Mental Health

Evolutionary biologist and animal behavioral specialist Marc Bekoff, PhD, once said that “play is training for the unexpected.” And psychiatrist and play expert Stuart Brown, MD, said, “Those who play rarely become brittle in the face of stress or lose the healing capacity for humor.” I’m beginning to think that playing can even access parts of our brain that...
A reader recently asked me to give some tips for beating insomnia, so I thought I’d repost this piece. A few years ago, I experienced a terrible case of insomnia. I took the sleeping drug Lunesta, which afforded me a few wonderful nights’ sleep, until I realized it substantially increased my anxiety during the day....
In his book Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart, psychiatrist Mark Epstein tells the story of his first roommate in college, a guy named Steve, who signed up for the five hardest courses at Harvard and became obsessed with being the perfect student. He stopped playing his guitar, going out with friends, even stopped bathing....
Every era has its stressors. But our times can feel especially tumultuous. A 2017 American Psychological Association (APA) poll found that nearly two-thirds of Americans find that the future of the nation is a significant source of stress. And, according to a March 2018 national survey by the APA, more Americans feel anxious than they...
Of all my tools to combat depression and negativity, humor is by far the most fun. And just like mastering the craft of writing, I’m finding that the longer I practice laughing at life–and especially it’s frustrations–the better I become at it, and the more situations and conversations and complications I can place into that...
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