Brain and Behavior

Trying to Lose Weight? Maybe You Should Ditch That New Wearable

Wearable technology -- those gadgets people wear around their wrist to track their heart rate or number of steps walked or run -- is all the rage. This sort of personal data tracking is especially popular among younger people and those who exercise regularly. Whether it's a Fitbit, Nike+ Fuelband, a Garmin Vivofit, or some other fitness tracker, people love the ability to easily track their progress over time.

But if you're wearing one of these devices while trying to lose weight, you may find it surprising that wearable technology likely won't help you -- and could even hurt (a little) in your weight-loss journey.

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Habits

7 Tips on Calming the Noise of Life

“Forget about your life situation and pay attention to your life. Your life situation exists in time. Your life is now. Your life situation is mind-stuff. Your life is real.” - Eckhart Tolle
Things tend to get jumbled up in everyday life. What you feel you need to do and what you should be doing for yourself often wind up being far apart. With so many distractions, so much of the mind-stuff going on, no wonder it seems like you’re spinning your wheels. How can you get back on track and stop getting diverted by every demand that you’re confronted with?
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Addiction

Five Tips for Breaking Your Tech Habit

It’s tough to disconnect in an always-on world. Many people have shared with me how their devices are an extension of their bodies to them. Arriving at the store or their office, realizing they’ve forgotten their phone, results in anxiety. Most of us probably know that overuse of the internet is not a good thing for us, but like all habits, they are hard to break.  Since connectivity a bit part of today’s culture and can negatively influence our mental health, it’s a trend to we need to pay attention to. Here are five of my favorite tips that address negative tech habit.
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General

E-therapy Provider Talkspace Under Fire, CEO Oren Frank Responds

Talkspace, one of the latest attempts to try and provide online therapy (a modality available to people since 1996), is under fire yet again. This time it comes from Cat Ferguson writing over at The Verge, questioning Talkspace's patient anonymity protections and the use of freelance therapists to staff their service.

The article, published last week, is based upon first-hand accounts of presentations, emails, and interviews with numerous Talkspace therapists. And despite Talkspace's insistence that therapists are freelancers, the firm apparently forbade therapists from talking to the reporter -- an odd directive if the company isn't your boss.

Let's see what The Verge discovered -- and get exclusive responses from Talkspace's CEO.

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Brain and Behavior

Suddenly, VC Guy Notices Mental Health Care

The quality and resources available to mental health care and treatment in the United States has been on the downswing since the 1980s. It started with the closing of government-run state psychiatric hospitals (putting our most at-need patients at risk, and often, on the streets), without the government offering a comprehensive network of community-based care to take their place.

Then managed care -- companies driven by profit and greed -- came along and mid-level managers with no mental health background started dictating exactly what kind of mental health treatment was appropriate to which patients.

Now we live in a time where venture capital (VC) firms believe that technology can magically solve many of the ills connected with receiving high-quality, timely mental health care. But of course, like the managed care companies that came before them, many too are simply driven by potential profits and their return on investment, all the while offering the "solution" of lower-quality, shoddier care.

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Aging

How the Elderly Are Finding Happiness Online

Much has been written about the increase in loneliness and isolation that has accompanied the internet. This is said to be caused by shallow online friendships which are no substitute for genuine relationships. Being exposed to the heavily curated lives of others on social media has also been found to create feelings of depression and anxiety in some people.  
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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

Psychology Around the Net: December 3, 2016


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

It's pretty dark and rainy in my neck of the woods today, which doesn't give me much Christmas spirit (I'm finally decorating today...or hoping to, anyway); however, such weather does do a little something interesting for my overall spirit.

Have you ever heard the term "pluviophile"? Basically, a pluviophile (a term that derives from "pluvial," meaning "of or relating to rain") is someone who -- you guessed it -- can find joy and peace of mind during rainy days.

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