Brain and Behavior

Psychology Around the Net: February 25, 2017


How's your Saturday going, sweet readers?

Swimmingly, I hope!

Whether you're waking up with a cup of coffee (or tea), taking a break from the weekend, or just winding down, take some time to check out this week's latest mental health news. We've got everything from how wandering minds affect our mental well-being to figuring out when self-help programs are actually helpful to the research that shows cats aren't causing psychotic symptoms.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.
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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?
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