Brain and Behavior

3 Strategies to Reframe Your Thinking on Exercise

Even though most of us put happiness near the top of our want lists, many of us are secretly convinced that it will always be just out of reach. But the truth is that happiness is already available to us. All we have to do is start moving.

Scientific evidence is mounting that moving our bodies changes our brains in ways that can lead to happiness. In fact, it turns out that moving our bodies is one of the best ways to foster a chemical reaction that leads to happiness. Even small amounts of movement -- as little as one minute – boost energy and mood. Research also shows that we are much more likely to stick with exercise that we choose autonomously, enjoy doing, and makes us feel great right now.

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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

8 Things to Consider When Your Depression Is Not Getting Better

I keep getting the same email over and over again, and my heart aches each time I read it: “I have tried everything to overcome my depression, but nothing has helped. Is there anything else I can do or will I have to live the rest of my life plagued with sadness?”

First, hear these three words: There is hope. If there wasn’t any, I would not be alive writing my blog. I am one of the worst cases out there like you are. I have spent more years of my life fantasizing about death than wanting to be alive. I get it. But now I do enjoy some really good days -- where I feel better than I ever have. And those good days keep me motivated to get through the harder ones.
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Why You Should Always Get a Second Opinion

When you are diagnosed with an illness, especially when you have a mental health condition, you should always get a second opinion. Or a third. Or a fourth. Get as many as you can. The more you get, the more expert evidence you can collect as to what the real issue is.

As a patient, it's important to be as informed as possible about your own condition. It’s your body and you have to live with it. You decide how to react to your situation. Educating yourself about diseases and treatments and understanding your symptoms will help you to make decisions on what to do because, ultimately, it’s up to you.

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Understanding Orthorexia

"Ah, I can't do lunch, but would you want to grab coffee later on?" This is something I would say often to my friends. My circle was growing smaller. I rarely saw friends or even family. My apartment was my temple. The holder of all things healthy.

I prepared all of my meals after returning from my trip to Whole Foods. It was Sunday, my meal prep day, where I would hover over a stove baking bland free-range chicken, grass-fed steaks, organic broccoli and sweet potatoes.
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Teaching Your Child to Pay Attention Amid Digital Distractions

Technology has its pros and cons. A TV show or iPad app can help kids learn about everything from history to animals. However, too much time with electronic devices starts to hamper attention and steal time away from other important things.

In her latest book Parenting in the Age of Attention Snatchers: A Step-by-Step Guide to Balancing Your Child’s Use of Technology psychologist, researcher and attention expert Lucy Jo Palladino, Ph.D, shares a slew of helpful strategies. She shows parents how to help their kids sharpen “voluntary attention.” This kind of attention requires effort and helps us achieve our goals.

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Brain and Behavior

Why People with Depression Should Exercise More

Me in the morning: flat, lethargic and grumpy. Overly sensitive, reacting with shouting or tears to the slightest trigger. An overwhelming sense of apathy, interspersed with moments of rage or deep sadness. Things are hard.

Me in the afternoon: energized, motivated and productive. Calm and peaceful in my own mind, focusing on what needs to get done (work). Still pretty sensitive, but with enough presence not to yell at my loved ones.

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Brain and Behavior

The Psychological Trick for Exercise Motivation

Ugh. Exercise. I truly have a love/hate relationship with that particular activity. Just typing the word exercise reminds me that I have to do it tonight, and I dread it.

If I allow myself to think about it too much, I’ll talk myself out of doing it. My brain is basically that really convincing friend with the worst attitude saying, “Whoa, dude. You’re gonna get hot. You don’t like being hot, remember? You had a long day at work. Kick back, relax, and eat some bacon-dipped-pizza-ice-cream!” (My brain is all or nothing).
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Brain and Behavior

Bringing Therapeutic Sound into Your Daily Life for Health and Well-Being

The Oxford English Dictionary describes stress as pressure or tension exerted on a material object or a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.

When we are subjected to stressful life circumstances, our system responds by releasing hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. These create a fight-or-flight response. It may result in muscle tension, digestive problems, low libido, sleep deprivation, restlessness, panic attacks, and a whole host of other symptoms.

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Epigenetics and Well-Being

In 2008, the National Institutes of Health announced that $190 million had been earmarked for epigenetics research over the following five years. In announcing the funding, government officials noted that epigenetics has the potential to explain mechanisms of aging, human development, the origins of cancer, heart disease, and mental illness, as well as several other conditions.

Even when you’ve inherited genes from your biological parents, they might or might not be active in your own makeup. When a gene activates, that’s called “genetic expression.” It turns out that genetic expression can be affected by your experiences and even by your thoughts and feelings.

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