Religion On the Brain

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Have you ever wandered why those shouting “Alleluia!” at church on Sunday morning seem happier and more energetic than the average person, projecting a feeling of satisfaction in their lives that you don’t get from the folks reading the paper at Starbucks on Sunday morning? I understand this well because I have used religion as […]

I’m Depressed, Not Dangerous

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I am reposting this blog because I continue to be irritated by the inaccurate association between mental illness and violence. Every time there is a tragedy like the Germanwings crash in which the murderer is suspected of (or is documented with) mental problems, my job as a health advocate who tries to educate the public […]

5 Exercises to Nurture Self-Compassion

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According to Kristin Neff, Ph.D., self-compassion expert and associate professor of human development at the University of Texas in Austin, there is physiological data supporting the claim that self-compassionate people have better emotional coping skills. In her book Self-Compassion, she explains that researchers have measured cortisol levels and heart-rate variability among participants trained to have […]

10 Forms of Twisted Thinking

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David Burns, bestselling author of Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, and Abraham Low, founder of Recovery, Inc., teach techniques to analyze negative thoughts or identify distorted thinking so that we can be more aware of them and to disarm them by teasing apart truth and fiction, attaching logic to the misguided stories we weave about ourselves. Since Low’s language […]

10 Ways to Beat Insomnia

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I have battled insomnia off and on for the last three years. At first I tried sleep medication (Lunesta and a few others) but they made me more depressed and anxious, so I have experimented with all kinds of natural remedies, many of them suggestions from fellow friends with sleep problems. Here are a few of them.   […]