There are many temptations to organize our life around the experience of earlier trauma. But that may short-change the future—which starts by our envisioning something better.
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Sweat and the biology of bliss
Doing an eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program has lots of benefits, but it may not change your brain in ways you've been told.
New research sheds light on how too much exercise overstimulates the nervous system and inhibits the vagus nerve's ability to counteract fight-or-flight stress responses.
Music makes hard workouts seem easier. But what's the best way to curate a personalized "Awesome Mix" that inspires you to push a bit harder? This post gives 8 road-tested tips.
New research explains why it's so hard for joggers to lose weight without running faster than the energy-saving pace that evolution baked into our biology, one that conserves calories.
New research pinpoints how pleasant touch sensations travel from skin to brain via the spine—a pathway that promotes parent-child bonding.
Changes in pupil size reflect someone's ability to picture vivid mental images in their mind's eye using visual imagination, a new study finds.
A new study finds that living near green spaces such as city parks or community gardens makes people less depressed and improves cognitive function.
Modesty makes people seem like cooperative "team players." But when people want someone with a competitive edge to join their team, displaying too much modesty can be a liability.
New research suggests that actively pursuing flow states during periods of social isolation may be a way to reduce loneliness.
Unlike traditional antidepressants, new fMRI studies show how psilocybin "opens up" the depressed brain by making neural networks more fluid and dissolving rigid thinking patterns.
New fMRI research suggests that Henry David Thoreau was onto something in the mid-1800s when he speculated that well-worn "pathways in the mind" create ruts that stifle creativity.
On its own, aerobic exercise helps depression. New research suggests that doing a cardio workout before an online cognitive behavioral therapy session turbocharges the therapy's efficacy.
The amygdala has become synonymous with fear. However, new research points to a previously underexplored fear pathway as a possible way to treat anxiety disorders and PTSD.
Swearing can be hurtful. But when it's done in a humorous way, new research suggests that repeating a swear word that seems funny in the moment can boost strength and stamina.
The cerebellum coordinates survival responses. It helps us escape danger by taking flight or freezing in place. But if the cerebellum malfunctions, freeze responses last too long.
Long COVID triggers a hyperinflammatory state. Accumulating evidence suggests that exercise induces the release of anti-inflammatory factors that may offset Long COVID symptoms.
Optimism isn't a panacea. If you're already stressed out, optimism isn't a remedy. But a 20-year study found that optimists minimize daily stress by nipping it in the bud early on.
Being with other people promotes happiness if it's done by choice. But spending time with others when it's not by choice is a recipe for unhappiness, a news study reports.
New brain imaging research shows how looking at nostalgic photos that evoke happy memories alleviates low-intensity pain.
New research identifies how the quick fixes we use to cope with insomnia often backfire and make sleep issues worse.
The "pet effect" is known to lower stress, improve mood, and boost longevity. A new study reports that long-term pet owners also have slower cognitive decline in older age.
"Remembrance of things past" gets harder in late adulthood. The good news is that cardio workouts can keep your memory strong if you start by age 55.
Cluttered minds aren't always scatterbrained. New research suggests that fluid whole-brain connectivity streamlines jam-packed, cluttered minds in ways that make us more creative.
Life experience creates lots of random memories. As we get older, this accumulation can make it harder to recall small details but may also promote creativity.
Creative thinking involves connecting the dots between seemingly unrelated ideas. New fMRI-based research shows how robust brain connectivity can promote real-life creativity.
Anecdotally, we know that one-star reviews undermine consumer confidence. New research reaffirms the dramatic power of phony customer complaints to sway people's perceptions.
Accumulating evidence suggests that fluid movements and fluid thinking both rely on robust connectivity between the cerebrum and cerebellum.
"Breakthrough" vagus nerve stimulation devices could offer new hope for people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who haven't responded well to traditional treatments.
Eastern philosophy and quantum physics shed light on why striving to win at all costs often backfires. Counterintuitively, the secret to success may be trying less hard to succeed.
Staying physically active preserves synaptic integrity and helps to offset age-related cognitive decline, a new study reports.
Christopher Bergland is a retired ultra-endurance athlete turned science writer, public health advocate, and promoter of cerebellum ("little brain") optimization.