Brain and Behavior

The Brain Has a Mind of Its Own

It doesn’t take an encounter with a bear or a threatening gun to trigger symptoms of the fight or flight response. I experienced similar phenomena when undergoing a consultation with a surgeon for an elective, life-altering surgery.

Her bedside manner exuded a cold, indifferent and detached attitude. With barely a glance at me, she entered the consulting room and settled into her chair. A few perfunctory questions and she did her due diligence by rattling off the risks involved with a robotic monotone that had been programmed into her. A few hasty and superficial parting words and the meeting ended abruptly.

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Brain and Behavior

Brain-Savvy Dieting: Count Joy Points Not Calories

The command central for weight loss is not the the thinking part of our brain, the part that learns what we should eat. It’s the emotional brain, the part of us that unleashes strong emotional drives to overeat. The breakthrough in a brain-based approach to weight management, emotional brain training (EBT), is to take control of our emotional brain to turn off those drives, so we can eat less because we want less food.

If you hold your ears with your fingers splayed, your holding your
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General

5 Hidden Benefits of a Good Massage

Aside from the fact that a good massage makes you feel better, what are some of the other benefits to this practice? As a longtime advocate for massage, I decided to delve into its not-as-well-known aspects to see what else it offers beside a well-spent hour on the table. What I discovered are the following five hidden benefits of a good massage.

Massage loosens muscles

Being in physical therapy for a recent low back pain episode means I’m working muscles that have not seen regular activity for some time. That results in soreness that proves I’m doing things right, but it’s also a little uncomfortable.
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Health-related

A Letter to My Body After Surgery

“I’m nervous. I’m pretty much always nervous,” I repeatedly told every doctor and nurse who asked me how I was doing before my surgery.

When you're 32 and your pre-op nurse describes you as healthy, it doesn’t dispel all the thoughts that fill your head as you stare at the drop ceiling tiles at the surgery center. “Is this real? How is this my life? What am I doing here?” Those are the kinds of thoughts that usually precede a panic attack for me. But I breathed deeply and stayed in the moment. “Soon this will be over,” I told myself, “and then you can finally eat something today.”
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General

Hear This Loud and Clear

When you were growing up, did you ever ask or hear the question, “If you could do without one of your senses, which one would it be?” It is a complex and disturbing query. As a human being you rely heavily on your senses (along with your intellect and emotions) to navigate life. Our senses have been called intelligences, minds, perceptions, sensations, sense organs, sensory skills or deficits, s, and physical sensations.

Like many people who enjoy the vast musical offerings during the summer months, I too love outdoor concerts. There is something special about feeling the warmth of a summer’s day or sultry summer evening while listening to wonderful live music.
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Family

5 Suggestions for Navigating a Contentious Divorce

Any divorce is difficult, even when the split is amicable. After all, divorce is a major transition, and change is tough. When your divorce is contentious, not surprisingly, things are harder. A lot harder.

“People are often caught off guard by the enormity of the divorce experience,” said Krysta Dancy, MA, MFT, a therapist who specializes in working with couples and families in Roseville, Calif.

If your marriage was contentious, you probably see your divorce as a relief, so you might feel blindsided when your stress skyrockets. You might feel utterly exhausted, anxious, depressed and unfocused, Dancy said.
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General

How 30 Minutes of Exercise Every Day Can Boost Mental Wellbeing

When we discuss the advantages of regular exercise, it’s usually the benefits to physical well-being that take centre stage, and for obvious reasons.

Most are aware that physical exertion can aid cardiovascular health and protect against a plethora of hypertensive conditions. These reasons, alongside wanting to lose weight and improve the way we look, are among the chief motivations for embarking on an exercise program.
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Anxiety and Panic

Exercise Helps Your Mental Health, Depression & Anxiety: Now What?

At least once, your doctor or therapist has probably urged you -- get out and exercise more. It's the kind of simplistic advice that professionals feel good about doling out, because it's so easy to do. Exercise helps improve your mental health, and can reduce anxiety and depression symptoms.

But as anyone who's heard this advice knows, it's so much easier to recommend than do. While exercise can help our mental health, it can be hard to put into action without motivation. Moreover, a person who is depressed or anxious may find motivation, well, lacking.

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ADHD and ADD

The Many Conditions that Mimic Depression

Finding the right diagnosis for any disorder requires a comprehensive evaluation. Indeed, many illnesses share many of the same symptoms.

Take symptoms such as headache, stomachache, dizziness, fatigue, lethargy, insomnia and appetite loss. There are countless conditions with these exact indications.

Similarly, many mental illnesses share the same symptoms, said Stephanie Smith, PsyD, a psychologist in practice in Erie, Colo., who specializes in working with individuals with depression. Which makes “the process of diagnosing mental illness tricky, to say the least.”
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Disorders

Psychology Around the Net: August 20, 2016


A few weeks ago, my beau and I decided to tackle a huge home improvement project together.

According to Amy Kipp, a couples and family therapist in San Antonio, "Working through the ups and downs of a big project helps you hone your communication skills [...] The sense of accomplishment and teamwork that results from a challenging shared experience strengthens a couple’s bond. (Her quote is featured in 7 Relationship Milestones That Are Just as Meaningful as Marriage.)

Thus, it seems working on this project is a way to strengthen our relationship. This project is not an improvement our home needs (i.e. we're not renovating a bathroom with a leaky toilet and busted shower tiles); it's an improvement we -- as the homeowners -- want (basically, we're a large part of our backyard into a sort of outdoor oasis). As such, creative ideas are flying everywhere. We have both collective and separate visions, and we're working to combine those visions while making sure each of us is happy.

We haven't thrown any paint brushes at each other yet, so I'd say we're succeeding so far.

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