Brain and Behavior

Online Brain Training May Help Older, Not Young Adults

Despite relentless TV and online marketing telling you otherwise, online brain training games probably aren't of much help to you're under 50 years old. That according to one of the largest studies ever conducted on a collection of online brain training games offered by the BBC's Bang Goes the Theory television show.

The news is brighter for older adults, however. New research suggests that online brain training games may be beneficial for those 50 and older, translating online cognitive gains to everyday benefits.

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Anxiety and Panic

Why Worry Is Nothing But a Gloomy Daydream

Do you consider yourself a worrier? Although everyone worries from time to time, some people are plagued by worry on a daily basis. They tend to fall into a pattern of catastrophic thinking -- always preparing for the very worst case scenario. Not only is this mentally and emotionally draining, but physically damaging as well, potentially leading to frequent illness, ulcers and heart problems.

Imagine the following scenario: Your loved one, who is almost always on time, is half an hour late. You try to call, but it goes to voicemail. What is your initial thought? If you automatically imagine a disaster and drop into panic mode, you may not be living the type of life you deserve -- one of optimism, peace and contentment.

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Brain and Behavior

Why Striving for Happiness Can Make You Unhappy

Our imperative is happiness. We have a right to be happy, or so we think. Especially in America, the pursuit of happiness is seen as a birthright, a covenant we sign with life from our first cry. Happy people smile from magazine covers; merry models make even impotence and incontinence look delightful.

“To the European it is a characteristic of the American culture that, again and again, one is commanded and ordered to ‘be happy,’” psychiatrist Viktor Frankl observed in his international bestseller Man’s Search for Meaning. “But happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue.”

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What Bipolar Mania Really Feels Like: A First-Hand Account

After just a few weeks in Tom Wootton’s Bipolar IN Order course over at Bipolar Advantage, I have already learned so much. One important lesson I’ve realized is the difference between bipolar behaviors, which is what you see, and bipolar symptoms, which is what we experience and feel.

Let's take a look at some of the symptoms of mania as I experience them. You may be surprised at how complex they really are.

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Brain and Behavior

How to Let Go of Perfectionism

Perfectionists strive for flawlessness in all parts of life. They have unattainably high standards for themselves. They are exceedingly concerned about others’ evaluation of them, hardly ever satisfied with their performance, and blame themselves when things go wrong -- even when they are not directly involved or responsible.

Perfectionists consider mistakes to be personal failures or deficits. Mistakes are not seen as a normal part of learning and growing that we all experience.

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Children and Teens

Halloween: Have Things Gone Too Far?

It is a frightening thought that man also has a shadow side to him, consisting not just of little weaknesses – and foibles, but of a positively demonic dynamism. ~ Carl Jung
Somehow in the last 60 years, Halloween has become bigger and bigger and the themes and events of October 31 have become scarier and scarier. This year, Americans are projected to spend nearly $7 billion on decorations, costumes and candy,...
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Brain and Behavior

7 Body Language Mistakes that Could Hold You Back at Work

For the past two months, you’ve had your eye on that promotion. It’s between you and your colleague, and you really want the job. So you put in crazy hours, deliver top-notch work, and take on extra projects to show your work. You don’t see any reason it shouldn’t go to you.

But when the time comes for the promotion to be announced, it goes to your colleague instead. What could possibly have gone wrong?

Turns out, it may totally be unrelated to the quality and quantity of the work you churn out. Instead, it could be a factor of something far more subconscious: your body language.
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Mindful Parenting in a Cyclone

Birds that survive cyclones fly right into the heart of it. The energy of it lifts them above the turmoil.

My teacher at meditation class recently was talking about our human tendency to get caught up in a cyclone of thought, of suffering and of wanting things to be something other than the way they are. Our minds want something to chew on and it is so seductive, so culturally reinforced, that we get sucked into the cyclone and lose our peace and equanimity.

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4 Game-Changing Brain Science Discoveries Redefining Happiness

Have you ever tried to tell yourself to "just relax" and "enjoy" an unexpected traffic-filled commute that is sure to make you late? You keep telling yourself there is nothing you can do so "let go" and "be Zen" about it, only to feel your hands gripping the steering wheel and your eyes rolling out of frustration at the car that jetted into your lane.

You sarcastically think to yourself, "as if they were really going to get there that much faster." Then you remember to be positive. Back and forth your mind goes like a high-speed ping-pong match. On one side you have frustration-filled thoughts; on the other you have Pollyanna-positive thoughts.

It is commonly believed that you should be able to think your way out of negative feelings.
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