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Forget Positive Thinking – Try This to Curb Teen “I didn’t get invited to Julie’s party… I’m such a loser.” “I missed the bus… nothing ever goes my way.” “My science teacher wants to see me… I must be in trouble.” These are the thoughts of a high school student named James. You wouldn’t know it from his thoughts,...
Alzheimer's drug may reduce urge to binge eat The Alzheimer's drug memantine may perform double-duty helping binge eaters control their compulsion. Researchers have demonstrated that memantine, a neuroprotective drug, may reduce the addictive and impulsive behavior associated with binge eating.
Molecular time signalling controls stem cells during brain's development Researchers have succeeded in explaining how stem cells in the brain change to allow one type of stem cell to produce different cell types at different stages. A study shows that the signal molecule TGF-beta acts as a time signal that regulates the nerve stem cells' potential at different stages of the brain's development – knowledge that may be significant for future pharmaceutical development.
3 Facts about Black Women and Depression Depression is a massive health concern among African-Americans — particularly women — but mental health is rarely discussed in the African American community. Since mental health is such a taboo subject in the African-American community, we are the least likely group to be treated or to seek treatment for depression....
Developing Self-Awareness as a Parent For parents, being self-aware is key for connecting to their kids. When parents aren’t self-aware, they might get caught up in their own emotions instead of being present with their children. They also might not recognize that they’re unconsciously repeating the patterns of their own childhoods in their parenting today....
12 Famous Writers on Overcoming Writers Block 1. “I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately I am inspired at 9 o’clock every morning.” — William Faulkner. 2. “If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.” — Margaret Atwood. 3. “Don’t get it right, just get it written.” — James Thurber. 4. “Lower your standards...
Your Body Belongs “Our bodies know they belong; it is our minds that make our lives so homeless.” ~ John O’Donohue The above quote is part of Anna’s #CurvyLoveNotes, which she shares on Instagram. It inspired the below words:   Your body belongs at the gym, if that’s where you’d like to take...
African Americans at greater risk from stroke and other cerebrovascular diseases Compared to Caucasian Americans, African Americans have impaired blood flow regulation in the brain that could contribute to a greater risk of cerebrovascular diseases such as stroke, transient ischaemic attack ('mini stroke'), subarachnoid haemorrhage or vascular dementia, researchers report.
Oxytocin helps to better overcome fear Frightening experiences do not quickly fade from memory. A team of researchers has now been able to demonstrate in a study that the bonding hormone oxytocin inhibits the fear center in the brain and allows fear stimuli to subside more easily. This basic research could also usher in a new era in the treatment of anxiety disorders.
21 Ways to “Give Good No” We are coming to that time of the year that is both blessed and cursed with zillions of invitations. Here are some that are in my email right now: Can you meet me for coffee to help me with my book proposal? Will you bring a snack to the 8th grade party on December 19th? Are you coming to our housewarming party? Can you help with my son’s college applications? Do you want to take the kids to see “The Nutcracker” this year? As much as I’d like to do all of these things, I can’t. When I take on everything that comes my way, I find that I start staying up late in order to get everything done. And then, tired, I start pressing snooze instead of meditating in the morning. Before I know it, I’m too tired to exercise, too, something that is essential for my wellbeing. It’s a slippery slope that starts with me taking care of other people’s needs at the expense of my own, and ends with me being too tired (and sometimes sick) to take care of anybody’s needs, my own included (much less do anything fun, like go to a party). Perhaps this is obvious, but just to spell it out: When we get sick and tired, we have a hard time feeling happy, and a hard time fulfilling our potential, both at home and at work. But saying “no” can be really hard—I hate making people feel bad for even asking. It takes practice to say no in a way that doesn’t offend people, much less to say it in a way that makes folks feel happy they asked. Giving no that good takes practice. Here is my three-step plan. Step One: Prepare yourself to say “No.” It is much easier to say no to an invitation when we have a concrete reason for doing so—a way to justify our refusal beyond the vague notion that we should avoid the commitment in question. This means that we need to create the reason for saying