This week’s Psychology Around the Net brings you a new breakthrough on music therapy, Oregon’s new law surrounding students and mental health days, the psychological effects of watching television, and more!
Brains Work in Sync During Music Therapy: New research out of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) demonstrates that, during a music therapy session, the brains of the patient and the therapist become synchronised (say what?!). The study used a procedure called “hyperscanning,” which records the activity of two brains (at the same time). This is the first time researchers have been able to demonstrate this, and the breakthrough could improve future patient and therapist interactions.
Students Can Now Take ‘Mental Health Days’ Off from School in Oregon–Here’s Why: Oregon students are allowed up to five excused absences in a three-month period, and now those days can be either sick days or mental health days. Governor Kate Brown has signed a bill into law allowing students to take “mental health days” off from school just as they would sick days. Inspired by the national youth-led movement on gun violence after the deadly school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018, a group of high school students introduced the bill back in February. Go youths! Utah is one of the first states to get the ball rolling on treating physical health and mental health equally, with Utah being the first to pass a similar law last year.
Do You Need an Adult Time Out? When we were kids, it was normal to have to finish our homework before we could go outside and play. However, as adults, our homework isn’t really ever finished. We will always need to take care of our families, homes, vehicles, jobs, lawns, groceries, bills — the list goes on and on. Given how much we always have to do, we usually end up wasting any free time we do get on naps or feeling guilty. That’s where an adult time out comes steps in.
Want Better Mental Health and Success at Work? Get a Goal: A recent study shows people who are optimistic and persistent in pursuing goals tend to suffer less anxiety and depression. Another one tells us people are more likely to accept and adopt healthy behaviors when they (the people) also have a greater sense of life purpose. All this research gives us some new ways to think about how we can use purpose and goals to become more effective — and more satisfied, I’m guessing — at work.
What Are the Psychological Effects of Watching TV? 7 Subtle Signs It’s Impacting Your Mental Health: Does the show trigger you, or make you feel bad about yourself? Does it distract you from your self-care routine or isolate your partner? While they admit some television is good for our mental health (for example, those that have calming, inspirational, or humorous themes, or older shows that remind us of happy or simpler times in our lives), experts are saying there are multiple physical and mental warning signs that it’s time to take a break from a specific television show.
Dear Coach: My Wife Thinks ADHD is Just an Excuse: ADHD is common, but it’s still highly misunderstood. Natalia van Rikxoort offers a man recently diagnosed with ADHD tips on how to open up the lines of communication, strengthen his relationships, and get the support he needs after he writes in that his wife is not accepting of his diagnosis.