Emotional Resilience Blog from The Fear Course

The latest research, realisations and thinking in the world of emotional resilience, anxiety and fear reduction from around the world.

This weeks Emotional Resilience Podcast. Episode No. 11

This weeks Emotional Resilience Podcast. Episode No. 11

In this weeks episode I will be looking at Happiness. Yes this whole episode is about the latest research and thinking on how to be and what makes us happy!

1. Does Happiness Lead to Success?

2. What makes us happy?

3. How much of our happiness is actually down to personality or the situation we find ourselves in?

4. Emotional Resilience: You are what you focus on.

And this weeks phobia of the week -Pteronophobia

 

Download this episode (right click and save)

Download the emotional resilience podcast on itunes

Full episode notes, images and references are available here

 

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How much of our happiness is actually down to personality or the situation we find ourselves in? The research evidence.

How much of our happiness is actually down to personality or the situation we find ourselves in? The research evidence.

In my last blog I shared some research showing that people tend to think about a third of their happiness is equally distributed between

  • Personality
  • Context or the situation they find themselves in at any time or
  • Own actions. What are called voluntary or intentional actions that help to up-regulate their own emotions

These are, however, perceptions and here I'm going to look at whether they are borne out by research.

One of the largest studies ever undertaken on human happiness found that just under half of all human happiness is determined by our own actions. This is by far and away the largest factor in our happiness and the good news is we can control it. Not only can we control our own actions in a way that can make us happy, but we can learn to get better at doing this. This is in essence the foundation of emotion regulation; using tools and techniques which can change our emotions at will.

So what about our personality?

The research about personality and happiness is pretty inconclusive, however one study published in 2012 found no correlation whatsoever between happiness or life satisfaction and personality and a large scale study of 16,367 Australian residents just published this year looked at the links between personality and happiness. The researchers concluded that there is no direct connection between personality and happiness as such. Rather that as a person matures they often learn to get better at regulating their emotions and this starts to have an impact on their personality which then reinforces the emotion regulation techniques they are using.

This works well if the individual learns healthy emotion regulation techniques, however if the individual gets into unhealthy emotion regulation like using alcohol, drugs, food and addictions etc. this is also likely to affect their personality which in turn reinforces those habits.

So it would appear our personality has little if any influence on our ability to be happy. When you think about it this makes sense. Think about the difference between introverts and extroverts for example. It is estimated that extroverts make up somewhere between 50 - 74 percent of the population in the west. Extroverts tend to get their energy from being with others and introverts get their energy from being on their own. Different things make these two types of people happy. Happiness for an introvert might just be a night in with a good book and extroverts are often happy at a party or social gathering. So it is hardly surprising that there is no direct correlation or cause of happiness in our personalities. It is more what we do with those personalities - the actions we take.

What about the context or situations we find ourselves in?

How much are the situations we find ourselves in are responsible for our happiness?

Clearly there are very severe situation which can impact an individual's happiness significantly like grief, being kidnapped or severely injured. However what we find here is that different people respond differently to these situations. For example a friend of mine was shot and almost killed whilst he was in the army. At no stage did he suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or depression or any similar disorder. In fact he is one of the happiest, most upbeat people I know. The control room radio operator who heard the incident, however, had to leave his job as a result of PTSD from that incident.

In various studies the context or situation has a much smaller impact on our happiness than we might at first expect. Some studies even suggest that like personality, context or situation has no significant impact on happiness on its own. Rather it is the meaning we make of, or impose on that situation. So again we find that context or situation plays a very small role in our happiness, even given the studies that do find some situational impact on happiness, at most they estimate that it contributes to less than 5% of the factors which do contribute significantly to our happiness.

