How do violent movies and video games affect children?

Back view image of cute little boy sitting on sofa with teddy bear waiting for parents at home and watching TV. Look at tv.Dr. David L. Hill from the American Academy of Pediatrics was featured in the Daily Herald Newspaper commenting that since the first motion picture, adults have worried about how children would respond to violent imagery. Now that mobile screens offer kids unlimited access to violent images and videos, we have even more to worry about.

Virtual violence is any act of aggression your child might absorb through TV, movies, video games, social media, and other digital channels. It includes simulated violence in blockbuster films and amateur videos and animated violence in cartoons and interactive games. News reports of real-life tragedies also deliver an endless loop of virtual violence.

Virtual violence needn’t involve physical harm. Aggressive, threatening, racist, or hateful statements can be just as damaging to children who witness them as to those they are directed toward.

What children see (or play) influences how they behave

Decades of research link virtual violence to aggressive thoughts, feelings, and actions in children. Even though we’re still learning about the effects of violent content in video games and social media, experts agree that kids are deeply influenced by brutality wherever they experience it.

Witnessing violent acts — whether real or simulated — may give kids the sense that aggression is normal and acceptable. This may lead them to act out what they see and hear, especially if they witness violence at home or in their communities. Newer studies show exposure to virtual violence can trigger mental health struggles, including depression and anxiety.

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Which Generation Struggles To Set Healthy Boundaries The Most?

The Thriving Center of Psychology reported that while many people focus their New Year’s resolutions on losing weight or healthy eating, others want to make 2023 all about setting healthy boundaries. Boundaries are the rules and decisions individuals use to protect themselves.

Setting boundaries is important for your mental health, but it’s easier said than done. Certain generations struggle with it more than others, and our new survey of more than 1,000 Americans has found younger generations have the most trouble saying “no” to others.

In 2022, Nearly half (48%) of Americans admitted to going to an event that they wanted to skip. The most common events were family parties, parties hosted by friends, holiday gatherings, birthday parties, and work events.

Across generations, Gen Zers ended up at the most unwanted events. 66% of Gen Z ended up going somewhere they wanted to avoid. 48% of Millennials and 43% of Gen X felt the same. Only about 1 in 4 (26%) Baby Boomers went to an event they didn’t want to attend in 2022.

The top reason Americans admitted to going to these parties and gatherings was out of guilt or obligation (72%). More than 2 in 5 (43%) said it was to support a family member or friend, and 36% didn’t want to let others down. About 1 in 3 (34%) felt pressure to say yes initially and couldn’t get out of it, while nearly 1 in 6 (13%) ended up getting pressured to go by others.

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TEACHING CHILDREN ABOUT GRATITUDE

Little boy looking at camera with smileEleanor Mackey, Ph.D., a child psychologist who works primarily with the Obesity Institute and Children’s Research Institute, shared in “Rise and Shine” that it’s almost Thanksgiving, which makes it a good time to think about talking to and teaching children about gratitude. Several years ago, my daughter’s classroom made brown bag lunches together to take to a community center for those who do not get enough to eat. It was a nice way to start a discussion about what she (and we) have to be thankful for.

Some basics of teaching gratitude

  • Model gratitude through your actions – say thank you to those around you when they do something nice, small or big.
  • Make a point to talk about things others do for us that go unnoticed, like people driving trash trucks who are helping us out by cleaning up for us.
  • Say thank you to someone who holds the door, to a server in a restaurant, and to your child when he or she does something you appreciate.

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5 Ways to Relax After a Long Work Day

Lizzie Weakley shared that after a long, stressful day at work, it’s important to rest, unwind, and relax, so you can feel refreshed the next morning. If you are looking for a post-work relaxation ritual, here are five ways you can calm down and relax after a long day.

Take a Cozy Nap

Depending on your work schedule, you may find it beneficial to take an after-work nap. All you need is a soft blanket and a quiet room. Take as long as you need to just rest your eyes or enjoy a few hours of deep, restful sleep. Sleep is good for your mental and physical health, so don’t feel guilty for catching some extra z’s.

Eat Something Delicious

If you enjoy cooking, you can relax by whipping up a delicious, healthy meal for dinner. Eating nourishing food is a great way to restore your energy, so savor every bite, eat slowly, and enjoy this tasty relaxation ritual. You can make your meal even more relaxing by using relaxation CBD oil tincture or sipping a small glass of wine.

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State of Gen Z Mental Health

Multiethnic group of cheerful young people sitting with raised hands and having fun over yellow backgroundHarmony Healthcare IT, a data management firm that works with health data, surveyed more than 1,000 Gen Z (ages 18 to 24) about their mental health and concerns about their generation’s future. Here are the results.

During the most formative years of their lives, Gen Z has been front and center to some of the most unprecedented events in U.S. and global history. One of the biggest is the pandemic, which will have a lasting impact on the future of technology, healthcare, and even mental health.

Almost 3 in 4 Gen Zers say the pandemic has negatively impacted their mental health. On top of day-to-day mental health struggles, many are concerned and unsure about what lies ahead.

Mental Health 2022 

Nearly a third (31%) of Gen Zers would rate their overall mental health in 2022 as bad. When asked to describe their mental health over the period of one month, one out of four reported having more bad days than good. On average, Gen Z reported about ten tough mental health days in the span of one month.