no before we need it—we need a decision making structure, or “rules” to guide us so that we don’t have to agonize over every invitation. For example, one rule I have for myself is that I don’t go out more than two nights in a given week, because I know that when I do this, I get cranky, tired, and run down. So if someone asks me about a third evening one week, I have the structure I need to tell them I’m not available (but thank you for asking!). Similarly, I only meet people during the workday for lunch or coffee two times per week, I only do two speaking engagements a month, and I only do one phone interview a day. In addition to making rules for myself, I block out time on my calendar for things like writing (in the morning, when I’m most productive), hiking (in the afternoon, when I need a break), and for tackling administrative tasks (on Fridays, when I’m most inclined to want to just tick stuff off my list). This means that a lot of time on my calendar is blocked out, which can be really annoying to people who are trying to make an appointment with me. At the same time, however, blocking time out for the things I need to do to feel calm makes it totally clear to me when I’m just not available. This makes it much easier to give good no. Finally, if I’m available to do something, I don’t say yes before asking myself a very important question: Do I want to do this thing, or is it that I feel I “should”? Will saying “yes” bring me joy or meaning? Or will I feel dread or regret when this particular event or task rolls around? I’ve learned to notice when I’m glad I said “yes”; it has helped me realize how much happiness I get from helping other people. (I always try to help my friends’ children with their college applications, for example. So fun.) One of the joys of middle age is that I now feel confident that if I do only the things that I really feel compelled to do (rather than the things I used to do because I thought I “should” do), I end up contributing more. If I find myself considering an invitation because I’m worried about what other people think of me, or because I think it will “look good on my resume,” I just say no. Step Two: Say no. I’ve found it incredibly helpful to have go-to ways to just say no. I mostly use Renee’s “I’m already booked” strategy (see below), because that is most often the reason I can’t do something. Here are some other tactics—21, count ‘em!—that work for me: 1. Vague but effective: “Thank you for asking, but that isn’t going to work out for me.” 2. It’s not personal: “Thank you for asking, but I’m not doing any interviews while I’m writing my book.” 3. Ask me later: “I want to do that, but I’m not available until April. Will you ask me again then?” 4. Let me hook you up: “I can’t do it, but I’ll bet Shelly can. I’ll ask her for you.” 5. Keep trying: “None of those dates work for me, but I would love to see you. Send me some more dates.” 6. Try me last minute: “I can’t put anything else on my calendar this month, but I’d love to do that with you sometime. Will you call me right before you go again?” 7. Gratitude: “Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and support! I’m sorry I’m not able to help you at this time.” 8. Give Dad a chance: “You know, I feel like moms are always getting to do the holiday parties at school. Let’s ask Dad if he wants to help this year.” 9. 5-minute favor: “I can’t speak at your event, but I will help you promote it on my blog.” I also asked my friends Renee Trudeau and Katrina Alcorn—two people who’ve honed their ability to say no well—for their favorite go-to ways to say no. Here are Renee’s favorite ways: 10. Just No: “Thanks, I’ll have to pass on that.” (Say it, then shut up.) 11. Gracious: “I really appreciate you asking me, but my time is already committed.” 12. I’m Sorry: “I wish I could, but it’s just not going to work right now.” 13. It’s Someone Else’s Decision: “I promised my coach (therapist, husband, etc.) I wouldn’t take on any more projects right now. I’m working on creating more balance in my life.” 14. My Family is the Reason: “Thanks so much for the invite, that’s the day of my son’s soccer game, and I never miss those.” 15. I Know Someone Else: “I just don’t have time right now. Let me recommend someone who may be able to help you.” 16. I’m Already Booked: “I appreciate you thinking of me, but I’m afraid I’m already booked that day.” 17. Setting Boundaries: “Let me tell you what I can do…” Then limit the commitment to what will be comfortable for you. 18. Not No, But Not Yes: “Let me think about it, and I’ll get back to you.” (Renee’s list is from her book The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal.) And here are the additional ways that Katrina most often says no: 19. Say nothing: “Not all requests require an answer. It feels rude to ignore a request, but sometimes it’s the best way for everyone to save face.” 20. Let it all hang out: “Recently my daughter got injured in gym class. It was a week of visits to the ER, the concussion clinic, specialists, etc. I