Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

This 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 this week’s question:

THIS WEEK’S QUESTION:  What do you mean when you say that we’re practicing all the time? 

ANSWER:  The word practice is usually associated with practicing of a sport, a musical instrument, the learning of a foreign language, or any other endeavor that we wish to master. The same principle applies to literally every behavior we engage in repeatedly. In other words, repeating any behavior is the same as practicing that behavior. And the more we repeat that behavior, the more likely we are to continue repeating it and doing so with greater ease, skill, and self-efficacy. The reason for this is that every time we engage in a certain behavior, we reinforce all the neural circuits for that behavior, making it more likely we’ll behave that same way in the future. This is true for all healthy as well as unhealthy behaviors. One way to make use of this phenomenon is to think of all behaviors as practices. Learning to recognize and observe our behaviors is a type of mindfulness practice. Labeling that behavior as a practice is also a mindfulness practice.

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.