Saturday, September 24, 2011

Thinking Anxiously

thinking anxiouslyAnxious people tend to think differently than those who are more laid back. Thoughts of those with anxiety often stay focused in the future. You don't really feel anxious about what happened last week, you worry about what may happen later today, tomorrow, or even years from now. Here are a few examples of people having anxious thoughts.

1. Sally looks in the mirror. Her hair is turning grayer. She thinks that everyone who looks at her immediately sees her as old and being old is terrible. She believes that most people also think that she is ugly. Old, ugly, and worthless. She doesn't want to leave her house because she is sure that people will judge her. Eventually, she stops caring about herself. She doesn't have her hair done because she believes that nothing she does will make her look better. Her friends and family wonder why she has become such a recluse.


Seven Signs That You Need to See a Mental Health Professional

purple faceEveryone has bad days. And many have bad weeks. But when feeling depressed, stressed, or anxious stretches out over a period of several weeks and begins to interfere with daily life, then mental health professionals may need to be involved. Here are some signs that you or someone you care about need evaluation and possibly treatment:

1. Suicidal thoughts or plans. If you start thinking that life is not worth living, help is available. You can call the national suicide hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE or a local mental health center. If you are aware of someone else who has thoughts of suicide, the hotline can advise you of what action you should take.

2. Feeling defeated and hopeless. Life can be tough. But if you feel that there is nothing to look forward to and hopeless, a mental health professional may be able to help you see other possibilities.


The Amazing Power of Being Present

'Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.' ~Thich Nhat Hahn

Post written by Leo Babauta.

How can you bring calm and peace to the middle of a stress-ful, chaotic day?

The answer is simple, though not always so easy to put into practice: learn to be present.

No matter how out-of-control your day is, no matter how stressful your job or life becomes, the act of being present can become an oasis. It can change your life, and it's incredibly simple.

When I asked people what things prevent them from having a peaceful day, some of the responses:

  • Work, the internet, my own lizard brain.
  • Social media and other digital distractions.
  • For me it's too many things coming at me all at once. Whether it's news, or decisions, or work to be done.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

10 Ways Our Minds Warp Time

Post image for 10 Ways Our Minds Warp Time
How time perception is warped by life-threatening situations, eye movements, tiredness, hypnosis, age, the emotions and more...

The mind does funny things to our experience of time. Just ask French cave expert Michel Siffre.

In 1962 Siffre went to live in a cave that was completely isolated from mechanical clocks and natural light. He soon began to experience a huge change in his perception of time.

When he tried to measure out two minutes by counting up to 120 at one-second intervals, it took him 5 minutes. After emerging from the cave he guessed the trip had lasted 34 days. He'd actually been down there for 59 days. His experience of time was rapidly changing. From an outside perspective he was slowing down, but the psychological experience for Siffre was that time was speeding up.

But you don't have to hide out in a cave for a couple of months to warp time, it happens to us all the time. Our experience of time is flexible; it depends on attention, motivation, the emotions and more.

1. Life-threatening situations

People often report that time seems to slow down in life-threatening situations, like skydiving.

But are we really processing more information in these seconds when time seems to stretch? Is it like slow-motion cameras in sports which can actually see more details of the high-speed action?

To test this, Stetson et al. (2007) had people staring at a special chronometer while free-falling 50 metres into a net. What they found was that time resolution doesn't increase: we're not able to distinguish shorter periods of time when in danger. What happens is we remember the time as longer because we record more of the experience. Life-threatening experiences make us really pay attention but we don't gain superhuman powers of perception.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Reason Seen More as Weapon Than Path to Truth

For centuries thinkers have assumed that the uniquely human capacity for reasoning has existed to let people reach beyond mere perception and reflex in the search for truth. Rationality allowed a solitary thinker to blaze a path to philosophical, moral and scientific enlightenment.

