Tuesday, 5 July 2016

GUIDE TO DEPRESSION: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

We've prepared a list of the most common questions and valuable answers about depression! Check it out and enrich your mind with the new information!
 

1. What types of depression are there?

Depression comes in different variations, which are characterized by specific symptoms and treated in different ways. There are, for example, seasonal affective disorder, atypical depression, dysthymia, bipolar disorders, postpartum depression, and others. According to the best doctors on Long Island, major depressive disorder is the most widespread type of depression.

 

2. What usually causes depression?

It’s important to know why depression comes into our lives. Sexual abuse, childhood traumas, and the loss of relatives are reported to be the most common causes of depression. Some doctors also believe that heredity plays an important role in the development of a depressive disorder.

 

3. What are the main symptoms?

The best doctors on Long Island number changes of dietary habits and sleep patterns among the main symptoms of depression. These signals are obviously telling you that something is wrong. You should also start worrying if you notice weight changes, lack of energy, the absence of interest in regular activities, fatigue, etc.

 

4. How to treat depression?            

Depression is not the end, but you have to consult the doctor and start a professional treatment. Usually, treatment includes visits to a psychologist and sometimes medications. You shouldn’t be ashamed of asking for help because depression is a dangerous illness.

 

5. How to prevent depression?

It is one of the most important parts of our guide to depression because fighting negative emotions can prevent it from happening. Firstly, you should communicate with people and enjoy the process of socializing. Secondly, you should always find time for relaxation and give yourself a break from thinking.

 

Find more tips for your health here http://www.nyneurologists.com/

 

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Psychological Themes From Harry Potter

Having resisted for many years (or rather just never having got around to it) this month I finally finished reading J.K Rowling's Harry Potter series. I was hugely impressed not just by her writing style, the depth of characters and the fantastic storylines which made for a hugely enjoyable read. But what surprised me most for what is essentially a children's book series, and what probably kept me most interested, was the number of psychological elements to the story, many of which were quite 'dark' in nature.

In no particular order then are a brief list of the key psychological themes I picked up upon:

1. Depression. The 'dementor' creatures personifying depression and sucking all joy from those they possess. Chocolate helps after a brush with the dementors!

2. Loss, coping with death. Harry lost his parents aged one following a magical double murder. He spends the books coming to terms with this loss but also suffers the loss of various loved ones throughout the series. There are hard times for Harry but one of the best things about the character is his ability to carry on and not be sucked down by it all, compared to other book characters who react in different ways.

3. Bullying. Another core theme. Draco Malfoy and his cronies are the school bullies, while in the adult wizarding world Lord Voldemort rules by being a hideous bully to those around him, actually bullying Draco's own father into supporting him. Professor Snape was a teacher who tormented Harry for years, although he did have another agenda.

4. The importance of friends. No matter what happens to Harry he always has his two best friends, Ron and Hermione, to fall back on who share in his troubles and help him any way they can. Without family as such, where would Harry have been without his support network of friends?

5. The Power of Love. Dumbledore said it was Harry's main advantage over Lord Voldemort, that he could experience and understand it while Voldemort could not. Professor Snape's entire life was altered by his love for Lily Potter, while Lily's love for her infant son protect him from the killing curse. I think the books were as much about love as they were death and loss in the end.    

6. Psychopath. Lord Voldemort is a powerful dark wizard who is essentially a psychopath. He does not care for the emotions of others and does not bat an eyelid before casting his killing curse. He craves power and control and will stop at nothing to get it. But as Dumbledore said, his inability to experience what others feel ended up being his weakness, as he was unable to kill Harry via the protection of his mother.


 

Saturday, 23 April 2016

How to Get That Annoying Song Out of Your Head!

We've all been there. Through no fault of our own a song has somehow etched its way inside our heads, repeating itself over and over again as if to torment and it seems it will not go away no matter what we do. Psychology Today offers the following 5 step help to recovery (click the link for the full article). What other methods are there?

  1. Identify the song playing in your head.
     
  2. Search the Internet and find a complete version of the song.
     
  3. Play it and listen to it. Spend that three minutes focused on it. Don’t do something else while it plays and limit yourself to half your attention; you might doom yourself to making it your permanent lifetime mental soundtrack.
     
  4. After the song is finished, immediately engage in a cognitively-engrossing activity. The researchers used Sudoko on their participants, but you could also try crossword puzzles, word games, or some other activity that absorbs your attention and forces your brain to sweat a little bit. Avoid doing something that lets your mind wander! (If you are driving, assuming you stopped the car to search the Internet and self-administer the whole song, find something to do mentally while you drive. Doing mileage calculations in your head is useful—figure out how long it will take you to reach your destination, going at different speeds. This will fill up some of that cognitive capacity that could otherwise wander back to the song.)
     
  5. Finally, try my strategy of then replacing that earworm with other, favorite, well-known songs (although this might be an individualistic strategy).

Thursday, 7 April 2016

How to Avoid Bad Dreams

Nightmares can be stressful in themselves not to mention a severe disruption upon much needed quality sleep time. This article by the Huffington Post reveals some methods to help minimise their impact. Click the link for the whole article. 

Minimizing Nightmares and Brushing Off Bad Dreams

Controlling nightmares remains largely uncharted territory, though there are few different schools of thought when it comes to managing bad dreams. For many people nightmares aren’t really a major nuisance, but if they do wake you up more than you’d like or you have trouble settling down afterwards, here are couple of potential ways to go about preventing them or reducing their severity.


Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
It’s not always possible to completely prevent bad dreams, but setting the stage for good sleep can help ensure you snooze more soundly and feel better-rested. Sleep hygiene involves ensuring both your habits and sleep environment are ideal for quality rest.

Your sleep space can have some bearing on your resting state. Ideally, bedrooms should be cool, dark and quiet. Temperatures in the 60s to low 70s are considered best. Remove or turn off light sources like TVs, VCRs, and alarm clocks, and consider light blocking shades if you live in an urban area or sleep past sunrise. White noise machines or earplugs can be helpful for drowning out bothersome noise.

In terms of habits, keeping a regular bedtime and waketime throughout the week is a key part of supporting your internal clock, as is daily moderate exercise, daily sunlight exposure and a regular evening relaxation routine.

Caffeine, alcohol and nicotine can all affect sleep in different ways, and are best avoided the hours before bedtime. Keeping bedtime snacks light and avoiding spicy foods or those that cause indigestion is also recommended.

Talk or Write It Out

Some psychologists believe talking about dreams and getting social support to put them in perspective is key to reducing anxiety following nightmares. This might take the form of talking out dreams with a therapist, discussing them with a partner or in a group setting, or via independent journaling.

