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Happy holidays! This week’s Psychology Around the Net dives into holiday anxiety and some helpful grounding techniques, the mental health of the Millennial generation, 3 lesser-known anxiety disorders, the link between pollution and depression, and more.



Why Christmas Fills Me With Anxiety: Do you get anxious around the holidays? If so, you’re not alone. Whether it’s trying to buy gifts on a fixed budget, having to interact with difficult relatives or dealing with more intense feelings of loneliness or grief, many people get stressed this time of the year. This article lists 8 simple things we can do to help minimize anxiety during the holidays.

Grounding Techniques for Holiday Gatherings: During the holiday season, even the most healthy individuals can become destabilized — when your internal sense of calm and confidence is unexpectedly thwarted. And if you struggle with mental health issues, your chances for destabilization increase even more. In this article, the author shares four simple ways we can ground ourselves when we’re feeling unhinged.

Lonely, Burned-Out, and Depressed: The State of Millennials’ Mental Health Entering the 2020s: The mental health forecast for Millennials — those who turned 23 to 38 in 2019 — isn’t looking particularly good, according to a new Business Insider report. From burnout to loneliness to deaths of despair, this article details 12 ways in which mental illness has plagued the Millennial generation.

3 Little-Known Disorders Relating to Anxiety: While most people have heard of OCD, PTSD, social anxiety and GAD, there are a few lesser-known anxiety disorders. And for those who struggle with these conditions, they are just as real and disruptive as the more common ones. In this article, the author describes these debilitating disorders and how they are treated.

Air Pollution Linked to Increased Risk of Depression and Suicide: Do you live in a polluted city? A growing body of research suggests air pollution has a harmful effect on mental health. Now a new meta-analysis by researchers at University College London confirms this notion. The team reviewed 25 pollution-related studies and discovered that someone living for at least six months in an area with twice the World Health Organization’s recommended limit for fine particulate matter, PM2.5, would have roughly a 10 percent greater risk of developing depression compared to a person living in an area that met the limit. The article goes on to describe the study’s other surprising findings.

Revealing Anxiety at a Molecular Level: Treatments for acute, present-moment anxiety haven’t changed very much in the last 50 years. Now researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have taken a new approach to anxiety research — they applied the same computational modeling used for cancer research to study anxiety. “We realized we could take the tools in our lab and apply it to anxiety to develop a more rational way to address the challenges and identify inherent features of anxiety,” said Aaron Goldman, Ph.D., associate bioengineer in the Brigham’s Division of Engineering in Medicine. The article describes their novel findings with mice.