Brain and Behavior

Getting to Know Your Three Brains: Part 2

In Part 1 of this brain mini-series, I hoped to excite your desire to learn more about the brain. In this post, you will learn what you need to know to enhance your well-being.

To begin, think of yourself as having not just one brain but three brains:

your thinking brain;
your emotional brain;
your body brain.

Although they are all connected, they act and are very different. The thinking brain conjures your thoughts. The emotional brain is where emotions and impulses arise. The body brain causes changes in the body when emotions trigger.

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Brain and Behavior

How to Become a Morning Person in 5 Steps

Different people prefer to work at different times of the day. Some find themselves most productive in the mornings; other are better as night owls. However, mornings are traditionally seen as the start of everyone’s day. Regardless of whether your body clock is ready for it, you’ll need to adjust to early mornings, especially if you’re in a 9-to-5 job.

You can try temporarily forcing yourself to wake up early in the morning, but it’s difficult if you aren’t fully committed to being a morning person. Want to learn to be a morning person? Here are five psychological tricks to train your brain:

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Brain and Behavior

Black and White Thinking: Finding the Space Between

You've heard it before: "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater!"

This is a frequently used saying, but what does it really mean? Picture it. Baby, covered in strained carrots, yogurt and dried cereal. I've been there. You put the little chubby giggle monster in the water, and it just gets gross. Things are floating around, and the water changes into this murky swamp of ick.

Does that water make the baby less precious and snugly? Not at all. They are separate things. Gross water. Baby. Gross water does not make gross baby. We can put that together so easily with the baby metaphor, but not so easily with other situations.

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Brain and Behavior

Possibility: More Powerful than Depression

When you are depressed, your mind sees no possibilities. You feel stuck, with no change in sight.

Depression is brilliant. It is an amazing example of “we are what we think.”

When we are depressed, our thoughts consist of things like “nothing will help,” “it’s useless,” and “I can’t do it.” These thoughts get even stronger when well-meaning people give suggestions on how to stop being depressed. Of course, these ever-so-helpful suggestions come right after we have gone on and on about how hard our life is. Right?
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Brain and Behavior

Does Posting Selfies Make You a Narcissist?

I've previously written how posting selfies is not a disorder (no, sorry, selfitis doesn't exist). Others have even suggested that posting selfies is simple a sign of healthy self-expression.

But last year, a few studies were published that linked taking selfies and posting them to a social network like Facebook to certain narcissistic traits. And this led some to believe that if you post a lot of selfies, you must be a narcissist.

However, the answer to the question of why people post selfies -- what motivates us to post selfies? -- is more complicated and nuanced -- as it usually is.

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Brain and Behavior

Never Feel Like a Loser Again with the Right Locus of Control

How you did on a test, how well you stick to your diet and how accurately you execute a new recipe is seen differently depending on your locus of control.

Who is to blame if you failed the test? Who should be rewarded when you lose weight on your diet? The way you view the control you have over your life will determine whether you have an internal or external locus of control.

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Addiction

Two Sides of My Anxious, Depressive Soul

Yesterday


Yesterday I woke up and couldn’t make it to the end of my block while I walked the dog before this overwhelming, out-of-the-blue panic hit me. I immediately turned around and could see my house but I felt like I could not get there fast enough. I began to run, trying to match my movement with my heart rate. When I got home there was both a sense of relief and of disappointment. My home is my comfort zone, and that is sometimes disappointing.

As the day went on, I had bouts of crying. Five or six times I broke down as I watched my husband sit there not knowing what else to say other than “You’re going to be okay, you’re just going through a bad time right now.” He held me in the bed as I cried again. He has known me for six years and he has not seen me go through this before. But I have, many times. I warned him about these times. I don’t think he believed me. I don’t think he ever thought the vibrant, happy, and full of zest for life woman he married could be the same person sitting in front of him telling him “I promise I won’t kill myself, but I just feel like I am dying.”

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Brain and Behavior

Teenagers Can Benefit from Meditation

Teens are under more pressure today than in previous generations. This massive increase in stress and anxiety is believed to have caused an increase in teenage attention disorders. Often they believe they're doing things wrong. That makes it difficult to focus on the present.

Meditation can help. Most teens find it difficult to sit, breathe, and focus on the present. Their world runs at a mile a minute, and they need to keep up. This, more than anything, is why they should give meditation a try.

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Anxiety and Panic

Spirituality vs. Mental Disorders: God Doesn’t Hate Medication

I grew up in a family that had high expectations of me, and I have personally struggled with anxiety. For several years, I thought that my anxiety was a normal part of life. I didn’t realize that I should not have been having full-blown anxiety at the age of nine, but I was.

My family didn’t believe in mental illnesses, besides those that were obvious to the untrained eye. We did, however, attend a church regularly. I was highly interested in Christianity and studied it on my own. I was able to combat the unnatural anxiety through my relationship with God, and was able to overcome the anxiety throughout middle and high school. College, however, was different.
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