A persistent barrage of information is not the best method for getting through to someone with a different point of view.
- When you want someone to see things differently and to abandon their previous stance, sometimes persistence is not key.
- "Too often we think change is about pushing," says Jonah Berger, author of the book The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone's Mind, and a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. "We think if we just come up with one more way people will eventually come around."
- Through speaking with people who have successfully changed minds of others, Berger identified five common barriers and created the REDUCE framework for finding the catalysts needed to break through: reactants, endowment, distance, uncertainty, and corroborating evidence.
Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling has an important favor to ask of the American people.
- Michael Dowling is president and CEO of Northwell Health, the largest health care system in New York state. In this PSA, speaking as someone whose company has seen more COVID-19 patients than any other in the country, Dowling implores Americans to wear masks—not only for their own health, but for the health of those around them.
- The CDC reports that there have been close to 7.9 million cases of coronavirus reported in the United States since January. Around 216,000 people have died from the virus so far with hundreds more added to the tally every day. Several labs around the world are working on solutions, but there is currently no vaccine for COVID-19.
- The most basic thing that everyone can do to help slow the spread is to practice social distancing, wash your hands, and to wear a mask. The CDC recommends that everyone ages two and up wear a mask that is two or more layers of material and that covers the nose, mouth, and chin. Gaiters and face shields have been shown to be less effective at blocking droplets. Homemade face coverings are acceptable, but wearers should make sure they are constructed out of the proper materials and that they are washed between uses. Wearing a mask is the most important thing you can do to save lives in your community.
While the benefits of music therapy are well known, more in-depth research explores how music benefits children with autism.
- Music is used in many different therapies. Used in conjunction with traditional therapies, music therapy benefits us in a variety of different ways.
- According to a 2004 study, music intervention used with children and teens with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) can improve their social behaviors, increase focus and attention, and reduce their anxiety and improve body awareness.
- Various music therapy activities and tools can be used to help improve the quality of life of children with autism.
Music has quickly become a tool used in various therapies because it can stimulate both hemispheres of the brain.
Credit: HTU on Shutterstock<p>Music has quickly become a tool used in various therapies because it can stimulate both hemispheres of our brain rather than just one. Theoretically, a therapist could use a song or instrument to support cognitive activity that helps children with autism build self-awareness and improve their relationships with others.</p><p><strong>Music encourages communicative and social behaviors.</strong></p><p>According to <a href="https://nursejournal.org/community/the-benefits-of-music-therapy-for-autistic-children/#:~:text=One%20of%20the%20reasons%20that,and%20improve%20relationships%20with%20others" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Nurse Journal</a>, "...if we look closely at the way that a band works, it is obvious that the instruments must all interact with one another, but the player only needs to interact with the instrument at first."</p><p>This can be particularly difficult for children dealing with autism, but by introducing an instrument to their therapy, they may first bond with the object itself and then open up to interacting with others through the use of their instrument. </p><p><strong>Music also encourages a better understanding of words and actions. </strong></p><p>For children with autism, listening to a song about brushing their teeth could help them learn how to do this activity. Autism can create barriers for children in social settings, but small groups of children listening to music together may help the child feel comfortable singing or expressing themselves in front of others. <a href="https://nursejournal.org/community/the-benefits-of-music-therapy-for-autistic-children/#:~:text=One%20of%20the%20reasons%20that,and%20improve%20relationships%20with%20others" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">According to research</a>, dancing exercises in songs also help stimulate the sensory systems, allowing the children to enhance their fine motor skills. </p><p><strong>The positive impact of music goes beyond social interactions, helping children develop better motor skills and body awareness.</strong></p><p>According to a 2004 study published in the <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15307805/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Journal of Music Therapy</a>, music intervention used with children and teens with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) can improve their social behaviors, increase focus and attention, increase communication attempts (vocalizations/verbalizations/gestures), reduce their anxiety, and improve body awareness. <a href="https://stm.sciencemag.org/content/10/466/eaav6056" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">A more recent 2018 study</a> showed similar results. </p>
How music therapy works<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDUzNzgxOS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MTczMDE1MX0.LAR9CriMqe0ABrn_PO6sIC0NnwQIEgC2PMdGO9EKqbc/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C52%2C0%2C52&height=700" id="31f1c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="44f2d092d894f167590c075494c31c33" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="woman playing music with child" />
"All people, regardless of pathology, illness, disability, or trauma all have the ability to make music."
