Addiction

The Physical and Emotional Parallels of Hoarding

In the newly-released indie film "Hello, My Name Is Doris," sweet and eccentric Doris (played by Sally Field) is an older woman who lives in her deceased mother’s immensely cluttered house. Needless to say, Doris grapples with hoarding issues, tightly clinging to all kinds of items from her past. Her home’s disarray is a barrier of sorts, physically creating entrapment to what was - and not what could be.

Doris blossoms through a new relationship with a younger man (played by Max Greenfield). Though the outcome of their relationship may not be the one she unequivocally pines for, their time together symbolizes hope for what is very well possible in her next life chapter. She’s merely grateful for the friendship they share -- for its impact.

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Aging

Love is a Verb: Findings from the Longest Study on Happiness

For decades psychology as a science studied the flaws in human beings. Depression, anxiety and mental illness research and treatment protocols dominated the journals. Looking for causes and treatments, scientists sought to find ways to alleviate suffering for the populace. In spite of all the advances and success, one truth remained: Not being depressed isn’t the same as being happy.

Nonetheless, since 1938 researchers at Harvard have been collecting data about 724 men. The study followed two groups of men for 75 years. Harvard psychiatrist George Vaillant began the study of 268 Harvard sophomores, while law school professor Sheldon Glueck studied 456 12- to 16-year-old boys who grew up in inner city Boston.

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Aging

Let Your Childhood Dreams Help You Live an Intentional Life


Chances are, you were on to something about yourself then.

Do you remember taking a careers class when you were a kid? You know, the class that got you thinking about your future employment?

I remember it. It was way back in 9th grade at Penndale Junior High.

I remember wanting to be a commercial artist back then. I was fascinated by typography and calligraphy, and, at the time, that was the only thing I could think of that would bring me happiness and capitalize on those interests.
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Aging

9 Simple Ways to Exercise Your Brain

Research shows it's possible for both our bodies and our minds to age well. Try incorporating a few of the tips below to keep your brain sharp and strong well into your golden years.

Write a thank-you letter.
Research shows that writing with a pen on paper can create and sharpen existing neural pathways in the brain, while carving new neuronal connections. The hippocampus, which is responsible for memory formation, and stories of memories also is exercised. Research proves every day that cultivating and expressing gratitudecan make you healthier and happier.
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Aging

3 Ways to Increase Adult Happiness

A man's maturity consists in having found again the seriousness one had as a child, at play. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 - 1900)
A number of years ago, I stayed up till 1:30 in the morning watching a long lineup of comics at The Comedy Store in Hollywood, Calif. I remember being thoroughly entertained during each and every one of their routines. Yet, there’s only one act I recall in detail. Like all the others, it was based on the kind of exaggerated truth we can all relate to. I remember it above the others because it’s a truth that stayed with me, a truth of which I believe many of us adults need to be reminded.
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Aging

Epigenetics and Well-Being

In 2008, the National Institutes of Health announced that $190 million had been earmarked for epigenetics research over the following five years. In announcing the funding, government officials noted that epigenetics has the potential to explain mechanisms of aging, human development, the origins of cancer, heart disease, and mental illness, as well as several other conditions.

Even when you’ve inherited genes from your biological parents, they might or might not be active in your own makeup. When a gene activates, that’s called “genetic expression.” It turns out that genetic expression can be affected by your experiences and even by your thoughts and feelings.

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Addiction

Older Americans Are More Prone to Substance Abuse

In 1998, government officials warned of a dire trend that we’ve only recently began to take note of. It wasn't an asteroid hurtling toward earth or the ever-growing impact of humans on the climate. It was elder substance abuse.

In the late 1990s, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) already was predicting the drastic increase in alcohol and drug abuse among adults 60 years old and up.

Close to twenty years later, we don’t know much more than we did in 1998.
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Aging

Dying Well: How to Have the Hardest Conversation

All of us live in a bubble, an illusion of safety and security that our lives will continue along a single, set trajectory of our own choosing. Sadly, life is rarely cooperative. We hit bumps in our relationship. Our bodies become the victims of a disease. We get into a car accident. We lose a friend.

One of the hardest conversations to have with someone is when something happens that compromises a person's health. It could be cancer, it could be an auto accident or some other injury. Or it could be the result of simply aging and getting to a point where your body starts to give out. How does the person want the last days of their life to be?

How do you have the hardest conversation about dying -- and dying well -- with a loved one?

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Aging

Have You Lost the Pep in Your Step?

There are times in your life when you will feel like you’ve had enough! You work too hard; you worry too much; you no longer have pep in your step. You yearn for the kid you used to be who knew how to have fun, who loved to run around, who laughed easily.

It’s been awhile since you began to view life as a never-ending burden, requiring you to put one foot in front of the other to get going. Inside you, there’s a meanness and a madness. It feels awful. Those feelings are invisible to most people because you can still paste a smile on your face.
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Aging

Using Social Media to Glimpse Our Past Selves

It’s the summer of 2005. My friend and I are lounging at a public pool during one of those sweltering July afternoons. Before we immerse ourselves in the water, feeling the coolness of chlorine on our skin, we decide to dedicate a decent amount of time to snapping photos of each other for MySpace.

We were 15. This was the first major social networking site within our reach, and we were hooked.
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Aging

Growing Up: Playfully Serious vs. Seriously Playful

My father liked to teach his sons basic skills, like how to use a saw, tighten a nut, and catch a baseball. In one of my earliest memories of him we are on a beach and he is teaching me how to skip stones across the water. First, choose the right stone: not too heavy and not too light, flat enough and having an edge so you can spin it off your finger. You also have to bend over and throw it at just the right angle.

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