In Your Own Hands: Mindfulness-Based Practices to Optimize Wellbeing
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Loving Self-Care and Health

Loving self-care, as I am using the term, means giving oneself the gift of presence while engaged in the activities of self-care. Some of us who live with chronic illness spend a lot of time engaged in self-care, and our state of mind during that time affects the results of that self-care.  Imagine caring for […]

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Improve Health and Happiness by Setting and Pursuing Goals

Goals Energize Us. During my three years at the Simonton Cancer Center, we always impressed upon patients that energy is essential to healing and that the act of pursuing goals can be extremely energizing. Setting goals helps us conceptualize our reasons for living and get clarity on what gives our lives meaning and purpose. In […]

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The Fine Line Between Striving and Nonattachment to Outcomes

When living with a chronic debilitating medical condition, it is essential to do everything possible in terms of diet, exercise and rest. It is also essential to do everything possible to find meaning and purpose, to increase social support, and to do whatever it takes to develop environmental mastery—the sense of being in control of […]

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Psychotherapy to Treat Medical Conditions?

We normally go to psychotherapists for help with psychological issues and go to physicians for help with medical issues. However, new research in psychoneuroimmunology and neuropsychology reveals direct connections between health and happiness.  In my 3-years of training at the Simonton Cancer Center, it became very clear to me that behind all the tools that […]

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Dedication and birth of this blog

This is my first blog post. I dedicate this blog to the tens of thousands of people who live with chronic health challenges despite good health care and good self-care. I also dedicate this blog to all of you who are physicians working with this population while your colleagues are in the more lucrative specialties. […]

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Inspiring Reaction to Serious Illness

When people are told they have a chronic, incurable disease or condition, and especially if the diagnosis is potentially life-threatening or extremely debilitating, they understandably react with shock, terror, disbelief, anger, and grief. For some people, the diagnosis serves as a wake-up call and they begin to live life more fully than ever before. A […]

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Belief Becomes Biology

Beliefs alter physiology to the degree to which we are fused with them. For example, the thought This headache could be a brain tumor could create enormous emotional distress, leading to physiological stress and illness. The ability to step back from that thought and take it lightly causes no distress and is harmless. The most […]

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Flourishing

In his book Flourishing, research psychologist Martin Seligman writes: “I was aware of a legion of anecdotes about people taking sick and even dying when helpless, so I began to wonder if learned helplessness somehow could reach inside the body and undermine health and vitality. I also wondered about the inverse: Could the psychological state […]

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Environmental Mastery Introduced

One of the problems of living with chronic health challenges is that it is common to begin to feel helpless, especially if one has spent years trying every medical and alternative treatment without success. Feelings of helplessness also stem from missing meaningful work and play activities as a result of not feeling well. Environmental mastery […]

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