Research Articles

How Self-Compassion Builds a More Positive Body Image Than Self-Esteem

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Body Image

“Beauty is perfect in its imperfections, so you just have to go with the imperfections.” — Diane Von Furstenberg

A new study by researchers at the University of Waterloo has touched on a somewhat taboo question: “What if women were to accept themselves with deep self-compassion — flaws and all?” In other words, what if we looked upon ourselves with kindness, compassion and forgiveness as we would a loved one or a dear friend? Would we gain a more positive body image?

The answer is yes.

Ease Stress and Improve Mental Health with Group Nature Walks

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

Mountain

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, autumn is finally here — that time of year when we feel a natural longing to get outside, enjoy the cooler weather and witness nature’s colorful displays. And as if on cue, new research has just revealed that stepping out into nature and participating in group walks can help ease stress and greatly enhance mental health.

Psychology Around the Net: October 18, 2014

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

Mental Health Blocks

Suffer from insomnia? Ever feel you might be addicted to the Internet? Interested in seeing what a schizophrenia episode actually looks like? We have it all and more in this week’s Psychology Around the Net.

Hip-Hop Therapy Is New Route to Mental Wellbeing, Says Psychiatrists: According to researchers in the U.K., hip-hop music might be a viable mental health treatment for illnesses such as depression and schizophrenia. How? By providing people with a sense of empowerment and self-knowledge.

Man With Schizophrenia Records Episode to Give Glimpse Into Life With the Disorder: Social media has made it easier to share experiences with mental illness, and Scottie Long is just one patient to do so. Long documents his schizophrenia episodes via YouTube and sends a clear message: When treating mental illness, sooner is always better.

Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder: Do You Have an Abnormal Sleep Pattern?

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Circadian Rhythm Sleep DisorderI was always bad at sleeping. My mom still talks of nightmarish times trying to get me to sleep as a baby and toddler. As a child, I kept a flashlight and a book on my nightstand so I could stay up after lights-out to read. As I grew, this trend continued.

I’m never tired at a “normal” bedtime. In fact, late nights are when I do some of my best writing. I am, however, exhausted in the morning.

I spent years trying to fit the mold, and always just figured I was a night owl until I finally heard about circadian rhythm sleep disorders.

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.

Abuse of Vulnerable Adults: Why Does it Happen?

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Abuse of Vulnerable Adults: Why Does it Happen?Researchers believe that society is more willing to report, talk about and act on allegations of the abuse of vulnerable adults. Over the last two years, the number of reports of abuse has risen by almost two percent, according to statistics from the Health and Social Care Information Centre in Leeds, England.

Although it is impossible to determine whether this marks a real increase in adult abuse, or simply an increase in reporting, there are reasons to suggest that the latter may be more likely.

Facebook Mocks its Users with New Research Policy

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Facebook Mocks its Users with New Research PolicyIn any modern, first-world country, the government requires legitimate university researchers to go through an independent review board (IRB) when conducting research on human beings. This is due to past abuses by both governments and organizations who have used the guise of “seeking knowledge” to cover up their efforts to manipulate people for their own means and ends.

But you know what? Facebook isn’t a first-world country. So in an effort to better understand how to best monetize your use of their service, they don’t need an IRB’s approval to conduct research on you.

And now, in my opinion, they are outright mocking their users with their latest update to their research practices.

How Gratitude and Kindness Go Together for Brain-Changing Happiness

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

How Gratitude and Kindness Go Together for Brain-Changing HappinessYou are probably not interested in my personal opinions about gratitude. If you read something about gratitude, you want to know that it’s not just relevant to me but to you as well. Well, at least I hope that’s what you want. That way you might try something that will make a big difference to your day, maybe even transform your life. That sounds like a big claim. But recent neuroscience and psychological research back me up here, and so do my personal experiments.

Porn Addiction: Not the Whole Story

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Porn Addiction: Not the Whole StoryThe issue of whether porn addiction is real has produced a storm of controversy. Yet all this noise may be distracting us from a graver risk to healthy sexuality: sexual conditioning of adolescents.

I monitor a number of popular online recovery forums. I have read self-reports of thousands of otherwise healthy young men who heal severe symptoms, including sexual dysfunctions (anorgasmia, delayed ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, loss of attraction to real people) by removing a single variable: Internet porn use.

Have You Tried Meditation to Help With Migraines?

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Migraine

A new study shows that mindfulness meditation may help lessen the duration and severity of a migraine — one of the most painful and debilitating types of headaches. This is a significant finding as many sufferers have found little to no relief with conventional treatments.

Most migraine sufferers share similar symptoms — throbbing headache, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound — but there is no single specific cause. Therefore, conventional medicine can only treat the symptoms, never truly getting to the source of the problem. For some individuals, migraines are so severe and persistent that the only option is to lie down in a dark, soundless room until the pain finally subsides.

Benzodiazepines & Alzheimer’s Disease

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Benzodiazepines & Alzheimer's DiseaseIf you’re taking an anti-anxiety medication referred to as a benzodiazepine — such as Xanax, Valium, Ativan or Klonopin — there’s a new eye-opening study out that should get your attention.

When used PRN — on as needed basis — sparingly for times of increased anxiety, these drugs can be life-savers.

But some people use them more frequently. And for those kinds of users, new research suggests an important link to the risk of eventually developing Alzheimer’s.

Yet Again: A Blood Test for Depression? I’m Not Holding My Breath

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Yet Again: A Blood Test for Depression? I'm Not Holding My BreathThe news articles are breathless. “Objective Blood Test Can Diagnose Depression,” “Blood Test Flags Depression, Predicts Treatment Response,” and “There’s A Blood Test That Can Diagnose Depression!”

Wow! That’s just darned amazing. You mean we can draw blood from a patient (in a lab, which is usually some place separate you have to go to than the doctor’s office for many in America), send it off for processing, and two weeks later, get a result to see if the person has depression?

Or, you can take an objective, scientific screening quiz — like this one — in about a minute or two and have an instant result. Which is more amazing again??

Deja vu is setting in… like we’ve covered this topic before. And, in fact, we have. Not just once, but more that a few times.

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