Re-published from "Neuroscience News" magazine from TechnologyNetworks.
Original Press Release from Rice University
At work, it’s healthier and more productive just to be yourself, according to a new study from Rice University, Texas A&M University, the University of Memphis, Xavier University, Portland State University and the University of California, Berkeley.
The study, “Stigma Expression Outcomes and Boundary Conditions: A Meta-Analysis” will appear in an upcoming edition of the Journal of Business and Psychology. It examines 65 studies focusing on what happens after people in a workplace disclose a stigmatized identity, such as sexual orientation, mental illness, physical disability or pregnancy.
Eden King, a co-author of the study and an associate professor of psychology at Rice, said the decision to express a stigmatized identity is highly complicated.
“It has the potential for both positive and negative consequences,” she said.
However, the research overwhelmingly indicates that people with non-visible stigmas (such as sexual orientation or health problems) who live openly at work are happier with their overall lives and more productive in the workplace. King said self-disclosure is typically a positive experience because it allows people to improve connections, form relationships with others and free their minds of unwanted thoughts.
Many professions - paramedics, police, firefighters - involve helping people in traumatic circumstances but witnessing trauma has its own effects that can haunt people for life.
When we think about workplace safety, we often think about introducing or improving initiatives to ensure the physical safety of workers.
In recent years, there’s also been a growing awareness around ensuring not just the physical but also the psychological wellbeing of employees, with more organisations now working to manage the impact of vicarious trauma in the workplace.
While vicarious trauma will never be eliminated from trauma-exposed workplaces, it is possible for organisations to effectively manage it, which has been shown to reduce attrition rates and unplanned absences, and boost the workplace culture.
BY JOSEPH PAUL FORGAS, SCIENTIA PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY, UNSW
Photo source: Freepik
The range of human emotions includes many more negative than positive feelings for good reason
Homo sapiens is a very moody species. Even though sadness and bad moods have always been part of the human experience, we now live in an age that ignores or devalues these feelings.
In our culture, normal human emotions like temporary sadness are often treated as disorders.
Manipulative advertising, marketing and self-help industries claim happiness should be ours for the asking. Yet bad moods remain an essential part of the normal range of moods we regularly experience.
Despite the near-universal cult of happiness and unprecedented material wealth, happiness and life satisfaction in Western societies has not improved for decades.
It’s time to re-assess the role of bad moods in our lives. We should recognise they are a normal, and even a useful and adaptive part of being human, helping us cope with many everyday situations and challenges.
Partners, parents, even a pet: one in 20 Australians struggle to cope with being apart from their loved ones.
Separation anxiety has long thought to be the domain of small children. The familiar developmental stage, in which the absence of a parent or loved one causes deep upset, typically kicks in during infancy.
With patience and reassurance, separation anxiety generally recedes within months or a few years without psychological treatment. Psychiatrists have long argued that its effects have ended by adulthood.
Stress is often described as a feeling of being overloaded, wound-up tight, tense and worried. We all experience stress at times. It can sometimes help to motivate us to get a task finished,or perform well. But stress can also be harmful if we become over-stressed and it interferes with our ability to get on with our normal life for long.
What are the signs of stress?
What types of stress are there?
When to seek professional help?
For tips on how to manage everyday stress, download our Stress Tips Sheet.
By Maria Tedesco - Clinical Psychologist
Christmas, for some people, is a time for family, friends, gifts and holidays. It can also be a time for spirituality, reflection and prayer. Yet, for many it is a difficult time, and there are reasons why this may be the case.
Christmas can be a time of expectation and pressure. Families are supposed to “get along”, and this is not always possible. Some families have endured trauma or conflict amongst their members. There is nothing like the expectation and pressure of Christmas to place a magnifying glass on family feuds, fallouts and breakups. For some, who have experienced bereavement through loss, divorce or separation it can be a very difficult time. Often a Christmas without the person we once loved is a painful time, and a deep ‘solitary sadness’ can be experienced.
We understand how important it is to provide real emotional and professional support to people experiencing a hard time during the Christmas holidays period.
Clinical psychologists Teresa D’Amato and Maria Tedesco at Thinkwell Psychology are available for consultations during the Christmas period as follows:
The team of therapists at Thinkwell Psychology is available for consultations as follows:
Bookings can be made by phone (6361 1275) or online.
You haven’t showered in a few days, and you haven’t brushed your teeth yet this morning.
But, your baby is one month old today! You picked out the perfect outfit and made sure the lighting was just right for the perfect photo. You posted the best one on Facebook this morning, and you keep checking to see if anyone has “liked” the picture.
But, after scrolling through the “likes” and comments, you notice that your mother-in-law, who is always online, hasn’t responded to the picture of her darling grandbaby yet.
Why not? What gives? Perhaps she didn’t see it yet…or maybe she doesn’t like the baby’s outfit. Maybe she thinks you’re not a good mother.
And what about that friend of yours from high school? You always “like” and comment on the photos of her kids…why hasn’t she acknowledged your baby’s photo? Perhaps you aren’t such a good mother after all.
To some, this scenario might sound ridiculous, but it is a real and frequent consequence of being a new mother and sharing on Facebook.
So, when one of my graduate students approached me about creating and including a survey about new parents’ social networking in my latest parenting study, the New Parents Project, I jumped at the chance. I was interested in how often new parents used social networking sites, why some used them more than others, and what the impact might be on new parents’ mental health. Here are some things we found.
In 2003 a landmark study revealed what psychologists had long suspected: that people who experience positive emotions are at a reduced risk of disease.
Researchers assessed a group of 334 people aged 18 to 54 for their tendency to experience positive emotions like happiness, pleasure and relaxation along with negative emotions like anxiety, hostility and depression. Participants were then injected with nasal drops containing the common cold.
People who expressed more positive emotions were less likely to develop the common cold, and the relationship was so strong that it held across age, gender, education, race, body mass and even season.
Since then, psychologists have continued to probe the link between feeling good and being well in a new field of research called ‘positive psychology’. Importantly, this new discipline extends beyond disease models of health such as whether we have a cold and seeks to define what it means to be healthy in positive terms.
We all like to help others. But, when it comes to mental health, what steps can we take to support ourselves?
Psychological research has revealed a range of approaches that can help you stay mentally healthy and make the most out of your life.
Jocelyn Brewer MAPS introduces us to the concept of Digital Nutrition, an award-winning framework for teaching the principles of a healthy, balanced relationship with technology.
Digital nutrition borrows from the healthy eating pyramid and food nutrition principles to communicate key concepts around screen-time limits, digital citizenship and impulse control, and evaluates the cognitive benefits of apps and games.
It is not about a digital ‘diet’ or ‘detox’, but about a positive, long term relationship with cyberspace that allows us to get the best out of technology, while avoiding the pitfalls of ‘internet addiction’. Are there healthy life choices for digital consumption? Are there digital superfoods?