Insight on how we can better our lives and our mental health

Happy Friday Everyone! We are so excited to share some fascinating research projects that hold a lot of insight on how we can better our lives and our mental health!

“Children who play adventurously have better mental health”

Researchers from the University of Exeter have found that children who regularly partake in “adventurous play” have a lower risk of anxiety and depression, and that they were able to stay more positive during the COVID-19 lockdowns. The best news? “Adventurous play” includes very simple and cost-free activities- such as climbing a tree or jumping from a swing. These researchers argue that taking risks and facing new challenges gives children a chance to foster their independence and resilience, which makes it easier for them to face later challenges. If you have rambunctious little ones at home, we hope this is music to your ears!

“How sleep helps to process emotions”

Having a hectic schedule makes it so easy and natural for us all to treat sleep as a last priority, but research conducted at the University of Bern reminds us of the importance sleep has on our emotional well-being. Getting the recommended amount of sleep each night (at least seven hours for adults) allows us to get an adequate amount of REM sleep each night. REM sleep helps our brains better distinguish between ‘fear’ and ‘safety’ which reduces our likelihood of developing anxiety disorders. During sleep, the brain also stores our recent positive emotions, while “dampening” our negative emotions. We hope this is a friendly reminder to practice self-care through prioritizing sleep and rest!

“Problematic Phone Use Among College Students Increases with the Fear of Missing Out”

Researchers at the Zhejiang Normal University have found that college students develop problematic, compulsive relationships with their phones when they have high levels of “Fear of Missing Out” (often called FoMO), the fear of missing out on the positive experiences of others. This can become problematic and worsen conditions like anxiety and depression, because unhealthy phone usage only further isolates young people and increases their “FoMO”. Here is the silver lining! Young people can combat FoMO and excessive screentime by having a strong network of social support, improving their levels of self-control, and planning for their futures rather than comparing themselves to others. Here’s to putting our phones down and experiencing this summer fully!

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