The Local Optimist Digest #39

The do's and don'ts of online dating, how to experience the benefits of mindfulness without meditating, and the mental health realities of having mixed emotions.

Welcome to The Local Optimist Digest, your crib sheet for the latest news in mental health. Whether you want to know how the government is (or is not) investing in our well-being, discover the latest research on how the mind impacts the body, or find out which celebrities are helping continue the conversation by opening up about their own mental health struggles, we’ll be covering it all here every week. This week, we’re looking at the mental health realities of having mixed emotions, expert advice for navigating online dating, and how to experience the benefits of mindfulness without meditation.

Jan Buchczik / The Atlantic

The Psychology Behind Mixed Emotions And How to Manage Them

Mixed emotions refer to a state of having conflicting or overlapping feelings, such as feeling happy and sad at the same time. This can occur when we experience a blend of emotions that are confusing or difficult to understand. While it is often assumed that feeling bad is more distressing than feeling conflicted, it has been found that having a cocktail of negative and positive emotions can actually be worse than a medley of negative ones. Experts look into the psychology of mixed emotions and explain how acknowledging them gives us the potential to better understand ourselves and others. READ.

Mid-night Wake Ups: What To Do If You Just Can’t Seem To Fall Back To Sleep

We've all faced the frustration when, despite our best efforts, we just can't seem to drift back to sleep after waking up in the middle of the night. If you find yourself often rousing after the first three to four hours of rest, your waking up may be attributed to the amygdala or hippocampus. These two parts of the brain, located within our limbic system, are responsible for processing emotions like fear and anxiety & storing memories. If any emotions or memories are heightened upon waking up, it has been found challenging to remain calm and return to a peaceful slumber. Experts delve into the common causes of nighttime awakenings and offer their advice on ways to fall back asleep. READ.

The Do's And Don'ts Of Online Dating, According To Experts

Navigating the online dating world can be a complex and confusing journey. Unfortunately, simple missteps may prevent you from finding a meaningful and lasting relationship. Dating apps offer a convenient way to connect with potential long-term partners. However, it's essential to steer clear of common pitfalls that may sabotage your chances of success, such as rushing through profiles or hiding your true intentions. Experts shine light on some of the mistakes made when dating online and offer valuable insights on how to sidestep them to your increase your chances of finding a compatible partner. READ.

5 Alternatives To Journaling (If Journaling Is Not Your Thing)

  1. Create a video or use voice notes.

  2. Make a mind map.

  3. Explore movement-based therapy.

  4. Make art.

  5. Use apps to track your mood.

Read MORE.

Maria Ponomariova/ Getty Images

How To Experience The Benefits Of Mindfulness Without Meditation

Mindfulness, the now-ubiquitous concept, involves turning your attention inward and being aware of your thoughts, sensations, and surroundings. Its benefits are vast. And while meditation is the most recognized way to cultivate mindfulness, not everyone finds it enjoyable or relaxing. The good news is that there are alternative methods to traditional meditation that can still help us be more mindful throughout our daily lives. READ.

Diversify Our Narrative

This week, we are excited to highlight Diversify Our Narrative, an organization of over six thousand students fighting for racial justice through our education systems. The foundation, founded in 2020, initially began with one goal: change high school English classrooms to include diverse texts. Since then, they have extended their vision to three core tenants in the fight to be antiracist: policy change, education, and community building. To utilize their resources and tools or donate to the cause, head HERE.

The International Red Cross And Red Crescent

Our hearts go out to those impacted by the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake in southern Turkey. To support relief efforts, we want to highlight The International Red Cross and Red Crescent. The Turkish Red Crescent teams, part of the International Red Cross, are providing hot meals and drinks, shipping needed blood and plasma into affected areas, and providing survivors with psychosocial support in Turkey and Syria. To get involved, donate, or learn more about their efforts, click HERE.

Get Rewarded for Sharing the Digest

Welcome to our new referral program, in which we give you some goodies for sharing the Digest with people who might enjoy this mental health news recap (and its bad jokes) as much as you do.

Here's how it works:1: Use the 'Click To Share' button below to access your personal link.2: Send this unique referral link to friends or family through email or text.3: Earn rewards like Local Optimist stickers, The Madhappy Journal, and Madhappy hats when they subscribe to the digest. Must be based in the U.S.