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Improve Health and Happiness by Setting and Pursuing Goals

Goals Energize Us. During my three years at the Simonton Cancer Center, we always impressed upon patients that energy is essential to healing and that the act of pursuing goals can be extremely energizing. Setting goals helps us conceptualize our reasons for living and get clarity on what gives our lives meaning and purpose. In […]

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The Fine Line Between Striving and Nonattachment to Outcomes

When living with a chronic debilitating medical condition, it is essential to do everything possible in terms of diet, exercise and rest. It is also essential to do everything possible to find meaning and purpose, to increase social support, and to do whatever it takes to develop environmental mastery—the sense of being in control of […]

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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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Danger: Cognitive Fusion!

Cognitive fusion is the state of mind in which we are so fused with our thoughts that they appear to be synonymous with fact. Most suffering in the world is the result of being fused to our beliefs.  In this state, we have such strong identification with and/or attachment to our thoughts and beliefs that […]

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Psychotherapy to Treat Medical Conditions?

We normally go to psychotherapists for help with psychological issues and go to physicians for help with medical issues. However, new research in psychoneuroimmunology and neuropsychology reveals direct connections between health and happiness.  In my 3-years of training at the Simonton Cancer Center, it became very clear to me that behind all the tools that […]

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The Connection Between Mood and Cancer

In a large prospective study by research psychologist Richard Shekelle and his team at the Western Electric plant in Chicago, 2,010 middle-aged male employees were given psychological tests that looked specifically at depression scores. The men were followed for seventeen years. The men who had tested as depressed developed cancers over the course of the […]

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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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Belief Becomes Biology

Beliefs alter physiology to the degree to which we are fused with them. For example, the thought This headache could be a brain tumor could create enormous emotional distress, leading to physiological stress and illness. The ability to step back from that thought and take it lightly causes no distress and is harmless. The most […]

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Train Your Mind: Evolve Your Brain

The fascination with mind training goes back many thousands of years. The most successful hunters practiced it twenty thousand years ago in the form of conscious use of the imagination. World-class athletes today train their minds with neurofeedback and other high-tech measures in order to improve their performance. Brain scans are now revealing that mind […]

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