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Chronic Illness Q&A with Dr. B.

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

This question & answer column is for people living with chronic health challenges and their family caregivers, who want to learn to increase the odds of improving their health by learning to live with mastery & wellbeing.

I invite you to post your questions in the comments box below. When I get a certain number of related questions, I pick one that covers them all and I answer that one.

I post to this blog three times per week. Monday posts are relevant published articles. Wednesday posts are interviews—mostly video. Friday posts consist of questions about living better with chronic health challenges, and my answers to them.

Here is this week’s question:

THIS WEEK’S QUESTION:  What’s an example of how mindfulness can lead to medical self-efficacy or self-care mastery?

ANSWER:   Although mindfulness is most often thought of as a type of meditation, the purpose of the meditation is to train us to be more awake throughout the day. Here are two examples from my own life—the first one is about mindfulness and the second one is about my lack of it:

When my wife and I were in the hospital following her major surgery, every time a doctor, nurse, nurse assistant, or tech came in the room, I watched and listened to everything in order to prevent errors; I was acting very mindfully.

Recently, I got a chest x-ray due to a suspected problem with my diaphragm. The rad tech took two views; after I got home, I realized that the lateral view was done on the wrong side. This is an example of how my lack of mindfulness resulted in not catching a very obvious mistake.

In addition to the benefit of helping us prevent medical (and other) errors, the more alert we are, the more vibrant we feel.

One way to be more alert is to set a strong intention every day to cultivate curiosity. Curiosity about whatever is going on around us not only helps us reduce the odds of potentially harmful things happening to us, it leads to a more rewarding and vibrant life, and results in feeling more in control of our lives. 

This website is offered as a free public service, supplying information that has been found helpful to certain people living with chronic health challenges. 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 how to live better with chronic health challenges that are related to the relationship between states of mind and health? 

Just scroll down and type your question in the comment box. I will post a reply to your comment, but your question may not appear in this column. 

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