More than two in five have a diagnosed mental health condition. Of those, more than one out of four (26%) were diagnosed during the pandemic (from March 2020 or later). The biggest mental health issue Gen Z deals with is anxiety. Nine out of ten Gen Z with diagnosed mental health conditions struggle with anxiety, and nearly eight out of ten (78%) are battling depression.

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What to do if your teen is being cyberbullied

EEHealth shared in its Healthy Driven blog that the world we live in today is much different than it used to be. Our social lives have moved online in a lot of ways. So has bullying.

Cyberbullying is a threat to our children’s mental and physical health. About 37 percent of teens admit to being victims of cyberbullying.

Cyberbullies use the internet, cell phones, video game systems, or other technology to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person. They do this by threatening, excluding, spreading rumors, or tricking their victims.

You can help your teen take steps to prevent cyberbullying before it starts. Also, be on the lookout for warning signs that your teen is being cyberbullied.

What do you do if a cyberbully has already invaded the comfort and safety of your home? If your teen is the target of cyberbullying, you can help with these tips:

  • Stay calm. Tell your teen that it’s not his/her fault if they are cyberbullied, and you won’t blame them or take away their computer privileges. (This is the main reason kids don’t tell adults when they are cyberbullied). Let your teen know you support them and stay calm.
  • Don’t respond. Your teen’s first response might be to retaliate, but that can make a situation much worse. Teach your teen not to respond to cyberbullies. Bullies are looking for a response and when they don’t get one from their target, many just move on.
  • Block the cyberbully’s access. Over 70 percent of teens said that being able to block cyberbullies was the most effective method of prevention. Show your teen how to block the bully’s messages. Most websites let you block certain users, and phones allow you to block phone numbers.

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Top 10 Benefits of Puzzle Solving for Adults

Blue Question Mark With White BackgroundCrosswordsolvee.com shared that “Puzzles give psychological order to the chaos we feel. When you come out of it, when you’ve solved the puzzle, then life seems to work better.”
– Marcel Danesi, Professor of Semiotics and Linguistic Anthropology, University of Toronto
We’ve all experienced that gratifying “aha!” moment after piecing together an epic Scrabble word, poring over a crossword clue, or filling in the last square of a Sudoku puzzle.
For ages, puzzles have been a way for us to reset from the world outside. From word games and brain games to math puzzles and jigsaws, puzzles are brain tools that satisfy our nimble minds and bolster our thinking skills.
Here, let’s walk through the top ten benefits of puzzle-solving for adults.

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Understanding Your Finances: A Guide for College Students

Image of pink piggy bank surrounded by stacks of dollar billsCollege can be one of the busiest times of your life. You have to juggle multiple classes, living on your own, and maintaining a social life, all while trying to make big life decisions.

But there is one thing you may not have put a lot of thought into yet: your finances. Your overall financial well-being includes many things, such as saving for college, paying for college, finding scholarships and loans, and even developing and improving your credit score. All of these factors will have an impact on your everyday life and your financial future, even if you’re not aware of it.

It’s important to understand what resources are available to help get through the college experience with a head start on finances!

This guide from UPGRADEDPOINTS offers some useful information:

How To Save for College

Saving for college can seem overwhelming — there are so many options out there, and it’s also probably the biggest expense you’ll have faced so far in your life. So whether you’ve had some help getting started, here are a few tips on how to save for college.

When To Start Saving for College

Ideally, the best time to start saving for college is when you are born. Thanks to something called compound interest, periodic investments have the opportunity to earn interest over 18 years — making it much easier to reach your savings goals.

Unfortunately, not all of us have parents that were thinking that far ahead, and we might be starting late when it comes to saving. In that case, the best time to start saving is now! While the compounding interest won’t be as beneficial, every bit helps.

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State of Gen Z Mental Health 2022

Harmony Healthcare IT, a data management firm that works with health data, surveyed more than 1,000 Gen Z (ages 18 to 24) about their mental health and concerns about their generation’s future. Here are the results.

Nearly a third (31%) of Gen Zers would rate their overall mental health in 2022 as bad. When asked to describe their mental health over the period of one month, one out of four reported having more bad days than good. On average, Gen Z reported about ten tough mental health days in the span of one month.

More than two in five have a diagnosed mental health condition. Of those, more than one out of four (26%) were diagnosed during the pandemic (from March 2020 or later). The biggest mental health issue Gen Z deals with is anxiety. Nine out of ten Gen Z with diagnosed mental health conditions struggle with anxiety, and nearly eight out of ten (78%) are battling depression.

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Exposure to green space may boost cognitive health

Residential areas with more green space were associated with faster thinking, better attention, and higher overall cognitive function in middle-aged women, according to an NIA-funded study. Published in JAMA Network Open, the findings suggest that green space — such as trees, flowers, grass, gardens, and parks — could be explored as a potential community-based approach to improving cognitive health.

For this study, a team of researchers from Boston University, Harvard University, and Rush University’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago analyzed cognitive test and residential green space data from 13,594 women with an average age of 61. The women were enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study II, a longitudinal study that examines risk factors for major chronic diseases in women. The participants took online cognitive tests that measured psychomotor speed, attention, learning, and working memory. Then, using satellite image-based technology, the researchers determined the amount of green space around each participant’s home. Researchers evaluated the association between the amount of green space within walking distance of a participant’s home and their cognitive function.

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