October 31, 2011
I have to admit that though I receive The American Psychologist (the main journal of the APA) monthly, I rarely get through more than one article per issue because the articles are so dense. This month, there was a great article about Lifestyle and Mental Health. What I loved about this article is that there was nothing all that radical in it; it simply listed dozens and dozens of published articles that support the association between improved mental and physical health with exercise, nutrition and diet, time in nature, relationships, recreation, relaxation and stress management, religious or spiritual involvement and service to others.
These “lifestyle” issues are all things that I have been talking about with my patients in therapy for years. This article simply provides a wonderful review of the scientific literature that supports these lifestyle changes. Take a moment and read through the article. Hopefully it’ll inspire you to make a few lifestyle changes of your own.
April 4, 2011
Some recent research indicates that though there are some notable cognitive declines (primarily in memory and processing speed) following early adulthood, the impact of these declines are not all that significant. We often harshly judge our our memory skills and do so in a manner that is simply not very accurate. In fact, some studies are suggesting that despite these memory slips and cognitive slowing, our critical thinking, judgment and decision making improve so significantly with age (and experience) that it compensates for the cognitive losses. An example given was a study that compared reaction times of young pilots to more senior pilots: the younger pilots responded more quickly in simulation practices, but the senior pilots crashed less often.