Showing posts from April 14, 2019

Natural Remedies That Are Safe for Pets

1/14 AcupunctureThis ancient Chinese healing method uses tiny needles to stimulate specific parts of your pet’s body. Acupuncture can improve organ function, soothe muscles, get the blood flowing, and release feel-good hormones. It’s good for animals with muscle or skeletal issues, skin problems, respiratory problems, or digestive troubles. Swipe to advance 2/14 AromatherapyThe smell of certain plants and oils is the basis for this therapy. It’s gentle and noninvasive, and it can help treat a four-legged friend who has anxiety or other forms of emotional or physical stress. Check with your vet first, though. Some essential oils can be toxic if your pet drinks them. Others could cause allergic reactions if you put them on his skin. Swipe to advance 3/14 Flower EssencesAnother way to harness plant power to calm an anxious animal friend is to use flower essences -- a diluted herbal solution that you can drop in his water or directly in his mouth. Often you can find this remedy as a blend of sev…

Is Incontinence Just a Fact of Aging?

1/10 It happens to everyone with age.Myth. Urinary incontinence -- leaking urine that you can’t control -- is not an inevitable part of aging. Even if it does happen to you, there are ways to get the problem under control. If you start to notice symptoms, let your doctor know so you can figure out the best treatment plan. Swipe to advance 2/10 Bladder problems are common.Fact. Around one-third of older men and half of all women leak accidentally from time to time. It’s even more likely for women during and after pregnancy, childbirth, or menopause. Swipe to advance 3/10 It only affects older people.Myth. Lots of things can cause incontinence: Obesity, anxiety, smoking, or nerve damage from diabetes, Alzheimer's, or Parkinson’s. For women, pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause might cause it. Prostate problems can be the cause in men. You can even have temporary symptoms from too much alcohol or caffeine. Swipe to advance 4/10 Constipation makes it worse.Fact. When you can’t poop, you’re more…

Parker Palmer Muses on the Season

"I will wax romantic about spring and its splendors in a moment, but first there is a hard truth to be told: before spring becomes beautiful, it is plug ugly, nothing but mud and muck. I have walked in the early spring through fields that will suck your boots off, a world so wet and woeful it makes you yearn for the return of ice. But in that muddy mess, the conditions for rebirth are being created. I love the fact that the word "humus"-the decayed vegetable matter that feeds the roots of plants-comes from the same word root that gives rise to the word "humility." It is a blessed etymology. It helps me understand that the humiliating events of life, the events that leave "mud on my face" or that "make my name mud," may create the fertile soil in which something new can grow." Parker Palmer shares more in this reflective piece on the arrival of Spring.

Why Is Nature So Good for Your Mental Health?

A new study suggests that nature may make us happier and healthier because it inspires awe.

By Jill Suttie

In recent years, a number of wilderness therapy programs have cropped up to help people who suffer from mental health challenges. These trips often involve physically and emotionally engaging experiences—like backpacking or rock-climbing in remote areas—combined with therapeutic work from caring professionals. Something about being engaged in nature seems to help hard-to-treat patients open up, find new confidence, and focus their lives in more positive directions.

Psychologists who conduct these programs believe there is healing power in nature, bolstered by research that suggests green spaces are good for our health, our well-being, and even our relationships. But what is the secret ingredient in nature that brings about these benefits?

A recent study, led by researcher Craig Anderson and his colleagues (including the Greater Good Science Center’s faculty director, Dacher Keltner)…

This Library Takes an Indigenous Approach to Categorizing Books

For over a century, the traditional Dewey Decimal classification system has dictated how libraries organize their collections. Yet the way information is sorted conveys a lot about what's prioritized and what's left out. Xwi7xwa Library (pronounced whei-wha) at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada is working to change the way materials on indigenous cultures are sorted in an effort to challenge Western, colonial bias and better represent the knowledge of Indigenous peoples. Books on indigenous communities often get sorted into the history section, failing to recognize their present-day roots, and are organized alphabetically, a system which typically excludes Native American languages that use non-Roman characters in the spelling of certain words. Read more to learn how Xwi7xwa is creating a welcoming environment for its indigenous students and expanding the knowledge and understanding of the larger community.…

The Human Voice Can Communicate 24 Emotions

Researchers created an interactive map of all the emotional sounds that humans make.