Now some researchers are suggesting that reason evolved for a completely different purpose: to win arguments. Rationality, by this yardstick (and irrationality too, but we'll get to that) is nothing more or less than a servant of the hard-wired compulsion to triumph in the debating arena. According to this view, bias, lack of logic and other supposed flaws that pollute the stream of reason are instead social adaptations that enable one group to persuade (and defeat) another. Certitude works, however sharply it may depart from the truth.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Process Mind….Connecting with the Mind of God

The quantum mind is that aspect of our psychology that corresponds to basic aspects of quantum physics. The quantum aspect of our awareness notices the tiniest, easily overlooked "nano" tendencies and self-reflects upon these subliminal experiences. However, the quantum mind is not just a supersensitive self-reflecting awareness; it also is a kind of "pilot wave" or guiding pattern. . . . Physicists speak of the wave function "collapsing" to create reality. I speak about how our self-reflection uses and then marginalizes, rather than "collapses," our dreaming nature. For example, after reflecting on a dream, you might think, "Ah ha! Now I will do this or that"; then you put the dreamworld aside temporarily while you take action in order to create a new reality.

Besides the ability we share with other parts of our universe to sense possibilities, self-reflect, and move from dreaming to everyday reality, we may have the ability to be in two places or two states at the same time, just as quantum physics suggests that material particles can behave. For example, in a dream you may be at once dead and alive – even though upon awakening, you come out of this unitive experience and soon begin reflecting, identifying with one or another of the dream images. Thus, we can characterize our quantum nature as nonlocal or "bilocal" as well as highly sensitive and self-reflective…

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What Synesthesia Suggests about the Nature of Consciousness

Not long after synesthesia made its modest, respectable appearance on the world's scientific stage, a radical shift occurred in the field of psychology, foreshadowed by Galton's interest in the psychology of the behavior of twins: the school of behaviorism emerged. Led by American psychologist John B. Watson, this new school of thought banished personal experience in favor of people's observed interactions with one another. A paper Watson wrote in 1913 started the wave, and in his 1924 book, Behaviorism, he explained it further: "Behaviorism . . . holds that the subject matter of human psychology is the behavior of the human being. Behaviorism claims that consciousness is neither a definite nor a usable concept. The behaviorist, who has been trained always as an experimentalist, holds, further, that belief in the existence of consciousness goes back to the ancient days of superstition and magic.

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Physician, Heal Thyself, And Thy Healthcare System

Physician, Heal Thyself, And Thy Healthcare System

Why Our Current Healthcare System is Woefully Inadequate

Published on May 1, 2011 by Melanie A. Greenberg, Ph.D. in The Mindful Self-Express

The Integrative Medicine Model of Healthcare

The Integrative Medicine Model of Healthcare

Many mental health disorders carry risks for physical disease.

  • Depression is a risk factor for many serious and life-threatening diseases, including heart disease, addictions, chronic pain, diabetes and obesity.
  • Illness diagnosis can result in an anxiety disorder
  • Chronic mental stress can cause muscle pain, fatigue, inflammation, and impaired immunity
  • Stress can result in impaired self-care, such as not eating, exercising, or sleepingproperly, increasing risks of disease.
  • Depressed mood can interfere with heart rate variability or the ability of the individual to put the brakes on and stop anxiety-related physiological arousal from spiraling out of control.
  • PTSD has been linked to addictions, smoking, heart disease and autoimmune diseases.

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The Seven Sins of Memory

The Seven Sins of Memory


In Yasunari Kawabata's unsettling short story, Yumiura, a novelist receives an unexpected visit from a woman who says she knew him 30 years earlier. They met when he visited the town of Yumiura during a harbor festival, the woman explains. But the novelist cannot remember her. Plagued recently by other troublesome memory lapses, he sees this latest incident as a further sign of mental decline. His discomfort turns to alarm when the woman offers more revelations about what happened on a day when he visited her room. "You asked me to marry you," she recalls wistfully. The novelist reels while contemplating the magnitude of what he had forgotten. The woman explains that she had never forgotten their time together and felt continually burdened by her memories of him.

After she finally leaves, the shaken novelist searches maps for the town of Yumiura with the hope of triggering recall of the place and the reasons why he had gone there. But no maps or books list a town called Yumiura. The novelist then realizes that he could not have been in the part of the country the woman described at the time she remembered. Her detailed, heartfelt and convincing memories were entirely false.