Credit: Photographee.eu on Shutterstock<p>Music is used in many different therapies. Used in conjunction with traditional therapies, music therapy benefits us in a variety of different ways.</p><p><strong>According to <a href="https://positivepsychology.com/music-therapy-benefits/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Positive Psychology</a>, some of the major health benefits of music therapy include: </strong></p><ul><li>Reduces anxiety and physical symptoms of stress </li><li>Helps to manage Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease </li><li>Reduces depression and other symptoms (in the elderly population) </li><li>Reduces symptoms of psychological disorders </li><li>Improves self-expression and communication </li></ul><p><strong>The Nordoff-Robbins approach to music therapy. </strong></p><p>This approach to music therapy interventions was developed through the 1950s-1970s by Paul Nordoff (an American composer and pianist) and Clive Robins (a teacher of children with special needs). <a href="https://positivepsychology.com/music-therapy-benefits/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">According to Positive Psychology</a>, this is an approach designed to harness every person's potential for engagement through active, communicative, and expressive music-making. </p><p>This approach emphasizes the importance of music-making in developing skills, a sense of self, and a capacity for social interactions. Nordoff and Robins both believed that all people, regardless of pathology, illness, disability, or trauma all have the ability to make music. Due to Robins' history with teaching children, this specific approach is well known for its work with children and adults who have learning disabilities or difficulties. </p><p><strong>Relaxation music therapy.</strong></p><p><a href="https://www.verywellmind.com/music-as-a-health-and-relaxation-aid-3145191" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Research</a> has proven music aids in muscle relaxation. This can enable you to easily release some of the tension in your body, and when you do this, your mind also relaxes. While this is particularly useful for adults, it can also be beneficial for children. Music can be used as stress relief when a child with autism begins to feel overwhelmed in a new situation. <a href="https://positivepsychology.com/music-therapy-activities-tools/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Positive Psychology</a> also explains that music therapy for children can also aid in offering a rhythmic structure for relaxation and breathing. </p><p><strong>Music therapy for children.</strong></p><p>What does music therapy look like for young children? Music therapy will vary based on each individual child's needs and abilities. For some, it can mean learning to play a musical instrument and for others, it can be singing or learning new activities through songs. <a href="https://positivepsychology.com/music-therapy-activities-tools/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Various music therapy activities and tools</a> can be used (discussed and decided upon by both parents and therapists) to help improve the quality of life of children with autism. </p>
The study sheds new light on the relationship between sleep and mental health.
- Poor sleep has been linked to many health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and a shortened lifespan.
- A new study suggests that poor sleep also impairs the brain's ability to suppress unwanted thoughts.
- The researchers suspect this is because not getting enough sleep disrupts the brain's executive control functions.
Study procedures and tasks.
Credit: Harrington et al.<p>The participants were shown faces in either a green or red frame. The green frame indicated "think," meaning the participants should try to remember the image associated with that particular face. In contrast, red meant "no think," make your mind go blank — and if a thought pops up, try to get rid of it.</p><p>Then one group slept for about eight hours, while the other didn't sleep at all. In the morning, both groups completed the think/no-think task. The sleep-deprived group was far less able to keep intrusive thoughts out of their minds, despite the fact that both groups performed equally well the night before in a mock think/no-think task.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Strikingly, the sleep-deprivation group suffered a proportional increase in intrusions of nearly 50% relative to the sleep group, revealing how deficient control may be a pathway to hyperaccessible thoughts," the researchers wrote.</p><p>As the experiment went along, both groups became increasingly successful at suppressing unwanted thoughts. But the sleep-deprived group was less successful. The results showed a similar effect on relapses of intrusive thoughts (which were prompted by showing the same visual cue multiple times during the experiment): Both groups became better at suppressing relapses over time, but the no-sleep group had a harder time blocking relapses.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"...sleep deprivation diminished the cumulative benefits of retrieval suppression for down-regulating subsequent intrusions," the researchers wrote. "Even after sleep-deprived participants initially gained control over unwanted memories and prevented them from intruding, they were consistently more susceptible to relapses when reminders were confronted again later compared with rested individuals."</p><p>In addition to having difficulty suppressing intrusive thoughts, the sleep-deprived group also seemed to be more negatively affected by those thoughts, based on subjective reports from the participants and skin-conductance responses recorded by the researchers.</p><p>Although the study didn't use brain imaging, the researchers noted that sleep deprivation may impair memory suppression by disrupting functional interactions between various parts of the brain, including "the [dorsolateral prefrontal cortex] (and possibly [medial prefrontal cortex]) and [medial temporal lobe] structures such as the hippocampus and amygdala during retrieval suppression, impairing inhibitory control over memory and affect, increasing intrusions, and decreasing affect suppression."</p>
