This week’s Psychology Around the Net covers the importance of protecting your mental health while still practicing social distance, how gratitude interventions aren’t the best for helping with anxiety and depression symptoms, our children’s takeaways regarding COVID-19, and more.
Also, in case you haven’t seen it! We’re celebrating 25 years of Psych Central! 25 Fabulous Years of Psych Central: An Interview with Founder & CEO John Grohol.
Does Personality Affect the Composition of the Gut Microbiome? New research involving questionnaires and fecal samples suggests our personality traits may predict the composition and diversity of our gut microbiome. Findings from this and other related studies could help us develop prebiotic and probiotic therapies for improving mood and treating conditions like anxiety and depression.
Protect Your Mental Health While Practicing Social Distancing: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has made social distancing extremely important right now; however, people with certain mental illnesses — such as depression — already tend to feel pretty isolated as it is. Additionally, staying home from school or work can also throw a major wrench in previously structured days, which can fuel feelings of depression and negative, anxious thoughts.
Gratitude Interventions Don’t Help With Depression, Anxiety: During a gratitude intervention a person does something that is supposed to make him aware of something or somethings for which he should feel grateful; for example, a common gratitude intervention is the “Three Good Things” exercise that has a person list three things that went well for him that day and reflect on them. While there are many who tout the mental health benefits of practicing gratitude interventions, a new study from The Ohio State University finds that when it comes to lessening depression and anxiety symptoms, gratitude interventions had “limited” benefits at best. The researchers note that gratitude interventions do have value — such as with improving relationships. Says the study’s lead author David Cregg: “The problem is when we try to turn gratefulness into a self-help tool. Gratitude can’t fix everything.”
The Coronavirus: What Are Our Children’s Takeaways? What must we teach our kids to help them find a balance between “it’s no worse than the flu” and “I’M NEVER LEAVING THE HOUSE!”?
A Clinical Psychologist Explains the 60-Second Approach to Managing Your Emotions: Dr. Amelia Aldao, a therapist and the founder of Together CBT in New York City, has spent more than 10 years studying how we can better regulate our emotions. Quite simply, wait 60 seconds before you react. Says Dr. Aldao: “That’s it; simple as that: Just wait. Hit the pause button. Don’t do anything,” she writes. “In particular, don’t follow what the emotion is telling you to do: Don’t send that angry text, don’t decline the invitation to present at work, don’t tell your potential date you’re too busy this week, don’t send that passive-aggressive email to your boss. Just don’t.”
How Narcissists Use Silent Treatment for Manipulation: Ever been on the receiving end of the silent treatment? How did it make you feel? Probably confused, ashamed, and stressed — which is exactly how the narcissist who cast the silent treatment wanted you to feel.