Our traditional ideas about how people are “supposed” express emotions are often tied up with gender stereotypes. Since managing emotions is a key part of mental health for anyone of any gender, viewing emotions in terms of gender has consequences for everyone, including men. As I’ve written about before, for example, traditional ideas about masculinity…

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In my last post, I talked about how children in neighborhoods with faster internet apparently evaluate their lives more negatively. That study is one of several that has explored a possible link between internet use and mental health risk. One thing to keep in mind when we talk about “internet use,” however, is that there…

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The idea that drugs can be an escape from negative emotions is well known. A recently published study from researchers at Harvard University gives us some more evidence for that idea, but adds a new twist. As it turns out, the emotion of sadness in particular, rather than negative emotions in general, may have an…

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Socializing and consuming alcohol are two activities that often go together. Both also have the potential to alter your mood – so it can be hard to untangle whether you’re feeling the effects of one or the other! For psychology researchers, this complicates the question of studying how socializing and drinking change people’s moods. Things…

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How do we manage difficult emotions and direct them in a positive direction? Psychologists have identified different strategies people use for emotional regulation, some of which seem to work better than others. Three of the strategies commonly mentioned are: Reappraisal: reframing a negative situation in a more positive way Acceptance: engaging with negative emotions and…

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Of the different ways we might deal with negative emotions, eating isn’t necessarily the healthiest. Sure, we might want to reach for a candy bar when we’re feeling down, but eating too many candy bars can bring its own problems! Still, that doesn’t answer the question: does cheering ourselves up with food actually work? Or,…

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Some people are much harder on themselves than they would ever be on other people. This tendency toward self-criticism can interfere with people’s ability to enjoy the many benefits of self-compassion. The reasons why some people are more self-critical are complex and not very well understood by psychology researchers. One question that might be worth…

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Ever get the feeling that other people become jealous when something good happens to you? It’s exceptionally hard to know or sure, because most people aren’t open about being envious. As far as the seven deadly sins go, envy is one that can be very quiet. Most people conceal any feelings of envy that arise,…

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Whether violent video games go hand-in-hand with violence in real life seems like exactly the kind of question we should send over to the psychology researchers. And psychology researchers do have an answer. Actually, they have several different answers that contradict each other. First, I’ll give you the results of the most recent study published…

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