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Chronic Illness Q&A with Dr. B.

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

The purpose of this blog and the entire website is to provide evidence-based information on how to live a vibrant, meaningful life while living with chronic health challenges or other life challenges. Every Tuesday I post a new, very brief video from my presentations or interviews. Every Friday this Q&A column appears.

Here is this week’s question:

THIS WEEK’S QUESTION: How does meaning and purpose affect stress?

ANSWER: We all create meaning out of the events in our lives. The nature of the meaning we assign to an event can add or detract from our level of wellbeing and stress. For example, if the meaning we assign to an adverse event relates to a belief that we are helpless, stress is increased and wellbeing diminishes.

Making an effort to engage in our favorite activities can add meaning and purpose, reduce stress and improve wellbeing. One of the problems that occurs when we are struck down by a serious or debilitating medical condition is that we are no longer well enough to engage in any of the activities that previously gave our lives meaning and purpose.

Therefore, it is essential to find new sources of meaning and purpose. For example, many people in that situation have found meaning and purpose in becoming empowered medical patients. Becoming knowledgeable about your particular diagnosis and the treatment options can give you a purpose, which adds meaning to your life.

This website is offered as a free public service, supplying information that has been found helpful to certain people living with chronic health challenges or issues related to wellbeing. No treatment is offered on this website. The advice is general, and may or may not apply to your individual situation, and is not a substitute for psychotherapy or medical treatment.

What questions do you have about living a life of mindfulness-based mastery or about the relationship between the mind and health or wellbeing? Just scroll down and type your question in the comment box below. An answer to your specific question may not appear in this column. The reason for that is I wait until I get a certain number of related questions, then I pick one that covers them all and I answer that one. People in my classes and my other presentations asked most of the questions appearing in this column, and I repeat them here so you may benefit.

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