Mind & Mood

Your mood and your mental health affect every aspect of your life, from how you feel about yourself to your relationships with others and your physical health. There's a strong link between good mental health and good physical health, and vice versa. In the other direction, depression and other mental health issues can contribute to digestive disorders, trouble sleeping, lack of energy, heart disease, and other health issues.

There are many ways to keep your mind and mood in optimal shape. Exercise, healthy eating, and stress reduction techniques like meditation or mindfulness can keep your brain — and your body — in tip-top shape.

When mood and mental health slip, doing something about it as early as possible can keep the change from getting worse or becoming permanent. Treating conditions like depression and anxiety improve quality of life. Learning to manage stress makes for more satisfying and productive days.

Mind & Mood Articles

When worry becomes a problem

People with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) constantly anticipate disaster and are overly concerned about issues like health, money, and family even when there is no apparent reason for concern. Left alone to manifest, GAD can lead to serious health problems, like high blood pressure, depression, and unhealthy behavior like excessive drinking. More »

Holiday for one?

Facing holidays alone may trigger stress, loneliness, or depression. Ways to navigate this period include reframing one’s image of what a holiday should look like. Creating new holiday traditions can help, such as making holiday foods, listening to holiday music, watching holiday entertainment on TV, or reading holiday stories. It can also help to reach out to others, for instance, by inviting neighbors over, volunteering for a local charity, or going to a community dinner. (Locked) More »

What to do about mild cognitive impairment

Everyone has occasional bouts of forgetfulness, but if these episodes become frequent or interfere with daily life, it may be a sign of mild cognitive impairment, or MCI—a stage between the usual cognitive decline of normal aging and more serious dementia. While there is no single proven method for preventing or slowing MCI, research has found that people can reduce their risk of cognitive decline by eating right, exercising, and perhaps enlisting in an MCI-focused clinical trial. (Locked) More »

Ask Dr. Rob about eating disorders

Given the current epidemic of obesity, you hear a lot about the importance of avoiding overeating. But you probably don't hear nearly as much about people who have access to food but struggle with undereating. Yet, for millions of people with anorexia nervosa or other eating disorders, an unhealthy loss of weight is the major challenge. It can be difficult for those with normal diets to understand how these conditions develop. Indeed, there is much we don't understand about these conditions. Eating disorders are a group of conditions marked by abnormal eating habits that reduce the quality of a person's physical or mental health. They tend to occur more commonly among women than men. More »

Ask Dr. Rob about OCD

We've all had times when we focused on a particular thing — something the boss said at work, a song that played in your head all day, or an important upcoming event. And we've all had the experience of feeling compelled to do something just one more time — making sure the oven is off or checking just once more that the front door is locked. While these experiences are common and normal, imagine they were persistent, consuming, and debilitating — that's what Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is like. OCD is a condition in which a person experiences recurring and uncontrollable thoughts and behaviors that disrupt normal function, reduces quality of life, or both. The condition gets its name because the recurring thoughts (obsessions) lead to repeated behaviors, called compulsions. It's relatively common, affecting about 1% of the population; about half of cases develop during childhood or teenage years. More »

Ramp up your resilience!

Coping with stress in a positive way is known as resilience, and it has many health benefits. It’s associated with longevity, lower rates of depression, and greater satisfaction with life. There are many ways to increase resilience. Practicing a meditation technique counters stress by eliciting the relaxation response, which helps lower blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, oxygen consumption, and stress hormones. Seeing the upside rather than the downside of a predicament can also help build resilience. So can leaning on friends and family. More »

How to stay motivated

Want to make a change but wondering how to stay motivated? Dr. Srini Pillay talks about the things that can impact personal motivation and the power of a sense of meaning to help you stick with your goals. More »