Mind & Spirit

Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

Daddy-less Daughters and Depression

"...Parental rejection and childhood anxiety predict depression between a young person’s 16th birthday and his or her 21st. But gender makes a difference: consistent with other inquiries, this study finds that 'girls reported more [depression] than boys.' ...This fits hand-in-glove with the results of a 2008 study establishing that 'the effects of parental divorce . . . differ between genders in respect to the development of depression with risk increasing for girls but not for boys.” [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

Happiness Is Not a Solo Enterprise

"It has become increasingly apparent to me that happiness comes from 'with' as much as it comes from 'within.' ...Cultivating connections is life-enhancing and helps buffer against stress. Building a strong connection to a social group has been shown to help people with depression recover and prevent relapse. The benefits of social activity for the elderly abound as well... Resilience does not come from willpower or grit; it comes from relationships and hope. [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

Overcoming ‘Psychic Numbing’

"We all can relate to the saying 'One death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.' Our sympathy for suffering and loss declines precipitously when we are presented with increasing numbers of victims... We need to be alert to how psychic numbing... lead[s] us to act in ways contrary to our values... Addressing catastrophes like climate change, mass terrorist attacks and refugee crises may be beyond our reach unless we come to terms with how our minds perform the arithmetic of compassion." [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

A Woman’s Experience Working Among Men

"Of course, individuals are going to have their own unique strengths and weaknesses, but science does provide some broad insight into differences between men and women. '...on average, men are more likely better at learning and performing a single task at hand, like cycling or navigating directions, whereas women have superior memory and social cognition skills, making them more equipped for multitasking and creating solutions that work for a group.'” [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

The Case for Memorizing

"So why undergo the laborious process of memorizing a poem these days, when—tap, tap, tap—you have it at your fingertips?  The best argument for verse memorization may be that it provides us with knowledge of a qualitatively and physiologically different variety: you take the poem inside you, into your brain chemistry if not your blood, and you know it at a deeper, bodily level than if you simply read it off a screen... 'If we do not learn by heart, the heart does not feel the rhythms of poetry as echoes or variations of its own insistent beat.'” [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

Freud’s Theories of the Unconscious Make a Comeback

"Neuroscience has demonstrated conclusively that there’s far more going on in the mind than the owners of those minds are generally aware... Take the phenomenon of medically unexplained symptoms.... [U]p to a third of people who go to the doctor have them. Their distress is real; the patient is not making it up. And yet no biological cause can be found... Freud’s central idea on conversion disorders – namely that a trauma, or perceived trauma, lies at the origin – is now routinely shown to have clinical efficacy." [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

No Simple Answers for Those Who Suffer

"When my husband recently challenged someone who said that our son's pain happened 'for a reason,' she told him that he had to keep a positive attitude. But I don't think that believing his pain is part of a plan—of God, as this person believes, or of fate—is positive. It is fatalistic. It means that it has appeared for a reason and it will go away for a reason, and there is little that can be done about it. It makes the person in pain a victim who can only suffer, like Job, who could do nothing to escape his fate." [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

Lorenzo Albacete on the Mystery of Suffering

"The cruelest response to suffering is the attempt to explain it away, to tell the one who suffers: 'This is why this is happening.'  ... Mystery's answer to suffering is always grace—a free grace that comes to us without conditions, without rationalizations, without explanations. Suffering can be relieved by the co-sufferer only when the co-sufferer can bring the suffering person into contact with grace and into the experience of being loved..." [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

Large Survey of U.S. Adults Says Sexuality Isn’t Fluid—Kinsey Was Wrong

"3 percent of men and 2.7 percent of women in the sample were not heterosexual (gay, lesbian, or bisexual). The rest were straight. And the line between these two groups was not completely impermeable, but it was still clear... The researchers also found that mental health issues—such as substance abuse, depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, etc.—reinforced the existence of a dividing line between heterosexuality and non-heterosexuality, with straight men and women experiencing them at lower rates than their peers." [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

Why Coddling Kids is Harmful

"Children are anti-fragile. They have to have many, many experiences of failure, fear, and being challenged. Then they have to figure out ways to get themselves through it. If you deprive children of those experiences for eighteen years and then send them to college, they cannot cope. They don’t know what to do... they are morally dependent on adults or other authorities to solve their problems for them." [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

St. Augustine: “I have become a problem to myself”

"It was during the Renaissance that [Augustine's] conception of the self came under serious challenge, most powerfully in Montaigne’s ­'Essays,' which mocked the idea of sin and preached self-acceptance... As modern people we have chosen Montaigne over Augustine. We traded pious self-­cultivation for undemanding self-e­steem. But is love of self really enough to be happy? You know the answer to that, dear reader. And so did Augustine." [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

Incarnated Cognition: The Brain-Body Divide is Wrong

"A broad, burgeoning field called embodied cognition... argues that cognitive processes aren’t separate from senses and motor functions... 'The body, the gut, the senses, the immune system, the lymphatic system, are so instantaneously and so complicatedly interacting with the brain that you can’t draw a line across the neck and say ‘above the line it’s smart and below the line it’s menial' ...Most of Western culture is tilted toward an abstracted intelligence that ignores or denigrates sensorimotor knowledge” [Read Article]