Source: Pixabay Key Points: The physical and emotional consequences of chronic pain can show up in ways sufferers may not expect. Recognizing that a bad mood or poor sleep are related to chronic pain could help increase compassion and limit self-blame. It’s been a hard few months for me. In addition to restrictions necessitated by the pandemic (I’m doing everything to keep myself and those around me safe), I’m experiencing an intensification of chronic pain, partly due to my ongoing chronic illness (ME/CFS) and partly due to a bad flare in osteoarthritis. This has led me to become acutely aware of several seldom-understood consequences of living with chronic pain. I’ve always known these consequences were there, but because they’re currently taking center stage in my life, I’m writing about them in an effort to raise awareness about this little-discussed subject. 1. Sleep Deprivation Some people with chronic pain can find a sleeping position that allows their … [Read more...] about 5 Seldom-Recognized Consequences of Living With Chronic Pain
Source: MichaelGaida/Pixabay (modifications: Arash Emamzadeh) What makes the news? Rarely is it love, happiness , friendship , healthy habits, charity, or volunteering. Instead, it is often financial problems, people’s unhealthy behaviors, disease, scams, robberies, burglaries, accidents, fires, natural disasters, murder, suicide , rape, racism, discrimination , terror, and war. And these days, it is the news of the coronavirus disease COVID-19 spreading, making people sick, causing economic upheaval , and mass panic . If you have a mental illness , like anxiety, OCD , or PTSD , you might be feeling very anxious these days. So, how to stay up to date? Here are four suggestions. 1. Try to limit your exposure to news programs. News programs affect us emotionally. Though men, compared to women, seem to be more hard-wired for attention to (and memory of) negative news , 1 news programs can make all of us more anxious, depressed, and more likely … [Read more...] about What to Do If the News Has Made You Paralyzed With Fear
Source: fizkes/Adobe Stock More than 15 million Americans have an alcohol-use disorder , and overuse of alcohol leads to nearly 90,000 deaths each year in the United States, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. A new systematic review by the Cochrane Collaboration takes a careful look at a decades-old treatment for alcohol abuse : Alcoholics Anonymous. The review includes 27 studies with nearly 11,000 participants in total. The studies looked at whether the traditional format of Alcoholics Anonymous led to longer periods of abstinence from alcohol use; some compared Alcoholics Anonymous to other types of therapy or group meetings. Alcoholics Anonymous, or AA, was founded in 1935 on the idea that alcoholics could come together to support each other’s sobriety. Today, there are more than 2 million AA members across the globe. The program is based on 12 steps that include admitting that alcohol is a problem in your life, apologizing for your … [Read more...] about The Evidence on Alcoholics Anonymous
Source: Wikimedia Commons | Nobu Tamura People have long pondered what consciousness actually is. Consciousness seems very different from other biological functions—like some sort of nonmaterial essence within our heads. Thoughts and feelings seem ethereal, untethered from anything physical. Self-awareness seems like a phenomenon utterly divorced from anything that could possibly be produced by cells comprised of physical particles. People used to think of life itself that way too, and many still do. But biologists solved the enigma of what makes things alive mid-way through the twentieth century, the foundations of that understanding having been built over the preceding century. Before that, living things were believed to possess some sort of animating essence that accounted for their difference from inanimate matter. People could not imagine how the same material particles that comprise inanimate matter could be arranged in such a way as to make something alive , without … [Read more...] about What Actually Is Consciousness, and How Did It Evolve?
Why are some of us happier than others? Well, of course, some people have more reasons to be happy than others. Many people find that the vicissitudes of aging diminish their happiness . Nonetheless, it is a fact that some people are by their nature more likely to be happy under the same conditions that are faced by others. Personality traits and social environments that affect happiness have been identified. The 2020 Age Well Study findings (released January 2021) specifically focus on the happiness and life satisfaction of residents in Life Plan Communities, and reinforce the effects of happiness on multiple areas of health, underlining the importance of strengthening optimism , resilience , and feelings of community. Retirement communities such as this have proliferated in recent years. They offer new alternatives for the elderly to experience their later years, as opposed to living alone or in the homes of relatives, such as their children. This kind of community … [Read more...] about Retirement Villages May Make Aging More Enjoyable