Brain and Behavior Articles

Psychology Around the Net: December 20, 2014

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

woman armfull books bigst

From holiday gift ideas to dealing with our bosses’ bad moods, today’s Psychology Around the Net is sure to keep you on the edge of your seats!

The Best Psychology Books of 2014: The Guardian writer Lisa Appignanesi provides a list of six of the best psychology books over the past year. (HINT: You might even get one or two holiday gift ideas from this one!)

The Best Christmas Gift Ever: Finding Blessings in Challenges: Speaking of holiday gifts, oftentimes some of our greatest blessings come from our greatest challenges. When have you faced a challenge that turned around and offered you a gift?

Top 10 Anxiety Blogs of 2014

Monday, December 15th, 2014

Mindfulness and Anxiety DisordersIt is natural to feel anxious in certain situations. We’ve probably all felt nervous before an exam and experienced the accompanying physical sensations: lying awake the night before, sweaty palms, racing heart. For some people, though, anxiety affects and interferes with their daily life.

Anxiety disorders take several forms, from an all-pervasive form known as generalized anxiety disorder, to panic disorder (which includes panic attacks), to social phobia and more specific phobias. Symptoms express themselves as much in the body as in the mind, with shortness of breath, palpitations, and an upset stomach being common complaints.

Psychology Around the Net: November 13, 2014

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

mindful-ways-minimize-holiday-stress

Check out this week’s Psychology Around the Net for information on mindfulness during the holidays, beating stress at work, making insecurity work for you (yes, you read that correctly!), and more.

3 Ways to Embrace Your Need for Solitude and Quiet Time: The holidays are a great time for this lesson on fear, guilt, and mindset.

5 Tips for Coping With Stress at Work Starting First Thing in the Morning: You’ve probably heard them all, but what would happen if you actually started practicing them?

The Surprising Facts about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

The Surprising Facts about Seasonal Affective DisorderA cup of hot chocolate. A funny movie. A snowball fight. These are all things that can cure the winter blues. It’s easy to feel gloomy or un-energetic on dark and windy winter days. But it’s often equally as easy to pick yourself with a little physical exercise or a happy movie.

But what if the things that normally make you feel better don’t help?

If you find yourself feeling unhappy for days at a time or losing interest in the activities you once took pleasure in, you may be one of the millions of Americans who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Do You Connect or Control?

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Do You Connect or Control? My youngest always fought with me over the littlest of things. Lately I had even resorted to bribing her in return for the peace it brought.

“Put away your plate,” I reminded her after dinner the other night, “otherwise no iPad.”

“I don’t care,” she retorted. “And you can’t stop me.”

The Power of Music

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Music and EmotionsI’ve known the lows of depression, I’ve known the terror of delusions and paranoia and I’ve known the itchiness of anxiety. In every instance, I know I need to calm down. Most times this means going home pulling the covers up and putting on soft music. I do it so much that it’s become something completely natural. Feeling bad? Put on music. It’s almost automatic and because of that I’ve started to take this simple technique for granted.

Music is something magical. It’s salve for all of life’s emotional wounds and I would be remiss in talking about coping techniques if I didn’t talk about music.

Are You Working for a Psychopath?

Monday, December 8th, 2014

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Every boss has his or her moments when grumpiness or a negative attitude takes hold, causing them to lash out. Our superiors are human, after all, and they are entitled to bad days just like anyone else.

But have you ever worked for someone who seemed to constantly run hot and cold: charming and funny one second, then vicious and manipulative the next? If a power-wielding bully dominates your workplace, you could very likely be working for a psychopath.

Letting Go: External Changes

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Letting Go: External Changes“When some girls go through a breakup, they’re inspired to cut or dye their hair,” my professor said in a lecture for his “Psychology of Personality” course.

When experiencing any significant change, whether it’s a breakup or embarking on a new life chapter, we may crave external transformation. It will not resolve the issues at hand; however, it can reflect inner growth and progress. There’s a certain catharsis to physical alterations.

Dealing with Rejection

Monday, December 1st, 2014

Dealing with RejectionIt’s been kind of a hard week. I’ve been sending out queries to literary agents for a new book I’m putting together and it’s been crazy. I sent 140 queries out over the last week and so far the only ones I’ve heard back from have written to tell me they weren’t interested.

In hindsight I’d advise not being so feverish about something career-oriented because on about the 20th or so rejection I just felt this sick, sinking feeling in my gut.

7 Ways for Those with Dysthymia to Get the Day off to a Good Start

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

7 Ways for Those with Dysthymia to Get the Day off to a Good StartI’m a deep thinker, a creative type — and a dysthymic. As in: a person with dysthymia, officially known as Persistent Depressive Disorder, characterized by feeling “down” on a regular basis without reaching the level of near-total impairment associated with major depressive disorder.

The sense of depression is at its worst when I have little immediate “busyness” to occupy my mind.

Often the hardest part of the day is starting it: that is, getting out of bed in the morning. If you have a similar problem, the following strategies help:

Avoid These 5 Traps that Can Destroy Your Good Habits

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

mousetrapAvoid these five habit traps — they can destroy your good habits.

When we’re trying to master our habits, it’s important to be aware of the justifications or arguments that we sometimes invoke that interfere with keeping a good habit.

They slip in so easily and quickly, it can be hard to spot them.

How to Cope with Pain from the Past

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

How to Cope with Pain from the PastOne of my favorite quotes, referenced in a piece on Tiny Buddha, states:

“If you get lost in a trigger that thrusts you to a painful event, take a deep breath and remember: we can’t change that we’ve been hurt before, but we can choose not to suffer now.”

That sentiment — that we can’t change the past, but we can choose not to suffer now — struck a chord. I’ve been through many emotional downs in previous relationships (especially one significant romantic relationship) and therefore hope to embody this approach. The past can be a cautionary tale, a reminder that we’ve endured pain, but we made it to the other side and learned from the experience.

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