Body & Brain

Positive psychology articles related to the human body and brain. Which positive psychology theories and interventions can help us to improve physical and mental well-being?

How to Treat Panic Attacks: 6 Exercises and Techniques

Panic Attack Treatment

Panic attacks can seem as challenging to treat as they are to control. However, with a systematic approach and adherence to a few simple techniques, panic attacks can become manageable. In this article, you’ll gain a working understanding of what triggers a panic attack and how to approach treatment for […]

Attachment Styles in Childhood: 6 Tips to Raise Secure and Happy Children

Attachment styles

As a parent, have you ever wondered how your child’s attachment to you would affect them as an adult? Would they become a 'mama's boy' or a ‘cold fish?’ Attachment is a concept that is often underrated in the role it plays throughout childhood and beyond. It is crucial that […]

What Are Panic Attacks? 20 Signs, Symptoms, and Causes

Panic Attacks

If you’ve ever experienced a heart-racing, heavy breathing, out-of-control episode that is overwhelming to the point of feeling like you have to flee, you have most likely experienced anxiety. Anxiety is a heightened mental state in which an individual dreads uncertain and ill-defined events in the future. People who experience […]

How Are Habits Formed? The Psychology of Behavioral Change

How are habits formed?

In his essay Of Habit, the French philosopher Ravaisson (1838/2008) describes habits as familiar yet mysterious. Actions that are repeated over time gradually became habits, with a curious life of their own. Ravaisson was most fascinated by positive or adaptive habits, those we develop mindfully (Malabou, 2008). Of course, not […]

Sleep Hygiene Tips: 6 Worksheets for a Healthy Night’s Rest

Sleep habits

2:57 a.m. Another five minutes have passed, and I am still awake. Morning looms. A third of adults in developed countries fail to get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night (Walker, 2018). Its effect is catastrophic. Not only does a lack of sleep affect mood and […]

Harlow’s Monkey Experiments: 3 Findings About Attachment

Harlow expriment

Attachment theory refers to the idea that an infant is born with the biological need to have contact with their primary caregiver in the first few months of their life (Colman, 2001). When that need is met, the infant develops a secure attachment style; however, when that need is not […]

Somatic Experiencing: Healing Trauma With Body–Mind Therapy

Somatic experiencing

While events like natural disasters, wars, or accidents can be considered traumatic by most people, other events may be traumatic due to people’s subjective experience. Experiencing a traumatic event can have either a transitory or an ongoing impact on psychological and physical states. Some people can easily overcome the impact […]

Exploring the Mind–Body Connection Through Research

The debate about the mind–body connection has been around for millennia. From ancient philosophers and religions to modern science, there have been different views on whether the mind and the body are related, if they can affect each other, and how that interaction can be possible. Although mainstream contemporary science […]

Erik Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development Explained

In 1623, William Shakespeare wrote, “one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages,” from screaming infant to the finality of oblivion. Three hundred years later, the psychologist Erik Erikson offered a more modern, and less sexually biased (equality was very much an issue in Tudor […]

What is Emotional Health & 11 Activities and Assessments to Enhance It

The subjective, human experience of emotions is comprised of a wide, colorful continuum of feelings. The journey begins the day we are born and continues until the day we leave this earth. How we effectively handle the full spectrum determines our emotional health. Some people are adept at navigating this […]

72 Mental Health Questions for Counselors and Patients

What does "mental health" mean to you? Is it the same as happiness? Or is it simply the absence of mental illness? Whether you are a professional therapist or want to help a friend in need, it helps to have some mental health questions up your sleeve. You may not […]

The Benefits of Mental Health According to Science

The absence of mental illness does not equal mental health. Just as the lack of physical illness does not equal physical wellness. To reap the benefits of mental health, special attention to the growth of practices that improve mental health is necessary. There’s, unfortunately, no magic wand, magic pill, or […]

26 Mental Health Exercises & Interventions Based on Science

Mental health is undoubtedly an important topic; however, many people find it uncomfortable to talk about it. Mental health includes your emotional health, your psychological health, and your social well-being. The state of your mental health determines how you handle stress, how you relate to others, and how you make […]

32 Best Mental Health Books for Increasing Your Well-Being

They say, ‘health is not just about what we eat. It is also about what we think, say, and do.’ Mental health forms a significant part of our overall well-being and encompasses parts of emotional health, psychological health, and social awareness. Positive mental health lets us: Explore our inner potentials […]

How to Measure Flow with Scales and Questionnaires

Someone who’s really caught up in what they are doing might say “I’m in the zone.” Positive psychologists use a similar term for this state: ‘Flow.’ Flow refers to the positive experience of complete absorption in an activity that is both spontaneous and effortless (Csikszentmihalyi, 2000; Nakamura & Csikszentmihalyi, 2014). […]

