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Meditation Can Make You More Creative Particular types of meditation can generate insight and new ideas, according to recent studies.→ Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick"
Black Boys Viewed as Older, Less Innocent Than Whites, Research Finds Police likelier to use force against black children when officers ‘dehumanize’ blacks, study says
Are You Addicted to Unhappiness? People who are addicted to unhappiness tend to find reasons to be miserable, focus on the negative, compete with others about who has the toughest life, and user drugs, alcohol, or compulsive behaviors to more
How Journaling can Change your Life Journaling is a way to improve your understanding of yourself. It provides a platform on which you can stand so that you can observe yourself. Self-knowledge, including discovering your strengths and weaknesses, your likes and dislikes is essential for making life decisions and for self-fulfilment. It can help you build up a more positive relationship with your own self as well as others. Below are a few ways Journaling is helpful to you:
Drug therapy could eventually reverse memory decline in seniors It may seem normal: As we age, we misplace car keys, or can't remember a name we just learned or a meal we just ordered. But researchers say memory trouble doesn't have to be inevitable, and they've found a drug therapy that could potentially reverse this type of memory decline. The drug can't yet be used in humans, but the researchers are pursuing compounds that could someday help the population of aging adults who don't have Alzheimer's or other dementias but still have trouble remembering day-to-day items.
Cocaine, pleasure principle explored in new rat study On the other side of the cocaine high is the cocaine crash, and understanding how one follows the other can provide insight into the physiological effects of drug abuse. For decades, brain research has focused on the pleasurable effects of cocaine largely by studying the dopamine pathway. But this approach has left many questions unanswered. The findings of the new study suggest that the same neural mechanism responsible for the negative effects of cocaine likely contribute to the animal's decision to ingest cocaine.
High Rates of Military Mental Illness Are Wrong We are over diagnosing our soldiers with mental disorders and over treating them with sometimes dangerous medication. Those who need help don't get it; those who don't, get too much. read more
Blocking immune system protein in mice prevents fetal brain injury, but not preterm birth An inflammatory protein that triggers a pregnant mouse's immune response to an infection or other disease appears to cause brain injury in her fetus, but not the premature birth that was long believed to be linked with such neurologic damage in both rodents and humans, new research suggests.
Similarity breeds proximity in memory Researchers have identified the nature of brain activity that allows us to bridge time in our memories. Their findings offer new insights into the temporal nature of how we store our recollections and may offer a pathway for addressing memory-related afflictions.
Brain circuits multitask to detect, discriminate the outside world A new study found that neural circuits in the brain rapidly multitask between detecting and discriminating sensory input, such as headlights in the distance. That's different from how electronic circuits work, where one circuit performs a very specific task. The brain, the study found, is wired in way that allows a single pathway to perform multiple tasks.
England's new psychologist will not help us score goals, says Roy Hodgson England coach Roy Hodgson says the team's new psychologist can help with mental preparation
Alzheimer's toll may rank with cancer, heart disease A new study suggests Alzheimer's may be the third-leading U.S. cause of death.
Ultra-high-field MRI may allow earlier diagnosis of Parkinson's disease Ultra-high-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides detailed views of a brain area implicated in Parkinson's disease, possibly leading to earlier detection of a condition that affects millions worldwide. Parkinson's disease is a chronic, progressive disease characterized by shaking, stiffness, and impaired balance and coordination. With no radiologic techniques available to aid in diagnosis, clinicians have had to rely on medical history and neurological examination. It is often difficult to distinguish Parkinson's disease from other conditions using these methods alone.
Memory: 10 Fascinating Quirks Everyone Should Know Why we remember and why we forget: it's context, fading emotions, deep processing, the 'Google effect', the reminiscence bump and way more...Many people say they have bad memories, but the majority are wrong. The way memory works can be unexpected, frustrating, wonderful, and even quirky "” but not necessarily "˜bad'... Continue reading - - > → Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick"
Wealthier people are more musical, report suggests Those living in richer postcodes had better melodic memory and beat perception, according to new analysis by researchers George Arnett
Seven Ways to Foster Gratitude in Kids Research has shown that gratitude plays a major role in an adult’s well-being and success, but there has been little corresponding research addressing its development and enhancement in children’s lives. In fact, until 2005, we know of no studies that examined gratitude and well-being in young children. Then, in 2006, psychologists Nansook Park and Christopher Peterson conducted an analysis of parents’ descriptions of their children’s strengths—and found that gratitude had the strongest relationship to life satisfaction. In more recent years, two long-term studies have shown why gratitude may be particularly beneficial to youngsters. One study linked gratitude to greater social support and protection from stress and depression over time. A second study, involving gift-giving in sororities, showed that beneficiaries (new pledges) were most grateful when they felt understood, valued, and cared for by a benefactor (veteran sisters), and that this predicted a sense of connection to each other and to the sorority overall. These results suggest that gratitude not only helps people form, maintain, and strengthen supportive relationships, but it also helps people feel connected to a caring community. Evidence from our own research suggests that grateful young adolescents (ages 11-13), compared to their less grateful counterparts, are happier and more optimistic, have better social support, are more satisfied with their school, family, community, friends, and themselves, and give more emotional support to others. We’ve also found that grateful teens (ages 14-19) are more satisfied with their lives, use their strengths to better their community, are more engaged in their schoolwork and hobbies, have higher grades, and are less envious, depressed, and materialistic. Knowing the benefits that practicing gratitude bestows on kids begs the question: How can we foster more gratitude in children? From our experience as researchers and as parents ourselves, we believe that gratitude is born of a loving connection and grows from a loving connection. When parents tune into an infant’s needs and curiosities and satisfy the infant patiently with love, they’re planting the seeds for gratitude to grow. Our book, Making Grateful Kids, contains 32 concrete, scientifically-based strategies for encouraging gratitude in children—that is, appreciation for when somebody has done something kind or helpful for them or recognition of the good things and people they have in their lives. While each strategy is important in isolation, here are seven essential themes that underlie the strategies. 