By Yasmin Anwar

Ooh, surprise! Those spontaneous sounds we make to express everything from elation (woohoo) to embarrassment (oops) say a lot more about what we’re feeling than previously understood, according to new UC Berkeley research.

Proving that a sigh is not just a sigh, scientists conducted a statistical analysis of listener responses to more than 2,000 nonverbal exclamations known as “vocal bursts” and found they convey at least 24 kinds of emotion. Previous studies of vocal bursts set the number of recognizable emotions closer to 13.

The results, recently published online in the American Psychologist journal, are demonstrated in vivid sound and color on the first-ever interactive audio map of nonverbal vocal communication.

“This study is the most extensive demonstration of our rich emotional vocal repertoire, involving brief signals of upwards of two dozen emotions as intriguing as awe, adoration…

The Skittish Stallion

"There were two horses. One was a quarter horse and the other one was this big black stallion that had been abused. It was quite skittish. You couldn't get close to it. Of course, I was determined to become friends with that horse." Rosemary Peterson shares more in this beautiful piece that speaks to the power of patience and intention in our relationships.

What Happens When Political Opponents Learn to Work Together?

Projects like Wikipedia are bringing diverse people together to work on shared goals—and scientists are studying the results.

By Zaid Jilani

Wikipedia is one of the hubs of Internet knowledge. The online encyclopedia receives more than 18 billion page views every month, which means that it exerts a huge influence on the way we think about our world and how we discuss every conceivable political and social issue.

Incredibly, Wikipedia is entirely curated by a team of volunteer users who come from many different backgrounds—and, unsurprisingly, the pages have become sites of ideological warfare, with different sides trying to control the terms of debate.

Is that conflict productive? Does the input of a politically diverse group of curators and editors result in more biased information—or less? How do we know which Wikipedia articles are comprehensive and balanced and which are not?

You might expect that people who already agree with each other are able to work cohesively to create more accu…

Are Social Change and Scale Mutually Exclusive?

"As the clarion call for scale increases in volume, it is worth always asking, what is it we want to scale? And how will it enable social change for those who have been kept at the bottom of the pyramid?" Dr Arun Kumar is the CEO of Apnalaya, an organization that does remarkable work to create self-sustaining communities within the slums of Mumbai. In this piece he shares more about their model, and invokes powerful questions for all those engaged in creating a brighter world.

Sadness Changes How Boys Relate to Others

A new study explores how boys' moods can make them less willing to share.

By Maryam Abdullah

My preschooler offered to share his apple slices with me as we were driving home from school yesterday. In that spontaneous moment of generosity, I smiled and felt heartened; maybe, I thought, he actually is internalizing our conversations about sharing and kindness.

We parents like to try different strategies to inspire kids to be generous, but some new research suggests that sharing may also depend on kids’ moods.

In a recent study, Rui Guo and her colleagues explored how feeling sad affected sharing in nearly 100 five- and six-year-old children living in Northern China. The children were randomly assigned to watch either a neutral or sad video clip from Disney’s The Lion King. In one group, kids watched Simba and his father, Lion King Mufasa, having a daily conversation about the rules of nature. In the other group, kids watched Simba cry when he found his father was dead.

Next, the researc…

The Gentlest Thing in the World

"The gentlest thing in the world is an open mind. Since it doesn't believe what it thinks, it is flexible, porous, without opposition, without defense. Nothing has power over it. Nothing can resist it. Even the hardest thing in the world a closed mind can't resist the power of openness. Ultimately the truth flows into it and through it, like water through rock."

Seven Ways to Feel More in Control of Your Life

Developing greater agency can help you make important life decisions and feel less overwhelmed, stuck, and lost.

By Anthony Rao, Paul Napper

Leslie and Josh came to therapy to talk about their son’s problems in school. But it soon became apparent that they had a different problem altogether—one common to working parents.

Their daily routine included a dizzying array of activities and responsibilities that kept them constantly stressed. Getting their kids out the door to school was an ordeal, involving much haranguing and eating on the run. After working long hours, they arrived home to a laundry list of other duties. Constant interruptions from electronic devices made them feel on call to their workplaces and disengaged from each other. Though unhappy, they didn’t know what to do or how to make a change.

As an experienced child and family psychologist (Anthony) and a management psychologist who works with business leaders (Paul), we were struck by how common these concerns are. We hear th…