Practice gratitude and self-assessment questions:

“How would you rate your capacity to fulfil your potential (agency)? How grateful do you feel about your life?”

According to Dr. Conti, “Gratitude” and “Action/Self-Determination” are the two main ingredients contributing to true mental health, or a life you enjoy.

Dr. Paul Conti: How to Understand & Assess Your Mental Health

Podcast Summary

Labeling Feelings (Verification of Emotions):



Feelings Into Words: Contributions of Language to Exposure Therapy

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Conclusion: The affection labeling group showed a reduced skin conductance response compared to the other groups and marginally greater approach behavior than the distraction group; however, the affection labeling group did not differ from the other groups in terms of reported levels of fear.



Putting feelings into words: affect labeling disrupts amygdala activity in response to affective stimuli


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Conclusion: The results indicated that emotion labeling, compared to other forms of coding, reduced the response of the amygdala and other limbic areas to negative emotional images.

Somatic experience:

What is somatic therapy? Somatic therapy explores how the body expresses deeply painful experiences, applying mind-body healing to aid with trauma recovery.

Summary: An article titled “What is Somatic Therapy?” from the Harvard Health blog discusses the concept of somatic therapy and its potential benefits for mental health and overall well-being. Somatic therapy takes a holistic approach that considers the mind-body connection in dealing with mental problems. Emphasizes the role of bodily sensations, movements and experiences in understanding and treating mental health disorders. The article discusses various somatic therapy techniques, such as mindfulness, breathwork and body-oriented psychotherapy, highlighting their effectiveness in reducing stress, alleviating trauma and promoting emotional regulation. In addition, he stresses the importance of finding a qualified somatic therapist and incorporating somatic practices into a comprehensive mental health treatment plan.

Somatic experiencing – effectiveness and key factors of a body-oriented trauma therapy: a scoping literature review

Results presented: The results provide preliminary evidence for the positive effects of SE (Somatic Experiencing) in relation to symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition, preliminary evidence suggests that SE has a positive effect on affective and somatic symptoms and measures of well-being in both traumatic and non-traumatic trials. Practitioners and clients identified resource orientation and use of touch as key factors specific to the SE method. Nevertheless, the overall assessment of study quality and the Cochrane risk of bias analysis indicate that overall study quality is mixed.

Somatic experiencing: using interoception and proprioception (kinesthesia) as core elements of trauma therapy

Summary: A randomized controlled research study examined how mindfulness meditation training affects attentional control, working memory and mood regulation in participants with a history of depression. The results suggest that mindfulness meditation can improve cognitive functioning and emotion regulation in this population, which brings promising implications for integrating mindfulness practices into health interventions aimed at preventing recurrent depression.

Cold exposure

The Science & Use of Cold Exposure for Health & Performance.

Summary: Low temperatures can activate the body’s thermoregulatory systems, leading to a variety of physiological responses, such as increased metabolism, improved circulation and increased immunity. These responses contribute to benefits such as reduced inflammation, improved recovery after exercise, and improved cognitive function. The article also discusses various methods of cold exposure, including cold water baths, cryotherapy and cold showers, and provides practical tips for incorporating cold exposure into daily routines. In addition, he discusses the potential psychological benefits of cold exposure, such as increased resistance to stress and improved mood. Overall, the article highlights the scientifically proven benefits of cold exposure and offers insight into how it can be used to optimize both physical and mental health.

Cold water swimming as an add-on treatment for depression: a feasibility study Conclusion: this study indicates that patients with depression can regularly and safely participate in regular supervised cold water baths. In addition, regular participation in cold water baths can improve sleep and mood.

Adapted Cold Shower as a Potential Treatment for Depression

Summary: Cold exposure is known to activate the sympathetic nervous system and increase blood levels of beta endorphin and norepinephrine, as well as increase synaptic release of norepinephrine in the brain. In addition, due to the high density of cold receptors in the skin, a cold shower is expected to send an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses from peripheral nerve endings to the brain, which could result in an anti-depression effect.

Mindfulness and meditation

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Health Benefits: A Meta-Analysis

Summary: This meta-analysis examines the effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) programs on various health outcomes, including stress reduction. Provides evidence of MBSR’s effectiveness in reducing stress and improving overall well-being.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Health-Care Professionals: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Summary: This systematic review and meta-analysis focuses specifically on the effectiveness of mindfulness-based stress reduction programs for health care professionals. The results suggest that MBSR is beneficial in reducing stress among this population.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Health-Care Professionals: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Summary: This randomized clinical trial examines the effects of mindfulness meditation on sleep quality and daytime impairment in older adults with sleep disorders. The results show improvements in both sleep quality and daytime functioning, indicating the potential of mindfulness interventions to reduce stress-related sleep problems.

Mindfulness Meditation and Improvement in Sleep Quality and Daytime Impairment Among Older Adults With Sleep Disturbances: A Randomised Clinical Trial.

Summary: This meta-analysis examines the effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) programs on various health outcomes, including stress reduction. Provides evidence of MBSR’s effectiveness in reducing stress and improving overall well-being.

The Effects of Mindfulness Meditation: A Meta-Analysis

Summary: This meta-analysis shows the effects of mindfulness meditation on various outcomes, including stress reduction. Provides evidence of the positive effects of mindfulness meditation on stress levels.

A randomized controlled trial of mindfulness meditation versus relaxation training: effects on distress, positive states of mind, rumination, and distraction

Summary: This randomized controlled trial compares the effects of mindfulness meditation and relaxation training on various psychological outcomes, including stress and positive states of mind. The results suggest that mindfulness meditation may be more effective in reducing stress and enhancing positive mental states compared to relaxation training.

Affirmations

The impact of self-affirmation on health-behaviour change: a meta-analysis

Summary: This systematic review illustrates the effects of affirmations on various health outcomes, including stress reduction. Provides evidence of the positive effects of affirmation exercises on stress levels.

Self-Affirmation Improves Problem-Solving under Stress

Summary: This study examines the effect of affirmations on problem solving in stressful situations. The results suggest that affirmations may be beneficial in improving cognitive performance in stressful situations.

Practice gratitude

Gratitude and Well-being: A Review and Theoretical Integration

Summary: The article illustrates the relationship between gratitude and well-being, including mental health outcomes. Discusses various theoretical perspectives and empirical evidence supporting the beneficial effects of gratitude on psychological functioning, stress reduction and overall well-being.

Counting blessings versus burdens: An experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life

Summary: The study examines the effects of gratitude on subjective well-being in daily life using experimental methods. Provides empirical evidence of the positive effects of gratitude exercises on mental health, including stress reduction and improved overall well-being.

Gratitude and the Reduced Costs of Materialism in Adolescents

Summary: The study examines the relationship between gratitude, materialism and well-being in adolescents. He emphasizes the role of gratitude in reducing the negative impact of material values on mental health and suggests gratitude interventions as a means of alleviating the stress associated with the pursuit of material possessions.

Gratitude influences sleep through the mechanism of pre-sleep cognitions

Summary: The study examines the effects of gratitude on sleep quality and duration, suggesting that a grateful attitude can positively influence sleep through pre-sleep beliefs. Sleep quality is closely linked to mental health and stress reduction.

Gratitude and prosocial behavior: An experimental test of gratitude

Summary: An experimental study examines the relationship between gratitude and prosocial behavior, showing that inducing gratitude in individuals leads to increased prosocial behavior. Pro-social behavior contributes to positive social interactions that can affect mental health