Help Others Understand OUR Anxiety

What others need to know about stages of anxiety. With an infographic.

As we wrote before, We Are NOT Alone: Having cancer can change relationships with the people in your life. It’s normal to notice changes in the way you relate to family, friends, and other people that you are around every day. And the way they relate to you.  So, let’s now look at how we can help others understand our anxiety.

As B.L. Acker writes for the Mighty:

“Whenever I start to explain the part of my mental illness diagnosis that includes severe anxiety, I always receive confused looks. They are usually followed by judgmental comments about how ‘everyone has problems and stress in their lives,’ telling me that I need to ‘learn to cope and work through it all.’ I get told that I ‘shouldn’t let every little thing get to me” and that I’d be so much happier if I ‘stopped stressing over everything and just mellowed out.’”

“I don’t have social anxiety. People and crowds are not my issue. My anxiety is situational and builds upon itself, making it harder to function in some situations than others. I’ve tried to explain my anxiety again and again until I was blue in the face, yet I’ve been met with blank stares or judgments more often than not. I finally sat down and made an overly simplified chart, similar to the pain level chart used in doctor’s offices, in the hope that it might be more relatable and help others understand.”

“I know the chart I made is extremely simplified – anyone struggling with anxiety can testify that it is often so much worse. But I wanted to give examples that anyone could relate to, as well as providing a build up they might be able to imagine in their own lives.”

Help Others Understand OUR Anxiety

 

Understand How Colors Affect YOU

The effects of color on YOUR body.

Do you understand how colors affect YOU? They can greatly influence both our psychological and physiological state of well-being.

Take a look at the following infographic to learn more about how colors affect our well-being.

Understand How Colors Affect YOU
 

Grief and Your Immune System

We have all experienced some form of grief.

First, we look at grief in general. Then we consider grief and your immune system.

An Overview of Grief

Consider these observations from the Mayo Clinic:

“Grief is a strong, sometimes overwhelming emotion for people, regardless of whether their sadness stems from the loss of a loved one or from a terminal diagnosis they or someone they love have received. They might find themselves feeling numb and removed from daily life, unable to carry on with regular duties while saddled with their sense of loss.”

“Grief is the natural reaction to loss. Grief is both a universal and a personal experience. Individual experiences of grief vary and are influenced by the nature of the loss. Some examples of loss include the death of a loved one, the ending of an important relationship, job loss, loss through theft, or the loss of independence through disability.”

“Experts advise those grieving to realize they can’t control the process and to prepare for varying stages of grief. Understanding why they’re suffering can help, as can talking to others and trying to resolve issues that cause significant emotional pain, such as feeling guilty for a loved one’s death.”

“Mourning can last for months or years. Generally, pain is tempered as time passes and as the bereaved adapts to life without a loved one, to the news of a terminal diagnosis or to the realization that someone they love may die.”

“If you’re uncertain about whether your grieving process is normal, consult your health care professional. Outside help is sometimes beneficial to people trying to recover and adjust to a death or diagnosis of a terminal illness.”

Grief and Your Immune System

From our own health perspective, grief can have a dramatic effect on our immune systems. Understanding this is vital.

According to new research as reported by Futurity:

“Losing a loved one is one of the most stressful life experiences a person will endure. And its toll can be physical as well as emotional. Science has shown, for example, that widows and widowers have a 41 percent higher risk of early death, compared to their still-married peers.”

“The relationship between grief and the immune system may explain bereavement’s association with increased risk for disease and early mortality, at least in part. Since researchers began studying it in 1977, evidence has shown that people may experience negative changes in their immune function following the loss of a loved one.”

In a new research review article in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, Lindsey Knowles, a psychology doctoral student at University of Arizona, and associate professors of psychology Mary-Frances O’Connor and John Ruiz examined 41 years of existing research on bereavement and the immune system. They focused specifically on 13 studies deemed to be of high scientific quality.”

Click the image to read Knowles and O’Connor discussion of their findings, as well possible directions for future research.

