Psychology Around the Net: July 13, 2019

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Ready for the latest on how to weaken your self-confidence (stick with us here), research on women, alcohol, and mental health, and how the Greek concept of eudaimonia can help us flourish in both personal and business life?

Dive into this week’s Psychology Around the Net where you’ll find all that and more!

10 Insanely Popular Ways to Weaken Your Self-Confidence: To the approval-seekers, the excuse-makers, the second-guessers: this one’s for you.

Women Who Stop Drinking Alcohol Improve Mental Health: Researchers studied the drinking habits and self-reported mental health of more than 31,000 people in the United States and more than 10,000 people in Hong Kong. In both the U.S. group and the Hong Kong group, men and women who were lifelong abstainers from alcohol reported the best mental well-being. Researchers followed those folks who did drink (with the exception of heavy drinkers, who were excluded from the research) for a few years and found that women from both groups who quit drinking alcohol reported more favorable changes in their mental well-being; men did not. Furthermore, within four years women who quit drinking alcohol approached the highest mental health levels reported by the lifetime abstainers. Researchers aren’t sure why, but note it’s possible abstaining from alcohol can reverse alcohol-related brain injury, or reduce life stresses.

Your Kid Should Get Mental Health Days, Too: What’s wrong with letting your kid stay home and veg out on Riverdale after an intense week of SAT prep? Nothing. Michelle Woo outlines how setting up a system for kids to take mental health days can help in both the short and long run.

How Procrastinators and Doers Differ Genetically: Using genetic analyses and questionnaires, researchers from Ruhr-Universität Bochum and the Technical University of Dresden discovered that, in women at least, the tendency to postpone action (i.e. procrastination!) is “associated with a genetic predisposition toward a higher level of dopamine in the brain.” Says doctoral candidate and one of the study’s authors, Caroline Schlüter: “Women with a higher dopamine level as a result of their genotype may tend to postpone actions because they are more distracted by environmental and other factors.” The researchers didn’t identify this correlation in men.

How I Found Self-Acceptance When My Mental Illness Diagnosis Changed: When Justine was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 14 years old, she became a crusader for destigmatizing the mental illness. She researched and wrote about the disorder, and never shied away from sharing her diagnosis to help change perception of what a person with bipolar disorder was like. However, when she started experiencing visual, auditory, and tactile hallucinations on a regular basis — and outside of her major mood episodes — she suspected something was off. Bipolar disorder had become such a big part of her identity…what did she do when her diagnosis changed? How did her life — her identity — change when she was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder?

This Unusual Greek Word Reveals the Secret to Finding Happiness at Work: Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle proposed the concept of eudaimonia, which means “to live well or flourish as a human being.” Launching off this concept, Bryan Collins outlines how to break “flourishing” into three areas for living well personally and in business: virtue or excellence, practical wisdom, and moral strength.