By Evelyn Jervey Willburn | Featured Contributor
Looking back, I would say that the first time I became depressed was when I entered fourth grade. That year, my class was divided into two groups, and I found myself separated from all my previous year’s playmates. I didn’t bounce back: that year started my long, mostly self-imposed exile at school. At recess, I paced the perimeter of the playground, and as I moved up through the grades, I effectively rendered myself invisible. The occasional thoughtless comment that came my way from some popular kid became my excuse for further isolation. Once in seventh grade I went to see the school counselor, and she showed me a poster on her wall. In the poster, a group of cartoon hippos were piling into a small boat, threatening to swamp it. The caption read, “More is not always better.” That message stayed with me, in the background, but it was many years before I really understood it or was able to assimilate it into my worldview.
Continue reading “In Which I Face Down Depression and Gain the Upper Hand”
By Marija Eljuga | Featured Contributor
Most of us find it hard to eat less than we would want to, experiencing constant craving for more food or kind of food that we are struggling to separate ourselves from. How unhappy does this make us feel? Then when we give in to our cravings, we feel self-reproach, self-loathing, shame, guilt. What a nightmare of our daily experience?! When we ‘manage’ to deny ourselves, working so hard to lose some weight, our body and our mind do not forget. In sensing, feeling and thinking we ‘know’ that we have denied ourselves; the pleasure of eating what we want, is our due. Before long, we make it up to ourselves; one way or another. The weight is back on…, or some other diversion equally remorseful. A constant cycle of harm/discomfort and defense against it. Constantly unhappy, constantly in a struggle. Wonder if there is another way?
Continue reading “Emotional Eating: A Different Approach”
Have you ever left one of your health appointments disappointed with your visit? Maybe you had just spoken to a health care professional, but instead of feeling like all of your concerns were addressed, you found yourself with even more questions? In this article, I will present some practical ways in which you can prepare for any encounter you might have with the health care system—whether it is a routine doctor’s visit or an unexpected trip to the ER—so you can make the most out of your interactions with your health care professionals. In short, these tips will show you how to be an empowered patient.
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Dealing with and managing chronic pain can be one of life’s most devastating and life-altering experiences. In three or more months—the official duration that defines chronic pain—your new life can seem so far removed from what you would have considered normal, even just half a year ago. Now living with chronic pain, it would seem like your entire life only revolves around hospitals, doctors, pharmacies and medicines. Dreams, hobbies, joys, and for some, even their work, can seem like such a distant memory, one from a healthy lifetime ago. Whether it’s from a severe spinal cord injury, genetic arthritis, or unknown cause, chronic pain can throw even the most resilient people for a loop.
How then, do you deal with the pain and get your life back? Here are nine tips that can help you manage chronic pain.
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By Lance Merrick | Featured Contributor
Author’s Note: This poem is a mindfulness exercise that I use to help calm anxiety.
Feeling the room surround me
Testing each of my senses
Tasting sweet peppermint candy
Touching my feet to the ground
Seeing blue skies out my window
Hearing passing cars,
the bathroom fan,
My deep breathes and
the crunch of peppermint candy.
It takes about an hour to come around.
I’m calming myself down.
Continue reading “I’m Calming Myself Down [a poem]”
By Yvonne Aoll | Featured Contributor
Last June, I went blind in my left eye from a laser eye surgery gone wrong.
It would take a speedy instinctive quest for a second opinion, three more months, an older more experienced surgeon and another agonizing correction surgery, for my left eye’s vision to be restored. Thanks to the top-notch, wildly skilled, second ophthalmology surgeon I visited, I can see much clearly now with both eyes, with no need for spectacles or contacts. However, the months during which my left eye remained blind, while filled with unspeakable worries, also served as a crash course in mindfulness.
Continue reading “Blackout: How Going Blind for 3 Months Taught Me to Be Mindful”
Have you ever been told that your blood pressure is high? Are you already on medications for your blood pressure? If so, you are not alone. Just in the U.S., it is estimated that half of all adults—over 100 million people—live with high blood pressure…and many aren’t even aware they have it. This article will discuss the fundamentals of high blood pressure, tips to properly monitor your own blood pressure, and ways you can improve your high blood pressure safely and naturally.
Continue reading “High Blood Pressure & How to Improve It Naturally”