 

So now we have a chart that probably looks more like this:

What actually makes us happy

As opposed to what people think makes us happy:

Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 13.23.22

 

 

 

References

Argyle, M., & Martin, M. (1991). The psychological causes of happiness. In F. Strack, M. Argyle, & N. Schwarz (Eds.), Subjective well-being: An interdisciplinary perspective (pp. 77–100). Elmsford, NY: Pergamon Press.
Aspinwall, L. G. (1998). Rethinking the role of positive affect in self-regulation. Motivation and Emotion, 22, 1–32.
Aspinwall, L. G., & Brunhart, S. M. (1996). Distinguishing optimism fromdenial: Optimistic beliefs predict attention to health threats.Personalityand Social Psychology Bulletin, 22, 993–1003.
Lyubomirsky, S., King, L. & Diener, E. (2005) The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success?Psychological Bulletin 2005, Vol. 131, No. 6, 803–855
Berscheid, E. (2003). The human's greatest strength: Other humans. In L. G. Aspinwall & U. M. Staudinger (Eds.), A psychology of human strengths: Fundamental questions and future directions for a positive psychology (pp. 37–47). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Carver, C. S., & Scheier, M. F. (1981). Attention and self-regulation: A control-theory approach to human behaviour. New York: Springer-Verlag.
Carver, C. S., & Scheier, M. F. (1990). Origins and functions of positive and negative affect: A control-process view. Psychological Review, 97, 19–35.
Carver, C. S., & Scheier, M. F. (1998). On the self regulation of behaviour. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Carver, C. S., & Scheier, M. F. (2001). Optimism, pessimism, and self- regulation. In E. C. Chang (Ed.), Optimism and pessimism: Implications for theory, research, and practice (pp. 31–51). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Costa, P.T.,Jr. & McCrae, R.R. (1992). Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) and NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.
Denny, K.G., & Steiner, H. (2009) External and Internal Factors Influencing Happiness in Elite Collegiate Athletes. Journal of Child Psychiatry and Human Development Volume 40, Issue 1 , pp 55-72

Diener, E. (1994). Assessing subjective well-being: Progress and opportunities. Social Indicators Research, 31, 103–157.
Diener, E., & Biswas-Diener, R. (2002). Will money increase subjective well-being? Social Indicators Research, 57, 119–169.
Diener, E., Colvin, C. R., Pavot, W. G., & Allman, A. (1991). The psychic costs of intense positive affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61,
492–503.
Diener, E., & Fujita, F. (1995). Resources, personal strivings, and subjective well-being: A nomothetic and idiographic approach. Journal of
Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 926–935.
Diener, E., Gohm, C. L., Suh, E., & Oishi, S. (2000). Similarity of the relations between marital status and subjective well-being across cultures. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 31,

Larsen, R. J., & Ketelaar, T. (1991). Personality and susceptibility to positive and negative emotional states. Journal of Personality and Social
Psychology, 61, 132–140419–436
Lucas, R. E., & Diener, E. (2003). The happy worker: Hypotheses about the role of positive affect in worker productivity. In M. Burrick & A. M. Ryan (Eds.),
Personality and work (pp. 30–59). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Lyubomirsky, S., & Ross, L. (1997). Hedonic consequences of social comparison: A contrast of happy and unhappy people. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73,
1141–1157.
Lyubomirsky, S., Sheldon, K. M., & Schkade, D. (2005). Pursuing happiness: The architecture of sustainable change. Review of General Psychology, 9,
111–131.

Hutchinson, G.T. (1998) Irrational Beliefs and Behavioral Misregulation in the Role of Alcohol Abuse Among College Students. Journal of Rational-Emotive and Cognitive-Behavior Therapy. Volume 16, Issue 1 , pp 61-74

Morgan, M. et al (2014) Redefining Happiness: Is the Happiness Pie Literature Missing Some Slices? http://tigerprints.clemson.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1001&context=foci Research oster session.

Pinquart, M., & Sorensen, S. (2000). Influences of socioeconomic status, social network, and competence on subjective well-being in later life: A meta-analysis. Psychology and Aging, 15, 187–224
Pressman, S. D., & Cohen, S. (2005). Does positive affect influence health? Psychological Bulletin, 131, 925–971
Salovey, P., & Rosenhan, D. L. (1989). Mood states and prosocial behavior. In H. Wagner & A. Manstead (Eds.), Handbook of social psycho-physiology
(pp. 371–391). Chichester, England: Wiley

Soto, C.J. (2014) Is Happiness Good for Your Personality? Concurrent and Prospective Relations of the Big Five With Subjective Well-Being. Journal of Personality. doi: 10.1111/jopy.12081

TRóGOLO, M., MEDRANO, L.. Personality traits, difficulties in emotion regulation and academic satisfaction in a sample of argentine college students. International Journal of Psychological Research, North America, 5, dec. 2012

Thoresen, C. J., Kaplan, S. A., Barsky, A. P., Warren, C. R., & de Chermont, K. (2003). The affective underpinnings of job perceptions and attitudes: A meta-analytic review and integration. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 914–945
Verkley, H., & Stolk, J. (1989). Does happiness lead into idleness? In R. Veenhoven (Ed.), How harmful is happiness? (pp. 79–93). Rotterdam, Amsterdam: University of Rotterdam.
Wilson, W. (1967). Correlates of avowed happiness. Psychological Bulletin, 67,294–306

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What makes us happy?

