|How being an extrovert may give your immune system a boost
||Researchers say your personality may play a role in
your ability to ward off infection.
|Let’s talk about sex: teaching teens to negotiate sexual intimacy
||Talking about sex, intimacy and risk-taking with adolescents is not as easy as busting out a Salt-N-Pepa classic. Catchy lyrics aside, parents may be grappling with a number of questions: Is my adolescent ready for sex? Are we equipped to open this can of worms? How will my teen respond to me discussing sex? When [...]The post Let’s talk about sex: teaching teens to negotiate sexual intimacy appeared first on PsyPost.
|Creative People With Schizophrenia – Part 2
||Elyn Saks (photo at right in Part 1) is a law professor at USC; an adjunct professor of psychiatry at UC San Diego, where she does research about society’s rejection of the mentally ill and how high-functioning schizophrenics cope; and is a recipient of a “genius” grant from the MacArthur...
|How Perfectionism Interferes with Therapy
||Brené Brown reminds us that we often try to feel good enough by “pleasing, performing and perfecting.” That’s an endless task and we’re left feeling like we haven’t tried hard enough, accomplished enough and produced enough. So we feel inadequate. Client: “I feel like we aren’t doing anything. Why haven’t...
|Making the Time Go By
||Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his...
|Do people with depression need better social skills?
||I don’t like talking on the phone. For awhile, I disabled the voicemail on my phone to avoid having to return phone calls. People would say to me, “Hey, I tried to call you but I couldn’t leave a message,” or “Do you know your voicemail doesn’t work?” or “You...
|Why Are Waiting Room Magazines Always So Old?
Have you ever noticed that most of the magazines in your your dentist's waiting room are old? A new study, published in the British Medical Journal, explains why....
|My Husband Is Driving Me Nuts Today! What To
||I am having a holiday party and I way underestimated what needed to be done. Then, I WAY overbooked myself and was totally burning to get through the days’ commitments and then get back to host this party. Bathroom picked up, going to the grocery store. Oh shit. Marrianos has...
|| Let it go…...
|Hosting A Holiday Party With Your Partner? How
||I had a Holiday party this weekend and it was fun but the pre-party prep is always stressful. There are a million things to do not enough time. Between basketball games and running through the holiday traffic, it is tense. The Tension Is On Usually, my husband and I fight...
|Virtual bodyswapping diminishes people's negative biases about others
||Researchers explain how they have used the brain's ability to bring together information from different senses to make white people feel that they were inhabiting black bodies and adults feel like they had children's bodies. The results of such virtual bodyswapping experiments are remarkable and have important implications for approaching phenomena such as race and gender discrimination.
|Therapeutic strategy may treat childhood neurological disorder
||A possible therapy to treat neurofibromatosis type 1 or NF1, a childhood neurological disease characterized by learning deficits and autism, has been discovered by scientists. "Children with neurofibromatosis have a high incidence of intellectual deficits and autism, syndromes that have been linked to the cerebellum and cortex," said the lead investigator. "Our findings in these mouse models suggest that despite embryonic loss of the gene, therapies after birth may be able to reverse some aspects of the disease."
|The Best 3 Ways to Deal With Failure (Plus 5 Painful Ones To Avoid)
Are your ways of dealing with everyday failures helping or hindering?
Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog. His latest book is
"Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick"
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|#129: The Daddy-Daughter Dance #2
||This week I promised to explain why the father-daughter relationship is so tricky. I also want to talk about how it can be a nurturing and growth promoting experience for both. A baby girl is born and, for most fathers, she is a joy beyond description. She is delightful and...
|Lessons Our Emotions Can Teach Us — and How
||Many of us dismiss our emotions. We think of them as capricious and inconvenient. We think they stall problem-solving. We think they take too much time to process, and we don’t have the luxury of simply sitting and stewing. If we grew up in a home where emotions were vilified...
|Neuronal circuits filter out distractions in brain
||Scientists have hypothesized for decades about how the brain filters out distractions, but it has been challenging to find evidence to support the theories. Now, researchers have identified a neural circuit in the mouse brain that controls attention and sensory processing, providing insight into how the brain filters out distractions. The work has implications for devastating psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia that are characterized at least in part by significant attention deficits.
|How Are We To Talk About the Complexity of Bisexuality?
||A man is bisexual if he feels a persistent sexual and/or romantic attraction to both men and women. A man can seek sex with men but not be gay or bi. This has worried some of my readers who conclude that I am “biphobic” or I don’t believe there are any bisexuals.
|Five Ways to Get the Gift Right
||Christmahannukwanzadan is coming! Does anything about that make you anxious?
