Sad Music Can Help Mend Broken Heart
New research suggest an aesthetic experience that reflects a person’s mood can help calm emotional turmoil. Thus, sad music or books may help someone get through heartbreak.
“Emotional experiences of aesthetic products are important to our happiness and well-being. Music, movies, paintings, or novels that are compatible with our current mood and feelings, akin to an empathic friend, are more appreciated when we experience broken or failing relationships,” write the study authors.
image via flickr:CC | shainelee
Teen Mentors Best Adults in Steering Kids Toward Healthy Lifestyle
Elementary school kids who learned about obesity from teen mentors lost weight, lowered their blood pressure and took on healthy lifestyle changes, according to a new study by Ohio State University.
In contrast, children who received the same instruction from adults in a traditional classroom experienced no changes in their health. The findings suggest that school systems consider using teen mentors to instruct younger children in select health-related programs.
photo via flickr:CC | familymwr
Even Brief Meditation Can Improve Student Performance
New research, published in the journal Mindfulness, suggests practicing meditation before class can help students focus and lead to better grades.
Researchers randomly selected students for basic meditation instructions before a lecture and discovered that the students who meditated before the lecture scored better on a subsequent quiz than students who did not meditate.
photo via flickr:CC | nikoschwarz
Why Competition Can Be Healthy For Kids
Po Bronson presented a very different picture of competition when he spoke with Michael Krasny on KQED’s Forum about Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing, his latest book written with co-author Ashley Merryman.
The book examines competition from all angles – physiological, psychological, historical. Their main point: competition, if done right, is a good thing. In fact, competition and team activities can drive learning and performance better than solo endeavors.
“In finite games, you compete and then you let it go, and you have rest and recuperation – that’s actually really important for kids,” said Bronson. “It’s the continuous sense of pressure that is unhealthy for them.”
photo via flickr:CC | The Bearmaiden
Family Dinners Can Bolster Teens’ Mental Health
Family dinners do more than just bring parents and kids up to date; a new study suggests the fellowship inherent in such gatherings contributes to good mental health in adolescents.
Frank Elgar, Ph.D., a professor at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, discovered family meal times are a measurable signature of social exchanges in the home that benefit adolescents’ well-being – regardless of whether or not they feel they can easily talk to their parents.
“More frequent family dinners related to fewer emotional and behavioral problems, greater emotional well-being, more trusting and helpful behaviors towards others and higher life satisfaction,” said Elgar, whose research centers on social inequalities in health and family influences on child mental health.
photo via flickr:CC | sashamd
Anxiety Disorders More Common in Kids Who Avoid Scary Situations
A new Mayo Clinic study discovers children who avoid situations they find scary are likely to have anxiety. Researchers followed more than 800 children ages 7 to 18 and posit that this may be a new method to measure avoidance behavior in young children.
Children who participated in the study showed stable anxiety scores after a year had passed, but those who described avoidance behaviors at the onset tended to be more anxious a year later. “This new approach may enable us to identify kids who are at risk for an anxiety disorder,” said lead author Stephen Whiteside, Ph.D., a pediatric psychologist.
photo via flickr:CC | Pink Sherbet Photography
Program to Reduce Teen Stress
Researchers from the University of Montreal have developed a program to significantly reduce the stress associated with the transition from elementary school to middle school.
The DeStress for Success Program is based on an earlier study that showed the transition from elementary to secondary school is associated with the production of stress hormones for many youth.
“The educational program is based on the belief that intervention can decrease the level of stress hormones and depressive symptoms in teenagers and help facilitate this transition,” said Sonia Lupien, lead author of the study.
photo via flickr:CC | Riley Alexandra