3 things you already have in your house that are good for your mental health

You can incorporate these science-backed activities into your evening routine tonight.

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

It's getting dark earlier now, as we head towards the crisp snap of November air. Days at work, as a result, can feel longer: You're leaving the office and it's already nearly nighttime. Those who suffer from seasonal affective disorder begin to experience the effects during the fall, according to the Mayo Clinic. And even if you don't have SAD, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed this time of year, as we begin to think about the holidays ahead. Luckily, science shows us that there are things we can do right in our own homes to increase our happiness and well-being.

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Musical training improves vision, researchers say

Over 67,000 trials by the Color Guard can't be wrong.

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 11: Drummers march during a Sunset Ceremony at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park on November 11, 2018 in Wellington, New Zealand. Armistice Day 2018 marks the centenary anniversary of the Armistice that ended the First World War. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)
  • Drummers and brass players have stronger visual timing sensitivity than flag spinners in the Color Guard.
  • The three groups took part in over 67,000 temporal order judgment (TOJ) trials.
  • The finding, while counterintuitive, fits into the complex nature of sensory perception.
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Too much Christmas music can damage your mental health

Did you know? Looped music has been used a means of torture.

(Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
  • It's that time of year again, when we start hearing Christmas music at every store we go to.
  • Studies show that hearing Christmas songs too many times increases stress.
  • Maybe wait a few weeks before you start playing "Frosty The Snowman" everywhere you go, if you value your sanity.
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10 people who got famous from the grave

Really puts the whole "don't give up until you're dead" thing to shame.

Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette, by Van Gogh
  • It's been said that "You can be a king or a street sweeper, but everybody dances with the grim reaper."
  • These ten folks made huge advances in their field... but never lived long enough to see the fruits of their labors.
  • Can you think of someone alive today who might make the list in the future?
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Carl Sagan on why he liked smoking marijuana

Carl Sagan liked to smoke weed. His essay on why is fascinating.

Photo: Photo by Robert Nelson on Unsplash / Big Think
  • Carl Sagan was a life long marijuana user and closeted advocate of legalization.
  • He once wrote an anonymous essay on the effects it had on his life and why he felt it should be legalized.
  • His insights will be vital as many societies begin to legalize marijuana.
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