’ve ever done and I’m still trying to get it 100% right. I have a new respect for women and men who take on the role of homemaker. And, I can only imagine the work it takes to be a stay-at-home parent.

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Science Fiction and The Search for Gratitude on Thanksgiving

Eds. note: “Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude.” A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Happy Thanksgiving to our family, friends, & readers in the US! And, thank you to guest blogger Ali Mattu from Brain Knows Better for allowing us to cross-post his wonderful Thanksgiving post!

I only have one rule for my blog – reference one finding from psychology and one work of science fiction in every post.

When I sat down to write a Thanksgiving article, it was easy to quote research on gratitude. Psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky calls gratitude a “metastrategy for achieving happiness”. Experimental research has revealed that participants who were asked to count their blessing once a week for ten weeks felt more optimistic, more satisfied with their lives, had better health, exercised more, and reported fewer headaches, acne, coughing, and nausea than control groups. Collectively, research indicates that gratitude helps you:

  1. appreciate life’s joys
  2. increase self-esteem
  3. cope under extreme stress
  4. nurture resilience in the face of loss and trauma
  5. foster altruism
  6. build social relationships
  7. undo negative emotions
  8. combat hedonic adaptation

It doesn’t take much either – practicing gratitude just once a week leads to improved physical and mental health. You can write in a journal, share your thoughts with a loved one, write letters (even if they aren’t sent), make gratitude calls, or a bunch of other things. Giving thanks is really, really, really good for you!

So that’s the psychology part of the post – easy as pie.

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