Psychology Around the Net: December 23, 2017

Happy Holidays, Psych Central readers!

With this edition of Psychology Around the Net, I’m passing along some meditation tips for the holidays (because let’s fact it: they’re not exactly stress free), research on why helping others boosts our own mental and physical health, what really makes for a happier holiday season, and more.

No matter how you spend your holiday weekend, I hope you’re surrounded with everyone you hold dearest in life!

A Meditation for Vacation and Holidays: The “most wonderful time of the year” isn’t often — if ever — completely stress-free. Here’s a meditation practice to help you remember what makes you grateful.

Can Lying About Santa Now Hurt Your Child Later? Is it actually possible that by continuing with the myth of Jolly Ol’ Sant Nick, parents — not their children — are the ones to suffer emotional damage in the end?

The Psychology Of Service Work: Giving Back Is So Personally Rewarding: We help others to help others, but by putting other people before ourselves, we’re actually practicing self-care. Not only does it cause our brains to emit dopamine and oxytocin, but also it helps ease depression and lower blood pressure.

Experts Reveal What Makes for a Happier Holiday. Hint: It’s Not More Stuff: Elizabeth Dunn is a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia and Ashley Whillans is an assistant professor at Harvard Business School who specializes in studying our choices on time, money, and work. Let’s see what they have to say about tapping into what really brings us happiness during the holiday season.

Space Aging and Psychology Among Experiments for Canadian Astronaut: Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques is scheduled to fly to the International Space Station December 2018 and he’s spoken about several of the experiments he plans to conduct once he gets there — including experiments related to the state of his psychological health.

Facebook Admits Social Media Can Harm Mental Health: We’ve heard from mental health professionals. We’ve even heard from people who used to earn their paychecks from the social media kingdom. Now, let’s hear from Facebook itself. How does it affect our mental health?

‘Improv Saved My Life’: The Comedy Classes Helping People With Anxiety: Says Alex MacLaren, an improvisational comedy teacher in London, “You learn to say yes even when you don’t know where you’re going to end up.”

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