Meditation and Yoga Can Improve Mental Health, and Other News

Person meditating at sunsetYoga and mindfulness meditation are associated with improvements in physical and mental health, according to new research published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

The study followed participants in a three-month intensive yoga and meditation retreat. Participants showed improvements in biological markers of stress and inflammation. Participants also reported lower levels of anxiety and depression.

Participants in the study experienced increases in the so-called cortisol awakening process (CAR). CAR is a measure of how and when the body releases the stress hormone cortisol. This is one way to measure resilience to stress.

This strengthens evidence for a link between mental and physical health, suggesting improvements in mental health could alter some risk factors for disease.

Public Hospitals Treat Greater Share of Mental Health Patients

People experiencing mental health crises and serious mental health diagnoses in New York City are increasingly likely to seek care at the city’s public hospitals. The number of inpatients at private hospitals declined from 2009-2014, just as public hospital admissions for mental health issues increased. The poor and uninsured often seek care at emergency rooms, where they usually receive stabilizing treatment but not comprehensive mental health care.

Close Friendships in High School Predict Improvement in Mental Health in Young Adulthood

According to a study published in the journal Child Development, high school friendships can have long-lasting effects on mental health. Researchers followed 169 adolescents for 10 years, beginning at age 15. Teens with quality friendships tended to experience improvements in mental health over time. Teens who were popular, however, were more vulnerable to social anxiety in adulthood.

Parenting Styles Reduce Kids’ Distress in War

Authoritative mothers and mothers who display high levels of warmth may help their children cope with the trauma of war, according to a study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology. As defined in the study, authoritative parents are warmer and more affectionate, but also exhibit higher levels of control over their children’s behavior than permissive mothers. Mothers who adopted this parenting style had children with fewer mental health difficulties and fewer externalizing symptoms, such as aggression.

How Therapy Can Cure Overeating

Many people who struggle with sticking to a diet may binge eat. Binge eating is an eating disorder that causes people to eat large quantities of food in a short period. It’s treatable with the help of a therapist, suggesting therapy might be the missing component of some diet or nutrition plans.

Low-Income Extroverts Spend More On Status Than Introverted Peers

People with low incomes who score higher on measures of extroversion may be more likely to spend more money on status-related purchases, according to research published in the journal Psychological Science. The study’s authors theorize that people who are more focused on their relative economic status may spend more to compensate for perceived shortcomings.

How Winning the Lottery Affects Happiness, According to Psychology Research

A $700 million Powerball jackpot has everyone talking about how they’d use lottery winnings to improve their quality of life. But research suggests winning the lottery may not lead to greater happiness. Winners usually report being about as happy as they were before. Among people who don’t win—the overwhelming majority of lottery players—the psychology of the lottery is complex. People in desperate situations may be more likely to play the lottery, to overestimate their odds of winning, and to lose money seeking a jackpot.

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  • Sheryl

    August 25th, 2017 at 2:27 PM

    I strive to be that parent right down the middle, not too authoritative and domineering, but at the same time not too permissive so that the children think that they can run all over me. I do think that the kind of parenting style that we adopt has a huge influence on how our children develop and how they are the to become capable of handling any situation in the future.

  • robbie

    August 26th, 2017 at 5:13 PM

    We had a pretty tight knit group of friends in high school but I have lost touch with them over the years. I just never much feel like I have the time and energy to keep up those friendships the way that I used to. I know that I am probably hurting myself but I am a real loner these days so going out and doing the party thing isn’t much my scene anymore. I hope that one day I can do some mending and repairing and hopefully they will understand and still be there for me.

  • Donna B

    August 28th, 2017 at 7:54 AM

    I am a binge eater and make myself sick afterwards, not all the time but it is part of the habits that I developed in college. I am not proud to admit to it and truthfully I am a bit ashamed that I have never sought out nay real treatment or help for it. I know that it is wrecking my health but I just can’t seem to stop.

  • Matthew

    August 28th, 2017 at 3:34 PM

    The ER is not ever going to be well equipped enough to handle some of the more serious mental health issues that patients may present there with. I am sad that this would actually be the only resort that someone would have for getting help.

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