If you wake up shaken from a nightmare and can’t get back to sleep right away, it could be helpful to get out of bed and write the dream down, and even change its course.

Image Rehearsal Therapy is a type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that involves recalling the nightmare and then writing out a new, more positive version and rehearsing this new scenario daily to displace the original nightmare theme. IRT is a well-researched type of therapy, and is a treatment recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine for chronic idiopathic nightmares and PTSD-related nightmares.

Deal with Daytime Stressors
Other approaches can focus on routines or working on areas of your life that could be contributing to stress or fear. The American Psychological Association’s 2013 Stress in America poll found that stress was associated with poorer sleep, and that poorer sleep was also associated with higher stress

When you’ve had a tough day, take a few minutes to de-stress before bed. Try a warm bath, relaxing music, yoga or other techniques to see what helps you most.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation is another method recommended by AASM for nightmares. It involves gradually tensing and relaxing different groups of muscles all over the body to reduce stress and tension. It can be done in a clinical setting, or at home via a guided audio track.

Avoid watching or reading things comprised of common nightmare fodder close to bed. That scary movie, suspenseful book or unsettling news broadcast could wind up in your midnight playlist.

Better choices for winding down if you are looking for more peaceful sleep are lighthearted shows, calming music, coloring/sketching, or neutral reading on subjects like self-improvement or hobbies. Remember, electronics like TVs and tablets steal sleep, so it’s best to turn them off at least 30 minutes before bed.


Play Some Video Games
One study of former American and Canadian male soldiers without PTSD found that those who played video games often had less threatening dreams and were less passive in their dreams. Researchers speculate that process of desensitization, fighting and winning associated with video gaming may carry over to the dream world.

However, a follow up study found that these protections may not extend to women. Researchers looked at a group of college students that previously experienced trauma and related dreams.

While male high-level gamers who had experienced trauma were less affected by nightmares, female high-level gamers actually had the most difficulty with nightmares. They speculate that the genres of games, whether they are played socially, and whether the player experiences sex-role conflict also factor into gaming’s ability to provide nightmare protection.

Get Help If Needed

Sometimes, nightmares can become more than just occasional disruptions, becoming a significant source of sleep anxiety. Nightmare disorder is a clinically recognized sleep disorder, classified by frequent and persistent nightmares that regularly disrupt sleep, cause bedtime anxiety and affect daytime behavior. They can also be a symptom of PTSD, which can have a dramatic effect on quality of life.

If you feel like nightmares are making it difficult to get a good night’s sleep often or feel anxiety around falling asleep due to bad dreams, it is worthwhile to discuss it with your doctor and/or a psychologist. They can assess if there are underlying conditions to resolve and prescribe the right treatments and medications when applicable.

Most importantly, don’t feel embarrassed to bring the issue up — nightmares aren’t childish. They can have a significant impact on your waking life, and social support along with healthy lifestyle habits can play an important role in minimizing their impact.


This article originally appeared on the Amerisleep blog.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Hypnosis Memes




Friday, 25 March 2016

Are Dreams Important? Is There A Physiological Function?

We all have them, we often discuss and think about them... but how important are dreams? Discussed on this blog before are different methods to remember and then analyse dreams or nightmares for the purpose of understanding our inner psych and interpreting the often seemingly baffling dreams we have. But what about a physiological function to dreaming? 

(PhysOrg.com) -- Dreams have long been assumed to have psychological functions such as consolidating emotional memories and processing experiences or problems, but according to a Harvard psychiatrist and sleep researcher the real function may actually be physiological.

According to Dr J. Allan Hobson, the major function of the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep associated with dreams is physiological rather than psychological. During REM sleep the brain is activated and "warming its circuits" and is anticipating the sights, sounds and emotions of the waking state.

Dr Hobson said the idea explains a lot, and likened it to jogging. The body does not remember every step of a jog, but it knows it has exercised, and in the same way we do not remember many of our dreams, but our minds have been tuned for conscious awareness.

Hobson said dreams represent a parallel consciousness state that is running continuously, but which is normally suppressed while the person is awake. Dr Mark Mahowald, a neurologist from Hennepin County Medical Center, in Minneapolis, said most people studying dreams have started out with fixed ideas about the psychological functions of dreaming, and try to make dreaming fit these ideas, but the new study makes no such assumptions.

In evolutionary terms REM sleep seems to be relatively recent, and has been identified in humans, other warm-blooded animals, and birds. Earlier studies have suggested it appears early in life, in the third trimester in humans, and research has produced evidence the brain of the fetus may in a sense be "seeing" images long before its eyes are opened, so the REM state appears to help the brain build neural connections, especially in the visual areas.

This does not mean dreams have no psychological meaning, since they do at times reflect current problems, anxieties and hopes, but people can read almost anything into dreams. A recent study of more than one thousand people at Carnegie Mellon University in Harvard, showed that there were strong biases in how people interpreted dreams. So, for example, subjects attached more significance to negative dreams about people they disliked and to positive dreams about people they liked.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2009-11-important-physiological-function.html#jCp

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

VIDEO Hypnobirthing


Friday, 18 March 2016

Psychology Memes







Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Shakespeare and Psychology

This is a wonderful article about the Psychology involved in the works of Shakespeare, and the grasp the man had upon human emotion and behaviour that helped make him such a master of his art. Shakespeare... a true father of Psychology then?

'All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players'
(As You Like It, Act 11 Scene V11)

An avid fan of all things Shakespeare, I went to see the RSC production of As You Like Itrecently in Stratford. I was gripped by the story and hoped that Orlando and Rosalind found the love they were searching for, and indeed they did. It was an uplifting performance by the central characters, Pippa Nixon as Rosalind and Alex Waldmann as Orlando. The production, directed by Maria Arbeg, and running until the 26th September, was often reminiscent of a Glastonbury of yesteryear. Camp fires burned and free love (and beer) were prevalent. I left the theatre totally overwhelmed by the feeling of love the central characters felt for each other, and the optimism of young love and opportunity of a life yet lived. Contrast that with my visit in June to see Hamlet. The story of treachery and treason became increasingly intense and the thought that there is a fine line between life and death was never so obvious as in the scene where, in the graveyard, Hamlet turns to Horatio and speaks of the court jester he knew as a child and utters those immortal words, “Alas poor Yorick, I knew him Horatio.” He speaks of a man that once entertained him who now was nothing more than a skull in his hand.

