Improve Mood/Increase Feelings of Wellbeing

Desert Rain Smells (06-29-22)

Researchers have investigated the consequences of smelling the sorts of odors present in deserts when it rains.  Nabhan, Daugherty, and Hartung found that “Desert dwellers know it well: the smell of rain and the feeling of euphoria that comes when a storm washes over the parched earth. That feeling, and the health benefits that come with it, may be the result of oils and other chemicals released by desert plants after a good soaking. . . .

Self-Views (06-28-22)

It may be possible to apply research findings related to the implications of seeing oneself during Zoom calls to other contexts, for example, to seeing oneself in a mirrored surface during a conversation.  Researchers determined via a study published in Clinical Psychological Science that “the more a person stares at themself while talking with a partner in an online chat, the more their mood degrades over the course of the conversation. . . .

Impulsive Sound and Performance (06-01-22)

Radun and colleagues investigated the effects of impulsive sound on cognitive performance.  They report that “Exposure to impulsive sound (65 dB LAeq) was compared with quiet sound (35 dB LAeq) and steady-state sound (65 dB LAeq). . . . Compared to quiet sound, impulsive sound caused more annoyance, workload, and lack of energy, raised cortisol concentrations, reduced systolic blood pressure, and decreased accuracy. . . . Compared with steady-state sound, impulsive sound was experienced as more annoying and causing a higher workload and more lack of energy.

Interactive Healthcare Rendering (05-27-22)

The Center for Health Design is providing free, at the web address noted below, an interactive rendering highlighting key research that can be applied during the design of treatment rooms in emergency departments.  As noted on the website on which the diagram appears, “Two goals are often at the center of current care models for mental or behavioral health: safety and healing. In the Emergency Department, design has traditionally focused on safety for both patients and staff through checklists for ligature-resistance.

Benefits of Playing Outdoors (05-25-22)

Researchers from the University of Exeter have identified some benefits of playing outdoors and their findings can be used to encourage the development and maintenance of outdoor play areas for children.  The investigators report, in a study published in Child Psychiatry and Human Development, that “children who spend more time playing outside had fewer ‘internalising problems’ – characterised as anxiety and depression. Those children were also more positive during the first lockdown. . . .

Music’s Effects (05-16-22)

Birman and Ferguson increase our understanding of the cognitive effects of listening to music.  They report that their study participantswere randomly assigned to four different groups: silence (no music), classical music, rock, and the final group could choose any genre they liked. The California Verbal Learning Test—Second Edition (CVLT-II) was administered to assess participant’s memory. Anxiety was also assessed before and after the memory test to see whether the music had any effect.

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