What makes us happy?

Following on from my last blog, Does Happiness Lead to Success, what are the main factors which contribute to our happiness?

One factor many people consider to be an important contributor to our happiness is our personality.

A number of studies have looked at the links between emotional states such as happiness, anxiety and depression for example and the individual's personality. There are considered to be 638 personality traits or dispositions of which 234 or 37% are considered to be positive dispositions. For example adaptable, helpful, open, and stable. 112 or 18% are considered to be neutral traits, such as complex, solitary or unhurried and 292 negative dispositions. these encompass traits like cowardly, deceitful, miserable, uncaring, unstable and tactless.

For most purposes these are grouped into to what are known as the big five traits or dimensions, which are:

  1. Openness
  2. Conscientiousness
  3. Extraversion
  4. Agreeableness
  5. Neuroticism

I will explain these in a little more detail in my next blog.

A study just released by students from Clemson University in South Carolina measured the levels of

  • Happiness
  • Positive emotions
  • Feelings of wellbeing / health and
  • Contentment

of 347 people (69.4% female and 84.6% Caucasian). They then asked the participants how much of their happiness they thought came from their:

  1. Personality,
  2. Context or situation they found themselves in at any time, including other people or,
  3. Own actions. What are called voluntary or intentional actions that help to up-regulate their own emotions

So if I were to ask you which of these you think contributes most to your general level of happiness what would it be?

{sl_advpoll id='1' width='250' center='1' title='What contribute most to your happiness?'}

The study found that people ascribe the source of their happiness roughly equally between all three factors.

What people thinks makes them happy

 

Tomorrow I will reveal what the research says about which one of these factors is actually the most influential on people's happiness...

 

 

References

Costa, P.T.,Jr. & McCrae, R.R. (1992). Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) and NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.

Morgan, M. et al (2014) Redefining Happiness: Is the Happiness Pie Literature Missing Some Slices? http://tigerprints.clemson.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1001&context=foci Research oster session.

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Does Happiness Lead to Success?

Does Happiness Lead to Success?

Most people assume that successful people are happy. Many studies have found that things like positive relationships, comfortable income, good mental health and accomplishment are all related to happiness. One study found that whilst having a comfortable income, i.e. not being anxious about money on a continual basis is one of the factors which can underlie happiness, more money does equate to greater levels of happiness. They found that the wealthy do not have more happiness than those on lower income levels.

In all of the studies good relationships and friendships consistently rank high for promoting happiness. More recently studies have found that contributing or volunteering towards a good cause or doing a good deed also has a significant positive effect on people's happiness.

An interesting question is whether or not happy people tend to do better in life?
There is a growing body of evidence to show that happy people tend to broaden and build resources and resourcefulness. They tend to build more positive and deeper relationships with others which in turn can lead to greater levels of happiness.

Researchers have found that positive people often tend to use the happy periods of their life to develop and strive to attain new goals, which leads to greater life satisfaction. in effect positive people see a new challenge and take action. This action then often leads to achievement which in turn leads to a feeling of success and contentment and more positive constructions of the world. There is a sense of having not just control over their lives, but positive control and good feelings or happiness. This then promotes confidence, greater levels of optimism and self belief. It has also been found that these attributes lead to their becoming more likeable to others and they are also more likely to be more positive and charitable towards other people. This then leads to greater levels of sociability, more prosocial behaviour which is also correlated with greater levels of activity and energy.

Further studies have found that positive happy people tend to suffer from less general ill-health in that they have greater levels of immunity to things like colds etc. Additionally studies have found that positive happy people also tend to be more effective in coping with life challenges and stress and they show greater levels of creativity, problem solving ability and general cognitive flexibility.

