Canine Companions: Can They Be Good For Our Mental and Physical Health?

Jacqueline is a 72-year old woman suffering from Parkinson’s. Last year, her license was revoked and she was home-bound, causing her to fall into a deep depression. After several months of battling her morose mood, Jacqueline sought out the help of a psychiatrist. His recommendation? Get a dog. So, Jacqueline contacted a local animal shelter, which provided a low-cost … [Read more...]

The Scourge of Obesity: A Severe Decline in Memory Function

Nowadays everyone is barraged by newspapers and TV programs about the devastating effects of obesity on the human body: Type II diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), cardiovascular disease, and inflammation of the joints. But did you know that obesity actually causes loss of brain matter and impairs memory function? That should be alarming news, especially since … [Read more...]

How Decision Making Affects Your Willpower and How to Avoid Making Careless Decisions

We have all been at that point in our lives: we have made a commitment to eat better, to exercise more, to lose weight or work towards that career goal, only to make an unhealthy and unproductive choice during the day and blow all of our hard work. Is it that we made poor choices because of a lack of willpower? New research is starting to reveal that willpower does not … [Read more...]

Identifying and Avoiding the Dark Side of Email

Email is a modern technology so embedded in our lives and culture that we think very little of the tremendous psychological impact it has on us. There are over 2.6 billion emails users worldwide, spending on average more than one full hour per day checking email. However, despite its widespread use and popularity as a communication tool, for some individuals it can be a major … [Read more...]

Kick the Habit: How to Stop Eating When You’re Not Hungry

Do you ever find yourself eating when you are not hungry? If you think about the cause of eating too much, or overeating, you might even label it as a bad habit. While that may not sound scientific, new research is showing that overeating may just indeed be a bad habit. Recently, researchers set out to determine how habits affect our eating behavior. Their focus was mainly … [Read more...]

Understanding and Overcoming Procrastination

Procrastination means different things to different people. Many associate procrastination with being lazy or an inability to track time. However, procrastinators as a whole show no deficit in their ability to tell time or schedule things and many even accomplish large numbers of tasks, debunking the myth of being lazy. So what is procrastination? Simply put, … [Read more...]

Depression Under Cover: Is It Hiding in Your Life?

We have all seen the images of a person who is obviously depressed. You know the one: morose, emotional, dark and curled up in a corner with piles of used tissues lying about. Yea, that’s the one - classic depression right out of TV land. But what about the young man who is always smiling and tells jokes that leaves people crying with tears of laughter? Or the teenager … [Read more...]

From Mozart to Metallica: What Your Music Taste Says About Your Personality

Did you know that the type of music you listen to is closely linked to your personality? You might be saying to yourself right now, ”No kidding. Everyone knows that.” But did you know that researchers can now predict your personality type with surprising accuracy by knowing which music genres you listen to? Recent studies over the past five years have made great strides in … [Read more...]

Mean and Moody: Is Screen-Time Harming Children?

These days, its quite common to see a child or teen who is chronically irritable and prone to angry outbursts or, alternatively, one who is apathetic and depressed. Such chronically irritable kids are often in a state of abnormally high arousal, making them both agitated and exhausted. The likely culprit? Everyday use of electronics. Children who are exposed to several hours … [Read more...]

Is Dr. Google In The House? Cyberchondria – The New Digital Age Phenomenon

Have you done this? You have a symptom like an ongoing ache in your joints, or a persistent cough and some drainage, and you start to worry a little that something might be wrong. Instead of contacting your physician or that friend who is a nurse, you turn to your iPhone or your computer and ask Google to help you diagnose what is wrong. If this scenario sounds familiar to … [Read more...]

Understanding Attachment Styles – Key To Better Relationships

Understanding the attachment style of you and your partner or close friend is key to having a relationship that is rewarding and empowering. Attachment styles are the personality traits formed in childhood that stay with the person throughout their lifetime. These traits are the building blocks of our personalities: the behavioral, emotional, perceptual (the way you see things … [Read more...]

Coffee and Your Health: Panacea or Poison?

For years, the battles have raged on in the medical community over coffee and its purported detrimental effects on your health. Long considered a poison, coffee has been thought to cause high blood pressure (eventually contributing to heart disease), diabetes and ulcers. However, in recent years, the medical and mental health communities have shown coffee to actually have … [Read more...]

How a Small Smile Can Transform Your Life

We have all had those days. You know, the ones where everything is going wrong and the world just seems gray to us. On those days, our moods can be dour and it is very difficult to muster up a smile towards anyone or anything. But new research is showing that the best possible action you can take is to muster up that smile, even if it is just a half-smile. Two studies, one … [Read more...]

