Source: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay When it comes to improving psychological well-being, there are lots of options but surprisingly little evidence-based knowledge about how effectively each one—in and of itself or in combination with other interventions—optimally improves mental states of well-being. A new systematic review and meta-analysis by a team of Australian researchers "aimed to overcome limitations of previous reviews by examining the efficacy of distinct types of psychological interventions, irrespective of their theoretical underpinning, and the impact of various moderators." Their peer-reviewed findings ( Van Agteren et al., 2021 ) were published on April 19 in Nature Human Behaviour . What's the best way to build personal well-being? For this worldwide systematic review and meta-analysis, a collaborative team of researchers from the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute and Flinders University identified 419 randomized and controlled trials … [Read more...] about 8 Mix-and-Match Ingredients for a Tailored Be-Well Plan
Railway map Source: "London - Metropolitan Railway / Underground Map 1923 (Postcard)" by Roger W/Flickr, CC BY SA 2.0 Can the use of analogy provide us a deeper understanding of the mind? To draw this out, in this post, I discuss the use of metaphor as a form of pragmatic exploration. Metaphors entail correspondence between terms that each have their own associational fields and thus enriches the semantic field of the phenomenon in question (Black, 1962;1977). The topic or tenor (i.e. principal subject) is conceived in the context of a vehicle (or modifying term) against a ground that serves as the semantic basis of the metaphor (Hoffman, Cochran, and Nead, 1990; Richards, 1965). A successful metaphor reverberates through the network of entailments, thus serving as a stimulating guide to disambiguate new discoveries (Boyd, 1979; Lakoff and Johnson, 1980). For example, the topic of memory has often been portrayed in the vehicle of a container. The associational semantic … [Read more...] about Metaphors of Mind
Melancholy, Edvard Munch (circa 1895) Source: Public domain Do antidepressants really work? This has been a controversial question ever since the 2008 publication of a research study by Dr. Irving Kirsch and his colleagues that concluded that there was “little evidence to support the prescription of antidepressant medication to any but the most severely depressed patients.” 1 But now a new study, just published in The Lancet, indicates that yes, antidepressants do work for the treatment of depression after all. 2 With seemingly different conclusions, as is often the case in scientific inquiry, should we just let the findings cancel each other out and believe what we want to believe? Of course not. Instead, as we try to make sense of the data, let’s look at both studies with an eye towards where they might differ and where they might actually support the same conclusion. The 2008 study by Dr. Kirsch and colleagues was a meta-analysis of 35 randomized, … [Read more...] about Do Antidepressants Work? Yes, No, and Yes Again!
Laurie* was upset – sad, angry, frustrated and hurt. Her boss had praised a colleague and ignored her, even though they had both been equal members of the team that had done the project. “I get why I’m upset,” she said, “but usually I roll with these things. Next time I’ll get the credit. But I just keep revisiting it in my head, and it’s making it hard for me to get my other work done.” “I took my first post-pandemic flight,” Alba* said. “I was really nervous about flying. And then I sat next to a couple who were practically having sex in their seats. And across the aisle was a little kid that didn’t stop yelling the whole trip. These things don’t usually bother me so much. Normally I’d put on my headset, listen to a good book on tape, and ignore all the noise around me. But this time I couldn’t focus on my book, and by the time I got to my destination, I was ready to climb the walls.” Chad* was on a walk on one of the first warm spring days this year. “A guy was walking his … [Read more...] about Sad? Angry? 11 Ways to Function Better When You’re Stressed
Source: 123RF Stock Photo Using Self-Kindness to Cope with Stress “In all the greatest spiritual traditions, at their heart is tenderness, just to be kind inside, and then everything rights itself. Fear rests. Confusion rests.” Pamela Wilson Most of us today are suffering from the stress that chaos and uncertainty can bring. Self-kindness, an important aspect of self-compassion, has been proven to help reduce stress. Being kind to oneself can come naturally to those who believe they deserve it. Unfortunately, for many people, including those who experienced abuse or neglect in childhood , shame may have kept you from feeling kind toward yourself in much the same way that it may have been difficult to accept kindness from others. You may not believe that you deserve to be treated with the same patience, tenderness and comfort that you might naturally feel for a loved one. However, if you have reduced some of your shame in therapy or by reading my book, It … [Read more...] about Using the Practice of Self-Kindness to Cope With Stress