decided to just tell people what was going on, which sort of shut down the requests for a bit.” 21. I’m “maxed out”: “We need a ‘safety word’ for saying no—an easy way to tell people that we can’t/won’t do the thing they are requesting, but that it’s not personal. One convenient thing about authoring a book called Maxed Out is that now I can say ‘I’m maxed out’ and people who are familiar with the book know I’m asking them to respect that I’m taking care of myself, and that I also respect their need to take care of themselves.” Step 3: Don’t look back. Plenty of research suggests that when we make a decision in a way that allows us to change our minds later, we tend to be a lot less happy with the decisions that we make. So once we decline an invitation, we need to make an effort to focus on the good that will come from saying no, not the regret or guilt we feel about turning down an offer. Perhaps we will be better rested because we didn’t go to a party, or we’ll feel less resentful because we let someone else help out. Maybe saying no to one thing frees up time for another (more joyful) activity. Whatever the case may be, focus on the positive outcome of your effort to give good no. Because that is what all this saying no is really about: Allowing ourselves to really enjoy what we are doing in the moment, whatever that might be. What is your favorite way to say no?  
The Reason Overwhelming Happiness Makes People Cry Why lottery winners cry, teenage girls scream at Bieber concerts and people pinch the cheeks of cute babies. Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick" Related articles:Happiness is Contagious and Powerful on Social Media Happiness: 10 Fascinating New Psychology Studies Everyone Should Know 4 Dark Sides To The Pursuit of Happiness The Irritating Reason That Overconfident People Get All The Breaks The Body Map of Emotions: Happiness Activates the Whole Body
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How to Ask for Accommodations at Work Making it Work Although I’m very open about having Bipolar Disorder and have come out publicly several times at work, I’ve never had to ask for accommodations to HR. I have come to realize that at times, I do need accommodations and I’m blessed that usually, what I need are...
Genotype found in 30 percent of als patients speeds up disease progression Mice bred to carry a gene variant found in a third of ALS patients have a faster disease progression and die sooner than mice with the standard genetic model of the disease, according to researchers. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a degeneration of lower and upper motor neurons in the brainstem, spinal cord and the motor cortex. The disease, which affects 12,000 Americans, leads to loss of muscle control. People with ALS typically die of respiratory failure when the muscles that control breathing fail.
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How to Remain Calm in a Trying Situation I’ve had my fair share of overwhelming times. There have been times where I’ve been so thrown back in my chair that I had to excuse myself from the situation to get a grip on things. If it wasn’t anxiety it was a punch to the gut as some sort...
The Mind and Health For almost three years I have been writing informative, but intellectual articles on my personal blog. Recently, I have been inspired by the authenticity and transparency seen in the writing of my close friend Will Meecham, MD, in his Psych Central blog http://blogs.psychcentral.com/childhood-adversity/ That inspiration is motivating me to share...
Some Clients Need a Dating Plan… Not Everyone Knows How to Date For many psychotherapy clients, issues with relationships and intimacy are paramount. Typically, individuals seeking help with these issues display insecure attachment styles, usually the result of inconsistent, neglectful and/or abusive parenting – though many other forms of early-life (and even adult-life) trauma may also...
Soldiers at increased suicide risk after leaving hospital U.S. Army soldiers hospitalized with a psychiatric disorder have a significantly elevated suicide risk in the year following discharge from the hospital, according to research from the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS). The yearly suicide rate for this group, 263.9 per 100,000 soldiers, was far higher than the rate [...]The post Soldiers at increased suicide risk after leaving hospital appeared first on PsyPost.
Facial structure predicts goals, fouls among World Cup soccer players The structure of a soccer player’s face can predict his performance on the field–including his likelihood of scoring goals, making assists and committing fouls–according to a study led by a researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder. The scientists studied the facial-width-to-height ratio (FHWR) of about 1,000 players from 32 countries who competed in the [...]The post Facial structure predicts goals, fouls among World Cup soccer players appeared first on PsyPost.