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This week’s Psychology Around the Net discusses how to make a meaningful New Year’s Resolution, choosing a mental health app for your smartphone (will it really help?), the mental health struggles of terminally ill patients, getting out into nature to beat the winter blues, and more.




How Putting Purpose Into Your New Year’s Resolutions Can Bring Meaning and Results: A new year is just around the corner, and many people will be making a New Year’s resolution in the hopes of improving their lives. But sadly, only around 4 percent of people report following through on their resolutions. So what gives? Research shows that oversimplified resolutions, such as “eat healthy” are partly to blame. Now a new study from the University of Southern California’s Performance Science Institute offers a suggestion: Frame your resolution in a way that will motivate you over time. This article goes into depth describing how to make your best New Year’s resolution yet.

Smartphone Apps: Can They Improve Our Mental Health?: Let’s say you have 2 weeks until your next therapy appointment, but you could really use some help now. Should you download one of the hundreds of mental health apps for smartphones? What should you look for? Do they even work? This article offers specific advice on how to choose a legitimate app for mental health.

People With Terminal Illness Badly Need Mental Health Support. My Wife Was One: Do you have a loved one with a terminal illness? In this article, the author shares his personal experience of watching his wife suffer with untreated depression and anxiety during her three-year bout with cancer. He asserts that healthcare for terminally ill patients needs a massive change: Clinicians need to treat the psychological needs of the dying and not just their physical needs.

Moderate to Severe Depression Affects One-Third of Patients With NSCLC: A study published in the journal Lung Cancer shows that about one in three patients newly diagnosed with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have moderate to severe symptoms of depression. In fact, more than 8 percent of the patients in the study scored at the severe depression level. “This is more than having a ‘low mood.’ When severe, the depression rarely gets better without treatment,” said lead study author Barbara Andersen, PhD, professor of psychology at The Ohio State University. The article shares more of the study’s findings, including the link between lung cancer and generalized anxiety disorder, fatigue and weakness.

A Beginner’s Guide to Beating the Winter Blues and Heeding the Mountain’s Call: For those who live in cold areas, the winter blues are very real. In this article, the author urges you to not give up and stay in bed, as that will worsen your depression — rather she encourages you to get outside into nature. She gives specific tips for beginners on how to safely step out of your house and into the natural world during the long winter months — your brain will thank you.

The 3 Parts of Anxiety: Thoughts, Emotions and Behaviors: Did you know that anxiety has several different parts to it? In this article, licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Michael Stein, Psy.D. explains these parts in detail so you don’t waste your time “trying to change something that you do not have the power to change.”