Recent Blog Articles

Mental Health Archive


Is online gambling harming you?

Online gambling is a popular and growing business, but for millions of Americans, what begins as occasional fun can lead to devastating problems. Trouble with gambling often builds gradually and severe gambling problems share risk factors with substance-related disorders.

For mellow movement that helps your heart, try tai chi

Tai chi is a gentle, adaptable practice that features flowing movements combined with breathing and cognitive focus. It may be especially helpful for people who are recovering from a heart attack or other medical problems or who have heart failure. Tai chi also can be a gateway to other types of physical activity because the practice may improve balance, reduce the risk of falls, and even help ease lower back pain—a common reason for avoiding exercise.

Try this: Take a tactical breather

Tactical breathing used by military and law enforcement personnel can help people manage anxiety and stay mentally sharp during stressful situations. It can also help calm a racing mind or soothe pain.

Lending a helping hand

People who devote time to helping others are often happier than those who don't. Serving others also helps brain health by increasing social connections, which can protect against loneliness and depression, and improving executive function skills like planning, attention, and remembering tasks. Common ways to help others include volunteering, mentoring, random acts of kindness, and seeing life from another person's perspective.

Grief can raise blood pressure

A 2023 study suggests that extreme grief after losing a loved one can raise people's systolic blood pressure, posing cardiovascular risks.

Can you feel younger than your age?

Research has found that people with more positive attitudes about growing old tend to live longer than those with negative thoughts about aging. They also have a lower risk for diabetes, stroke, cancer, and heart disease and better cognitive functioning. People can maintain a healthy mindset about aging by adopting certain lifestyle habits, such as reducing anxiety, finding purpose in life, seeking challenges, socializing more, and rejecting negative stereotypes about aging.

Steps to spot the signs of hoarding

Hoarding disorder is a mental health condition characterized by an inability to discard certain belongings to the point of unhealthy accumulation. While the types of hoarded items vary and might be useless to others—old clothes, boxes, papers, junk mail, or even spoiled food or garbage—the person hoarding the items is convinced they'll be needed one day. The mere idea of parting with them is extremely distressing. In time, stuff fills the home in mounds of disorganized clutter that jams rooms and hallways and threatens safety. Beyond clutter, signs of hoarding disorder include impaired behavior, such as social isolation, sleep loss, or indecision.

Validation: Defusing intense emotions

Validation is a valuable communication technique that can help people feel heard and understood. When used correctly it helps us understand  another person's feelings and establishes trust, particularly in situations with heightened emotions.

Talk therapy for depression may help lower heart disease risk

For people with depression, successful treatment with talk therapy may lower the risk for heart disease, perhaps by helping them adopt healthier habits, according to a 2023 study.

Bonds that transcend age

Intergenerational friendships typically involve an older adult and someone who's 15, 20, or more years younger. Studies suggest people can benefit physically and psychologically from such friendships. Friends of diverse ages can expose people to different experiences, attitudes, and approaches. To create intergenerational friendships, people can use a shared workplace or activity as a springboard for deeper connection. They should show genuine interest in the other person's life and experiences.

Free Healthbeat Signup

Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Thanks for visiting. Don't miss your FREE gift.

The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss...from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.

BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.

Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.