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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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Altruism Improves Health

Whenever we perform an act of kindness, we feel good about ourselves, and feeling good about ourselves is healthy—emotionally and physiologically. Good deeds increase our sense of connection with others—a variable that has consistently been associated with health. This could help explain why it is that in numerous studies, altruism has been strongly associated with […]

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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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The best drugs are those made by the brain.

The most effective drugs are free and without any side effects. These are biological drugs prescribed by the brain and synthesized by the endocrine, immune, GI, nervous, cardiovascular, renal, hepatic, and other systems. If one is in perfect health, these endogenously produced drugs are dispensed in exactly the right formula, dose, and schedule and are […]

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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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Social Support and Health

Around the world and in all cultures, the healthiest people belong to some type of community, have close friends, often feel a connection with all humanity, provide social support to others, and are able to ask for it for themselves when they need it.  All forms of chronic and life-threatening health challenges are more prevalent […]

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Loving Self-Care and Health

Loving self-care, as I am using the term, means giving oneself the gift of presence while engaged in the activities of self-care. Some of us who live with chronic illness spend a lot of time engaged in self-care, and our state of mind during that time affects the results of that self-care.  Imagine caring for […]

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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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