Shakespeare’s influence on psychology and literature

The stories I have witnessed unfold at the RSC over recent months have made me realise that Shakespeare, at a fundamental level, is a direct observer of human behaviour and this comes through strongly in all his work. He is a fabulous commentator about all that it is to exist on this earth. He explores the depths of the human condition, both conscious and unconscious, so much so that it has influenced the great and good ever since. Indeed Shakespeare’s work appears at the birth of modern psychology. Sigmund Freud himself directly observed Shakespeare in some of his work and the popularist view of Hamlet as created by Sir Lawrence Oliver in his 1948 film gave more than a nod to the Oedipus complex. In fact, if you look at Freud’s work, Shakespeare is littered throughout it. Freud called the Bard “the greatest of poets”. Even those that appear to dislike Shakespeare’s work are transfixed. There were notable intellectuals that did not feel great love for our national treasure. Leo Tolstoy was quoted as saying: “I remember the astonishment I felt when I first read Shakespeare. I expected to receive a powerful esthetic pleasure, but having read, one after the other, works regarded as his best: King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and Macbeth, not only did I feel no delight, but I felt an irresistible repulsion and tedium…”

However, despite Tolstoy clearly stating his dislike of Shakespeare’s work, he is quoted as saying “I hate these plays, but I can’t stop reading them!” Is this a case of Tolstoy protesting too much? After all, why did he insist on revisiting the plays time and again if he found no value in them? Was it to support his opinion that there was indeed no value in Shakespeare’s work, or, as I suspect, was he learning much about observable human life from the plays in all their tedium?

Shakespearian inspiration

Shakespeare was a discursive writer looking at life in the complexity that he believed was required, drawing his characterisations from what he observed around him. Shakespeare often drew on his experiences of the people he knew in Stratford, indeed, it is rumoured that he fled to London when he had immortalised some of the local residents of this sleepy town in his works. Shakespeare even drew parallels, in his plays of the events which happened tragically to the previous occupants (the Cloptons) of New Place (the house he lived in until his death in 1616). Margaret Clopton was abandoned by her lover and threw herself into a well and drowned, just as Ophelia had drowned when she discovered Hamlet could not be hers. More tragedy struck when sadly Charlotte Clopton, during a highly infectious epidemic, appeared to die, and was immediately buried, however another Clopton died shortly after, seemingly of the same infection. They too were quickly buried for fear of the spread of the disease and the scandal that would be associated with these events (a family of good standing being associated with infectious diseases.) On arrival at the burial chamber they saw, to their horror, Charlotte Clopton in her grave-clothes, leaning against the wall. She wasn’t dead but sleeping when she was buried, however by now it was too late, she was dead; but in desperation and hunger she had bitten a piece from her own arm. This story of mistaken death was perhaps immortalised in Romeo and Juliet?

Shakespeare today

In Shakespeare’s plays there is angst and betrayal, misdirection, treachery and death (did you know that Shakespeare’s deaths are always gruesome and never straight forward – Brutus running onto his own sword in Julia Caesar, for example?) There is bravery and loyalty, there is fun, love and laughter, and there is madness, family rifts and reconciliation – I could go on. Shakespeare explores the human condition in all its sublime complexity, tackling issues that are as current today as they were 300 years ago. I recently read in a newspaper agony column, the dismay of a mother, whose son had chosen to marry his partner of 16 years (another man) and the rift that this had caused between the two families and the prejudicial behaviour of the mother who would not tolerate her son’s choices because, it would mean (in her eyes at least) no grandchildren for her, amongst other issues. Could this not come straight out of a Shakespearian play? A pair of star-cross’d lovers in fair Verona, or conversely the Daily Mail (my parent’s copy I assure you).

So what can we learn from Shakespeare that can help us today? The lesson here is that, put simply, for time immemorial, humans do not change. In my last blog, I talked about how our brains are hard wired, that we behave in certain ways that are almost pre-programmed and Shakespeare’s work helps to support this view, as I will illustrate. We repeat the mistakes of the past; why else do we continue to go to war? Not least because, although we hear others experiences of loss and depravation, we do not believe them. We are programmed to learn this for ourselves, to acquire knowledge for its own sake. It’s not until we are in the situation that we can truly understand the stories of others. Observing Shakespeare’s play, it is clear that we laugh at the comedies or cry at the tragedies because despite the language and often the grand royal settings, they reflect our lives, our motivations, our wants and desires. We are happy that it’s not happening to us, or we are laughing because we have been there, yet when we do find ourselves in these situations we repeat the mistakes of the past. Why is this?

Shakespeare and Personality

We have been trying to understand personality and what motivates people to behave in certain ways for centuries now. Hippocrates in 4000BC tried to understand behaviour using the Four Humours. Central to this theory is that the amount of fluid in your system will dictate your personality type. If you are phlegmatic you will be lazy and sluggish but loyal and reflective and if you are Choleric you will be a natural charismatic leader (perhaps Henry V “Once more unto the breach dear friends” Act III Scene 1), or even Julius Caesar before his fall from grace?) Carl Jung took this further, being influenced by literature such as Shakespeare; he crafted his theory of archetypes using Hippocrates philosophy. Unsurprisingly we are still using some of that work today to understand our personalities in the form of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) where we at tasked to consider the innate and unconscious behaviours that come from a predisposition for a certain preference. Rosalind could be seen in Jungian terms as an extroverted intuitor, a free spirit who finds herself happiest when released from Dukes Fredrick’s court to be banished to the forest of arden. Rosalind’s preference for the Jungian feeling (heart based decision making) preference is also obvious in her distress at being rebuffed by Orlando, but why would he acquiesce? Rosalind is disguised as Ganymede, eluding masculine charm.

Social psychologist and University of Kentucky Psychology Professor Richard Smith loves Shakespeare and is quoted as saying: “Shakespeare was wonderful at illustrating exactly what social psychology is, the study of how the everyday behaviour of the individual is affected by the presence of others.”

I think that if Shakespeare were writing plays today they would still resonate. People’s behaviour and motives would not have changed a great deal. Shakespeare was and is the greatest commentator on human life and if he were here today perhaps he would ask Romeo and Juliet to undertake their courting through text messaging and Facebook rather than from balconies and behind closed doors: “But soft, what backlight through yonder text window breaks?” Would they have accidentally fallen in love, be separated by rivalry and bitterness and be destined never to marry? I am sure they would.

So it seems that all the world’s a stage – with changing sets, but the players stay the same, bewildered, yet unquestioningly acting out their roles..”

So what else can we learn from Shakespeare? Your thoughts would be welcome.

