CLICK HERE to Sign Up for EMAIL NEWSLETTERS and get a FREE PREVIEW of "In Your Own Hands: New Hope..."

Meaning and Purpose Improve Health and Happiness

You can be happier and healthier by increasing meaning and purpose. The terms meaning and purpose often appear together. For our discussion here, I would frame them this way: acting with purpose refers to taking any action that is of sufficient importance that it gives our lives meaning.  In writing about his forty years of […]

Read full story

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 […]

Read full story

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 […]

Read full story

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 […]

Read full story

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 […]

Read full story

Hope and Cancer

Norman Cousins reported on a UCLA study in which a research team launched a national survey of cancer specialists, asking their opinions of which personality attributes most contributed to improved medical outcomes. A total of 649 oncologists responded, reporting on their experiences in treating more than a hundred thousand cancer patients. More than 90 percent […]

Read full story

Dedication and birth of this blog

This is my first blog post. I dedicate this blog to the tens of thousands of people who live with chronic health challenges despite good health care and good self-care. I also dedicate this blog to all of you who are physicians working with this population while your colleagues are in the more lucrative specialties. […]

Read full story

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 […]

Read full story

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 […]

Read full story

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 […]

Read full story