Arts-Based Activities Boost Emotion Regulation, Study Finds

We all know from life experience that creative expression makes us feel good. Now, a new study reaffirms that arts-based activities boost positive emotions and reduce negativity.

Infant Gut Microbiome May Influence Cognitive Development

In the past month, two pioneering human studies have revealed fresh clues on how various colonies of gut microbiome influence brain function and cognitive development.

Will Social Prescribing Be the Next Wellness Phenomenon?

"Social prescribing" is a relatively new non-medical approach to psychological, physical, and financial well-being that has the potential to dramatically improve people's lives.

Small Acts of Generous Behavior Can Make Your Brain Happier

New research shows that very small amounts of generosity can affect you on a neurobiological level.

New Study Links PTSD with More Gray Matter in Right Amygdala

Last year, scientists found that specific regions within the amygdala process positive or negative emotions. Now, a new study finds that PTSD is linked to a larger right amygdala.

Anxiety Is Now Public Enemy No. 1

Anxiety has become a nationwide epidemic that is creating a public health crisis. The good news is that there are drug-free ways to lower your anxiety by engaging your vagus nerve.

At Wimbledon, Grunts May Separate Winners from Losers

Two new studies reaffirm that speaking (or grunting) in a lower pitch voice can make you appear less submissive in daily life and help you perform better in sporting competitions.

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Helps Treatment-Resistant Depression

A 5-year study reports that vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) significantly improved treatment-resistant depression outcomes when compared to the treatment-as-usual arm of the study.

New Research Explains Why Some of Us Really Hate to Exercise

A new study suggests that shifting rigid mindsets and stereotypes about what it means to be "athletic" may be the secret to making moderate-intensity exercise actually feel good.

Gut Microbiota May Influence Mood and Behavior, Study Finds

A pioneering new study identifies a correlation between various types of gut bacteria, differences in brain structure, and someone's response to negative emotional stimuli.

Hunter-gatherer Ancestry May Be Why Our Brains Need Exercise

A radical new evolutionary neuroscience theory may explain how our hunter-gatherer ancestors inadvertently hardwired our modern day brains to thrive on everyday physical activity.

Are Smartphones Making Us Stupid?

A new study reports that the mere sight of one's own smartphone—even if the phone is turned off and face down—can create "brain drain" by depleting finite cognitive resources.

Decoding the Complex Brain Mechanics of Altruism and Empathy

A new study by a team of neuroscientists from Duke and Stanford University debunks the myth that a singular brain region is responsible for making decisions that affect others.

Heat Wave Temperatures Make It Tougher to Do the Right Thing

As millions of people endure record-breaking heat waves, a new study reminds us of the psychological impact high temperatures can have on prosocial behaviors.

A Diverse Spectrum of Positive Emotions Reduces Inflammation

Experiencing a wide range of daily positive emotions such as being calm, cheerful, enthusiastic, excited, inspired, etc. can reduce systemic inflammation, according to a new study.

Mind-Body Practices Downregulate Inflammation-Related Genes

A new systematic review of research on mind-body interventions reports that practices such as meditation or yoga can downregulate the genetic expression of inflammatory cytokines.

Decreasing Self-Centeredness May Also Help Reduce Loneliness

A study published today by John Cacioppo and colleagues reports that self-centeredness and perceived social isolation feed off one another as part of a reciprocal feedback loop.

"Little Brain" Plays Surprisingly Big Role in Mental Health

First-of-its-kind research has discovered that the cerebellum (Latin for "little brain") plays a significant—and previously unrecognized—role in a wide range of mental disorders.

New Research Explains Why Overthinking Can Hinder Creativity

A growing body of research helps to explain why "unclamping" the rigid intellectual machinery and executive function of your prefrontal cortex facilitates creativity.

Paying It Forward: Generativity and Your Vagus Nerve

Scientific research suggests that if each of us made an effort to improve our "vagal tone" that we could create an upward spiral that would make the world a better place.

The Psychophysiology of Flow and Your Vagus Nerve

New research offers fresh clues about the psychology and physiological components that come together to create what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi famously describes as a state "flow."

Kindness Towards Oneself and Others Tones Your Vagus Nerve

Having compassion towards yourself and others is the key to creating an "upward spiral" of well-being as marked by healthier vagal tone in your vagus nerve.

Awe Engages Your Vagus Nerve and Can Combat Narcissism

Recent research shows that experiencing a sense of awe promotes the "small self" and can combat narcissism by activating the parasympathetic vagal response to "tend-and-befriend."

Gutsy Third Person Self-Talk Utilizes Your Vagus Nerve

Excessive first person "self-talk" can increase egocentric bias. That said, using "non-first-person" pronouns and your own name has been found to promote healthy self-distancing.

Narrative Expressive Journaling Could Help Your Vagus Nerve

A new study found that "narrative expressive journaling" (in which you create a storyline with self-distancing) reduces stress better than extremely emotional "expressive writing."

Face-to-Face Connectedness, Oxytocin, and Your Vagus Nerve

A new study reports that oxytocin "love hormone" levels surge during a romantic crisis. These findings reaffirm a link between the vagus nerve and our need to "tend-and-befriend."

Tonic Levels of Physical Activity Stimulate Your Vagus Nerve

Moderate physical activity is a guaranteed way to engage your vagus nerve and create a "relaxation response" that counters the panic and anxiety of fight-or-flight responses.

Diaphragmatic Breathing Exercises and Your Vagus Nerve

Diaphragmatic breathing is one of the easiest ways to engage your vagus nerve and create a "relaxation response" that counters the panic and anxiety of fight-or-flight responses.

A Vagus Nerve Survival Guide to Combat Fight-or-Flight Urges

The vagus nerve's ability to lower stress and reduce inflammation has been underutilized for too long. This post offers nine easy "vagal maneuvers" to stimulate your vagus nerve.

Exercise Researchers Find "More Is Better" Mindset Overrated

A new study reports that you don't have to spend hours at the gym—or even break a sweat—to reap psychological benefits from small doses of low intensity, easy physical activity.

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