Psychology Around the Net: April 11, 2020

This week’s Psychology Around the Net provides tips for starting mental health care at home, shares research regarding optimism and living a longer life, takes a look at how resilient people cope, and more.

Be well, friends!

Tips for Starting Or Continuing Mental Health Care From Home: Based on a recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than four out of five adults say that the coronavirus pandemic has negatively affected their mental health. With telecommuting (or unemployment), home schooling, and running out of places to get some “me” time, we have a lot on our plates — and seeking mental health care to cope with it all is difficult with stay-at-home orders or loss of income or health insurance. Rather than letting your mental health take a back seat, get some ideas on how to get help at home.

3 Rituals to Help You and Your Family Navigate the Pandemic: Peg Streep explains the benefits of adopting some new-to-you rituals during the coronavirus pandemic and offers three suggestions you can state incorporating into your daily life right now.

Optimism Identified As a Potential Predictor of a Longer Life: When studying long life spans, most research focuses on biological factors, but this 30-year-old study suggests nongenetic factors and psychosocial assets like optimism can contribute to living until an old age, too. Over the course of 10 and 30 years, 70,000 men and women answered questions about their overall health and lifestyle habits regarding eating, drinking, and smoking as well as questions about sociodemographics and finally, their outlook on life. The results suggest people with higher levels of optimism tend to live longer when compared to pessimistic people, and although there were some limitations to the study (the majority of participants were white with higher socioeconomic status than the general public) the results do suggest we can use optimism as a psychological tool.

Glass Half Full: How Resilient People Cope: “Say things unsaid / Bake wholesome bread / Clear well your head / Savor books unread…” Jessica Loftus shares with us how her patients taught her to “How to Cope Instead.”

7 Ways to Boost Mental Health for Entrepreneurs: If you’re in a relationship with an entrepreneur, you know that entrepreneurship can take a toll on everyone’s mental health. San Francisco-based therapist Lisa Andresen, who focuses on helping entrepreneurs and their loved ones, talks about keeping your sense of self intact, effectively communicating your experiences, spotting the warning signs of guilt, hopelessness, and doom, and more.

The Loneliness of the “Social Distancer” Triggers Brain Cravings Akin to Hunger: Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology released a study that shows both hunger and loneliness share signals in a part of the brain that handles impulses for motivation and reward, suggesting our need to connect with others is as basic and fundamental as our need to eat.

Photo by manu schwendener on Unsplash.

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