Skip to main content

mental health mondays :: the tease

here's a little something different for mental health mondays: a brain teaser. what's the link, you ask?

well, many people argue that the brain is much like every other part of the body, in that you need to keep working it in order to maintain its good health and superior function. as it turns out, the scientific evidence is divided, although the theory sounds reasonable enough. [at least until you think about it too hard. after all, the brain is an organ, not a muscle and encouraging other organs to work harder doesn't generally make them healthier. if it did, alcoholics would have healthier livers than any of us.]

that said, there are a couple of good reasons why i think that exercising the brain is a very good thing for staving off mental disorders. first of all, it forces the brain to focus on something other than depression or anxiety. since those conditions often rob the brain of focus at all, merely the act of concentrating on the problem is fighting them. at the very least, it's a distraction from the things that might be making you feel depressed or anxious. second, problem solving is linked to the brain's "reward" system. we persevere at brain teasers because we know on a molecular level that when we solve them, our brain will reward us by releasing sweet, sweet chemicals. it's the same sort of high you get from doing drugs, but it's a lot cheaper. [and has no side effects!]

so here's a nifty little teaser that i picked up from the guardian [their website has an article with the solution and how to find it if you get desperate, but i'm not linking it, because i'm a very mean person].



to be clear, i'm not saying that these sorts of tests will work against serious mental disorders, so don't think that solving the new york times crossword puzzle is a good substitute for your medication. but if what you need is a break from everyday stresses, or if you just need a dopamine hit, there are a lot worse things you could do.

[feel free to let me know if you got the answer!]

Comments

as long as you're here, why not read more?

long suffering

i've been meaning to write this post for a while, but, every time i get started, something happens that makes me rethink portions of it, to add or subtract or consider a different way of looking at things. the post was originally going to be my take on a #metoo statement, but i ended up making that post on my personal facebook page. [it's not that i don't love you all, but there are a few things i'm not comfortable putting in the entirely public sphere.] but beyond joining the #metoo juggernaut, i wanted to write something about the wave of sexual assault revelations that continues to swell over the north american media landscape that wasn't about me. then i realised that that was a little more complicated than just writing "so, lotta sex rapes happenin' these days, ain't there?" or whatever it was that i was going to say.

so i tried writing something about just a part of it: the media coverage or the entertainment industry or the politicians or …

jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: getting cheeky

blush might just be the last thing that a beauty lover comes to appreciate, seeing as it can be a matter of slight degrees that separates one product from another, and it's most difficult to tell from just swatching a product how it's going to look. and it did take me a long time to appreciate that, despite loving my refined pallor and believing that my natural rosy flush was more than enough of a blush for me, blush is my friend. it softens, sculpts, perfects and, although you might not see it at first blush [yuk yuk yuk], it is something that subtly harmonises with the other colours in a look to make it "complete". yes, it's the most tricky thing to pull off when you're wearing something that doesn't mesh with your own undertones. but it's also the thing that can take a face from gloomy to glowing with a swish of the magic wand known as a makeup brush.

highlighters are an even trickier lot, since many of the more brilliant ones have a tendency to e…