Addiction

Can Women Fight Addiction with Birth Control?


A new study suggests hormones can make women more susceptible to addiction, so could the birth control pill help with recovery?

Hormonal fluctuations can wreak havoc on a woman’s body. From PMS to menopause, the ups and downs can trigger weight gain, depression, and exhaustion, among other inconveniences that affect how women work, play, and communicate. Now, a new study suggests hormones might also make women more susceptible to addiction, specifically cocaine, and that birth control could be the key to helping some women kick the habit.

Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

How Brain Training Can Boost Confidence


Confidence is an attractive and necessary quality to succeed in business, relationships, and life. But, it is a subjective and, sometimes, misunderstood characteristic. From the painfully shy to the arrogantly over-confident, what makes people think and feel what they think and feel about themselves? The authors of a new study report that they have uncovered brain activity patterns that are associated with confidence. And, what’s more, they say that people can be trained to have more confidence.

Continue Reading

Exercise & Fitness

The Forgotten Five-Minute Mindful Mood Booster

It happened again today. I forgot to go outside.

I don’t mean I completely forgot to go outside, but I forgot to do my Five-Minute Mindful Mood Booster.

Green Exercise

Ever since I discovered the research that showed that the first five minutes of light exercise in nature delivers the biggest mood booster of time spent outside, I realized what a realistic mindfulness practice it is for even the busiest person.
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

Maybe You Shouldn’t Always ‘Believe Yourself’

How much do you trust your own opinions? Do you feel that your beliefs and worldviews are based upon an “evidence file” of real facts? Most people do -- and if asked to justify their position on big issues like politics, religion and life they would be able to hit you with a list of supporting facts and arguments. It’s the same for the smaller things too; people are usually very good at justifying their actions based on a reasonable-sounding chain of logic.
Continue Reading

Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

How Folate and a Genetic Mutation Can Impact Depression Risk

Research has linked folate deficiencies to depression. According to a study published in the Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience, one-third of depression patients were deficient. Folate, also known as vitamin B9, is available in foods like dark green leafy vegetables, oranges, nuts, beans, and whole grains. The vitamin is critical in breaking down the food we eat and converting it into energy. Our bodies need it to make DNA and RNA as well as amino acids, which help maintain all of our living cells. This B vitamin is especially significant for stabilizing our mood.

Why are so many of us deficient?
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

The Benefits of Laughter

Could laughter defeat ISIS? If you were on an operating table, in need of a triple-bypass, might you call in a clown? While a P.O.W., undergoing torture, would all your suffering disappear when someone recited a decent knock, knock joke?

A logical person would consider all of the above absurd. Comedy is no panacea. And yet numerous cultures have found an integral place for farce and buffoonery.
Continue Reading

Bipolar

Psychology Around the Net: January 28, 2017


As you read this, I'm hanging with friends in a cabin snuggled in the middle of snow-covered mountains, and I don't feel one bit of guilt about it.

Last week, I mentioned I was extremely busy with a work project. I was scrambling to finish the work (and still provide quality results) because it'd gone on too long. The project was a bigger beast than I'd anticipated, and it took three weeks longer to complete than I estimated.

So, for roughly three weeks, I stayed glued to my laptop, which physically and mentally drained me. I didn't workout, I didn't go out with friends, and because of this perceived "lack of time," my diet (i.e. the foods I ate) started to suffer.

However, I didn't take any steps to change anything -- to take any time for myself outside of showering and going to bed -- because I didn't want to feel guilty.

Continue Reading