Click here for this edition’s Table of Contents
- “Perception and perspective are often the fundamental difference that control human behavior and the quality of our lives” -Tony Robbins
Psychology, Mental Health, Mind Training
1. “In the midst of the widespread support and criticism of psychoanalysis there has been significant progress in its use as a valid approach to treatment. If for no other reason than to gain an important historical perspective on mental health treatment Freud’s psychoanalytical theory is worthy of study.”
2. Fake it till you make it. “People using self-talk, for example telling yourself “I can do better next time” – performed better than the control group in every portion of the task.”
3. Curiosity – the bias killer. “Neither intelligence nor education can stop you from forming prejudiced opinions – but an inquisitive attitude may help you make wiser judgements.” Maybe we should focus on the questions and creating the curiosity/knowledge gap?
4. A study confirming why the practice of letting things go and being in the here and now can help improve mental health and well being. “A 2016 study published in Clinical Psychological Science utilized transdiagnostic theory to reveal that rumination, the act of obsessing on negative experiences, is correlated with a host of psychological conditions.”
6. Great review of stress and its variables from the King’s College London – ““It should be noted that active coping strategies, humor, hardiness, and extraversion can promote resilience through fostering feelings of mastery, commitment, and competence as well as the ability to help others through bonding. Importantly, the propensity of resilient individuals to express positive emotions, in relation to negative events, enables them to control their anxiety and fears.”
7. “Panic attacks occur when we treat our difficult feelings as the enemy, doing everything we can to deny them until they fairly scream for our attention. Hayes isn’t suggesting you can solve your issues just by admitting them, but that by “holding” them you treat anxieties as signals of things that are bothering you, the same way physical pain tells you to remove your hand from a hot burner. And by looking at your anxieties, you let out enough of the hidden pressure they generate to keep them from overwhelming you.”
8. Environment matters. “children who grew up in poverty are more likely to develop depression rather than those who grew up in wealthier environments
9. 2 Common Beliefs Linked to Anxiety:
1) The worst is likely to happen
2) I can’t handle it
Change these beliefs and you may be able to decrease the levels of anxiety
10. A walk to remember
“The results of the study showed the happier the students ‘walked’, the fewer negative words they recalled. Another interesting point is that these findings were not influenced by the participants’ emotional state”
”For instance, in the future, if changes in walking style are found to influence cognitive processes in a sample of people with depression; walking as an exercise may be prescribed not only in terms of its intensity, but also in terms of its style. Meaning that, a happier walking pattern may be used to facilitate a positive change in what people with depression remember. Potentially, breaking a negative cognitive-affective cycle.”
11. Your body is your emotional container
12. Pokemon Go helps with depression – “We already know that exercise helps greatly with depression (along with virtually every other mental health problem), but being motivated to exercise when you’re depressed is a challenge. That’s why an engaging game like Pokémon Go can be helpful.”
13. Also, studies show exercising outside is better for people with depression.
14. “It was discovered that outdoor activity appears to have a significantly improved effect on certain symptoms of depression when compared to the indoor alternative.”
15. Very interesting Buddhist philosophy / newly researched concept. “Researchers have examined how the heart and brain communicate with each other and how that affects our consciousness and the way in which we perceive our world. For example, when a person is feeling really positive emotions like gratitude, love, or appreciation, the heart beats out a certain message. Because the heart beats out the largest electromagnetic field produced in the body, researchers are able to gather significant data from it.”
16. Social comparison and social media can be poison for one’s mental health. “A new equation, showing how our happiness depends not only on what happens to us but also how this compares to other people, has been developed by UCL researchers”
17. Feeling stressed? Try being creative. “Stress-related hormone cortisol lowers significantly after just 45 minutes of art creation”
18. Inflammation & Depression – “The new test measures two inflammation biomarkers in the blood shown in previous studies to be linked to a poor response to antidepressants.”
19. A quick and easy infographic on how successful people deal with stress.
20. Want time to slow down? Try some new experiences – “Our brain encodes new experiences, but not familiar ones, into memory, and our retrospective judgment of time is based on how many new memories we create over a certain period. In other words, the more new memories we build on a weekend getaway, the longer that trip will seem in hindsight.”
21. The importance of environment has gained more attention recently. Here, James Clear, discusses why it may be more important than motivation.
22. And here’s a study showing music (environment) can make beer taste better.
23. “Neural representations and the cortical body matrix: implications for sports medicine and future directions” For those that don’t have access to the full article, read this one to understand more on body cortical representation.
24. A great summary of the latest research on the mind-body-stress connection.
“Another surprising result was that motor areas in the cerebral cortex, involved in the planning and performance of movement, provide a substantial input to the adrenal medulla. One of these areas is a portion of the primary motor cortex that is concerned with the control of axial body movement and posture. This input to the adrenal medulla may explain why core body exercises are so helpful in modulating responses to stress. Calming practices such as Pilates, yoga, tai chi and even dancing in a small space all require proper skeletal alignment, coordination and flexibility.”
25. Want to improve your brain power? Try leaning another language.
26. 5 psychological habits that inhibit your intelligence: brooding/ruminating, unresolved guilt, ineffective complaining, overanalyzing rejection, worrying
27. More in the realm of Cognitive Biases: Motivated Reasoning – an emotion-biased decision-making phenomenon that describes the role of motivation in cognitive processes such as decision-making and attitude change in a number of paradigms, such as cognitive dissonance reduction, beliefs, evaluation of evidence. This is why you want the Scout Mindset. For more see 51-54 here.
28. “The ability to understand and empathize with others’ pain is grounded in cognitive neural processes rather than sensory ones, according to the results of a new study led by University of Colorado Boulder researchers.”
29. Quick Book Review – Predictably Irrational with Dan Ariely
Overall a good book with some great take home messages. There were some new concepts for me: how to create a menu, decoys, anchoring with novel experiences, power of zero, and social vs. marketing norms. There was also a review of some other common ones: expectations and priming. But like Daniel Kahnman’s Thinking Fast, Slow, it becomes extremely redundant and the emphasis on the studies methods are exhausting to listen to. What is it about these behavioral economists that makes them so dry, boring, and redundant?
I still put Mindless Eating and Power of Habit at the top of my list for education on human behavior
30. Dehydration leads to increased pain sensitivity.
31. Researches found a link between the placebo effect and the immune system. Maybe this is one of the major mechanisms leading to positive outcomes.
32. Pain science experts have contributed a great amount to our field. However, it’s not ALL in your head (see the last edition on smell). “researchers at Drexel University College of Medicine are aiming to identify new molecular mechanisms involved in pain. Their latest study, published this month in Epigenetics & Chromatin, shows how one protein — acting as a master controller — can regulate the expression of a large number of genes that modulate pain.”
33. “There is evidence of motor cortex disinhibition in chronic pain populations, suggestive of a disruption in GABA-mediated intracortical inhibition”
The main reason I do this blog is to share knowledge and to help people become better clinicians/coaches. I want our profession to grow and for our patients to have better outcomes. Regardless of your specific title (PT, Chiro, Trainer, Coach, etc.), we all have the same goal of trying to empower people to fix their problems through movement. I hope the content of this website helps you in doing so.
If you enjoyed it and found it helpful, please share it with your peers. And if you are feeling generous, please make a donation to help me run this website. Any amount you can afford is greatly appreciated.