The Local Optimist Digest #50

The meaning behind a recurring dream, how to break or form a habit, and the benefits of crying.

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 benefits of crying, how technology contributes to loneliness, and the meaning behind a recurring dream.

The Atlantic / Jan Buchczik

Why Crying Is So Good For You

From the tears we shed in moments of joy to those we cry in times of sorrow, crying is an essential part of what makes us human. Through expert insights and personal anecdotes from people around the world, researchers are examining the many ways in which crying is a universal language that transcends cultural and societal boundaries. Experts shed new light on this often-misunderstood emotional experience, emphasizing the importance of embracing and allowing ourselves to cry in order to release and process our emotions. READ.

The Meaning Behind Recurring Dreams

Do you find yourself waking up to the same unsettling dream? Recurring dreams can be frustrating and confusing, leaving you wondering if there's a deeper meaning behind them. Fortunately, experts are exploring the science of dreaming to unravel the causes and significance of repeating dreams. From common themes like falling and being chased to more complex scenarios, researchers are working to uncover the hidden messages that your subconscious mind is trying to convey. READ.

Technology’s Impact On Loneliness And Relationships

In today's hyper-connected world, technology has transformed the way we interact with each other. In some instances, technology is a tool that brings us closer together and supports the cultivation of fulfilling relationships. In other instances, it increases feelings of isolation and loneliness. As researchers grapple with the impact of technology on our social relationships, they are uncovering a paradoxical truth: that our ever-increasing connectivity may actually be eroding the quality of our connections. READ.

How To Break Or Form A Habit

To break a habit:

  • Identify your triggers, and then avoid or modify them.

  • Find a substitute: try replacing the old habit with a new and healthier one.

  • Practice self-compassion: setbacks are a natural part of the process. Recommit to your goal and carry on.

To form a habit:

  • Start small: begin with a simple and achievable habit that you can easily integrate into your daily routine.

  • Be consistent: repeat the habit consistently until it becomes automatic.

  • Reward yourself along the way to stay motivated.

Read MORE.

The Washington Post / iStock

Managing ADHD Throughout Medication Shortages

The ongoing shortage of ADHD medication in the United States is causing widespread uncertainty and disruption in treatment, profoundly impacting the lives of millions of children and adults who depend on their prescriptions. Despite parents and medical professionals' best efforts to mitigate the situation, the shortage is taking a toll on children's education and mental health. As families and educators struggle to find effective treatment options, experts provide coping strategies for those affected by the lack of supply, including staying informed, exploring alternative treatment options with medical professionals, and prioritizing self-care and stress management. READ.

The Nico Stillman Foundation (TNSF)

This week, we are excited to highlight The Nico Stillman Foundation (TNSF), a nonprofit organization benefiting colorectal cancer research. Founded in 2022 by friends and family of Nico Stillman, who passed last January at age 28 after a 10-month cancer battle, TNSF aims to improve the quality of life of those living with colorectal cancer by funding and empowering researchers, educators, and advocates. In its first year of existence, TNSF has already raised over $70k, and has partnerships lined up with the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, and other longstanding foundations benefiting colorectal cancer research, such as Inside Anne’s Closet. To learn more about TNSF and ways to support, head 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.