Seven different ways that memory can mess with your head and your life, and ways to identify them.

By Daniel Schacter

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Why You Think You'll Never Stack Up

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Anxiety, Allergies and kids

When I went to school, my mother packed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on white bread for me. On some days, she'd switch to a couple of slices of bologna with mayonnaise—also on white bread. Cookies or an occasional apple finished off the meal. Packing food for lunch was pretty simple. We'd rush to long rows of tables when the bell rang, then stuff food into our mouths as fast as possible so that we'd have more time to play outside at recess.

Life has become more complicated for parents and kids. There are all sorts of dangers lurking out there, some real, others exaggerated, and some imagined. Food allergies appear to be the newest terror ready to pounce on unsuspecting children and their parents.

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Think like a shrink

Yes, you too can see through the defenses people hide behind. To guide you, just consult the handy primer below. Put together by psychiatrist Emanuel H. Rosen, it distills years of Freudian analytical training into a few simple principles that make sense of our psyches.

I have always thought it horribly unfortunate that there is such a tremendous gap between psychiatry and popular culture. Psychiatrists are regularly vilified in entertainment, media, and common thought, and our patients are regularly stigmatized. Indeed, I've yet to see a single movie that accurately portrays what we do. From Silence of the Lambs to The Prince of Tides, we shrinks have a reputation as crazy unbalanced people who can read people's minds. Even the hit comedyThe Santa Clause made us out to be bimbos.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hearing loss may be an early sign of dementia

Gradual hearing loss is a common symptom of aging, but in some people it may also be an early sign of Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia, a new study suggests.

The risk of dementia appears to rise as hearing declines. Older people with mild hearing impairment -- those who have difficulty following a conversation in a crowded restaurant, say -- were nearly twice as likely as those with normal hearing to develop dementia, the study found. Severe hearing loss nearly quintupled the risk of dementia. 25 signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Family Meals Linked to Improved Asthma in Kids

A new study suggests children with asthma who spend quality time with their families by eating together are healthier than those who eat alone, while watching TV, or while others are busy chatting or texting on cell phones.

Previous studies have already shown that family meals can improve the well-being of children and teens and make them less likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors like substance abuse or eating disorders. But this study suggests eating together is also directly related to health in children with chronic illnesses like asthma.

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Monday, January 31, 2011

Brain and Cognitive Sciences- MIT Open Courseware

Brain and Cognitive Sciences

Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.

Stress Fixes for Better Sleep

Target the Enemy!

When stress interrupts your sleep on a nightly basis, it sets you up for a chronic insomnia that can send you sliding down the rabbit's hole toward sleeping pills, alcohol, and chocolate cake at night and a zillion cups of coffee during the day. Here's how to step back from that precipice.

Target the enemy. "Every night a couple of hours before bed, sit down and make a list of all the issues, problems, and things you have to deal with," says Donna Arand, Ph.D., clinical director of Kettering Hospital Sleep Disorders Center in Dayton, Ohio. "Next to each item, write a solution or plan." If you're mad at your mother-in-law, for example, the solution could be to call her and talk it out.

Even if it's not something you want to do, write down your ideas for dealing with each stressor you've listed, urges Dr. Arand. Then mull the solutions over.

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Can you control your dreams?

A lucid dreamer is a person who is aware that he or she is dreaming and is able to manipulate the plot and outcome of the dream, like a video game. It is not uncommon, and in children it can happen frequently, even as an expression of creativity, said Gary Schwartz, professor of psychology and neurology at the University of Arizona.

It appears that Jared Loughner, allegedly responsible for the shooting at a supermarket in Tucson, Arizona, on Saturday, took a keen interest in the phenomenon. In the YouTube video called My Final Thoughts: Jared Lee Loughner! that is said to belong to him, he talks about conscious dreaming and reflects a blurring between waking life and reality -- "Jared Loughner is conscience (sic) dreaming at this moment / Thus, Jared Loughner is asleep," he writes.

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