5 Ways to End a Relationship and 5 Ways to Deal with Heartbreak

Relationships can be tricky at the best of times and downright hard at the worst of times. When you have learned that your relationship has stalled and you feel stuck or that you are in a toxic relationship that is unhealthy and must end, it is time to make some changes. Making changes in a relationship like setting better boundaries, not accepting abusive or toxic behavior, … [Read more...]

Stressed Out? Calm Yourself With These 6 Foods

Feeling overwhelmed and exhausted? Craving something sweet? That is your body’s natural response to the psychological and physiological demands that stress is producing inside you. Many of us reach for something sweet to eat when we are stressed because our bodies are craving carbohydrates, those wonderful dietary gems that trigger the body to produce serotonin. Serotonin, … [Read more...]

How To Get a Better Night’s Sleep Naturally

How well do you sleep at night? If you have difficulty sleeping, you are not alone. In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) named insufficient sleep as a public health epidemic, with an estimated 50-70 million US adults having a sleep or wakefulness disorder. If you have sleep insufficiency, you are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, … [Read more...]

The Two Most Toxic Patterns In Relationships

Of all the issues that mental health counselors deal with in dysfunctional relationships with the opposite sex, chronic patterns of destructive, repetitive behavior are the most common. These patterns of toxic behavior can harm the mental, emotional and physical health and well-being of each partner. Relationships are put off balance by protective behaviors learned in … [Read more...]

Take Control of Your Life: The Concept of Agency and Its Four Helpers

Ever feel that you were aimlessly drifting off at sea solely at the mercy of the winds prevailing in your life? If a strong wind blew from the East, off you would be towards the West. It’s not necessarily the direction you wanted to take, but that is what life is serving you today. What if you could take control of your life and move it in a direction that you want to … [Read more...]

Want To Reach Your Goals This Year? Beat Resistance and Follow the Plan

It’s that time of the year again. You know, the one where you are wavering on your New Year’s resolutions. You might have already given up on them. Statistically, you would be in good company - a large percentage of resolution makers have already bailed ship on their resolutions. Researchers at the University of Scranton reported in the Journal of Clinical Psychology that … [Read more...]

Want a Gift That Lasts? Go For an Experience Over Material Goods

It has been said that money can’t buy you love — but it can buy you satisfaction, especially if you make the right purchase decision. A study conducted by Thomas Gilovich, a Cornell University professor of psychology and Travis J. Carter, a Cornell Ph.D., found that making a material purchase (watch, TV, jewelry) feels good at first, but actually makes people less … [Read more...]

The Attitude of Gratitude: Five Ways It Will Transform Your Life

During the holidays, emotions can swing from happiness to depression, especially when you encounter difficult people and situations. New studies have shown that there is a way to even out your mood and improve your happiness by adopting an attitude of gratitude. Spend just a few minutes each week practicing gratitude and watch it transform your life in these five … [Read more...]

Whose Fault Is It? Understanding Domestic Violence Dynamics

What do Rihanna and Janay (Palmer) Rice have in common? Both were victims of intimate partner violence (IPV). Both were involved in high-profile, media-manic abuse cases. And, both were mercilessly ridiculed for returning to their abuser. Which begs the question: was it their fault? In short, the answer is “no”. Abuse is NEVER the victim’s fault. NEVER. But that is … [Read more...]

Domestic Violence and Health: Its Not Over When Its Over

Every 12 seconds, a woman is abused by her intimate partner here in the U.S. Among all women, an eye-popping 53 percent report that they have experienced abusive behavior from a partner, with one in four women experiencing severe physical violence in an intimate relationship. Years after the bruises from domestic violence fade, the resulting physical effects can stick around … [Read more...]

Moody or Depressed? Maybe Your Mood Is Tied To Your Food

Did you know that, back in 1905, only 1% of Americans had depression before the age of 75? In 1955, that number increased to 6% of Americans under the age of 24. So what happened? The introduction of white bread happened. White bread was the darling of the 1950’s food industry and quickly became the norm in everyone’s diet. However, it is nearly devoid of important … [Read more...]

Want a Healthier Brain As You Age? Get Off The Couch

There is a new word out on the streets these days: dementiaphobia. Dementiaphobia is the fear of getting Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of dementia. According to a 2010 MetLife Foundation survey, people over 55 years old dread getting Alzheimer’s almost more than they dread getting cancer. The fear of losing one’s identity through dementia trumped the fear of kidney … [Read more...]