In effect happy people often have greater levels of active involvement in goal oriented pursuits. A positive perspective promotes approaching situations as opposed to avoidance, which in turn leads to a greater chance of success.

One large scale meta-analysis of previous research published in 2005 found that happy positive people are significantly more likely to succeed in their job and receive higher job ratings from employers and managers than people who were less positive and are not as generally happy. There is a range of evidence now appearing that shows that because of these effects, happy, positive people tend to be more successful across a range of activities, including work.

For a FREE 16 part video course showing you how to be Calm, Composed and Confident click here

 

References

Argyle, M., & Martin, M. (1991). The psychological causes of happiness. In F. Strack, M. Argyle, & N. Schwarz (Eds.), Subjective well-being: An interdisciplinary perspective (pp. 77–100). Elmsford, NY: Pergamon Press.

Aspinwall, L. G. (1998). Rethinking the role of positive affect in self-regulation. Motivation and Emotion, 22, 1–32.

Aspinwall, L. G., & Brunhart, S. M. (1996). Distinguishing optimism fromdenial: Optimistic beliefs predict attention to health threats.Personalityand Social Psychology Bulletin, 22, 993–1003.

Lyubomirsky, S., King, L. & Diener, E. (2005) The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success?Psychological Bulletin 2005, Vol. 131, No. 6, 803–855

Berscheid, E. (2003). The human's greatest strength: Other humans. In L. G. Aspinwall & U. M. Staudinger (Eds.), A psychology of human strengths: Fundamental questions and future directions for a positive psychology (pp. 37–47). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Carver, C. S., & Scheier, M. F. (1981). Attention and self-regulation: A control-theory approach to human behaviour. New York: Springer-Verlag.

Carver, C. S., & Scheier, M. F. (1990). Origins and functions of positive and negative affect: A control-process view. Psychological Review, 97, 19–35.

Carver, C. S., & Scheier, M. F. (1998). On the self regulation of behaviour. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Carver, C. S., & Scheier, M. F. (2001). Optimism, pessimism, and self- regulation. In E. C. Chang (Ed.), Optimism and pessimism: Implications for theory, research, and practice (pp. 31–51). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Diener, E. (1994). Assessing subjective well-being: Progress and opportunities. Social Indicators Research, 31, 103–157.

Diener, E., & Biswas-Diener, R. (2002). Will money increase subjective well-being? Social Indicators Research, 57, 119–169.
Diener, E., Colvin, C. R., Pavot, W. G., & Allman, A. (1991). The psychic costs of intense positive affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61,
492–503.

Diener, E., & Fujita, F. (1995). Resources, personal strivings, and subjective well-being: A nomothetic and idiographic approach. Journal of
Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 926–935.

Diener, E., Gohm, C. L., Suh, E., & Oishi, S. (2000). Similarity of the relations between marital status and subjective well-being across cultures. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 31,

Larsen, R. J., & Ketelaar, T. (1991). Personality and susceptibility to positive and negative emotional states. Journal of Personality and Social
Psychology, 61, 132–140419–436

Lucas, R. E., & Diener, E. (2003). The happy worker: Hypotheses about the role of positive affect in worker productivity. In M. Burrick & A. M. Ryan (Eds.),
Personality and work (pp. 30–59). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Lyubomirsky, S., & Ross, L. (1997). Hedonic consequences of social comparison: A contrast of happy and unhappy people. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73,
1141–1157.

Lyubomirsky, S., Sheldon, K. M., & Schkade, D. (2005). Pursuing happiness: The architecture of sustainable change. Review of General Psychology, 9,
111–131.

Pinquart, M., & Sorensen, S. (2000). Influences of socioeconomic status, social network, and competence on subjective well-being in later life: A meta-analysis. Psychology and Aging, 15, 187–224

Pressman, S. D., & Cohen, S. (2005). Does positive affect influence health? Psychological Bulletin, 131, 925–971

Salovey, P., & Rosenhan, D. L. (1989). Mood states and prosocial behavior. In H. Wagner & A. Manstead (Eds.), Handbook of social psycho-physiology
(pp. 371–391). Chichester, England: Wiley

Thoresen, C. J., Kaplan, S. A., Barsky, A. P., Warren, C. R., & de Chermont, K. (2003). The affective underpinnings of job perceptions and attitudes: A meta-analytic review and integration. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 914–945

Verkley, H., & Stolk, J. (1989). Does happiness lead into idleness? In R. Veenhoven (Ed.), How harmful is happiness? (pp. 79–93). Rotterdam, Amsterdam: University of Rotterdam.