Debs


References
For more information about MBTI go to http://www.opp.com

To find the article on Professor Richard Smith go to:
http://as-houston.ad.uky.edu/archive/as17/as17.as.uky.edu/academics/departments_programs/Psycho

Friday, 11 March 2016

VIDEO Brain Science



Tuesday, 8 March 2016

What is Catharsis?

Catharsis has a key role to play in Hypnotherapy and the healing process we must go through before recovering fully, or cleansing highly emotional feelings from within. But what is it? This article explains it better than I could...

Read the full article here

In this lesson, learn about catharsis, a purging of feelings that occurs when audiences have strong emotional reactions to a work of literature. Explore examples of literary works which lead to catharsis, including tragedies.

What Is Catharsis

Confession: Sometimes I like to watch a movie or read a book that I know is going to make me cry. While often characterized as a particularly female type of behavior, I've had more than one male friend tell me they bawled their eyes out while watching the sappy, romantic film 'The Notebook.' It's a fact; moviegoers like to cry into their popcorn from time-to-time.

Why do we seek out literature and other entertainment that makes us so sad? It seems like crying is something we would like to avoid if we could, but instead we feel kind of good and refreshed afterwards.

Aristotle called this kind of experience catharsis - when literature provides strong emotional experiences that ultimately result in a sense of purification. Like a toddler playing quietly after a tantrum, tragedy (and comedy) can make us feel cleansed of emotions.

While Aristotle was speaking specifically about catharsis and theater, we know that all types of art can make us feel deeply, from Shakespeare's tragedies to blockbuster movies to the vivid paintings of Marc Rothko. We seek those feelings out because they make us feel good in the end, even if they make us feel sad first.
Catharsis and Tragedy

Aristotle defines a tragedy as a complete story featuring high-stakes situations. Tragedy must also be told through pleasing language and performed onstage rather than read. Finally, 'through pity and fear', the audience should leave feeling cleansed emotionally (catharsis). That's one tall order, Aristotle.

Aristotle considered 'Oedipus the King' by Greek playwright Sophocles to be a tragedy that had it all. First performed around 429 B.C., 'Oedipus the King' is as high stakes as it gets. King Oedipus seeks the advice of a prophet who says he must find the man who killed the previous king, King Laius, at a crossroads. Closer inspection into Laius' killing, though, reveals that - whoops! - Oedipus also killed a man at a crossroads.

Eventually, Oedipus figures out he was the one who killed Laius, and that Laius was his father. Since Oedipus' wife, Jocasta, is Laius' widow, it is revealed that she is both Oedipus' wife and his mom. High-stakes situation, indeed.

Then, if that wasn't enough, the audience watches as Jocasta kills herself and Oedipus pokes out his own eyes. It's enough to make you feel both pity and fear, especially as you watch these scenes performed onstage. It was the Ancient Greek equivalent of watching an Oscar-winning drama.

Classical Greek drama from Sophocles and other Ancient Greek and Roman playwrights set the stage, so to speak, for Shakespeare's tragedies of the Elizabethan era (1558-1603). 'Hamlet', 'King Lear', 'Macbeth', and 'Romeo and Juliet' are some of his best-known examples. Like 'Oedipus the King', they contain high-stakes plots, typically resulting in the deaths of at least four characters per play.



I'm always struck by how deeply I care about 'Romeo and Juliet' every time I see it performed, even though I already know how it is going to end (and that the characters aren't real people). Like me, by the end of a tragedy like 'Romeo and Juliet', the audience has been through an emotional journey that leaves them feeling different from when the play began.

Friday, 4 March 2016

VIDEO Science of Hypnotherapy BBC Documentary


Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Primary School Uses Hypnotherapist

Does hypnotherapy have a place in schools? Personally if used in the right way I think it could have a fantastic effect on children for a wide range of different things. The following newspaper article is about what is currently happening in a UK school, where a certified Hypnotherapist works with children as young as four to reduce stress, depression and anxiety.

Read the full article here... 

St Mary's CE School in Rawtenstall, in Lancashire, has hired Anne Cartridge, 48, to run workshops with staff so they can pass on their anti-stress tips to the 194-primary school pupils. The mother-of-two, who runs a course called 'In Mind Therapies', has already run workshops with youth volunteers at the school.
Ms Cartridge said her courses reduce stress, anxiety and depression in children as young as four

The NHS does not currently recommend hypnotherapy for clinical practice, and while it is practised by some doctors, dentists, psychologists and counsellors, it's also offered by non-professionals with little training. This is because in the UK, hypnotherapists don't have to join any organisation or have any specific training by law.
Ms Cartridge explained: 'A lot of my work is dealing with anxiety, stress and depression.
'If those issues are dealt with in primary school, young people can cope better in high school and it helps them feel more in control as an adult.
'Recently I have had a number of young clients with depression and anxiety and they have been able to significantly improve their wellbeing after just a few sessions.
'I would like to see the time when all schools are forward thinking and provide proactive ways of supporting pupils' health and wellbeing.
'Too often the link between learning behaviour and emotional wellbeing is not understood.
'Schools are often not equipped to give pupils specialised help and that is where my programme offers solutions.'


Friday, 26 February 2016

VIDEO Virtual Gastric Band How to Lose Weight Well Documentary


Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Are Facebook Friends Fake?

'Well that shows who my true friends really are'. How many times have we heard that? How good a friends are our chums on facebook? Could we rely on them in that time of need which seems to be the barometer of a strong friendship? The following article explores these themes and cites some wonderful modern social research! Click here for the full article!
Facebook has turned the word “friend” into a verb, but just because you’ve friended someone on Facebook does that make them your friend in real life? Not according to a study that found almost all Facebook friends are entirely fake.

Robin Dunbar, a professor of evolutionary psychology at Oxford University, conducted research into how Facebook friendship correlates with real-life friendship. Of the 150 Facebook friends the average user has, Dunbar found that only 15 could be counted as actual friends and only five as close friends.

“There is a cognitive constraint on the size of social networks that even the communication advantages of online media are unable to overcome,” the study found. “In practical terms, it may reflect the fact that real (as opposed to casual) relationships require at least occasional face-to-face interaction to maintain them.”

Rather than increasing people’s social circles, Dunbar suggests Facebook and other social media may function to prevent friendships “decaying” over time.

“Friendships, in particular, have a natural decay rate in the absence of contact, and social media may well function to slow down the rate of decay,” Dunbar wrote. “However, that alone may not be sufficient to prevent friendships eventually dying naturally if they are not occasionally reinforced by face-to-face interaction.”

