A bad case of the Mondays -- anyone feelin’ me right now?
Everyone gets a little grumpy or irritable sometimes. But a downer mood swing that keeps on swinging, may be a signal of a bigger problem.
The good news is, healthy habits can help.
This week’s edition of The Stack hones in on what helps make us happy.
Learn about the wonders of what pets do for our well-being, the power of the mind, and how to get the best out of your screen time.
More evidence that pets benefit mental health
Medical News Today previously presented an extensive review proving that pets bring emotional comfort and psychological benefits. In fact, pets should be part of the patient care plan for people suffering from mental health issues.
New research from the American Educational Research Association journal, adds more credibility to these claims.
- Scientists recruited 249 college students and divided them into four groups:
- People free to spend time with cats and dogs for 10 minutes, stroking and playing with the animals
- A group observing the first one, interacting with the animals while waiting their turn
- A group that watched a slideshow of the animals
- The final group who sat and waited in silence
- Samples of saliva were collected to test cortisol (a major stress hormone) in the morning and after the intervention.
- The students who interacted with the animals had significantly lower cortisol after the intervention, regardless of whether the participants’ initial cortisol levels were high or low to begin with.
Do antidepressants work better than placebo?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in eight people take antidepressants. But controversy exists around how well they work.
Medical News Today featured a study that, in its original original analysis, concluded that antidepressants were more effective than placebos. However, after receiving critique for its validity, a new study in BMJ Open, reanalyzed the information.
- Dr. Monkholm and his team found that the original researchers deviated from set guidelines, did not adequately address publication bias, and included only a small sample size considering the number of studies conducted.
- The evidence did not support definitive conclusions regarding the efficacy of antidepressants for depression in adults.
- Although authors do not claim that antidepressants do not work, they conclude that the evidence is still not strong enough and request a longer, more rigorous study.
Social media vs. video games: not all screen time is equal
- The study examined over 4,000 teenagers who self-reported a variety of information including screen time usage and depression over a four-year period.
- To test how different activities affect well-being, the researchers divided screen time into four distinct categories: television, social media, video games, and other activities on the computer.
- Those who spent long hours on social media or watching TV were more likely to be depressed but video game playing was not associated with increased risk of depression.
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Natural Stacks habitué
Vanessa is a strong female working in finance. She’s been pretty healthy all of her life but after a very difficult time, she promised that she would always put her health first -- Vanessa bravely opened up about her mom passing away from pancreatic cancer.
In addition to working out four to five days a week and loving her pilates classes, she did a lot of research on well-being:
“I've been doing a lot of research and reading a lot of books and have learned that the gut and brain are connected. You need to heal your gut in order to keep the brain healthy as well.”
“I agree that the gut and brain are connected. If we keep the gut healthy the brain will be, too.”
Natural Stacks BrainBiotic™ Brain Health Probiotics also helped Vanessa eliminate brain fog and give her energy and mental focus.
“I feel as if it has helped any gut issues I’ve been experiencing.”
BrainBiotic™ Brain Health Probiotics helps optimize the gut-brain connection to benefit your mood, memory, and brain health.
With BrainBiotic and a healthy gut you can improve your cognitive function at any stage of your life.
What else we're Stacking…
High blood pressure: Could gut bacteria play a role? [Medical News Today]
Neuroscientists discover neuron type that acts as brain's metronome [Science Daily]
New clues on why women's Alzheimer's risk differs from men's [NBC News]
Study introduces 'the Big Bang Theory of migraine' [Medical News Today]
Scientists stimulate neurons to induce particular perceptions in mice's minds [Science Daily]
Protect yourself from emotional contagion [Psychology Today]
“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.” – Abraham Lincoln
Have a fantastic Monday (oxymoron?),