Mind over matter is a mantra used to help people walk over searing coals or sink a game-winning shot. And according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), it's also a way to help fix some serious and widespread health concerns.
The NIH and its subgroup, the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), have released a series of four videos that show how better behaviors and mind power can help solve large-scale health problems like diabetes, mindless eating, substance abuse, and even skin pigmentation.
The four videos are all short (under seven minutes) and feature one-on-one interviews with pioneering professors and researchers. For example, Dr. Charlene Quinn discusses how diabetes can be better managed with mobile health (mHealth) to help patients stay mindful of their behavior. Another, featuring Dr. Carl Lejuez, explores how certain psychological tendencies (an ability to tolerate psych tests, for example) can predict substance abuse. And while the videos focus on some cutting-edge cognitive thought, the conclusions never seem like sci-fi, whether that means tshirts that can track and manage the wearer's diabetes or simple logic puzzles that improve positive reinforcement for good decisions.
Each video acts like a mini TED Talk that focuses specifically on innovations in health and wellness, and how our own thinking processes can positively — or negatively — affect our wellbeing. We've embedded one video on mindless eating above, but be sure to check out the whole series below.
- Using Mobile Technology to Manage Diabetes — Dr. Charlene Quinn, professor at the University of Maryland
- Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think — Dr. Brain Wansink, professor at Cornell University
- Understanding Skin Pigmentation to Understand Your Health — Dr. Nina Jablonski, professor at Penn State University
- How Risk Taking Relates to Substance Use — Dr. Carl Lejuez, professor at the University of Maryland
Take a look through the videos and let us know what you think!
How much does behavior affect your health? Sound off in the comments below or tweet Zack at @zsniderman.