Wilson, W. (1967). Correlates of avowed happiness. Psychological Bulletin, 67,294–306

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This weeks Emotional Resilience Podcast. Episode No. 10

This weeks Emotional Resilience Podcast. Episode No. 10

 

Download this episode (right click and save)

 

iTunes-PodCast-Logo

 

 

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Who do you trust and why - the answer may surprise you

Who do you trust and why - the answer may surprise you

As a human, trust is vital to us for a secure and flourishing life. It is what underpins our relationships and the closer and more intimate those relationships become the greater the level of trust employed in them. But who do we decide to trust or not trust when we first meet people. Who is it that passes the first few trust tests so that we often go on to form deeper relationships with?
Trust is an emotion. It is an emotional response to the apparent congruence between our perception of someone and our interpretation of their actions. In other words we tend to trust people if what they say and what they do are similar and their actions are not harmful in anyway towards us.
The psychologist Erik Erikson has the formation of trust as the very first stage of psychological development of a child and that all human attachment and safety stems from the first bonds of trust they develop. Erikson firmly understood that the formation of trust with the child's caregiver is the most important stage of human development and will, in effect, lay down the blueprint for forming secure, trusting and intimate relationships for the rest of that individual's life.
The effect of trust being broken will depend on the level of relationship you have with the other individual. When a trust is broken in an intimate relationship, the results can be devastating.

So who do we trust and why? A series of recent studies sheds some interesting light on what happens. One would think that trust is earned. However it would appear to be the opposite for most people. We tend to trust first and then remove the level of trust if it is shown to have been incorrect. The obvious exception to this is where we have recently had a previous significant negative experience, however studies have shown that for most people this doesn't usually last too long.

A number of studies found that we tend to trust strangers far more than there is evidence to do so. Indeed in laboratory simulations, it has been found that people tend to trust people they don't know even where the risk, if the trust were betrayed, would lead to significant loss or even injury. A study published last month showed that what the researchers termed 'excessive trust' in strangers, in most cases stems from an emotional sense that they are fulfilling a 'social duty' or 'responsibility'. In other words it is perceived to be socially unacceptable to show distrust without evidence, especially in the case of strangers. In the case of strangers there is some evidence that anxiety about being judged as mean or not a nice person fuels this excessive trust.

In another study, published this week, it was shown that we tend to be more likely to trust strangers who smile and not trust people who look angry. Children in the age range of 6-12 are particularly susceptible to this effect and children with ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder show an even more marked trust response to individuals who smile. As a parent I find this particularly disturbing.

However it is not just children. Adults are also more likely to trust a stranger who smiles over one with a neutral or angry face.

Numerous studies show that people of all ages tend to make a decision whether to trust someone or not purely based on the look of a stranger's face. What is more there is a cognitive bias called the bias blind spot. We all tend to believe that we are less biased than others and that our beliefs are more likely to be accurate even in the face of evidence to show that we are no more correct than random chance.

The main thing to take from this is that we tend to overly believe our estimations of trustworthiness based on facial 'look' and that for most people social anxiety about being perceived as mean or 'not nice' pushes into what we believe is socially acceptable niceness of trusting first and the belief that we should always show respect for the other person's character, even if there is a lot at risk.

 

 

References

Adolphs R, Tranel D, Damasio AR (1998) The human amygdala in social judgment. Nature: 470–473.

Caulfield F, Ewing L, Burton N, Avard E, Rhodes G (2014) Facial Trustworthiness Judgments in Children with ASD Are Modulated by Happy and Angry Emotional Cues. PLoS ONE 9(5): e97644. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0097644

Chang LJ, Doll BB, van't Wout M, Frank MJ, Sanfey AG (2010) Seeing is believing: Trustworthiness as a dynamic belief. Cognitive Psychology 61: 87–105.

Dunning, D. etal (2014) Trust at zero acquaintance: More a matter of respect than expectation of reward. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, May 12 , 2014 doi: 10.1037/a0036673

Gao X, Maurer D (2010) A happy story: Developmental changes in children's sensitivity to facial expressions of varying intensities. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 107: 67–86.

