All posts tagged: wellbeing

Is there asbestos in your makeup? Why women with cancer are suing big beauty brands | Health & wellbeing

Is there asbestos in your makeup? Why women with cancer are suing big beauty brands | Health & wellbeing

Mention asbestos and disease, and most people’s thoughts turn to old, unstable floor tiles or insulation in homes or offices, or jobs in shipbuilding or construction – the kind of heavy industries that employ men in hi-vis jackets and hard hats. One place we don’t tend to think of it is in the beauty industry; rarely do we consider nude eye-shadow palettes or peachy pink blushers as health hazards. Yet scores of British women are taking leading cosmetic companies to court in the United States, claiming that they contracted mesothelioma – a particularly nasty, treatable, but incurable cancer of the lining of the lung, heart or stomach – through their use of beauty products. The ingredient they hold responsible is talcum powder, which is ubiquitous in makeup. You’ll find it in bronzer, blusher, eye shadow, foundation, mascara, lipstick and even dry shampoo, because it does an excellent job in absorbing moisture and preventing caking. Talc is a mineral that is mined from underground clay deposits – but it can also often have veins of asbestos …

Having a conversation with someone difficult and want to disengage? Try the ‘grey rock’ method

Having a conversation with someone difficult and want to disengage? Try the ‘grey rock’ method

Take a moment to imagine a small grey rock sitting in the palm of your hand. It’s silent, smooth and otherwise unremarkable. Are you bored yet? If so, that’s kind of the point. Most people will eventually lose interest in a dull piece of granite. So there’s a theory percolating online that if you adopt the qualities of a stone, becoming impassive and bland, then you will repel the argumentative, antagonistic people in your life who are itching for conflict. It’s called the “grey rock” method, and over the last decade it has spread on social media, including among TikTok influencers, who have shared strategies to channel your inner rock. It even surfaced on a recent episode of the reality show Vanderpump Rules, when a cast member, Ariana Madix, said that using the technique had helped her avoid toxic interactions with her ex-boyfriend, Tom Sandoval, who had been unfaithful. The goal of the grey rock technique is to disengage without ending contact, said Ramani Durvasula, a clinical psychologist and the author of It’s Not You: …

‘We dug deep into our souls at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park’: the power of art for healing and wellbeing | Why I Love My Art Pass

‘We dug deep into our souls at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park’: the power of art for healing and wellbeing | Why I Love My Art Pass

“I have always loved Picasso’s work and I’ve watched documentaries and read about his life, but to see his work in all its media up close was something verging on the spiritual, and I don’t use that word lightly,” says copywriter Hazel Davis, recalling a pilgrimage she made a few years ago from Yorkshire to London to see Picasso and Paper at the Royal Academy of Arts. “I wanted to touch it all, inhabit it,” she says. “I soaked up every single inch of the exhibition and spent the next few days thinking of little else. In the end, I returned a few days later and spent even longer exploring it.” The power of art to promote wellbeing and stimulate creativity is, of course, well documented. Many studies show that creating art can improve brain function, reduce stress and anxiety, improve communication and boost self-esteem. Art connects us with different cultures and affords us an opportunity for thoughtful expression – and who doesn’t need that, these days? La Carmencita and her costume (both c1890) at …

How marital dynamics shape psychological well-being

How marital dynamics shape psychological well-being

A recent study published in the journal Personal Relationships investigated the long-term dynamics of self-esteem, subjective happiness, and marital conflict in South Korean married couples. The study found that self-esteem and happiness were interconnected for both partners individually, while wives played a greater role in influencing their husbands’ self-esteem and marital conflict than vice versa. “Marital relationships are among the most significant bonds where mutual influence is experienced by most individuals over their lifetime. However, there is still insufficient research on the psychological and marital functioning for couples over time, particularly with data collected from both marital partners,” said study author Jeong Jin Yu, a professor in educational studies at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. “Despite women’s increased participation in the workforce, it remains unclear whether and how wives’ employment predicts marital and psychological functioning in married couples over time. This study aimed to address these underexplored issues.” For his study, Yu analyzed longitudinal data from the Panel Study on Korean Children (PSKC), focusing on a subset of data collected from 2014 to 2016. This approach allowed …

7 Things Therapists Do During A Bad Mental Health Day

7 Things Therapists Do During A Bad Mental Health Day

If you’re human, it’s simply impossible to go through life with no bad mental health days. Whether coping with a negative experience, dealing with a life change or just waking up in a low mood, not feeling 100% mentally or emotionally is just a part of life. Exactly what a bad mental health day looks like will vary from person to person — some folks may feel scattered or stressed while others feel low energy and tired. No matter what one of those rough days feels like for you, it’s safe to say it’s unpleasant. And you certainly don’t want to do anything to make your hard day any worse. Even therapists have these days ― and there are certain things they personally do to care for themselves when they happen. Read on for their advice: 1. They make sure their physical needs are met. “I generally start by taking an inventory of where my physical needs are and if they’ve been met or not that day,” said Em Evans, a therapist and co-founder of …

