Aging

Psychology Around the Net: October 1, 2016


Ah, October, my absolute favorite month. How I've missed thee.

This year, I get to start off my favorite month at a wedding later today, watching two sweet friends marry and begin their lives together.

Speaking of marriage, let's take a look at some of this week's latest in mental health topics such as surviving a marriage with a special needs child as well as how the "selfie culture" is affecting young women's mental health, today's most common personality type, how your body reacts to food when you're stressed, and more.

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Family

Are You Turning Towards Your Partner?

Well known couples therapists and founders of the Gottman Method for couples therapy, John and Julie Gottman have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to what keeps couples together in a healthy relationship and what can break a relationship apart. In what they coined The Sound Relationship House, the foundation and inside of a healthy relationship rest on things like trust and commitment, fondness and admiration, turning towards and a positive perspective of your partner, as well as a healthy conflict style, and shared meaning.

Today I am focusing on the idea of turning towards instead of turning away from your partner. In Gottman’s research (in which he interviewed newlyweds and again after 6 years) he noticed one thing that stood out was that those who were still married after 6 year were turning towards one another 86% of the time, and those that divorced had turned towards only 33% of the time. What I gather from this piece of evidence is that the idea of turning towards instead of turning away plays a huge role on the health of your relationship and overall success of it.
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Children and Teens

What ‘Stranger Things’ Can Teach Us about Parenting

If you are one of the few out there who have not seen it: Stranger Things is a science fiction series that is very reminiscent of "The Goonies." The story takes place in 1983 and the central plot line follows a group of four boys. In the first episode, one of the four boys goes missing. The three remaining best friends do their best to find and rescue their friend. They do so independent of adults. They work together as a team (mostly) and it all involves a lot of bike-riding. We all love the nostalgia in this throw-back drama. As an instructor of college courses in Infant and Child Development, I was immediately hooked on how the show depicted the preadolescent gang of boys.

Prior to the disappearance of their friend, the main characters spend their free-time riding bikes and playing Dungeons and Dragons, a table-top role-playing game. After the disappearance, they use the skills learned through years of friendship and freedom to participate in their own mystery man-hunt. If these kids survive what they are up against, every major CEO would want to hire them. They are smart, creative, team-players who are confident in their abilities to solve problems.
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Addiction

Psychology Around the Net: September 24, 2016


Well, it's finally fall, y'all!

Though my neck of the woods is still squeezing out every last drop of 90-degree weather it can.

If you're chilling at home like I am (and hey, even if you're not you can check them out later!), take a minute to catch up on the latest about a possible connection between internet addiction and mental health issues, how to cure your fear of flying, a new plan for schools to support students' mental health problems, and more.

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Eating Disorders

Fitness Trackers: Fun Gadget or Serious Weight Loss Aid?

While many media outlets are promoting the new Fitbit Charge 2, fitness trackers may turn out to be not as helpful as many of us believe when it comes to helping us lose weight. Although not marketed specifically as a weight loss tool, many people use fitness trackers to monitor their daily activity primarily in an effort to lose weight.

A new study should cause us to pause in our belief that technology always helps. Sometimes, the answer is simply not that clear.

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Addiction

Psychology Around the Net: September 17, 2016


Before you run off to enjoy the last weekend of summer, take some time to enjoy the seriously random mix of mental health news and stories I've found for you this week!

Read on to take a look at data on how psychiatric drug advertising affects prescriptions, a study related to how writing down your dreams and goals increases your chances of achieving them, reviews on various self-help books for pet parents (you read...
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Addiction

Psychology Around the Net: September 10, 2016


On September 11, 2001, four airplanes were hijacked by al-Qaeda and flown into both World Trade Center towers in New York City and the Pentagon just outside of Washington, D.C., killing more than 3,000 people, including police officers and firefighters.

Tomorrow is the 15th anniversary of what we now refer to as 9/11, and people will pause and reflect and grieve just as they have for the past decade and a half.

They will take a moment or two or more to remember those who were senselessly killed during these attacks -- as well as their family members and other loved ones.

I know I, for one, will, too.

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Habits

Watching TV with Your Sweetheart May Boost Your Happiness

I’m very interested in the role of TV-watching in our happiness. After all,  after sleeping and work, it’s the biggest consumer of the world’s time.

So I was interested to see that new research suggests that for couples who don’t have lots of mutual friends, watching the same TV show (or reading the same book or going to the same movie) can help both people feel that they inhabit in the same social world.

It turns out that couples who have lots of mutual friends tend to have the strongest bonds, and for those who don’t have a lot of mutual friends, having “shared media experiences” helps them to feel connected.
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Brain and Behavior

Psychology Around the Net: September 3, 2016


Here in the U.S., we're currently in the throes of Labor Day Weekend (and I'm at a local music and arts festival, celebrating!).

Labor Day is the first Monday of September, and although it gives us a nice little three-day weekend, it's about much more than that: Labor Day honors our country's labor movement and "constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."

So, Happy Labor Day! I hope you're doing something to celebrate all your hard work and, once you get a chance, check out this week's latest in how your mood affects whether you live in the moment or the future, the new warning labels regarding opioid use with other medications, what your choice between iPhones and Androids says about your personality, and more!

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General

Forgiveness & One of the Most Important, Overlooked Things for a Relationship

There are a lot of factors that make relationships work well. One of the most important keys to a successful, long-term relationship is forgiveness. The act of forgiveness is immensely powerful and humbling. Some people have a hard time with it, usually due to past hurts that they can't release. Without forgiveness, however, your relationship is likely to suffer.

Why is forgiveness so important? What is it about forgiveness -- and this other, mystery factor -- that makes them so important to the long-term success of a relationship?

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Brain and Behavior

Harnessing Our Racing Thoughts

To stop overthinking (also known as ruminating), we first have to understand why we do it.

Our brains favor a hardwired "negativity bias." This keeps our subconscious scanning our environment for any kind of perceived threat to our physical or psychological safety. If our brains, consciously or subconsciously, interpret any kind of threat, we have a psychological and physiological response called "fight, flight or freeze" that will go into effect to keep us safe.

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