Brain Blogger

Lucid Dreaming Can Improve Physical Skills, Scientists Say


Can we significantly improve physical skills by practicing them while we sleep? Yes, scientists say. New research published in the Journal of Sports Sciences confirms that practicing motor skills while lucid dreaming can lead to real life improvements in skill performance that can be equivalent to practice in waking life.

Lucid dreaming is when the dreamer becomes aware that he or she is actually dreaming. This awareness typically comes hand in hand with greater control of what one’s dream self is doing, as well as the content of the dream.

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Addiction

Psychology Around the Net: September 17, 2016


Before you run off to enjoy the last weekend of summer, take some time to enjoy the seriously random mix of mental health news and stories I've found for you this week!

Read on to take a look at data on how psychiatric drug advertising affects prescriptions, a study related to how writing down your dreams and goals increases your chances of achieving them, reviews on various self-help books for pet parents (you read...
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ADHD and ADD

How to Stop Stressing about Work & Finally Fall Asleep

If you’re like most people, you’ve been affected by stress-related sleep problems at some point, lying awake at night filled with anxiety about your career and the future.

Often everyday worries about impending deadlines and your to-do list give way to bigger, more stressful questioning, “Is this job really what I want to be doing with my life? What if I quit? Will I ever discover
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Addiction

Psychology Around the Net: May 7, 2016


As I mentioned last Saturday, I had a pretty stressful last week of April. I was crunched for time to meet an important deadline, and it looked like I was going to fail.

I did -- fail, that is -- but fortunately, my boss was completely chill about it. So, I spent this week finishing up and, given how tightly wound I've been for the past, oh, five or so weeks, I am absolutely ecstatic about today (well, "today" if you're reading this on Saturday).

Why, you ask?

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Brain and Behavior

Understanding the Fascinating World of Dreams

“I was walking down a dark street, whistling and enjoying the darkness. Suddenly, I heard footsteps. Somebody was following me. I tried to run but my legs were cement. I couldn’t budge. I screamed. Nobody heard me. My heart was beating so fast. I was terrified. I didn’t know what to do.”

Maria continued: “I woke up in a cold sweat, shaken by the dream and wondered what it meant. I couldn’t figure it out. I have no enemies. There’s nothing that’s scaring me in real life. So, I kind of just tried to get it out of my mind by telling myself it’s just a dream.”

Dreams are mysterious. We’re both fascinated and perplexed by them. When they frighten us, we try to push them aside, saying “it’s just a dream.” Too bad. We can learn a lot from our dreams once we learn to speak their language.
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Creativity

Tips for Delving into Your Nighttime Dreams — Because Doing So Is Key

Many of us don’t think much about our nighttime dreams. We might not even remember them. While some dreams may not be particularly meaningful, most dreams offer a wealth of information about ourselves and our lives.

“Dreams are the psyche’s way of expressing and exploring issues pertinent to our psychological growth,” said Kathryn Bikle, MA, LMFT, a therapist who uses depth psychology techniques such as dream work in her practice in Pasadena and Monrovia, Calif. This growth can include our relationships, spirituality and creativity, she said. When we explore our dreams, “we expand our understanding of who we are and who we can be in the world.”
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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: March 12, 2016


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

I don't know about your neck of the woods, but from where I'm sitting it's a sunshine-filled, 70-degree day, and the last thing I want to do is be indoors!

Still, I suggest you take your phone or tablet or laptop or whatever (oh, technology) outside, because you definitely don't want to miss this week's updates in the world of mental health.

Read on for the latest on how to create habits that revive lost motivation, why binge-watching television could be linked to depression, what some mental health patients have to say about a certain Bernie Sanders comment, and more.

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Dreams

4 Tips for Discussing Your Relationship’s Future

When a relationship is shifting from casual to serious, there comes a moment when it’s necessary to discuss each person’s expectations for the future. Expectations, as I define them, are the aspects of your future you strongly believe will happen (as opposed to dreams, which may or may not come true).

Expectations are reflections of your closely-held beliefs about where your life is going. Expectations, when not met, can cause a grief that often surpasses the grief of not achieving a dream. Because they are so important -- and can be so painful when not met -- every couple should get to know each other’s expectations before becoming completely committed.
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Dreams

Better Sleep for a Better Life

While getting seven to eight hours of sound sleep each night is easier said than done, there are adjustments you can make to improve your odds of a good night's sleep. And what you do in the hours before you go to bed could matter most.

More than 90 percent of Americans use electronic communications in the hour before they go to bed. Allowing such stressors into your pre-sleep time is only going to keep you awake. A 2014 study suggests that late-night smartphone use is bad for your work the following day. This research found that using a smartphone late at night not only leads to poor sleep but also creates fatigue and lower engagement in the workplace.
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Dreams

How to Eliminate Recurring Nightmares

All of us have nightmares. Maybe in your nightmare you’re being chased by some terrifying but unknown entity. Maybe you’re surrounded by bloodthirsty vampires or hordes of zombies. Maybe you’re trapped in a room with snakes or spiders or any other animal you fear. Maybe you or a loved one is involved in a car wreck or a violent assault.

Maybe you keep having this nightmare over and over. And it’s so real, so vivid, so frightening that the last thing you want to do is fall back asleep.

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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: March 28, 2015


This week's edition of Psychology Around the Net covers everything from psychology and environmentalism, a new smartphone app for teens dealing with depression, and various misconceptions about psychology.

The Surprising Psychology Behind Why Some People Become Environmentalists: Psychologists have started using tools such as surveys and questionnaires to delve into this polarized topic.

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How to Work with Your Dreams

A lot of us are drawn to working with our dreams. Knowing where to start and how to go about it can be confusing. Here are some basic tools to help you with the process.

1. Tell yourself the whole dream. Tell yourself the dream from start to finish so that you have a sense of it as a complete narrative. Dreams sometime seem to open somewhere in the middle -- things are already in process. Capture this information as fully as possible.
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