Memory and Perception Articles

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.

How to Use Affirmations to Combat Negative Self Talk

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

negative mind map

Have you ever pasted up a big sign on your bathroom mirror that says something like, “You are beautiful!” to try to improve your mood and self esteem? And found that it works not at all?

We all have a mean voice inside our heads that criticizes us, often much more harshly than we would ever criticize another person. For many of us, this negative self talk manifests as specific repeating phrases, especially when we are feeling stressed or upset: “You’re such a failure.” “You’re so ugly.” “You can’t do anything right.” You’d never say this to another person, but there it is, knocking around inside your head.

How to Deal with Invasive Thoughts

Monday, November 24th, 2014

inside_mind_schizophreniaI’m no stranger to nasty thoughts. I recognize when they’re present so innately that it’s safe to say it almost hurts. In my almost nine years of living with schizophrenia I’ve had to battle my fair share of these thoughts and I’ve gotten so good at it that I can almost see them coming from a mile away.

If it wasn’t the notion that people were making fun of me it was the idea that I’m more important than anyone else, i.e. grandiosity.

I’ve been subject to many nights where I just stared at the ceiling in the dark letting these little monsters run and play their tricks through all corners of my mind.

Suffering From Jealousy? Try These 10 Tips to Overcome It

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

green hourglass bigst

We’ve all been there. Maybe it was the popular cheerleader in high school who seemed to have it all: perfect hair, teeth, and her hunky boyfriend made you wonder if you’d ever outgrow your awkward stage. Or maybe it was the rising star at work who beat you out for the plum promotion you wanted without seeming to break a sweat. Perhaps it’s your Facebook “friend” who is chased by a never-ending stream of “Amazing!” selfie-narrated experiences.

Whatever your source of envy, the green monster is no fun companion. Jealousy can not only debilitate your relationships with others, it can also wreak serious havoc on your health. According to Donna Fremon-Powell , certified Guided Imagery Therapist in La Habra, California, emotions like anger, jealousy, hate and resentment produce a chemical that’s very similar to arsenic. “Simply put, your negative emotions are poisonous.”

Psychology Around the Net: November 15, 2014

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

interview woman man job bigst

Job interviews, speech anxiety, and seasonal depression — oh, my!

This week’s Psychology Around the Net covers each of these topics and more.

Enjoy!

The Psychology of the Job Interview: Take these psychology tips, tricks, and techniques into consideration the next time you interview for a new position.

A Quick Cure for Speech Anxiety?: HINT: Not one of these tips involves imagining people in their underwear.

5 Tips for Changing Negative Self Beliefs

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Saving Yourself First

“Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain.”

- Robert Gary Lee

A year ago, I began to accept that I was depressed, and had been for a long time. It was scary. I broke up with my live-in boyfriend of almost three years, quit my job, and though I didn’t want to, I moved halfway across the country to move back in with my parents.

I was a wreck; all of the feelings that I had been suppressing for years, some literally since childhood, came flooding back. My only defense in the past had been to ignore these feelings, though I did so quite poorly and ended up being an emotional basket case most of the time anyway.

Remembering the Little Things

Saturday, October 25th, 2014

Remembering the Little Things

I feel I was never able to forget anyone I’ve been with because each person has their own specific qualities. You can never replace anyone. What is lost is lost.

- “Before Sunset”

When relationships run their course, we cope in various ways. Some try to move forward quickly, which may result in severing ties and discarding physical evidence: letters, photographs, emails. They extinguish the past. They eradicate its significance. And that’s OK — that’s how they navigate through the pain.

Personally, I was never able to embrace that approach. I’m emotional, I attach easily, and I often view relationships through a nostalgic lens.

Anger Detection and the Brain

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

angry woman screaming man 2When Greta gets angry, Dave has noticed that she tends to be quiet, almost stoic. Greta can detect slight changes in Dave’s tone of voice that signal to her he is angry. Couples like us can learn to be extremely sensitive to signs of anger in their partners, because understanding your partner’s emotional state helps you decide how to respond.

It’s also important to be able to detect anger in strangers — in some cases, your very life might depend on it! Over the years, lots of research on anger has focused on facial expressions. While “anger” does have a characteristic facial expression that is readily detected, there’s plenty of other evidence we can use to decide if someone is angry, like Dave’s tone of voice and Greta’s silence. Until the past decade, however, very little research had been conducted on another important component of anger detection: Body position and movements.

How to Be Happy

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

How to be HappyHappiness is a tough one.

We spend a lot of our time and billions of dollars trying to obtain happiness. Inevitably, though, we find ourselves back in the grind: dreading going to work, dreading doing the myriad errands and responsibilities it takes to live as a human being in this multifaceted world.

The thing about happiness, though, is it’s not supposed to be constant.

Letting Go of Imagined Symbolism in Psychosis

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Letting Go of Imagined Symbolism in PsychosisIn the midst of a psychotic episode, whether the result of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, one of the main motivating factors in our jilted decisions is the imagined symbolism in meaningless circumstances or objects.

I can remember when I was out on the streets of New York and Boston, deep in the midst of a major psychotic episode. I was convinced I had a mission to bring peace to the world, and though I was destitute, I wandered around following signs and colors and motions of passersby convinced there was some deeper symbolism or meaning in these insignificant things.

3 Tips to Change Your Perspective on Nearly Everything

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

ways-combat-overthinking

Recently I took drastic measures to shift my perspective and conjure up some new ideas, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

You see, I’ve been talking a lot lately with activist allies about climate change, or global warming, or climate chaos if you prefer. Like so many earthlings, we are deeply concerned about the safety of the food we eat, our air and water, our farms and gardens, our health and that of the pollinators, soils and seas, and the impact a changing climate will have on them all. And despite lots and lots of studies of how best to talk about these issues with others, it still seems as if we are all a little bit stuck.

Body Position, Learning and Memory

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Seeing ThingsLots of factors can influence how well you can learn, remember, and perceive the things around you — even the position of your body. For example, if you see someone pinch a fake hand near where your hand is positioned, you may think you feel real pain in your hand. We naturally pay more attention to objects close to our hands, too.

Christopher Davoli, James Brockmole, and Annabelle Goujon wondered if the location of our hands can also affect how we remember and learn visual information, so they designed a task to test that question.

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