One person who has put the “Facebook friend” concept to the test is photographer Tanja Hollander. Between 2010 and 2015, Hollander set about tracking down and photographing all of her Facebook contacts.

Despite never having met many of them in real life, Hollander found that she was welcomed into 95 percent of the homes of her 600 social media connections. Almost three-quarters even offered her a meal or a place to stay for the night or weekend.

Friday, 19 February 2016

VIDEO Psychology of Pricing


Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Actress Oliva Munn Discovered Hypnosis

Another 'Celebrity used hypnosis to get in shape' headline that caught my eye. Maybe it really does help...

OLIVIA MUNN HAS BEEN VERY OPEN ABOUT GOING TO A HYPNOTIST FOR OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER (OCD) ISSUES. THE ACTRESS RECENTLY REVEALED THAT THE HYPNOTHERAPY SESSIONS LED HER TO FIND A WAY TO GET INTO SHAPE TO GET INTO THE SUPERHEROINE PSYLOCKE’S OUTFIT IN THE UPCOMING “X-MEN: APOCALYPSE.”

When Munn was 26 years old, she developed trichotillomania, an OCD disorder that affects about 1-3 % of the U.S. population. Trichotillomania is commonly known as compulsive hair-pulling. The condition gave Munn a compulsion to yank at her eyelashes.

In November 2014, Munn told Self magazine she sought out a therapist who specialized in hypnosis treatments.

Trichotillomania and OCD are clinically different disorders but often share symptoms.

“OCD comes from a place of needing to feel safe,” Munn told Self. “I had it growing up, having had a little bit of a tumultuous upbringing, moving around a lot with a mixed family with five kids.”

Munn was interviewed for the August issue of Good Housekeeping. The 35-year-old actress spoke openly about seeing a hypnotist to help her deal with OCD issues.

“With my anxiety, if I’m not in the mood to go out to dinner, I can’t. I almost feel paralyzed,” Olivia Munn told the magazine.

At one point her condition got so bad, the only comfort she could find was with her dog.

“I was having a tough time earlier this year; one day I broke down on the floor, crying,” Olivia revealed. “Chance came up and snuggled with me. He’s so smart, so kind … he’s got my heart.”

Munn said a traumatic travel scare further changed her for life.

“About four years ago, I was almost in a plane crash,” Munn said. “Everybody on the plane thought we were going to die … even the flight attendants were crying and screaming. It made me question everything.”

Olivia Munn first turned to the spirit medium Theresa Caputo, who she met on a talk show.

While dealing with mental health issues, Munn’s hypnotherapist also inspired her to work on her physical health.

“[My hypnotist] said, ‘You have to [work out]! It’s good for your anxiety and depression,” Munn told Good Housekeeping. “So during one of our sessions, he hypnotized me. I’m not exaggerating: That was on a Friday, and by Monday I was working out every day at 6 a.m. … Now I feel so much stronger.”

Read the full article

Friday, 12 February 2016

DIY Medical Intuition Technique

It is well documented that the body is its own best healer, yet could this new technique assist the body in the process? It may sound a bit far fetched to many, but I would love to give this class a go! To read the full article click here!

"DO YOUR OWN MEDICAL INTUITION HEALING - Beginner- Medical Intuition & Aura Scan

A course about the basics of medical intuition, to enable everybody to perform their basic first body & energy scan & medical intuition reading, & how to get answers about physical/emotional problems, without needing to work with a Medical Intuitive Healer or Hypnotherapist.

The class will also offer tools on how to identify/dissolve physical/emotional blocks, negative patterns & pain, improving your health, promoting well being & magnetizing success, considering that anybody is born with this innate powerful intuitive quality, in themselves, and they would just need to learn how to tap into this deeper knowledge, then practice, to open up and read the signs the body's intelligence is trying to send, until it becomes eventually quite easy & fun to practice it, and then being able to receive benefits and the desired results. 

The owner of Hypnosis of Portlant, says that success in improving health and in promoting healing, has a lot to do in paying attention to the signs one's inner intelligence is sending and in healing deep seated unconscious unhealthy and negative cellular memories or traumatic events from childhood, which are running in the background, resulting in emotional or physical discomforts and physical problems. Medical Intuition has an important role in healing the heal root cause of emotional/physical/mental issues in conjunction with hypnosis, which can reach the subconscious mind, and reprogram the false, negative beliefs patterns and energy disturbances.

The owner adds that Hypnosis is even more powerful when combined with with EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) - By using Hypnosis with EFT, it is possible to completely break a negative neural loop related to negative subconscious patterns, removing the original stress response trigger mechanism, in a much faster way. 

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

VIDEO Finding Purpose in Life


Friday, 5 February 2016

Psychology of Names

When my daughter was born almost two years ago my partner and I had terrible trouble deciding upon the name. Why? Because names really are important. They represent something to everybody, and despite how much the Politically Correct brigade want us all to be no discriminatory - we can't help but judge that book by its cover can we? The first thing we learn about a person is often their name which immediately gives us clues about their family, their social standing, their ethnicity etc, and so just by learning the name we have already made several assumptions. 

The following is a great article from psychology today discussing such a theme. Read the full article here. 

“Your first name’s white, your second is Hispanic, and your third belongs to a black. No wonder you don’t know who you are.” So reads an article in this week’s Sports Illustrated, quoting a former teammate talking to baseball Hall of Famer Reginald Martinez Jackson. Or Reggie Jackson as you probably know him.

Names matter. Whenever we hear one, we draw a wide range of assumptions about the individual person (or item) in question.

Just ask the fish merchant whose stroke of naming genius turned the undesirable Patagonian toothfish into the haute cuisine Chilean sea bass.

Think about the debate surrounding which is the more appropriate terminology, “illegal immigrant” versus “undocumented worker.”

Or ponder for a moment the raping and pillaging conjured up by “music piracy” as opposed to the parking-ticket-like language of “copyright violation.”

And, indeed, when it comes to specific people, names come chock full of information as well. As the Reggie Jackson example illustrates, whether we admit it or not, when we see a name we draw conclusions about a variety of characteristics, including demographics like race.

Take, for example, a study economists conducted a few years ago in which they sent out thousands of résumés to job openings in Boston and Chicago. At random, some résumés were given a “White-sounding” first name, like Emily or Greg. Others were given a “Black-sounding” name, like Lakisha or Jamal. Those résumés with a White-sounding name prompted 50% more callbacks from potential employers.

It’s not just race, either. Think of how surprised you’d be to learn that a Dylan or a Madison was 50+ years-old, or that Ethel or Sheldon were actually young children.

