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

Quick-start guide to mental health professionals

Many types of trained professionals can help people with mental health issues. For example, psychiatrists can provide medical and psychiatric evaluations, treat psychiatric disorders, provide psychotherapy, and prescribe and monitor medications; psychologists can do psychological evaluations and testing and provide psychotherapy to treat mental disorders, but they cannot prescribe medication. The type of mental health care professional one seeks depends on his or her particular needs, including one’s condition, preferences, and the availability of clinicians in the area. More »

How to improve your episodic memory

Older adults who have trouble recalling past events often chalk it up to “senior moments,” but the problem is a breakdown in their episodic memory. While people can’t reverse the effect of aging on this type of memory loss, certain strategies can help a person learn and retain new information, better access past details, and use that knowledge in the future. (Locked) More »

Outrunning the risk of dementia

If dementia runs in the family, research suggests there are ways to perhaps avoid the same fate. Adopting certain lifestyle habits—such as engaging in regular aerobic exercise; following a healthy diet, like the Mediterranean, DASH, or MIND diet; not smoking; and keeping alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day on average—may offer protection against dementia, delay its appearance, and even slow its progression. More »

Blood test may find early signs of Alzheimer's

A new study found that a simple blood test can detect beta-amyloid protein buildup—one of the possible causes of Alzheimer’s disease—years before symptoms appear. The test is expected to be available to the public in a few years. More »

Shining a light on winter depression

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs during the late fall and early winter, with lack of natural light cited as the main contributor. Adopting light therapy, which involves exposure from a light box for about 30 minutes a day, can help restore the brain chemical imbalances that contribute to SAD. More »

Difficult relationships linked to bone loss

Stressful interpersonal relationships may be linked to bone loss in women, according to a new study. Women who reported higher levels of stress saw bigger reductions in bone density than women who reported less stress. More »

The thinking on brain games

Engaging in brain games, such as crosswords, chess, and bridge, as well as creative outlets like painting, playing an instrument, or learning a language, have not been proven to protect against memory loss. Yet, these pursuits can help with everyday thinking skills and, when teamed with regular exercise, can increase a person’s cognitive reserve. (Locked) More »