1. Model and teach gratitude Our children want to be like us. We provide the blueprint for what to say and what to do and in what contexts. Expressing gratitude through words, writing, and small gifts or acts of reciprocity are all ways to teach children how to become grateful. Doing this will help make your appreciation for the goodness in your life more public, showing your kids that blessings abound and that being thankful is a valued attitude. Adults can promote gratitude directly in children by helping them appraise the benefits they receive from others—the personal value of those benefits, the altruistic intention of people providing them, and the cost to those people. This helps kids think gratefully.   2. Spend time with your kids and be mindful when with them Another way to spell love is T-I-M-E. Believe it or not, children and, yes, even adolescents, like being with their parents. Giving a child a lot of quality time with you teaches them the language of love—life’s greatest gift. Savor every moment together, big and small, and rid yourself of distractions at such times, including your smartphone. Being mindful helps you maintain empathy toward a child, and this provides important modeling of empathy, the most important emotion for developing gratitude and moral behavior. It will also give you and your child a heightened sense of appreciation for the things both of you love and for your relationship. 3. Support your child’s autonomy Using an authoritative or democratic parenting style, which is firm, yet flexible, sup- ports children’s autonomy. This will enhance family relationships, improve the atmosphere at home, and help bring out their strengths and talents, all good for making grateful kids. By taking ownership over their skills and talents and being responsible for developing them, children gain things to appreciate in life and make it easier to attract support from others, thus inviting gratitude into their daily life. Also, limiting children’s media consumption and guiding them to use media in prosocial ways protects them from commercial influences that discourage the development of the authenticity, self-development, and social interaction necessary to grow into positive, purposeful, grateful individuals. 4. Use kids’ strengths to fuel gratitude After you’ve identified your children’s top strengths and you know their unique strengths profile, you should encourage and help them to use those strengths whenever possible. Not only does this open up opportunities for others to contribute to the things your children love, but it also enables your children to strengthen their ability to be helpful and cooperative toward others, which will make them more grateful. To directly promote gratitude, encourage and help your children to use their strengths to thank and be kind to others.   5. Help focus and support kids to achieve intrinsic goals It’s very easy for people, especially youth, to pursue extrinsic—or materialistic—goals such as desiring or having possessions that show wealth, status, or convey a certain image. This usually leads to less fulfilling social relationships and forecloses prospects for developing deep connections with others and genuine gratitude. It’s our job to steer them away from pursuing extrinsic goals and toward pursuing intrinsic goals, such as engaging in activities that provide community, affiliation, and growth. Not only will successfully achieving these goals fulfill children’s fundamental human needs of competency, belongingness, and autonomy, but their personal development, happiness, success, and gratitude depend on it. To amplify their gratitude even more, remember to savor their accomplishments with them along the way, and encourage them to thank those who’ve helped them meet their goals. 6. Encourage helping others and nurturing relationships Helping others and being generous are two key ingredients for making grateful kids. When children lend a hand, especially while using their strengths, they feel more connected to those they’re helping, which helps them to develop and nurture friendships and social relationships. A great way to do this is by teaching them through your actions that other people matter and that tending to relationships should be a priority. To help children strengthen their relationships, you should encourage them to be thoughtful of others, to thank others regularly, and to be cooperative, helpful, and giving. 7. Help kids find what matters to them Having a sense of purpose in life gives youth a compass for creating a meaningful life. As adults, it’s our job to help kids discover their passions and to find a path to purpose that resonates with them— with their values, interests, and dreams. This starts with feeding their interests in the social issues they care about and pushing them to learn as much as they can about those issues and discover ways they can make a difference. The deepest sense of gratitude in life comes from connecting to a bigger picture, to an issue that matters to others and doing things that contribute to society down the road. Trying to make grateful kids isn’t just an issue for families; it’s an issue for society as well. Society desperately needs to harness the power of gratitude. As our world becomes more culturally diverse and digitally connected, and as complex societal problems mount, gratitude may help catalyze the motivation and skills youth need to succeed not just academically but in the “life test” too. We must all do our part to help kids develop into moral adults, who will contribute to a world of compassion and care. But, while there’s no quick fix for cultivating gratitude in young people, the more we remain committed to it, the more rewards we’ll reap. Indeed, by bringing out the best in our kids, we can only imagine what blessings Generation Grateful could bring. Anything worthwhile takes a lot of time and effort. It’s up to all of us to make it happen.
Four Organizations Receive APA’s Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award, Three Honored for Best Practices
Exposure to bomb blasts may cause brain injury in vets -- without symptoms Veterans exposed to intense explosive blasts are still at risk of damage in their brain's white matter – even when symptoms do not present.
The Personality Profile That Makes Leaders Make War Leaders who have a personality profile which includes a high need for power are more likely to take their countries to war. After more than 15 years in power, Russian President Vladimir Putin is showing many of the symptoms of the "hubris syndrome""”a set of personality changes which afflict most leaders who hold power for more than ten years. read more
One in five US soldiers had mental illness before enlisting, report finds Army initiative to research suicides in the US military released its first three studiesAmanda Holpuch