5 Quality of Life Questionnaires and Assessments

If someone were to ask you to rate your quality of life on a scale of 1 to 10, how would you answer? More importantly, what aspects of your life would you be considering as you were selecting your rating? If you’re unsure, you are not alone. There are many […]

11 Activities and Exercises to Induce a Flow State (+ 6 Examples)

With many things in life ostensibly out of our control, it is easy to consider our fate as being determined by external factors. However, consider times when instead of being driven by extraneous forces, you have felt in complete control of your actions - the master of your destiny! The […]

10 Neurological Benefits of Exercise

Perhaps you have a rough idea about how exercise affects your health, weight, and energy levels. But do you know about its impact on the brain? The neurological benefits are clear and significant. In this article, we will be taking a 360° view on the context, the facts, the research […]

The Psychology and Theory Behind Flow

Have you ever been ‘in the zone?’ We all want to experience it. It’s intense, exhilarating, and satisfying. When we’re in the zone, or what researchers call ‘flow,’ we feel invisible. The theory behind flow is as popular as ever with researchers investigating its effects in several areas of our […]

The Positive Effects Of Nature On Your Mental Well-Being

Nature heals. Just a walk in the woods or a stroll by the beach on a sunny morning can awaken the innermost feelings of happiness and peace, and Environmental Psychology has gone a long way proving this fact (Bell, Greene, Fisher, & Baum, 1996). Our affinity toward nature is genetic […]

What is Peak-End Theory? A Psychologist Explains How Our Memory Fools Us

Update March 2019: This is article on peak-end theory has been updated and extended. We'll walk you through the psychology behind the peak-end theory, relevant research supporting it, and how it relates to pain and pleasure. As you will see, implications for understanding the peak-end theory can be game-changing, as it […]

What is Neuroplasticity? A Psychologist Explains [+14 Exercises]

Our brains are truly amazing, aren’t they? Have you ever watched one of those specials on someone who experienced an amazing, unexpected recovery after a traumatic brain injury, stroke, or other brain damage? Some of those stories seem like the only explanation is magic. Although it certainly seems inexplicable, scientists […]

What Are Intrusive Thoughts in OCD & How to Get Rid Of Them?

Do you ever have intrusive thoughts popping into your head, unbidden and seemingly from thin air? You might be just going about your day when—suddenly—your mind throws a crazy image or a bizarre thought at you, and you’re left scratching your head about what just happened. The thought could be […]

What is Attachment Theory? Bowlby’s 4 Stages Explained

Is it all your mother’s fault? No matter what the “it” refers to, Sigmund Freud would have probably said yes to that question. However, we now know a lot more about psychology, parenting, and human relationships than Freud did. It's clear now that not every issue can be traced back […]

3 Positive Body Image Activities & Worksheets

How do you feel about your body? If you don’t immediately answer “Great!” with a smile—don’t worry, you’re not alone! This is a very common problem for people today, especially women. With advertisements and images of a specific body type constantly bombarding us wherever we are or whatever we’re doing—on […]

How to Identify and Reduce Stress in Your Life (+Checklist)

Stress is a part of daily life and is only becoming more of a presence in this increasingly-connected world. This can be a problem, as there are all sorts of negative physical and psychological effects of leading an overly-stressed life. This article will discuss some causes of stress and the […]

28 Mental Health Activities, Worksheets & Books for Adults & Students

Mental health is an important thing to talk about, but it can sometimes feel very uncomfortable. Despite this, increasing mental health awareness is crucial as it can have many positive outcomes. For example, one study examining a British anti-stigma campaign found that people who were more familiar with the campaign […]

Cognitive Distortions: When Your Brain Lies to You (+ PDF Worksheets)

We tend to trust what goes on in our brains. After all, if you can’t trust your own brain, what can you trust? Generally, this is a good thing—our brain has been wired to alert us to danger, attract us to potential mates, and find solutions to the problems we […]

Body-Mind Integration: Training Attention for Mental and Physical Health

Even before Sigmund Freud and the psychoanalysis movement, psychologists have argued why the body-mind concept is crucial to psychology. The reasoning for this stems from the idea that physical conditions affect mental health, and that mental conditions affect physical health. Unlike desires or dreams, our thoughts and emotions don’t only […]

8 Ways To Create Flow According to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Want to increase your well-being, creativity, and productivity? If so, you might want to cultivate flow, a concept describing those moments when you're completely absorbed in a challenging but doable task. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, considered one of the co-founders of positive psychology, was the first to identify and research flow. (If you're not sure how […]

How Psychology Combats False and Self-Limiting Beliefs

Belief systems are the bases of people's worldviews. We have beliefs grounded in fact, and beliefs grounded in emotion and life experience.  These belief systems shape our world view, since: "we learn our belief systems as very little children, and then we move through life creating experiences to match our […]