SOTT FOCUS: Psychologists Explain How To Stop Overthinking Everything

Thinking about something in endless circles — is exhausting. While everyone overthinks a few things once in a while, chronic over-thinkers spend most of their waking time ruminating, which puts pressure on themselves. They then mistake that pressure to be stress. "There are people who have levels of overthinking that are just pathological," says clinical psychologist Catherine Pittman, an associate professor in the psychology department at Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana. "But the average person also just tends to overthink things." Pittman is also the author of "Rewire Your Anxious Brain: How to Use the Neuroscience of Fear to End Anxiety, Panic, and Worry." Overthinking can take many forms: endlessly deliberating when making a decision (and then questioning the decision), attempting to read minds, trying to predict the future, reading into the smallest of details, etc. People who...

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If memory serves, can it be trained? A new study offers hope

The age of information is reshaping our recall capacities, but does delegating mental responsibilities to devices work for us, or against us? Researchers say the answer is both If there is one thing that all human beings seem to have in common, it is the fear of losing their memories. After all, memory shapes our personality, determines how we see ourselves, and contributes to shared experiences on multiple levels. Losing one's memory is akin to losing an entire life history. The 21st century offers various technologies that keep us from forgetting the little things, such as phone numbers, which are now a touch away on our smartphones. But could mobile phones actually contribute to one's forgetfulness? Is age to blame for memory loss? Genetics? Or maybe a combination of all of the above? Recently, a team of scientists working under...

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SOTT FOCUS: MindMatters: Finding Meaning through Mythological Representations: Delving Further into Jordan Peterson’s Maps of Meaning

Why have many ancient - and even contemporary stories - just stuck with us and seem etched into the psyche of civilization? What is it about particular narratives that appear to hold something so essential to our existence, and that have become reference points for our own narratives? And how can a story, or a mythology, serve us as we navigate life's many day to day travails, and unexpected twists and turns? Jordan Peterson writes: "A good theory lets you use things — things that once appeared useless — for desirable ends. In consequence, such a theory has a general sense of excitement and hope about it. A good theory about the structure of myth should let you see how a story you couldn't even understand previously might shed new and useful light on the meaning of your life." Join...

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New dream study reveals nightmares help brain prepare for real anxiety-provoking situation

Nightmares are no fun, but a new international study finds all that nighttime fear may actually be serving a greater purpose. Researchers from both Switzerland and the United States identified the areas of the brain that were activated while a group of participants experienced fear in their dreams. Interestingly, they discovered that after the participants woke up, those same emotion-regulating brain areas responded to scary situations much more efficiently. All in all, the research team believe their findings lend credence to the theory that dreams actually help our brains prepare to tackle real world stressful situations. Consequently, this research opens the door for a multitude of new dream-based therapeutic methods for treating anxiety. Dreams have become a popular topic of research in neuroscience circles, more specifically the areas of the brain that activate as we doze off. Just recently it...

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