I’m super pumped, friends. This weekend, I’ll be traveling to a city I’ve never visited to see a band I’ve never seen live (and never thought I would).
I love going to concerts. I go to multiple shows each year and I thrive on the anticipation before the show, the energy during the show, and the sense of “I just experienced something truly amazing” after the show, and guess what? All these concerts are benefiting the crap out of my mental health. Specifically, they reduce stress and boost my spirits, provide a sense of connection with the community (especially when it’s a local concert), helps me reflect on life.
Check out 6 Reasons Going to Concerts Is Good for Your Health for more.
Here I come, U2.
Now, let’s get down to business! This week’s Psychology Around the Net talks about “forest bathing” for stress reduction (you want to check this out), when mental and physical health problems collide, tips for making friends in your 30s, and more.
‘Forest Bathing’: How Microdosing on Nature Can Help With Stress: Japan’s shinrin-yoku (“forest bathing”) became part of the country’s national health program in 1982, and since then researchers have studied its effectiveness, determining forest bathing can reduce blood pressure, blood glucose levels, and stress hormones. Despite the name, forest bathing doesn’t mean you’re literally bathing in a creek or river surrounded by trees; rather, you’re walking into the woods and bathing your senses in everything nature offers.
How to Make Friends When You’re in Your 30s: By the time we hit our 30s, many of us have some sort of established (I use that word lightly, ha) life. We have or are working on careers, marriages, children, and–if we’re lucky–some much-needed time to decompress (which often includes being ALONE–well, unless you count Netflix as a buddy). However, having friends can help your mental health and even though we’re not often in situations to make new friends in our 30s, it’s possible and more than worth a few tries.
Hot Car Deaths: Scientists Detail Why Parents Forget Their Children: On average, more than 30 children die per year after being forgotten in vehicles. University of Florida Professor of Psychology Dr. David Diamond has studied the science behind forgetting children in vehicles which, in the simplest terms, boils down to “the power-struggle that can occur in all human brains when it comes to memory.”
Tipper Gore Is Back Advocating for Mental Health Care. ‘It’s Time for Everyone Who Can to Step Up.’: Former Second Lady Tipper Gore, who’s been a long-time advocate of mental health awareness and treatment, announced a $1 million donation to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to boost the organization’s outreach to teens and work with NAMI to help its “Ending the Silence” program.
More Than Half of Opioid Prescriptions Go to People With Mental Illness: A recent study out of the University of Michigan and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center found that 51 percent–more than half of prescription pain medication–is prescribed to people with mental health problems. Adding to the concern is insight from the study’s senior author Dr. Brian Sites who says these patients are already “a vulnerable group to start with.”
When Anxiety or Depression Masks a Medical Problem: It’s common to experience anxiety or depression when you’re diagnosed with a physical health problem. However, what if anxiety and depression are symptoms of a yet-to-be diagnosed physical illness? On the flip side, what if your physical symptoms stem from a yet-to-be diagnosed mental disorder? Your mind and body can–and do–communicate with each other, and what’s going on in your body can affect your brain just like what’s happening with your brain can affect your physical health.