7 Everyday Habits That Are Disrupting Your Cortisol

7 Everyday Habits That Are Disrupting Your Cortisol

There’s lots of talk about cortisol (which is commonly referred to as your body’s stress hormone) on social media, such as how to lower it, how to regulate it and signs that it’s too high. But those posts can confuse folks about the role of cortisol, too. Cortisol is a necessary hormone that is involved in lots of aspects of your day-to-day functioning, including your immune system, your sleep-wake cycle, blood sugar regulation, and your body’s stress response, said Saru Bala, a naturopathic doctor based in Arizona. “I want to make it clear that cortisol itself is not evil, and we do need it,” Bala told HuffPost. But “as with anything in our body, when it’s too high for too long or too low for too long, it becomes a problem.” Chronic high cortisol levels can lead to health issues like high blood pressure and irregular heart rhythms, “and certainly when those get extensive over time, they can lead to increased risk of heart attack and stroke,” said Dr. Yufang Lin, the director of education, …

The 1 Thing You Should Never, Ever Text Someone With Anxiety

The 1 Thing You Should Never, Ever Text Someone With Anxiety

Texts are inherently difficult to decipher. Unlike in-person interactions or phone calls, these brief, digital messages lack many nonverbal cues ― such as eye contact, gestures or a smile ― that provide important context for what a person’s trying to say. As a result, texts often go misunderstood and, in some cases, are relationship killers, research has found. For people with anxiety, texting can be particularly tricky to navigate. Though communicating digitally may alleviate feelings of anxiety by helping people feel less self-conscious or inhibited, the ambiguity of some text messages can also cause people with anxiety to fill in the gaps and interpret vague messages more negatively than they were intended to be. This, in turn, can spike anxiety levels. One of the worst texts to send with someone with anxiety: “Can we talk?” If you have anxiety, this might have just sent a shiver down your spine. If you don’t, you may be wondering why the heck this even matters. Below, therapists break it all down. Why This Can Be So Triggering For …

Self-determination buffers against death anxiety and enhances well-being

Self-determination buffers against death anxiety and enhances well-being

A series of seven studies published in the Journal of Personality & Social Psychology examined the link between existential anxiety and self-determination, exploring how individuals’ autonomy over their lives may mitigate the unsettling knowledge of inevitable death. Awareness of one’s mortality is a profound and universal human experience that can influence psychological well-being. In this work, Kenneth E. Vail III and Dylan E. Horner weaved together self-determination and terror management theory to explore how agency and existential anxiety can influence happiness and life satisfaction. In Study 1, a total of 160 participants viewed song titles that were either neural or related to death, as a means of inducing mortality salience. They completed a word-stem completion task designed to measure death-thought accessibility (DTA). Participants completed word stems like “COFF___” that could be neutrally completed as “COFFEE” or death-related as “COFFIN.” A higher number of death-related completions indicates greater DTA. Additionally, participants’ psychological needs satisfaction across autonomy, competence, and relatedness was assessed using a 21-item measure (e.g., “I feel like I am free to decide for myself …

Don’t Feel Like You’re An Introvert Or An Extrovert? You Could Be This

Don’t Feel Like You’re An Introvert Or An Extrovert? You Could Be This

Are you an introvert who recharges in solitude or an extrovert that recharges by being around other people? There’s a word for that too. While the idea of falling into one of these categories may sound like some pop psychology fad, understanding what recharges us and what uses our emotional energy is actually important to keeping strong relationships. Therapist Chelsea Connors said: “Awareness and information are key to creating meaningful change and fuelling powerful decisions ― this goes for relationships of all types. “When we feel that we better understand where someone else is coming from or how they experience the world, it can be easier to empathise, relate and communicate effectively.” So, if you’re not an extrovert or introvert, what are you? Existing right between the extremes of introverts and extroverts, ambiverts are a little bit of both extremes while also not being entirely aligned with either. According to Simply Psychology: “An ambivert essentially changes their behaviour based on the situation they find themselves in. For example, they may be quite introverted and reserved …

This Is Your Brain And Body On Grief

This Is Your Brain And Body On Grief

I lost my cat this year. I’d had him since 2011 and he’d seen me through health problems, heartache, and three house moves. We were really close. Closer than I had ever previously thought was possible with a pet, actually. His death wasn’t quite sudden but it did only happen a couple of weeks after I’d been told he was dying. I’d always dreaded the day that I’d lose him but not even really having the time to say goodbye or see him out the way that I felt that he deserved broke my heart. His name was Collie. He wasn’t my first loss, and he certainly won’t be my last, but with losing him came the heavy feelings of grief and loss that are now all-too-familiar to me. Ultimately, as much as I’ve tried to control my grief and keep myself together, as I cried on the floor listening to Taylor Swift sing the words, “You’re the loss of my life”, I was quickly reminded that grief fundamentally changes the brain and I don’t …