The Complex Links Between Social Media and Mental Health

Over the past decade, social media platforms have completely transformed how billions of people interact with each other.  Of the 7.7 billion people on the earth, approximately 3.3 billion have at least one social media account. The average person spends nearly two hours a day on social media apps or web sites. [Read more…]

The Ripple Effects of Mass Incarceration

Approximately 2.3 million people are imprisoned in the United States in state and federal prisons, juvenile correctional facilities, local jails and psychiatric facilities.

While that number may seem staggering, what’s more surprising is the ripple effect of imprisonment. A study published this month found that 45 percent of all Americans have had an immediate family member spend time in jail or prison. That number jumps to 64 percent if extended family is included. [Read more…]

To Keep Your New Year’s Resolution, Make a Plan for Success

Next week’s New Year will bring the perpetual resolutions to lose weight, quit smoking, save money and exercise more, among others. New Year’s resolutions are popular – but few people actually succeed at keeping them. [Read more…]

The Evidence on Elder Wisdom

For most people, the approaching holiday season includes more time with the extended family, including the elder generation.

Unfortunately, older adults are often diminished in the popular media and by society as a whole; they are frequently portrayed as sick, frail, unproductive and behind-the-times. Yet there’s an expansive body of evidence that demonstrates the benefits of older adults’ wisdom and the value of fostering communication across generations. [Read more…]

What We Know About the Opioid Epidemic

On average, 115 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose—about five times more deaths compared to two decades ago. These drugs—which include prescription pain medications, heroin, and illegally manufactured Fentanyl—have a powerful and potentially dangerous effect on the brain.

[Read more…]

What Do We Really Know About Mindfulness?

The concept of mindfulness is in the media constantly. We’ve written about it several times on the Evidence-based Living blog. Many people see meditation as a magic bullet that can reduce pain, relieve depression, and sharpen our focus. [Read more…]

Meditation Does Not Make You a Better Person

Many people think of meditation as a magic bullet that can improve our health, sharpen our focus, and make us better people overall.

But in reality, the evidence on meditation is mixed. According to reviews by the Cochrane Collaboration, there is little evidence that mindfulness can help improve health problems such as fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, and neck pain. There are some credible data that demonstrate meditation can improve risk factors for cardiovascular disease. And research on brain function shows that meditation can reduce feelings of pain. [Read more…]

What To Do About Cyberbullying

Today’s teenagers are growing up with a completely different set of social parameters compared to any other generation before them thanks to advances in technology. [Read more…]

When Grandparents Raise Their Grandchildren

More children are living with their grandparents than ever before in contemporary society. This phenomenon leads to a complex set of issues and outcomes for grandparents and the children for whom they care. [Read more…]

Do Concealed Weapons Keep People Safer?

Today, all 50 U.S. states allow residents to carry concealed weapons in public, and eight states extend this right without requiring a special permit.

Laws allowing people to carry concealed weapons in public places (often called right-to-carry or RTC laws) were passed over the past several decades as gun advocates argued that they would promote safety. The perspective is based on the premise that everyday citizens who carry handguns will be able to fight back against armed criminals. [Read more…]

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