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Practice Connection and Service to Others, Part 2

Many studies have shown that the healthiest and happiest people are commonly the first people to offer helping hands to coworkers and strangers in particular. In her extensive study of happiness, research psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky found many reasons altruism is associated with health. It fosters a sense of mastery, which often creates healthy physiological changes. […]

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Video: Living with Conscious Intention and Mastery

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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 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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Meditation Reduces Age-related Cognitive Decline

Brain research Brain researcher Sara Lazar has demonstrated that a serious meditation practice protects against the cortical thinning that normally occurs in old age. This is believed to result in higher cognitive functioning in an age group that has traditionally been seen to have diminished cognitive functioning. This study demonstrated that one small region of the prefrontal […]

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The Slippery Slope of Optimism

Optimism is the single most frequently cited attribute of healthy and happy people. But who is truly optimistic? Research psychologist Martin Seligman found that, to be effective, optimism must be embodied. Putting up a false front of optimism isn’t enough. In fact, trying to be optimistic can create emotional distress, which can then negatively impact […]

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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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Intentionality and Health

  Mindfulness practice allows us to develop the ability to observe and experience our thoughts, sensations, and emotions non-judgmentally, non-analytically, and with complete, unconditional acceptance.  This practice is an antidote to anxiety and depression, improves brain function, and is conducive to health and well-being.  Along with mindfulness practice, intentionality is an effective catalyst to health […]

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Meaning and Purpose in Health

You can improve your health by finding greater meaning and purpose in your life. Sometimes the meaning we ascribe to an illness catalyzes both physical and psychological/emotional healing. For example, when we view an illness as an opportunity to examine our lives and an opportunity to then take action in line with our authentic life […]

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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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