It’s been a bizarre year; more so in the USA than most other countries. Not only did America have the pandemic to tackle but also a Presidential Election campaign being fought in very trying circumstances, against a polarised backdrop. With the constant culture war that was being waged combined with how the pandemic was affecting the US population in 2020 compared to other countries, is it any wonder that the US media was offering a negative view of Covid-19 compared to science journals and the international media? It’s likely that the effects of the coronavirus were impossible to disentangle from management (or non-management) of attempts to control the spread of the virus. US news has been overly negative Source: Ono Kosuki/Pexels Why did this happen? David Leonhardt in The New York Times thinks it might be something about how journalists need to expose the truth, it’s a core part of their role in society. And perhaps in the impact and management of Covid-19 in … [Read more...] about Do Americans Prefer Bad News?
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Body image is a complicated concept, as it encompasses perceptions, thoughts and feelings about the body over time. As people age, the focus on body features tends to shift predominantly onto facial attractiveness including the skin, eyes, cheekbones and jawline. It follows that facelift procedures are some of the most common aesthetic surgical procedures undertaken by those over 40 years of age. While the primary goal of facelift surgery is to create an outward appearance that reflects the patient's inner spirit and sense of beauty, studies have not shown any relationship between the degree of facial aging and the amount of patients’ concern. Furthermore, there is no documented association between the amount of objective improvement after facelift surgery and patient satisfaction. To fully understand the impact of facelift procedures on mental health, we need to examine patients’ underlying motivations for surgery, the immediate postoperative effects, and longer term quality of … [Read more...] about The Psychological Impact of a Facelift
Alcohol is the most widely consumed drug worldwide. For many, drinking is as much a part of daily life as having dinner. Although we consume it regularly, we don't really know what it does to us, or why it causes some of us to suddenly find streaking naked through a college campus a brilliant idea. Alcohol, according to conventional wisdom , is a depressant. Yet, that doesn't fully explain alcohol's effects. People often drink to liven up a party, not mellow it out. A few drinks can spark energy, elation, and excitement; it gives you a buzz. Alcohol may be more than simply a depressant. Classification of drugs can be explained by their chemical targets within the brain. Stimulants may influence dopamine or norepinephrine. Depressants target a chemical called GABA, the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter within the brain. As early research failed to show that alcohol targeted a specific receptor, scientists speculated that alcohol non-specifically altered cell membranes. … [Read more...] about Your Brain on Alcohol
Source: Christopher Corneschi /Creative Commons What explains the rise of panic-buying of foods and stockpiling toilet paper during the outbreak of coronavirus ? 1. Two ways of thinking . We have two levels of decisions. At the basic level, individual decisions are best understood as the interactions between the logical brain and the emotional brain. The two systems use different operations. The logical brain calculates and considers the evidence. The emotional brain is intuitive, fast, mostly automatic, and not very accessible to conscious awareness. The logical mind tells us, “No, I don’t need to buy another roll of toilet paper.” But the emotional brain says, “Well, I better be safe than sorry.” Our emotional mind is highly attuned to visual imagery, and we’ve seen graphic images of people on social media and news media wearing masks and so forth. 2. Anticipatory anxiety . People are experiencing anticipatory anxiety. Anticipatory anxiety is the fear and dread … [Read more...] about 7 Reasons for Panic-Buying Behavior
Source: gremlin/Pixabay/Modified with Prisma In working with folks who are interested in starting a meditation practice, here's a common but wayward instruction often given. It's a surefire path to an agonizing initial sitting or two, and then, so long: "So, sit and watch your breath go in and out, and then your mind will become quiet." Good luck with that. Minds never truly empty out, but by their very nature, pump out phenomena. Behold: They percolate thoughts. They adhere additional ideas to the flood of sensory information that comes in. They identify patterns of physical and cognitive stuff as emotional states. They generate additional judgments about all of the above. ...And a bazillion other wondrous but noisy operations. Expecting our minds to stand still and peaceful for long stretches of time... um, no. So, in our initial prepping of the mindfulness -uninitiated to this first "pulling back of the curtain" to observe one's own mind in action, … [Read more...] about Prepping Meditation Newbies on Losing Attention