The fact that we jump to such conclusions is one thing. But that these assumptions also have consequences is even more noteworthy. After all, the job résumé study isn’t compelling simply because we learn from it that some names seem “Whiter” or “Blacker” than others. It’s important because of the downstream consequences—because even if they had no intent (or conscious awareness) of doing so—HR directors and others screening these résumés do so differently when reading a “White” versus “Black” name.

Now we add to this body of evidence regarding the impact of names new research published in May’s Journal of Experimental Social Psychology by a team of researchers from Australia, Belgium, and the U.S. No, it’s not as sobering a set of findings as those regarding racial disparity in hiring tendencies, but it serves as yet another example of how factors we don’t think of color how we see and interact with each another.

Specifically, the researchers examined what they refer to as the name-pronunciation effect. The idea is that people with easier-to-pronounce names tend to be evaluated more positively than people with harder-to-pronounce names. Or, as they write in the subtitle of their paper,why people like Mr. Smith more than Mr. Colquhoun.

Across a series of experiments, the researchers found evidence to support the name-pronunciation effect. For example, respondents gave more positive evaluations to political candidates with easy-to-say names than they did to the same candidates when given harder-to-say names. The results go beyond hypothetical elections: the researchers also selected a random sample of U.S. law firms and found that attorneys with more easily pronounceable names (as rated by coders blind to study hypothesis) tended to hold higher status positions within the firm hierarchy.

How to account for these findings? Well, it wasn’t simple familiarity; how common a name is did not significantly alter the results. Neither did the perceived ethnicity of the surnames. Of course, both of these factors can influence us too, but they weren't what drove the differences in the reported studies.

Rather, the observed effects seem to be attributable to pronunciation—when a name rolls off the tongue, at an implicit level we associate more positive sentiment with it. It’s a finding consistent with previous research showing that the ease, or fluency, with which we perceive something changes our impressions of it. The harder it is for us to come up with examples of a concept the less likely we are to believe it. In fact, simply seeing a fact written in a difficult-to-read font/background color combination makes us less likely to think that it’s true, a finding worth bearing in mind next time you’re crafting a Powerpoint presentation. We assume that easy = true.

So it goes with people as well. Poor Mr. Colquhoun. He never stood a chance.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Perception of Hypnosis

Relaxation, meditation, hypnosis... sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish the difference between them. This research from the BPS Research Digest concludes that the difference can simply be the name/label attached to the therapy! 

Hypnosis stops being hypnotic when it’s described to participants as ‘relaxation’. This finding by Balaganesh Ghandi and David Oakley at UCL’s Hypnosis Unit complements earlier research showing the opposite effect: that relaxation labelled as ‘hypnosis’ can be hypnotic.

Ghandi and Oakley performed an identical, standard hypnotic induction on 70 participants. But whereas half of them were told their suggestibility was to be tested “whilst in hypnosis”, after they had completed a “hypnotic induction” to help them become “hypnotised”, the other half were told their suggestibility would be tested “whilst being relaxed”, after they had followed “relaxation instructions” to help them become “relaxed”. The hypnotic procedure itself contained no mention of the words ‘hypnosis/hypnotised/hypnotic’ but instead talked about ‘absorption’ or being ‘absorbed’.

The researchers said “…the extent to which suggestion affects conscious experience appears to depend more on the individual’s perception that the context can be identified as ‘hypnosis’ and on the beliefs and expectations that this raises, than it does on intrinsic properties of the induction procedure itself”.

Read the full article here

Friday, 29 January 2016

VIDEO How Smart Can We Get?


Tuesday, 26 January 2016

How to Join an Existing Group of Friends/Colleagues?

I think it's safe to say that we have all been there. We find ourselves on the outside of a certain social group and we want in, or at least we want to learn how we could force our way into their group dynamic. I've worked at a school before where I could happily chat away to individual colleagues, but if they were together as a group I got the cold shoulder treatment. I was new at the school when it began but it continued until I left for a new job. I wasn't especially bothered about the situation (maybe that was a key cause?) but intrigue existed; could I have broken into that group's network?

According to Succeedsocially.com's outstanding article these are some steps you can take: (click the link for their full article)

Steps to joining a group
Depending on your particular situation and the group you want to join, not every step may apply.
Make initial contact

When some people talk of not knowing how to join a group, this is where they're stuck. They've got a group in mind they want to join, but don't know how to begin talking to them. Your options for making the initial contact mainly depends on the access you have to the group. Here are the two main possibilities:
Introduce yourself to everyone at once

For example:
You work at a big company. In the cafeteria you notice there's a group of co-workers from another department who seem right up your alley. One day you ask if you can sit with them.
You live in a dorm, but haven't clicked with anyone on your floor. However, you know there's a fun-seeming social circle a floor below. One Friday night you pop down, see everyone hanging out in the lounge, where you figured they'd be, and ask if you can join them.
There's a gaming store on your campus, and every time you've walked by you could see a bunch of regulars hanging out and playing Magic: The Gathering. You walk in one day, introduce yourself, and explain how you're a fan of the game and looking for a group to play with.

I realize it takes a certain amount of guts to go up to a group of people and insert yourself into their conversation. You may worry it comes off as desperate. But if you're their type, and you generally come off as likable and confident, it can all go quite smoothly. If that makes you too nervous, you could always try the next option.
Get to know a few members, then meet the rest of the group through them

Here I'm talking about cases where you still have to go out of your way to make contact with the group, and don't have an in through a mutual friend or something like that. There are many ways to go about this, but here are a few examples. Again, this is just another option for meeting the group's members. It shouldn't be thought of as a way to subtly worm your way into a clique that would reject you if you approached them more directly:
You've noticed a group you want to join that's in two of your university classes. In a third class it's just you and one of the members. You get to know her in that class, and once you're friendly with her, start sitting with the whole group in the other two courses.
You play in a rec volleyball league and have noticed one of the other teams is a group of buddies who seem fun. A few weeks later at a league-wide end-of-season party you start talking to one of the guys and seem to get along. You ask him to introduce you to his teammates, which he does.
You work as a busser in a fairly big restaurant and want to get to know the bartenders, who you don't get much of a chance to talk to during your shifts. You become friendly with one of the servers who hangs out with them. When they go out after work one day she invites you along.
There's a group you've seen around campus that you're interested in, but aren't in a huge rush to become a part of. You know some members will be at a party you're going to. You make a point to strike up a conversation with them there and hit it off fairly well. Over the next few weeks you chat to them briefly when you cross paths. About a month later you see them out at a bar with the whole group, say hello, and get to meet everyone else.

