Think Positive: Proven Tools for Lifting Out of a Bad Mood
Broad Minded Affective Coping technique is one of many tools for coping with low mood. Affirmations and mindfulness help too.
It might seem in the midst of a bad mood that there’s not much you can do to change it. You feel lousy and the last happy moment you had is hardly at the forefront of your mind. But new research suggests that dwelling on a positive memory can help create feelings of contentment in the present moment, so it might be worth trying to dredge up those pleasant memories of your last trip to the beach.
More specifically, a group of researchers guided participants through an activity called the “social Broad Minded Affective Coping technique” or BMAC. The BMAC method encourages participants to focus on a positive image from a past social experience. According to the study, those who used the BMAC experience saw higher levels of relaxation and feelings of social safety when compared to the control group.
If this study sounds familiar, you might not be surprised to hear that it shares a lot of similarities with pop psychology books of today, such as Rick Hanson’s Hardwiring Happiness where Hanson discusses how savoring positive sensations and memories is a key to long-lasting calm and contentment. But, while the topic has been written on before, now there is more and more research reinforcing the connection between cultivating positivity and overall mood.
Another proven tool to lift out of a bad mood is the practice of repeating affirmations. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University found that stress impairs our ability to solve problems. But when we tell ourselves affirmations, in this case thinking about something important to our values, we do much better at problem solving in high-pressure performance situations.
A third proven technique for changing mood from the blues to a brighter place is Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, or MBCT. MBCT is a group-based therapy method that helps participants change how they think and feel about experiences. Individuals who used the treatment were less likely than a control group to relapse into clinical depression when compared to the control group.
As with all studies, results are hard to generalize, and each individual should talk to his or her doctor about any mood issues they are experiencing. But there’s new research popping up all the time about what techniques are most promising when it comes to being just a little bit happier.
What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.
- Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
- Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
- Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
Torn between absolutism on the left and the right, classical liberalism—with its core values of compassion and incremental progress whereby the once-radical becomes the mainstream—is in need of a good defense. And Adam Gopnik is its lawyer.
- Liberalism as "radical pragmatism"
- Intersectionality and civic discourse
- How "a thousand small sanities" tackled drunk driving, normalized gay marriage, and could control gun violence
Irish president believes students need philosophy.
- President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins calls for students to be thought of as more than tools made to be useful.
- Higgins believes that philosophy and history should be a basic requirement forming a core education.
- The Irish Young Philosopher Awards is one such event that is celebrating this discipline among the youth.
The lost practice of face-to-face communication has made the world a more extreme place.
- The world was saner when we spoke face-to-face, argues John Cameron Mitchell. Not looking someone in the eye when you talk to them raises the potential for miscommunication and conflict.
- Social media has been an incredible force for activism and human rights, but it's also negatively affected our relationship with the media. We are now bombarded 24/7 with news that either drives us to anger or apathy.
- Sitting behind a screen makes polarization worse, and polarization is fertile ground for conspiracy theories and fascism, which Cameron describes as irrationally blaming someone else for your problems.
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