A potentially vicious cycle<p>The findings could shed light on how poor sleep interacts with psychiatric conditions, including major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, and obsessive compulsive disorder, to name a few.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Insufficient sleep might increase memory intrusions while also nullifying the benefits of retrieval suppression for regulating affect," the researchers wrote. "The onset of intrusive thoughts and affective dysfunction following bouts of poor sleep could create a vicious cycle whereby upsetting intrusions and emotional distress exacerbate sleep problems, inhibiting the sleep needed to support recovery."</p><p>Fortunately, evidence suggests people can get better at suppressing intrusive thoughts. For example, a <a href="https://doi.apa.org/fulltext/2018-34715-001.html" target="_blank">2018 study</a> found that college students who reported having experienced high levels of trauma were better at suppressing unwanted thoughts compared to students who had led relatively trauma-free lives. </p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"...given proper training, individuals can learn to better manage intrusive experiences, and are broadly consistent with the view that moderate adversity can foster resilience later in life," wrote the researchers behind the 2018 study.</p><p>The team behind the recent study similarly noted that people with major depressive disorder might benefit from interventions where they learned strategies for suppressing unwanted thoughts.</p>
How to get better sleep<p>No matter your ability to suppress unwanted thoughts, getting good sleep (seven to eight hours for most adults) is one of the most consequential health decisions you can make. Harvard Medical School offers <a href="https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/8-tips-to-a-good-nights-sleep" target="_blank">eight tips</a> for getting better sleep:<br></p><ul><li>Exercise at some point during the day.</li><li>Reserve your bed for sleep and sex—not work or TV.</li><li>Keep the bedroom comfortable.</li><li>Start a sleep ritual.</li><li>Have a bedtime snack—but not too much.</li><li>Avoid alcohol and chocolate before bed.</li><li>Wind down before going to bed.</li><li>See your doctor about what's keeping you up at night.</li></ul>
"Interacting" with nature through virtual reality applications had especially strong benefits, according to the study.
- Previous studies have shown that spending time in nature can lead to a variety of mental and physical health benefits.
- The new study involved exposing people to a high-definition nature program through one of three mediums: TV, VR and interactive VR.
- The results suggest that nature programs may be an easy and effective way to give people a "dose" of nature, which may be especially helpful during pandemic lockdowns.
Credit: Yeo et al.<p>The results showed that watching the nature program under all three conditions lowered negative affect, including emotions like boredom and sadness. But only the group who experienced the program in interactive VR reported a boost in mood, and feelings of being more connected to nature.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Our results show that simply watching nature on TV can help to lift people's mood and combat boredom," lead researcher Nicky Yeo <a href="https://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/research/title_821333_en.html" target="_blank">told</a> University of Exeter News. "With people around the world facing limited access to outdoor environments because of COVID-19 quarantines, this study suggests that nature programmes might offer an accessible way for populations to benefit from a 'dose' of digital nature."</p>
Helping those without access to nature<p>"Dose" is probably a keyword: The researchers didn't compare the benefits of experiencing nature via TV or VR to experiencing it in person. But even beyond the pandemic, the findings suggest that experiencing nature via virtual reality could help people improve their mental wellbeing — a tool that could prove especially useful for people who don't live near natural environments.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Virtual reality could help us to boost the wellbeing of people who can't readily access the natural world, such as those in hospital or in long term care," co-author Mathew White told University of Exeter News. "But it might also help to encourage a deeper connection to nature in healthy populations, a mechanism which can foster more pro-environmental behaviours and prompt people to protect and preserve nature in the real world."</p>
New research pinpoints the neurons responsible for your choices.
- Researchers at the University Hospital Bonn linked confidence in decision-making to neurons in the medial temporal lobe.
- Learned memories appear to instill confidence in many of the decisions you make.
- The team believes identifying these individual neurons opens up new areas of research moving forward.
Here are 5 ways to make your workplace better and your workforce happier.
- "Productivity of work isn't the responsibility of a worker yet of a manager," said famed management consultant Peter Drucker.
- Psychology tells us again and again that emotionally intelligent leadership, which recognizes the humanity in others, is a driving force of productivity.
- Here are 5 simple but effective ways to increase performance and make a positive impact in your workplace.