However you first make contact with a group, if you're a good fit for it this step may be the only point of struggle, and once you've broken the ice the rest will take care of itself.

Find a way to hang out with the group consistently and become closer with everyone

Assuming you didn't effortlessly become accepted and ingrained in the gang as soon as you meet everybody, the work will be in moving from 'The group now knows I exist and seems okay with me' to 'I spend time with them regularly and consider them friends'. The next few sub-sections will cover parts of this process.
Figure out how to get in on the group's get togethers

A barrier some people run into it they'll successfully make initial contact with a group and become friendly with it in a light, casual way. However, they're not getting in on the fun group activities that were one of the reasons they wanted to join it in the first place. Like they may now be able to chat to a group of guys in one of their classes, but not hang out with them on the weekends.

If you're in this situation there are a few things you can try:
Like with making friends in general, you may just need to get it on the group's radar that you're someone they could hang out with outside of the context they first met you in. Once you let them know that you enjoy the same activities they do, they may get the picture and start keeping you in the loop (e.g., "You guys play poker every Thursday? I've been playing the last few years. I'd be down to join your game if you have room.")
You could ask about future plans, and then politely ask if you can get in on the action.
You could try arranging a get together yourself. Even if everyone can't make it, it will still send the message that you're interested in hanging out with them. For this suggestion you've got to use your judgment about whether it would be appropriate. Some groups are fine with newer members trying to make plans. Others are more established and set in their ways, and will tune out ideas that don't come from their long-time friends.
If you got into the group through one or two people, get connected to the other members

This point applies whether you met the whole group from scratch, or were introduced to them through your best friend. Another group-joining problem people have is they'll start hanging out with a group regularly, but don't feel like they're a real part of it. Even if everyone is nice to them, it's still more like they're perpetual guests of the friend(s) who got them into the group to begin with. Aside from just putting in more time (see below), here are some ways to help dig yourself out of that situation:
Of course, when you're all hanging out together take time to break away from your original friend(s) and get to know the other members. Make it implicitly clear you want to become closer with everyone, and not just accompany your buddy to the odd get together.
Get the other group member's phone numbers and add them on whatever social networks you all use. Aside from allowing you to get in touch with them, and sending another message that you want to get to know the whole group, it also frees you from having to rely on your closer friend(s) as your sole avenue for hearing about their plans.
Try to hang out with them regularly, and not just make the occasional appearance when your friend invites you along.
Try proposing and organizing a plan of your own, if you think that would fly with the group. Again, it signals you want to hang out with the group as a whole and subtly implies you're an insider who's trying to arrange a get together with his or her fellow members.


You don't have to become equally close to everyone, or have them all like you to the same degree

While you want to get away from just being seen as the guest of one or two members, it's okay if you don't become super best friends with every last member. In most social circles not every relationship between the members is equally close. Sometimes two members may not even like each other that much, but they maintain harmony by keeping it to themselves and staying out of each other's way when everyone hangs out together. As long as a group on the whole wants you around, it's okay if you don't have a super strong connection with a few of the people in it. Most groups aren't like a stereotypical high school clique where a Queen Bee single-handedly rules on who's allowed in, or the existing members only accept new ones after a vote.
Put in your time with the group and deepen your relationship with everyone

Once you're hanging out with the group consistently becoming more enmeshed in it is mostly a matter of time. If you put in enough hours with them they'll naturally start to think of you as a member. You'll get to know everyone better, even if it's only a light 'activity buddies' group. You'll get in on their private jokes and be part of the new ones that develop. You'll go through shared experiences. Mostly this will happen automatically, but you can speed the process along somewhat by consciously adapting and applying the ideas in this article on growing relationships.
Be at peace with not feeling like a full-fledged member for a while

Sometimes when you join a group you'll feel like a full-on member right away. Alternatively, you might feel like a hanger on for a few months. That doesn't necessarily mean the group doesn't like you, just that if some members have known each other a while it's inevitable that they'll be more drawn towards each other, and might unintentionally leave you out somewhat. Once you're hanging out with the group on a regular basis, you're in. Don't look that gift horse in the mouth. Just keep showing up and doing what you're doing and over time you'll hopefully get to know everyone better and become more of a core member.
Accept that once you've gotten your foot in the door with a group, it still doesn't always work out

Exposure and familiarity generally increases bonds between people, but it's not guaranteed. Sometimes you'll join a group, feel on thin ice the whole time, and then eventually leave when you realize you'll never be fully included. This article, and the ones it links to, cover that issue in more detail. It's an uncertain, risky period you need to be willing to go through. Hopefully any feelings of being a second-tier member are only temporary. If you really feel yourself struggling it may be a sign the group isn't a good match for you. Often when it works out it feels quite easy from the get go.
Some overall thoughts on joining groups

I just gave a rough set of steps for joining a pre-existing group. Here are some general thoughts on the process:
Sometimes you can join new groups easily and directly

I already got at this idea a few times already, but I'll repeat it. The idea of joining an established group can seem more daunting than it often is. As I mentioned at the start of the article under some circumstances you really don't have to do much to get in with one. Often this is the case when you're new on a scene somewhere. It's not unusual for a new person to quickly get pulled into an existing group. If it doesn't happen automatically, it's still often quick and easy to execute purposely. For example, if you've started an internship at a new company and there's a group of eight employees who all hang out and are similar to you, joining their group may take nothing more than asking if you can join them on break, and if all goes well, acting from then on as if you're part of the pack.

People are often more nervous about trying to join an existing social circle when they and the group have been in the same environment for a while. You may worry about how it will come across when you suddenly want to join a group you haven't shown an interest in until now. However, if the group is friendly, compatible, and open to new members, they may be quite welcoming. They may even be glad you've finally decided to start hanging out with them, and were wondering what took you so long. That or they never gave you much thought until now, so they don't see you suddenly wanting to join as weird or out of place.
Don't put the group on a pedestal

It's fine if you want to join a group, but try not to psyche yourself out too much by seeing them as this awe-inspiring, imposing collection of people who you'd do anything to be accepted by. Even if you don't see them as that impressive, just the fact that trying to join a group can be nerve-racking for some people can imbue them with that aura. They're just a social circle. If you don't get in with them it may be disappointing, but your life won't end. There are always other opportunities to make friends.

Friday, 22 January 2016

The Healing Ability of the Body

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

What Happens to the Brain During Hypnosis?

