While the mortality rate of women with breast cancer is decreasing, the incidence of depression in women who have undergone treatment for breast cancer is on the rise. As many as 50% of all women who are affected with the disease will experience some kind of post-recovery melancholy. Thankfully, researchers from the Sinclair School of Nursing at the University of Missouri have brought to our attention a specific meditation technique, and suggest how it can help breast cancer survivors revive their zest for life.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a type of mindfulness training that uses the mind to combat anxiety and bring about a sense of wellbeing. It includes mental practices that heighten physical awareness, as well as yoga and time spent in quiet, reflective meditation. Developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979, MBSR helps people foster their own mind-body connection, as well as create a deeper awareness of how thoughts and feelings can affect physical and emotional health.
The MBSR program consists of eight to ten week group sessions including practice in meditation skills, stress response and coping techniques. The University of Missouri’s team of researchers gathered data from the participants during and after the group sessions. Measurements of blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate were recorded. Not surprisingly, the participants’ physical responses to MBSR were favorable. Blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate all decreased, suggesting a lowered stress response. In addition, the subjects said their mood improved and their level of mindfulness increased.
“Gluten-free diet linked to increased depression and eating disorders” – the headline immediately caught my attention. As I read the first article, I was theorizing in my head about the chemical impact of gluten and carbohydrates in our brains and bodies, as well as the mental strain of adhering to a strict diet and the extra effort it requires. I thought a correlation between depression and a gluten-free lifestyle was possible, I thought about all my friends and family members living gluten-free, and I started digging for the actual research to investigate the experimental method used. What I found was that the alarming headline was taken from partial statements made by an experimenter, but the entire findings were not taken into account.
Unfortunately, this can be common in the news media and blogosphere where the focus is more on attention-grabbing sound bites rather than in-depth analysis and education. It is my sincere hope that everything I write (here and elsewhere) and everything you read at DietsInReview is researched and thought out, and we are not jumping to conclusions or publishing alarmist headlines simply because it is provocative.
In this case, the research found that those women with celiac disease (177 surveyed) who were most compliant with a gluten-free diet reported “increased vitality, lower stress, decreased depressive symptoms, and greater overall emotional health,” according to Josh Smyth of Penn State. This sounds like the opposite of the alarmist headline that grabbed my attention. The caveat is that those surveyed, even those managing celiac disease well through a gluten-free lifestyle, reported “higher rates of stress, depression, and a range of issues clustered around body dissatisfaction, weight and shape” compared to the general population.” (more…)
The TIME Magazine cover article from December 5, 2011, by Alice Park titled The Two Faces of Anxiety has raised a bit of a ruckus online. Mostly, bloggers have questioned the choice to make Why Anxiety Is Good For You the cover art in the United States, while a graphic image of the Egyptian revolution was published in Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific editions. It has been questioned whether TIME believes Americans do not care about world events or are simply that self-focused. It seems to me that the editors of TIME simply believe “anxiety” is a buzzword that will sell in America, and apparently more than an uprising in Egypt. This seemed even more likely after watching the interview the senior editor of TIME did with CNN to discuss the problem of anxiety that they claim 18 percent of American adults suffer from.
By Deb Roby from Weight for Deb
The holidays are fast upon us, but maybe -for you- this year is different. Either through a move, a divorce, or a death, someone isn’t going to be at your holidays. Maybe nobody will. You might be looking at a week or more of spending quiet days and nights with a spouse or an adult child and you just Do.Not.Feel.In.The.Mood.
Fourteen years ago, I moved across the country from all of my family. In the years since then, parents have died, nieces and nephews have moved to new cities. There is no reason to return to hometowns. It’s just the two of us. Yet here, all our friends are with their families. Some have extended an invitation; it always feels like being the outsider looking in. It’s easier to decline than go.
So I’m speaking from experience. How do you keep from feeling alone when you’re alone during the holidays?
Are you one of the millions of Americans who depend heavily on your laptop or cell phone to get you through the day? Do you come home from work and instead of spending quality time with friends, exercising or doing chores you find yourself logging on to your Facebook or Twitter account? Do you incessantly check your email, the weather report or the news hoping something exciting will snap you out of feeling bored with your life? Do you feel lost without some sort of digital device that can dole out information in less than a few seconds when you have a burning curiosity about something?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, a digital detox plan might be the best gift you can give yourself this year.
Read these steps, tips and guidelines designed to help you dismiss digital depression. When you are finished reading, shut down your computer, turn off your Smartphone, completely unplug, and give yourself a well-deserved break.