The latest news on vices, sex addiction, and stress from our November 2013 issue.
1 / 4
To Overcome a Vice, Steer Clear of It
<p>Got an enticement you can’t resist? New research from the Universities of Cambridge and Düsseldorf shows that, instead of relying on <a href="http://www.mensfitness.com/topics/mental-health"target=_blank>willpower</a> to defeat it, remove the temptation and you’ll increase your chances of success. “The most effective way to beat temptations is to avoid facing them in the first place,” says Cambridge researcher Molly Crockett, Ph.D. Steering clear of would-be traps (say, a joint where you regularly make a hog of yourself) may not feel like the “masculine” way (“Yo, bro, man up!”), but it’s the smart way—and your abs will show their appreciation.</p>
<p>That would be pretty much a no, according to a first- of-its-kind UCLA study that measured brain patterns of “hypersexual” individuals and found no evidence of the type of disorder seen in people with drug or alcohol addictions. So while problems with sexual compulsion undoubtedly exist, they’re likely based more on libido level than any actual disease-like “addiction.” So, knock it off, Carlos Danger—we know you’ve got some, er, time on your hands now, but show some self-control.</p>
<p>If you’re the type of person who typically sees the glass as half full, you’re less prone to stress than your pessimistic brethren, says a new study in <em>Health Psychology</em>. Negative thinkers have more unstable levels of the stress hormone cortisol, the research showed, which could lead to depression, sleep problems, autoimmune diseases, and even heart disease. “A positive outlook protects the body from the impact of stress,” says study researcher Joelle Jubin. Of course, a sense of humor doesn’t hurt, either. As comedian George Carlin philosophized, “Some people think the glass is half full. Some people think the glass is half empty. I think the glass is too big.”</p>
<p>Anyone who’s watched <em>Citizen Kane</em> knows that materialism leads to loneliness or worse. But recent research in the <em>Journal of Consumer Research</em> suggests that one form of materialism, namely—“enjoying luxury and comfort because it makes life nice,”—can actually decrease loneliness, according to study author Rik Pieters, Ph.D.</p>