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Q & A with Dr. B. – What is the difference between wants and needs?

The purpose of this website, my book, and the Community Education course I teach at the College of Marin, is to teach people how to live a vibrant, meaningful life through the cultivation of self-empowerment and self-efficacy. In this weekly Q&A column, I post questions from students and from people who attend my presentations along […]

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Video: Openheartedness and Love Confer Health

Studies by James McKay found that people who are open and friendly to strangers had half the rate of major illnesses of those who kept a cold and distant attitude toward strangers. These “affiliator types” (people who value relationships) had stronger defenses against viruses and cancer cells and their CD-4/CD8 ratios were better. CD stands […]

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Video: Social Connections Are Essential for Health

Around the world and in all cultures, the healthiest people belong to some kind of community or at least have close friends. Humans are meant to be in community and the degree of community we experience directly correlates with the degree of health we experience. A healthy network of supportive relationships is essential for the […]

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Video: Are Your Thoughts Making You Sick?

In the words of psychooncologist Lawrence LeShan, PhD: “Feelings affect body chemistry, which affects the development or regression of a tumor, just as body chemistry affects feelings.” In other words, what Dr. LeShan was saying was that our thought processes affect our body chemistry and those biochemical changes do influence tumor growth as well as […]

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Video: State of Mind Can Improve State of Health

Norman Cousins had been an editor of the Saturday Evening Post and later went on to help UCLA start what, after his death, became known as the Norman Cousins Institute for Psychoneuroimmunology. This became one of the first centers for serious research into the interplay between mind and body. After his experience of recovering from […]

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Video: Mind Moves Matter

When Deepak Chopra was a young medical resident, training in endocrinology, he had a patient with widely metastasized liver cancer. As was sometimes the case fifty years ago, doctors would sometimes lie to the patient about the seriousness of the diagnosis. They did this because their belief was that being told you only have a […]

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Video: Belief Becomes Biology

Norman Cousins helped create the psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) Program at UCLA. He is most known for his book: Anatomy of An Illness, in which he described his personal experiences overcoming a life-threatening illness by increasing his level of happiness. “Belief Becomes Biology” is one of his notable quotes. He had read the work of Dr. William James. […]

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Self-Limiting Beliefs Limit Happiness

One of my mentors, Dr. Jeanne Achterberg once said: “No thought, no emotion, is without biochemical, electrochemical activity; and the activity leaves no cell untouched.” There is an ancient expression that is often said to someone who worries a lot: You’re gonna make yourself sick! Another one is: You’re gonna give yourself a heart attack! […]

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Video: You Don’t Have to Believe Everything You Think

A belief is healthy if it catalyzes positive emotion. Negative, self-defeating or self-deprecating beliefs are unhealthy because they catalyze emotional distress and bodily stress, which is very bad for our health and wellbeing. Although negative thinking is unhealthy, positive thinking can be extremely difficult to achieve when you are not feeling well or things in […]

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Empowered Patients Make Things Happen

The hundreds of studies I reviewed and explain in my book all point to certain specific behaviors and activities that consistently correlate with wellbeing and better health outcomes. The first is autonomy, which refers to courageously taking action to make things happen. Empowered patients have an internal locus of control; in other words, their motivation […]

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