Archive for September, 2014

7 Of The Most Helpful Things You Can Say To Someone With Depression

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

Depression has a way of being an all-consuming, monster of a battle. It takes a toll physically and emotionally. It’s often stigmatized. But perhaps one of the biggest struggles for those who suffer is the feeling that no one else in the world can truly understand what they’re going through.

However, those feelings of isolation provide one of the biggest opportunities for loved ones to help, explains Gregory Dalack, M.D., chair of the department of psychiatry at the University of Michigan.

“The key thing is to help the [depressed] person know that you understand that they’re ill,” he tells The Huffington Post. “A lot of people view depression as some sort of character flaw. To let someone know that you understand that this is an illness that needs to be treated is important.”

More.

Researchers demonstrate direct brain-to-brain communication in human subjects

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

It’s not the first time scientists have linked humans in a brain-to-brain interface. Last year, a University of Washington scientist successfully sent a brain signal over the internet to control and move the hand of his colleague.

While current brain-to-brain interfaces are rudimentary, scientists envision a more sophisticated version of the technology that could facilitate communication for people who have problems speaking, such as stroke victims.

“We hope that in the longer term this could radically change the way we communicate with each other,” Dr. Giulio Ruffini, a theoretical physicist at Starlab in Barcelona and co-author on the study, told AFP.

More.

Links between creativity and mental illness

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

“There are plenty of geniuses who are not mentally ill, and there are plenty of mentally ill people who aren’t geniuses,” said HuffPost Mental Health Medical Editor Lloyd Sederer, M.D., medical director of the New York State Office of Mental Health.

“Sometimes you have the two combined. When you have geniuses who have such prominence, like Philip Seymour Hoffman or Robin Williams or John Nash, they make you think that this is more common than it is,” said Sederer. “One in four people annually in this country has a mental illness that impairs their function. That’s pretty common. The illness is pervasive. Genius is much more rare.”

The cognitive-neuroscience community is divided on whether a scientific link between creativity and mental illness actually exists.

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Walking helps us think

Friday, September 19th, 2014

What is it about walking, in particular, that makes it so amenable to thinking and writing? The answer begins with changes to our chemistry. When we go for a walk, the heart pumps faster, circulating more blood and oxygen not just to the muscles but to all the organs—including the brain. Many experiments have shown that after or during exercise, even very mild exertion, people perform better on tests of memory and attention. Walking on a regular basis also promotes new connections between brain cells, staves off the usual withering of brain tissue that comes with age, increases the volume of the hippocampus (a brain region crucial for memory), and elevates levels of molecules that both stimulate the growth of new neurons and transmit messages between them.

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Walking is great therapy too, a way to help sort out problems and gain perspective.

Enlightenment

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Excellent insight–no matter what spiritual path we’re on.

“Do not think that enlightenment is going to make you special, it’s not. If you
feel special in any way, then enlightenment has not occurred. I meet a lot of
people who think they are enlightened and awake simply because they have had a
very moving spiritual experience. They wear their enlightenment on their sleeve
like a badge of honor. They sit among friends and talk about how awake they are
while sipping coffee at a cafe. The funny thing about enlightenment is that when
it is authentic, there is no one to claim it. Enlightenment is very ordinary; it
is nothing special. Rather than making you more special, it is going to make you
less special. It plants you right in the center of a wonderful humility and
innocence. Everyone else may or may not call you enlightened, but when you are
enlightened the whole notion of enlightenment and someone who is enlightened is
a big joke. I use the word enlightenment all the time; not to point you toward
it but to point you beyond it. Do not get stuck in enlightenment.”
— Adyashanti

Electromagnetic Jolts To The Brain Boost Memory In New Study

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

Now, by applying electromagnetic pulses through the skull to carefully targeted brain regions, researchers have found a way to boost memory performance in healthy people. The new study sheds light on the neural networks that support memories and may lead to therapies for people with memory deficits, researchers say.

More.

The Scientific Reason Someone Befriends You

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

There’s a reason behind why we pick some of our friends, and it’s more predestined than we realize. Oh, science, you’re so deliciously strange.

Watch video.

21 bunnies worth watching

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

The bunnies that hop amongst us are real … and really amazing.

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19 Hard Things You Need To Do To Be Successful

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

You have to do the hard things. The things that no one else is doing. The things that scare you. The things that make you wonder how much longer you can hold on.

Those are the things that define you. Those are the things that make the difference between living a life of mediocrity or outrageous success.

The hard things are the easiest things to avoid. To excuse away. To pretend like they don’t apply to you.

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Thomas Ramey Watson is an affiliate faculty member of Regis University's College of Professional Studies. He has served as an Episcopal chaplain (lay), trained as a psychotherapist, done postdoctoral work at Cambridge University, and was named a Research Fellow at Yale University.

In addition to his scholarly writings, he is a published author of poetry and fiction.

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