Health-related Articles

Sleep and Light Exposure

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

Sleep and LightThe information and research findings on sleep are coming fast and furious these days. There seems to be a backlash to the cult of productivity and the former “badge of honor” for functioning on the least amount of sleep. There is a recurrent theme, which is that by not making restorative sleep a priority, there are both short-term and longer term negative consequences.

The negative impact of too much artificial light has become increasingly more relevant, as many of us are using multiple light-emitting devices right up until when our head hits the pillow. If you are interested in the optimal functioning of the human organism, it’s time to evaluate your sleep quantity, quality, and routine, as well as your exposure to both natural and artificial light.

What My Cancer Scare Taught Me about Love and Dating

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

meaningful-relationship

Sometimes it takes an extreme situation to see there is love right in front of you.

Have you ever suddenly had a change of health that put a halt to your desire to date? A dramatic unexpected diagnosis can quickly change your dating goals or even obliterate them temporarily. You may need surgery or treatment that will be the focus of your life for a while.

That is what happened to me recently. I experienced an interruption in dating while I focused on my health.

The Ice Bucket Challenge: Remembering Loved Ones Affected by ALS

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

ice_cubes

I am impressed with the viral nature of the “Ice Bucket Challenge,” but I’m wondering if people really understand its purpose above and beyond the fun of calling out their friends (and enemies).

This challenge is intended to raise money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease — but to me ALS means “my mom’s disease.” So, let me take you on a journey through ALS so you really know what it feels like in the hopes that you donate rather than, or in addition to, take the “icy way” out of the challenge. I challenge you to read this without crying — and then I call you out to raise awareness on what this craze is really all about.

4 Tips for Becoming Emotionally Resilient

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

4 Tips for Becoming Emotionally Resilient  “Emotional resilience is the ability to manage and cope with stressors …

Finding the Yin and Yang During the Hot Summer Months

Monday, September 8th, 2014

sunny_summer-1153

It’s been a hot summer. I showed up to my yoga studio the other day, and noticed that the air purifying machine was blinking and beeping, which made me think of my kitchen lights, which just the night before had shorted out. I looked up to see the time and saw that even the clock was running slow. I was about to teach a class on the dangers of “Summer System Overload,” and the electronics were proving my point.

We know, of course, that we have to be careful when it’s hot to avoid dehydration, heatstroke, and sunburn, but extreme heat can also affect us on energetic and emotional levels. From a Taoist perspective, we are in a Yang season, and now is an important time to stay in touch with our inner Yin.

Subtle Signs It Might Be Time to See a Therapist

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Getting to the Good PartOften it’s not glaringly obvious that we need to seek professional help. So we wait until we’re experiencing crippling anxiety, a deep depression, full-blown insomnia or seething self-loathing to finally contact a therapist.

In fact, many people do. According to some research, people wait years or even decades before seeking help.

However, going to therapy early — before problems become deeply entrenched — means we can feel better faster, and start the process of healing sooner.

Breath Practice Made Simple

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Flickr/Mae ChevretteBreath is your most accessible and portable tool to calm and center yourself. Breath techniques are ancient and are practiced world-wide in different religious and spiritual practices, as part of various healing modalities, and in yoga, martial arts, and other physical activities.

The breath is always with us, but we generally take it for granted.

Hyper-Worried About Your Health? 3 Tips to Help

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Hyper-Worried About Your Health? 3 Tips to Help Some people are especially attuned to their bodily sensations. When they experience certain symptoms — headache, stomachache, dizziness or any kind of discomfort — they assume the worst. They start worrying that something is very wrong with them.

What if it’s heart disease or cancer? What if it’s a tumor or meningitis? What if it’s an illness I don’t know about or doctors haven’t even discovered?

They may pore over medical websites trying to diagnose their symptoms, trying to figure out if they’re safe or sick. They may become consumed by their worry, ruminating about a specific illness or a range of dangerous or deadly diseases.

Reactivity and Its Impact

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Reactivity and Its ImpactI recently presented to a large group of Direct Support Professionals, people who support individuals with behavioral challenges. I have conducted similar workshops for family members of those with serious mental illness.

We talk about stress management, self-protection, and the limits of compassion. We meditate together. But the topic that always garners the most interest is how the supporters’ own reactivity, or fight or flight response, can precipitate negative behaviors in the individuals they support.

Once an Addict, Always an Addict?

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

Once an Addict, Always an Addict? This is a saying I’ve always grappled with. One part of me is against any type of labeling, let alone a heavy label to be carried for the rest of your life. We are all so interchangeably dynamic, that to categorize someone into a box forever doesn’t sit well. 

Another part of me completely agrees with this statement and perceives it to be utterly valid. Instead of denying who you are, true acceptance perhaps is the only way to not only recover, but to continue to maintain your recovery. However much I am against “branding” someone for life, it is human nature to create categorizes in order to piece things together and make sense of circumstances.

When Happiness Isn’t a Choice

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

P6160020American poet T. S. Eliot wrote:

I said to my soul, be still and wait without …

Life in Balance?

Monday, August 25th, 2014

 

{Flickr photo by RelaxingMusic}

Is your life in balance? By identifying stressors and associated feelings, evaluating lifestyle habits, engaging in relaxation activities, and monitoring self-care, balance is achievable.

Identify what your stressors are: work, relationships, juggling multiple demands, or a personal belief system. What is it that’s stressing you out? What can you change and what can you improve?

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