30 Days to Better Mental Health Reply

Dr Eric Maisel

Dr Eric Maisel

New strategies for emotional well-being in 2015

by Eric R. Maisel, Ph.D. in Rethinking Psychology

I’d like to invite to join me over the next thirty days. Each day I’ll present a simple daily lesson and a simple daily strategy designed to improve your mental health.

If you’ve made some resolutions for the coming year, for example to loss weight or to stop smoking cigarettes, these 30 days of useful strategies and important lessons will support your efforts. Whether or not you’ve made any resolutions, why not join me and improve your emotional and mental health over the coming month? Wouldn’t that be an excellent way to start 2015?

You may want to subscribe to this blog to make sure that you get each day’s post. I am not a technological wizard but I believe that if you look to the right of this post you will see a way to subscribe. Or just put it on your to-do list to visit here daily <smile>. Either way, I hope to see you tomorrow when we begin!

I also hope that you’ll join me for a free virtual conference I’m hosting in February called The Future of Mental Health. I think you’ll find the conference really eye-opening. In it I interview 15 experts from around the world about what’s working in the way we conceptualize mental health and the way we deliver mental health services—and what isn’t working.

An array of experts of this caliber—Robert Whitaker, author of Mad in America, Joanna Moncrieff, author of The Myth of the Chemical Cure, Gary Greenberg, author of Manufacturing Depression, and a dozen others—has never been gathered before. Don’t miss this free opportunity. You can register here:


We will begin in earnest tomorrow. This is nothing to do to prepare <smile>. But you might want to do the following. I recommend to my coaching clients that if they have a problem they are trying to solve—a personal problem, a professional problem, a creative problem—they go to sleep with a “sleep thinking prompt” that orients their brain toward solutions. This sleep thinking prompt might sound like “I wonder what Mary wants to say to John in chapter three of my novel?” or “I wonder how I can invest some new meaning in my work life?”

In our context, tonight you might want to ask yourself some version of the following sleep thinking prompt: “I wonder what I might try this month to improve my mental health?” In the morning, take a moment to ask yourself the prompt again and see if your sleeping brain has provided you with any useful information. Make sure to write down what your brain is offering up. You may find yourself learning something important! (If the art of solving creative, personal and career problems through sleep thinking interests you, I recommend you take a peek at my book The Power of Sleep Thinking.)

I look forward to us beginning tomorrow. I hope to see you then!


Dr. Eric Maisel is the author of 40+ books including Life Purpose Boot Camp, Rethinking Depression, and Coaching the Artist Within. In 2015 he will be launching a Future of Mental Health initiative. You can learn more about Dr. Maisel’s books, services, trainings and workshops at http://ericmaisel.com. Contact Dr. Maisel at ericmaisel@hotmail.com

Walk This Way: Acting Happy Can Make It So Reply

Uplifting Actions: Short bursts of exercise, putting a bounce in your step and talking to strangers can brighten your outlook. LINZIE HUNTER

Uplifting Actions: Short bursts of exercise, putting a bounce in your step and talking to strangers can brighten your outlook. LINZIE HUNTER

Research Shows People Can Improve Their Mood With Small Changes in Behavior

By Sumathi Reddy, Wall Street Journal


Happy people walk differently than others, and scientists are finding that putting on a happy walk may give your mood a boost.

Research shows people’s mood affects how they walk. When people are happy, they tend to walk faster and more upright, swing their arms and move up and down more, and sway less side to side than sad or depressed people.

A recent study found that deliberately walking like a happy person can lift one’s spirits. And adopting the gait of a depressed person can bring on sadness. Scientists behind the study, which was published online in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry in September, hope to determine if a small change in outward behavior like how we walk could work in a clinical setting to help treat depression.

“There is a mutual influence between mood and body and movement,” said Johannes Michalak, a professor in the department of psychology and psychotherapy at Germany’s Witten Herdecke University and first author of the study. “There might be specific types of movements that are specific characteristics of depression and this feeds the lower mood. So it’s a vicious cycle,” he said.

A range of studies have found many little ways we can improve our mood, from talking to strangers to arranging a match between friends. Even abstaining from temptations such as chocolate can help boost our state of relative happiness by helping us appreciate experiences that are repeated in everyday life.

“There are these little doses of social interactions that are available in our day” that can brighten our mood and create a sense of belonging. “I don’t think people recognize this,” said Elizabeth Dunn, an associate psychology professor at the University of British Columbia, who co-authored a study last year of customers’ interactions with Starbucks baristas.

In the walking study, researchers at Queen’s University in Canada, working with the research team in Germany, had 39 undergraduate students walk on a treadmill at a steady pace while watching an interactive gauge displayed on a monitor in front of them.

The students were told to attempt different ways of walking until through trial and error they were able to move the gauge to the right. Moving the gauge to the right meant walking in a depressed manner for half the participants, and in a happy manner for the other half. They weren’t told what the gauge was measuring.

Article continues here:  Behavior Modification Made Easy




Watching the World Cup: The Tribal Psychology of Football Reply

SoccerThe dark roots of the beautiful game of soccer

Published on June 13, 2014 by Mark van Vugt, Ph.D. in Naturally Selected

While millions of people around the world are glued to their television screens to see which country will win the 2014 World Cup Football — soccer for US folks — in Brazil, as an evolutionary scientist my main interest is in the place that football occupies in the evolution of our species. How did football become so popular? Is football the new religion or a disguised form of warfare? Do football players have more sex and offspring than average? Is watching football good or bad for your physical and mental health? And, does it matter what tribal colors the football teams wear in the World Cup for predicting success?

The evolutionary origins of the beautiful game

First, let’s look briefly at the history of football. We could go back to the end of the 19th century when the physical education teachers at the public schools in England were thinking of new ways to challenge the sons of the wealthy to improve their physical fitness and team skills. But to explain the origins of football we may have to go back a bit further in human history.

According to the British zoologist Desmond Morris football carries the features of an ancient hunting ritual. I very much doubt if this analysis is correct. Who are the hunters in football and who is the prey? And why would you need a good defense? A more probable evolutionary story is that football has its origins in the tradition of tribal warfare among our ancestors in which the male band members formed coalitions to weaker or destroy local rival bands. Former Dutch football coach Rinus Michels was exactly right when he claimed that football is like war.

You might wonder then why football did not develop much earlier than in 19th century England. For this, we need to look at New Guinea. Nowhere else in the world do so many different peoples and language groups live together in one circumscribed area. Until the 20th century, these tribes were constantly fighting tribal wars against each other and the slightest incident led to a tribal conflict with many deaths on both sides. Only when the missionaries arrived on the island, and the tribes handed in their deadly weapons did the opportunity arise for peaceful intergroup interactions. Now they are even playing football in New Guinea. Yet to avoid escalation of the conflict and warfare, the referee always ensures that games end in a draw, even when it means playing on.

Football is War

What is the evidence for the claim that football is a form of ritualized warfare which evolved from the ancient tribal disputes?

First, there are the well-known historical examples of international football matches leading to an armed conflict between neighboring countries. For instance, the war between El Salvador and Honduras in 1969 began after a runaway qualifier for the World Cup in Mexico. There were 2,000 deaths in the 100-hour war which only came to an end through an intervention of the United Nations.

Feature continues here:  The Tribal Psychology of Football

Bullying and Corporate Psychopaths at Work Reply

Clive Boddy is a Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior at Middlesex University in England. For the past seven years, he has studied the evidence and effects of toxic leadership, and in particular the influence of the presence of corporate psychopaths on various workplace outcomes, including on levels of conflict and bullying at work.