What’s the #1 Thing Stressed Out Kids Need to Feel Better? (Infographic)

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H/T Stress BetterTake a look at this revealing infographic based on a survey of almost 1000, 9-13 year-olds about both what stresses them out and what they do to de-stress.  I'll have a few comments below.  To highlight a few points, I thought it was striking that only 22% of kids talk to their parents about their stress but 75% would like to be able to rely on their parents more to help them cope.  In my experience, we parents are too tempted to think "the kids are … [Read more...]

Neuroscience Proves “Perfect Love Casts Out Fear.”

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There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear (1 Jn. 4:18).Perfect love may remove all fear, but a new study of the brain finds that even the hint of love is enough to begin to calm the fearful brain.Being shown pictures of others being loved and cared for reduces the brain's response to threat, new research has found. The study discovered that when individuals are briefly presented pictures of others receiving emotional support and affection, the brain's threat monitor, the … [Read more...]

All Shook Up: “Therapy Better than Meds for Overcoming Anxiety.” Says Major Study

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About a week-and-a-half ago, I taped a series on Women of Grace with Johnnette Benkovic on anxiety and my book, God Help Me, This Stress Is Driving Me Crazy!  Finding Balance through God's  Grace.  At the time, I asserted that while most people only receive medication by way of treatment for anxiety disorders, medication is simply less effective than therapy.  On the show, I said that anyone who has an anxiety disorder and is not receiving therapy is not receiving the best standard of care and ma … [Read more...]

Belief Beats Genes: Study Reveals Shocking Truth About Reaching Your Goals

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Simply telling people that hard work is more important than genetics causes positive changes in the brain and may make them willing to try harder, a study shows. "Giving people messages that encourage learning and motivation may promote more efficient performance," said the lead investigator. "In contrast, telling people that intelligence is genetically fixed may inadvertently hamper learning." Telling people...that hard work trumps genes causes instant changes in the brain and may make them … [Read more...]

Effective Coping for Emotional Distress

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Earlier today I offered some reflections on what people-of-faith need to know about depression.  I promised that I'd offer some additional thoughts on effective coping for emotional distress.Effective coping strategies enable a person to gather their psychological, emotional, spiritual, and relational resources so that they can respond to the problems they are facing.  By contrast, ineffective coping strategies simply allow a person to escape, withdraw, or numb themselves for a time, but w … [Read more...]

The Gates of Hell Will Not Prevail Against You: Mental Health, Medication, Healing, and Holy Week

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One of the most liberating teachings of our Catholic faith is the idea that suffering--though undesirable and not part of God's original plan--is an inescapable part of living in a fallen world.  That might not sound terrifically liberating on the face of it.  Who wants to suffer?  No one, of course.  But although life is filled with trials and problems, much of the suffering we endure is brought on by the idea that suffering itself means that there is something wrong with us.  As a culture, … [Read more...]

Inconsistent Home Life/Common Family Problems May Increase Risk of Brain Disorders by Up To 60%

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Because parents don't have enough to worry about, two new studies point to the impact of a child's home life on brain development.The first study looks at how common family problems like lack of affection, poor communication, parental arguments and the like actually resulted in children developing a smaller cerebellum than children who did not experience the same type of common family problems.The study led by Dr Nicholas Walsh, lecturer in developmental psychology at the … [Read more...]

Double-Blind Study Shows Lavender Oil Capsules As Effective as Lorazepam (Ativan) for Treating Anxiety

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This is fascinating.  In doing some research for a client with generalized anxiety disorder, I found this double-blind, placebo-control study on the effectiveness of lavender oil capsules (silexan) for treating anxiety.  Remarkably, the study appears to show that the lavender oil capsules were as effective as lorazepam (Ativan) AND it had no side effects or potential for abuse.  Additionally,  participants experienced relief from their anxiety without any drowsiness.  Here is an excerpt from the … [Read more...]


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