Chronic Illness Q&A with Dr. B.

larry-berkelhammer_hs1This 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:  There have been many questions related to the connection between mind and health.

ANSWER:  I’ve written extensively on this website about the connection between wellbeing and health. In a nutshell, wellbeing has a powerful influence on physiological functioning and health. No one familiar with all the research or with their personal experiences connecting a belly ache or backache or headache with emotional distress would question that connection. However, the challenge is in figuring out how to increase wellbeing. I’d like to propose a three-pronged approach to live with greater wellbeing.

1.    Psychotherapy, especially group therapy, CBT or the new Third-wave behavioral therapies such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

2.    Mindfulness, such as MBSR, or insight meditation (vipassana).

3.    Adopt the most evidence-based behaviors that improve wellbeing, such as increasing your quantity and quality of social support, identifying and pursuing what gives your life meaning and purpose. Take a look at the following:

 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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