Grief and Your Immune System
(Credit: LoboStudio Hamburg/Unsplash)

 

Patients’ Roles and Responsibilities

See what patients’ roles encompass. With video.

Earlier this month, I gave a presentation to about 65 residents and other doctors on “Roles in Patient-Doctor Relationships: Seeing Both Sides.”

This is the second post:

      • Doctors’ Roles and Responsibilities (including doctor morale)
      • Patients’ Roles and Responsibilities (and what doctors wish patients knew)
      • Stages of Patient Frustration and Satisfaction
      • Doctor Actions Improving Patient Relationships
      • Patient Actions Improving Doctor Relationships
      • We’re Not There Yet on Doctor-Patient Relationships

Patients typically have the roles and responsibilities highlighted in this image. How do YOU rate YOURSELF across these roles and responsibilities?

Patients' Roles and Responsibilities

As patients, it is also vital for us to educate ourselves. This video shows a few such factors.


 

Inspirational Quotes for the New Year

Be upbeat every day.

As we have posted before, inspirational quotes can be quite uplifting. For example, we cited inspirational quotes from Good ReadsWisdom QuotesBrainy Quote, and Lifehack Quotes.

Here are several quotes cited by Melanie Curtin for Inc.:

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” —Albert Einstein

“It’s not about how hard you can hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” —Rocky Balboa

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” —Winston Churchill

“Challenges are what make life interesting, and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” —Joshua J. Marine

“Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.” —Maya Angelou

“Embrace the glorious mess that you are.” —Elizabeth Gilbert

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” —C.S. Lewis

“The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.

“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.” —Mark Twain

“If I had just one hour left to live, I’d spend it in math class…it never ends.” —Anonymous

AND:

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, ‘Wow! What a Ride!'” —Hunter S. Thompson

Click the image to see more quotes.

Inspirational Quotes for the New Year
CREDIT: Getty Images

 

Staying Fit and Living Longer

Ways to stay more fit.

A section of the AARP Web site deals with healthy living and staying fit.

These are examples of the types of information available at the site:

Now, click on the image to access a quiz on “What’s sabotaging your weight loss efforts?”

Staying Fit and Living Longer

 

Checking Your Health at Home

In addition to giving advice about other health exams, Better Health offers tips for checking your health at home.

Last week, we wrote about having regular health exams. Today, we look at things we can do in checking your health at home. At Australia’s  Checking Your Health at Home

“We provide health and medical information to improve the health and wellbeing of people and the communities they live in. The information on our site aims to help people understand and manage their health and medical conditions. It does not replace care provided by medical practitioners and other qualified health professionals. We are fully funded by the Victorian Government, with no commercial advertising or corporate sponsorship. “

Checking Your Health at Home

In addition to giving advice about other health exams, Better Health offers tips for checking your health at home:

“You can do a basic health check at home to review your health in relation to:”

Alcohol “People who have at least two alcohol-free days per week and stick to no more than two standard drinks per drinking day have better long-term health.”
*  Dental care – “Cleaning your teeth regularly and eating a low-sugar diet can reduce your risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. Visit a dentist or other oral health professional at least once a year for a dental examination and professional cleaning, or more frequently as advised by your dentist.”
Diet – “A healthy diet improves your general health and wellbeing. Have at least two servings of fruit and five serves of vegetables each day.”
Physical activity – “Regular physical activity is good for your mental health, heart and bones, and can prevent many diseases. Aim for 30 minutes to an hour of moderate physical activity a day. Moderate physical activity takes some effort, but still allows a conversation to be held (for example, brisk walking, gentle swimming, social tennis).”
Skin checks – “Check your skin regularly for unusual moles or freckles, and see your doctor if you notice anything unusual. People who work outdoors need a yearly examination by their doctor or a dermatologist.”
*  Smoking – “Smoking increases your risk of many diseases, including heart disease, stroke, lung disease, and thin bones. If you smoke, quitting as soon as possible helps reduce the harm.”
*  Weight – “Maintaining a healthy weight range helps prevent longer-term diseases, such as diabetes and arthritis.”