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: How does mindfulness practice lead to living a more full life?

ANSWER: In her book entitled Mindfulness, research psychologist Dr. Ellen Langer provides this metaphor: “If we spill a drop of red sauce on a white shirt, we easily will notice it. If the shirt were a busy plaid, we might not. Most of us are so disengaged from ourselves, and stressed, depressed, overworked, and so on, that we look at ourselves and see plaid shirts. But that can change if we take note of what is new and different about the world and ourselves. When we notice new things, we become mindful, and mindfulness begets more mindfulness. The more mindful we become, the more we see ourselves as white shirts and the easier it is to find the red spot and remove it.”

I believe there is another way to interpret Dr. Langer’s metaphor and it is as follows: With mindfulness practice, we would notice the red spot, yet no longer be troubled by it, and in fact welcome it.

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.