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Skills Not Pills Part 2

 Simple Behavioral Changes and Physiological Functioning Even the simplest of behavioral changes such as varying our posture serve to alter cognition, emotion, and physiological functioning. For example, when we stand tall, we feel better than if we slump. When we intentionally practice maintaining good posture—this can serve as a mindfulness practice. One reason we feel […]

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Awareness of Choice Improves Health and Wellbeing

Awareness of Behavior Leads to Awareness of Choice. The goal is to increase awareness of our behavior in order to assess, throughout the day, whether our behavior is the most effective behavior to help us meet our needs and goals. Also, is our behavior in harmony with how we want to live our lives—with what […]

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What Causes Disease, Part 2

The Physiological Effects of Persistent Emotional Distress It is normal to experience emotional distress brought on by the events and circumstances of everyday life. When this happens sporadically, it is not a problem—the body is resilient enough to fully recover from most transient stressors, emotional or otherwise. When emotional distress becomes chronic, though, it creates […]

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Authentic Self-Expression and Health Part 3

Expressive Writing and Immune Function Research psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky found in her psychotherapy practice that those who write are happier. Adopting the creative writing exercises of psychoneuroimmunology researcher James Pennebaker, she found that, for many people, it’s much easier to authentically self-express by writing in a private journal than to do that in psychotherapy sessions. […]

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Authentic Self-Expression and Health Part 2

During the 1950s, psychologist Lawrence LeShan discovered that one way he could know his psychotherapy sessions with hospitalized patients were working was that the nursing staff would begin to complain about those patients—once deemed compliant, his most successful patients were now labeled “difficult” or “noncompliant.” Suddenly, for example, when a nurse entered to do a […]

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Authentic Self-Expression and Health Part 1

In the book, Cancer as a Turning Point, research psychologist Lawrence LeShan describes how he pioneered the application of psychotherapy to working with advanced metastatic cancer patients, with the goal of improving longevity. In his lengthy career he consistently observed that those who went into remission were those who had learned to sing their own […]

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Who Gets Well?

 What science studies the effects of mind on immune function? Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) researchers explore the relationship of cognition and emotion to nervous, endocrine, and immune system functioning. This field was born in the early 1980s when new technology allowed researchers to make the amazing discovery that throughout the body, there are nerve receptors on immune […]

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Why Suffer Unnecessarily?

In Mindfulness-and Acceptance-Based Behavioral Therapies in Practice, research psychologists Lizabeth Roemer and Susan Orsillo teach that unnecessary suffering results from three related mechanisms: 1. An unhealthy relationship to our inner subjective experiences, consisting of one or more of the following: a. Cognitive fusion—an overidentification with our thoughts, emotions, images, and sensations b. Judgment—criticism of self […]

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Inspiring Reaction to Serious Illness

When people are told they have a chronic, incurable disease or condition, and especially if the diagnosis is potentially life-threatening or extremely debilitating, they understandably react with shock, terror, disbelief, anger, and grief. For some people, the diagnosis serves as a wake-up call and they begin to live life more fully than ever before. A […]

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