Chronic Illness Q&A with Dr. B.

larryB&W@300This 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 today’s question:

QUESTION:  You have stressed the importance of working at finding ways to spend as much of your time doing what makes you feel most alive. A possible problem I see is that some people feel most alive playing video games and I wonder if all activities that make us feel alive are equally healthy.

ANSWER: As a matter of fact, considerable research has been done on your question and it turns out that some activities are much healthier than other activities. Over time, in this column, I have recommended the activities that researchers have found, after controlling for lifestyle variables, most often equated with better health.

 Here’s one that often is overlooked by people—altruism. Most people who volunteer to help others say they do it because they get so much out of it. Studies have consistently shown that after controlling for all the usual variables, people who go out of their way to help others live with greater happiness and better health. Therefore, I recommend looking for opportunities to help other people. This can take the form of organized volunteer work, or even something as simple as holding open a door or carrying a package for someone. Notice how good you feel about yourself afterward and how much more connected you feel with others.

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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