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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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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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