The holidays are supposed to be a joyous occasion, but they can also be stressful. Thinking about gifts can especially involve both ticklish anticipation and dread. How many people are on your list? Can you get them all things they’ll adore, without breaking your bank? What if one of your otherwise-thoughtful gifts is met with shrouded disappointment?
Science can help! Here are five research-based techniques that can help ease the stress, and bring the joy back into exchanging gifts.
1. Think about the good timesWe often think of empathy in terms of reactions to other’s distress, but evidence shows that we’re built to share positive states, too.
So before heading out to shop, spend a few moments reliving “good times” with the people on your list. Try to reflect upon the last—or the most memorable time—you felt positive empathy with them. What were you doing? What could you offer that could promote that experience again, or something similar? Maybe the answer is quick and easy: a hula-hoop, new hiking socks, tickets to a comedy show? Maybe it’s not, because you haven’t spent much time with the person (e.g., your adolescent nephew).
If you need help, reach out to someone who is close to your giftee, ask them to tell you about a “good time” they shared with him or her, and draw inspiration from that. Then, when you are in the midst of gift giving, remind your giftees about the shared memories that inspired your gift—because as a recent study suggests, sharing emotions with others is inherently pleasurable and they’re likely to like the gift even more.
2. Take their perspectiveAnother strategy is to deliberately perspective-take—that is, to put yourself in the shoes of your giftees and see the world through their eyes.
Before buying anything, take a few moments to jot down what you know the person on your list likes, what they like to do, and what they are good at doing. What’s their favorite color? How do they spend their free time? Now, channeling their likes and skills, what would you be interested in doing, doing more of, or learning to do—if you were them? A blossoming baker? Cooling rack. A weekend adventurer? A headlamp. Beginner at tennis? Tennis balls. You may need to consult some experts if they’re into something you know little about.
Again, the important thing is to stay in their shoes—and resist the urge to get them something you think they should like or be interested in.
3. Focus on experiences, not thingsResearch from Tom Gilovich at Cornell shows that people experience greater long-term satisfaction from investing in experiences than from accumulating material possessions. People remember and treasure experiences more readily than things, and feel better about having spent on experiences than on things over the long term.
Newer studies suggest that people feel more grateful for experiences than things. The way our minds and memories work, we adapt to things, but build rich narratives around experiences that in part, define the very fabric of who we are. This doesn’t mean you should limit your gifts to hand scrawled IOUs for hot air balloon rides (though that sounds pretty fun). But as you empathize and perspective-take for gift ideas, add the experiential opportunities that your gift could provide to the equation. To sweeten the deal, think of a gift experience that you can share with your giftee!
4. When exchanging gifts, be mindful!What happens if your gift fails to please?
This can be heartbreaking, especially if you invested a lot of emotional energy or money in the gift. You may also find yourself disappointed in gifts to you! The solution is the same in both cases: mindfulness.
During gift exchanges, try to dedicate some attention to staying positive, appreciative and “in the moment.” Positive emotional experiences are the intended goal of the gift exchanging, particularly pro-social states like affection and gratitude. Pro-social states have a track record of health benefits in the body and mind—and lead to behaviors that strengthen social capital like trust and cooperation.
Though reflexive and sometimes unavoidable, negative states like disappointment, obligation, and jealousy are not particularly useful during gift exchanges. Better to notice them coming on, decide to let them go— and then consciously turn toward emotions that will help bind you back together. Being “in the moment,” enables you to deliberately savor the experience at hand and connect with the person that has given you a gift, or received a gift from you.
5. Avoid perfectionismToo often, we adopt a perfectionist mindset—that is, insurmountable expectations about how gifts (given or received) should feel. This might stem from our most primal childhood memories of discovering that coveted toy under semi-torn wrapping!
But trying to recapture that perfect childhood moment can drive dissatisfaction in adulthood. Gift exchanges can feel competitive, with stifling pressure to give the perfect, most impressive gift even among friends and family. Barry Schwartz’s research on maximizing vs. satisficing shows that people who are good at “satisficing”—that is, making the best of things, and thus enjoy greater happiness and resilience.
So when getting gifts, try to apply a self-compassionate lens to soften perfectionist expectations. Don’t worry about whether your gift is perfect. Scientific research shows that self-compassion improves personal well-being and social functioning—and that people who are more relaxed and content are more well-liked by others.
In short, the surest path to a happy holiday is to focus on relationships and experiences—not the gifts!
|Want to distract someone? An emotional face might work
||The sudden appearance of a face within our visual field can affect the motor action accompanying a gesture even if the face is totally unrelated to what we are doing and even if we try to ignore it. With one condition, though: the face must display strong emotion.
||Since I had a slight med change, I’ve been having a hard time getting up and gaining any motivation takes a long time. I know within time I’ll get used to it, but I also know there’s some things I can do to help myself out. If you have a...