Gao X, Maurer D (2009) Influence of intensity on children's sensitivity to happy, sad, and fearful facial expressions. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 102: 503–521.

Hassin R, Trope Y (2000) Facing faces: Studies on the cognitive aspects of physiognomy. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 78: 837–852.

Haynes S (2011) Judgments of trustworthiness from faces: Do children and adults judge alike?: The University of Western Australia.

Rotenberg KJ, Fox C, Green S, Ruderman L, Slater K, et al. (2005) Construction and validation of a children's interpersonal trust belief scale. British Journal of Developmental Psychology 23: 271–293.

Rotenberg KJ (1994) Loneliness and interpersonal trust. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 13: 152–173.

Rule NO, Krendl AC, Ivcevic Z, Ambady N (2013) Accuracy and consensus in judgments of trustworthiness from faces: Behavioral and neural correlates. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 104: 409–426.

Rule NO, Ambady N (2008) The face of success. Psychological Science 19: 109–111.

Todorov A, Pakrashi M, Oosterhof NN (2009) Evaluating faces on trustworthiness after minimal time exposure. Social Cognition 27: 813–833.

Willis J, Todorov A (2006) First impressions: Making up your mind after 100 ms exposure to a face. Psychological Science 17: 592–598.

Zebrowitz LA, Montepare JM (2008) Social psychological face perception: Why appearance matters. Social and Personality Psychology Compass 2: 1497–1517.

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Can Acupuncture help with anxiety?

Can Acupuncture help with anxiety?

A typical symptom of the transition into menopause (known as Climacteric syndrome) for women in the age range of 35 and 65 is anxiety. A number of studies have found that menopausal symptoms such as irritability, excessive emotional reactions and excessive mood swings (known as emotional lability), persistent worrying and negative rumination are often symptoms of heightened anxiety brought about by Climacteric syndrome.

Previous studies about the usefulness of acupuncture with anxiety have been mixed. About a third of previous studies have found acupuncture can help with anxiety, with the rest finding that acupuncture has no effect on anxiety and depression.

A study has just been published in the Journal of Nursing by researchers and practitioners from the Federal University of Ceará in Brazil has shown some very promising results for women suffering from these Climacteric symptoms.

The study looked at 30 women between the ages of 41 and 65 with Climacteric based anxiety and emotional lability symptoms. Half of the sample were treated with acupuncture and half (15) were given a placebo acupuncture treatment, where the women thought they were receiving acupuncture, but actually were being punctured 1.2 cm away from the the internationally recognised acupunture points. The results were then compared to the recovery rates from over 320 women who did not undergo any treatment. 75% of the women in the treatment groups had histories of previous emotional problems like anxiety. They also looked at other factors which may be exacerbating anxiety levels in the women, which I will cover below.

The researchers found that acupuncture, both genuine and placebo, was clinically effective for the treatment of the women's anxiety. 93.3% of the women who had the genuine acupuncture and 86.6% of the women who had the placebo effect had a marked improvement in anxiety levels over 10 sessions.

They also found that two particular factors had a significant negative impact, promoting greater levels of anxiety and emotional lability, on women with Climacteric syndrome. These are poor marital/partner relationships and stressful professional lives.

Other studies have shown that anxiety and sleep disruption problems during menopause increases the risk of depression by 4 to 5 times.

 

References

Girão ÁC, Alves MDS, Alves e Souza ÂM et al. (2014) Acupuncture in the treatment of anxiety in climacteric: additional therapy in mental health promotion. J Nurs UFPE on line., Recife, 8(6):1538-44, June., 2014

Luca AC de, Fonseca AM da, Lopes CM, Bagnolli VR, Soares JM, Baracat EC. (2011) Acupuncture-ameliorated menopausal symptons: single-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial. Climateric [Internet]. 2011 Feb [cited 2013 Jan 12];14(1):140-5

Polisseni AF, Polisseni F, Fernandes LM, Moraes MA, Guerra MO. (2009) Depressão em mulheres climatéricas. HU ver [Internet]. 2009 July/Sept [cited 2012 Dec 15] ; 35(3): 183-9.

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