It's the question on everyone's lips when considering hypnosis; just what does take place inside the brain during those long moments of relaxation? The following article by hypnocloud.com attempts to answer that question. To read their full article click the link:

Hypnosis is basically meditation with intent. A person is relaxed into an artificially induced altered state of consciousness. The state resembles sleep but the mind becomes highly focused and responsive to suggestion. Hypnotherapist can use suggestion to explore repressed memories, instill a desire for heathy habits and even reprogram themselves to be open to ideas. During hypnosis the brain's cognitive systems are still able to interpret communication. The cognitive systems allow people to process information, categorize information, and create associations.

Hypnosis has been proven to be helpful in dealing with pain and was used to relax patients before anesthesia. Records show that ancient India and China used a form of hypnosis to relieve pain during surgery. The first case of hypnosis being used in surgery in Europe was recorded in 1794, when Jacob Grimm, one of the Brothers Grimm, was hypnotized prior to having an operation for a tumor. Hypnosis was officially recognized by medicine for pain relief in the 1950s and is now recognized as an accepted treatment for anxiety, depression, trauma, irritable bowel syndrome and eating disorders.

So how is this possible? In the “X-Files” episodes “Jose Chung's From Outer Space,” the fictional author played by Charles Nelson Reilly says he is fascinated by hypnosis, as a writer, because so much can be done with mere words. What gives the words this power? What happens to the brain that allows these words to effect such change? Science has tools that map and measure brain functions. Researchers compared the physical "body signs" of hypnotic subjects with unhypnotized people and found no significant physical change associated with the state of hypnosis. Hypnotized people's heart rates and respiration slow down as it does in any relaxed state, not the hypnotic state itself.

Magnetic resonance imaging found that hypnosis is a natural state of the mind that produces measurable effects in the brain. Electroencephalographs (EEGs) measure the electrical activity of the brain. EEG research found that brains produce different brain waves, rhythms of electrical voltage, depending on their mental state. The brain produces consistent waves at all frequencies. According to the study “Plasticity Changes In The Brain In Hypnosis And Meditation,” by Ulrike Halsband, Susanne Mueller, Thilo Hinterberger and Simon Strickner, EEGs showed that the brains of hypnotized subjects showed a boost in lower frequency waves associated with the dream state of sleep. There is also a reported drop in higher frequency waves associated with the wake state, according to the Wikipedia page on the trance state.

According to Science Daily, the brain has four different brain wave states: beta, alpha, theta, and delta. The beta state is the normal waking state, which is measured at a frequency of 14-28 cycles per second. The alpha state is a relaxed state which is inductive to visualization and creativity. The alpha wave pattern occurs during a brainwave frequency from 9 to 14 cycles per second. Theta occurs during REM Sleep. The theta state is a deeper state of relaxation that also occurs during hypnosis and meditation. The brain shows a theta wave pattern from 4 to 8 cycles per second, reports Science Daily. Theta brain waves can be considered the subconscious. It is the first stage of the phase where people dream. The delta state is the sleep state. The brain shows a delta wave pattern from 1 to 4 cycles per second. Gamma occurs when a person is processing stimuli and grouping things into a coherent whole. It is not a state of mind. It occurs during beta.

Scientists found that the alpha and theta brain wave frequencies relieve stress; facilitate deep physical relaxation and mental clarity; increase verbal ability and performance IQ; synchronize the two hemispheres of the brain; recall mental images and creative thinking and can reduce pain, promote euphoria and stimulate the release of endorphins.

A 2006 study in Germany found that specialized MRI brain scans showed less activity in two areas of the brain during hypnosis, the area that processes visuals and the area that handles conflicts. Researchers found that changes occur in the brain's cerebral cortex during hypnosis. Evidence suggests activity in the right hemisphere of the brain, which neurologists believe controls imagination and creativity, increases in hypnotized subjects. They found activity in the left hemisphere of the cerebral cortex, which controls logic, decreases. This could also explain why people feel less inhibited while under hypnosis.

When the brain is relaxed it is open to new ideas and is capable of turning those ideas into habits, if they choose to be guided in that direction.

Friday, 15 January 2016

VIDEO Hypnosis Miracles


Tuesday, 12 January 2016

10 Apps to Help Mental Heath

It's January 2016 and it has never been easier to reach out and find useful resources that can genuinely help yourself or others with mental issues. From techniques in relaxing, de-stressing or re-assessing negative thought patterns, Psychcentral.com lists 10 top apps that you can access from your smartphone immediately.
Free app that teaches a deep breathing technique useful in fighting anxiety and stress. A simple interface uses biofeedback to monitor your breathing. Sounds cascade with the movements of your belly, in rhythms reminiscent of waves on a beach. Charts also let you know how you’re doing. A great tool when you need to slow down and breathe.
Literally a lifesaving app, this free intervention tool helps people who are having suicidal thoughts to reassess their thinking and get help. Recommended by followers of @unsuicide, who report that this app has helped in suicidal crises. Developed by the military, but useful to all. Worth a download even if you’re not suicidal. You never know if you might need it.
Provides a set of tools to help you evaluate personal stress and anxiety, challenge distorted thoughts, and learn relaxation skills that have been scientifically validated in research on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Lots of background and useful information along with step-by-step guides.
Getting enough sleep is one of the foundations of mental health. A personal favorite I listen to all the time, this straightforward app features a warm, gentle voice guiding listeners through a Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) session and into sleep. Features long or short induction options, and an alarm.
A three minute depression and anxiety screen. Validated questionnaires assess symptoms of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and PTSD, and combine into a score that indicates whether or not your life is impacted significantly by a mood disorder, recommending a course of action. The app keeps a history of test results, to help you track your progress.
Based on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) developed by psychologist Marsha Linehan, this app is a rich resource of self-help skills, reminders of the therapy principles, and coaching tools for coping. Created by a therapist with years of experience in the practice, this app is not intended to replace a professional but helps people reinforce their treatment.
Track your moods, keep a journal, and chart your recovery progress with this comprehensive tool for depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorders. One of the most popular mood tracking apps available, with plenty of features. Free.
A calm female voice helps you quell anxieties and take the time to relax and sleep, in an array of guided meditations. Separately controlled voice and music tracks, flexible lengths, and an alarm. Includes a special wee hours rescue track, and tips for falling asleep. Developed by Meditation Oasis, who offer an great line of relaxation apps.
Not technically a mental health app, it makes no miraculous claims about curbing anxiety. However, there is independent research indicating that taking breaks and getting exposure to nature, even in videos, can reduce stress. This app offers an assortment of peaceful, ambient nature scenes from beautiful spots around the world.
A popular free relaxation sound and music app. Mix and match nature sounds with new age music; it’s lovely to listen to birds in the rain while a piano softly plays.
Read the full article