“I am very on board with tired Simon and Baz, especially since it makes sense- high school is bad enough without running around and fighting evil robots. I mean, they have to do homework, and then a dragon attacks them, so they have to kill it, and then they have to suppress their emotions- it’s very energy-consuming.”

- wordmage-girl 

Perfect description of life at Watford? yes or yes? 

Do you really want to live in a country where one party is so desperate to win the White House that they go around trying to make it harder for people to vote if they’re people of color, poor people or first generation immigrants?
—  Bill Clinton, quoted by The Nation, speaking to Arkansas Democrats on GOP efforts to pass voter ID laws.
New Study Suggests a Better Way to Deal with Bad Memories

What’s one of your worst memories? How did it make you feel? According to psychologists, remembering the emotions felt during a negative personal experience, such as how sad you were or how embarrassed you felt, can lead to emotional distress, especially when you can’t stop thinking about it. 

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(Image: iStockphoto)

When these negative memories creep up, thinking about the context of the memories, rather than how you felt, is a relatively easy and effective way to alleviate the negative effects of these memories, a new study suggests.

Researchers at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois, led by psychology professor Florin Dolcos of the Cognitive Neuroscience Group, studied the behavioral and neural mechanisms of focusing away from emotion during recollection of personal emotional memories, and found that thinking about the contextual elements of the memories significantly reduced their emotional impact.

“Sometimes we dwell on how sad, embarrassed, or hurt we felt during an event, and that makes us feel worse and worse. This is what happens in clinical depression—ruminating on the negative aspects of a memory,” Dolcos said. “But we found that instead of thinking about your emotions during a negative memory, looking away from the worst emotions and thinking about the context, like a friend who was there, what the weather was like, or anything else non-emotional that was part of the memory, will rather effortlessly take your mind away from the unwanted emotions associated with that memory. Once you immerse yourself in other details, your mind will wander to something else entirely, and you won’t be focused on the negative emotions as much.”

This simple strategy, the study suggests, is a promising alternative to other emotion-regulation strategies, like suppression or reappraisal. 

“Suppression is bottling up your emotions, trying to put them away in a box. This is a strategy that can be effective in the short term, but in the long run, it increases anxiety and depression,” explains Sanda Dolcos, co-author on the study and postdoctoral research associate at the Beckman Institute and in the Department of Psychology. 

“Another otherwise effective emotion regulation strategy, reappraisal, or looking at the situation differently to see the glass half full, can be cognitively demanding. The strategy of focusing on non-emotional contextual details of a memory, on the other hand, is as simple as shifting the focus in the mental movie of your memories and then letting your mind wander.”

Not only does this strategy allow for effective short-term emotion regulation, but it has the possibility of lessening the severity of a negative memory with prolonged use.

In the study, participants were asked to share their most emotional negative and positive memories, such as the birth of a child, winning an award, or failing an exam, explained Sanda Dolcos. Several weeks later participants were given cues that would trigger their memories while their brains were being scanned using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Before each memory cue, the participants were asked to remember each event by focusing on either the emotion surrounding the event or the context. For example, if the cue triggered a memory of a close friend’s funeral, thinking about the emotional context could consist of remembering your grief during the event. If you were asked to remember contextual elements, you might instead remember what outfit you wore or what you ate that day.

“Neurologically, we wanted to know what happened in the brain when people were using this simple emotion-regulation strategy to deal with negative memories or enhance the impact of positive memories,” explained Ekaterina Denkova, first author of the report. “One thing we found is that when participants were focused on the context of the event, brain regions involved in basic emotion processing were working together with emotion control regions in order to, in the end, reduce the emotional impact of these memories.” 

Using this strategy promotes healthy functioning not only by reducing the negative impact of remembering unwanted memories, but also by increasing the positive impact of cherished memories, Florin Dolcos said. 

In the future, the researchers hope to determine if this strategy is effective in lessening the severity of negative memories over the long term. They also hope to work with clinically depressed or anxious participants to see if this strategy is effective in alleviating these psychiatric conditions. 

These results were published in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.

I’m angry. I am. I tried to push it away for as long as I could, but I am tired of suppressing my emotions to try and appease you. I am fucking angry. And I have every goddamn right to be.
—  Someone who’s had fucking enough

When J.F. Sargent’s not an Anger Balrog of fury, he’s still got plenty of self-analysis ahead of him.

6 Weird Things Everyone Misunderstands About Anger

#6. The Difference Between Letting Go of Anger and Suppressing It Isn’t Clear

The idea is that you’re supposed to let go of the things that you can’t control and fight to control the things you can — only that’s insane, because most stuff doesn’t clearly fall into one of those categories. What if you hate your job? What if you hate where you live? What if your cat won’t stop meowing? You have to do a lot of investigating and careful thinking to figure out if those are problems that you can actually fix or if they’re issues you just have to accept — and that’s damn near impossible when you’re angry. So the real prerequisite to all this anger advice is that you need to learn to control your anger — but what’s the difference between that and suppressing it?

Read More

8 Healthy & Natural (& Vegetarian) Appetite Suppressants for y’all when you’re feeling that hunger.

  1. Raw Almonds - high in protein
  2. Cayenne Pepper - metabolism booster
  3. Coffee - metabolism booster
  4. Wasabi - metabolism booster
  5. Eggs - protein packed
  6. Chia Seeds - protein packed
  7. Hot sauce - metabolism booster
  8. Water - no calories and hydration ohhhh

Republicans have failed policies and a shrinking voter base.

They legislate for the top 1% of Americans and their wealth retainment, willfully neglecting the middles classes, the vulnerable, the young, the old, the gay, the immigrants, and the non-white. 

I post this as satire, but it might as well be ripped from the GOP playbook.

As a social worker and clinician working with “the seriously mentally ill” for many years, I never came upon someone who didn’t have fairly severe traumas in their histories. Yes, I can say those who I encountered who were in that particular labeled segment had a solid 100% rate of trauma in their histories. Mental illness in large part is a reaction to trauma.

It’s quite simple really. When we start listening to people’s stories of pain rather than numbing them out and effectively silencing them with neurotoxic drugs we will start healing them. Until then people will remain broken. One of the most basic needs for a wounded human being to heal is to be seen. Recognized. Validated. Yes.

Without appropriate care and integration trauma changes both our bodies and minds for many years and sometimes for our entire lives. Right now the mental health system knows virtually nothing about how to care for people who have been traumatized and in fact often traumatizes them further. It’s downright dangerous to subject a traumatized person to most social services. This is a tragedy that has to end.

—  Monica Cassani, What Happened to You?
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