Health anxiety, which used to be called hypochondriasis, is where people have an overwhelming fear or conviction that they have symptoms of a serious illness, such as cancer. Around five to ten thousand people in Cornwall will have this problem.
Life is a journey with ups and downs. But our brains tend to focus on the downs. That’s because we have evolved to spot potential danger. So we see the downs more quickly and think longer and harder about them.
Anxiety problems affect one in ten of us, and can play havoc with living a normal life. So, it isn’t a surprise to hear that many people with anxiety problems are worried that they may pass this problem onto their children. They know only too well the distress it causes, and the last thing they want is to see their children ‘copying’ their fears.
We often hear about acts of forgiveness on the news. Some extraordinary people proclaim forgiveness for others who have committed heinous crimes against them. Forgiveness appears to be a noble and deeply moral thing to do. And then there’s also a lot of psychological research saying that forgiveness is associated with better physical and mental health and lower levels of depression.
“With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world”. This famous line from the Desiderata illustrates the fairly obvious point that the world can be seen in positive or negative ways. Which one do you tend to focus on? Well, many of us often tend to focus on the negative.
Research has shown that the first three minutes of conversation with your partner will pretty much guarantee how it will end. Start off with all guns blazing and you are likely to have a pretty heated argument that is destined to end badly. Psychologists call this a “Harsh Startup”.
According to a national report published last week by the Scientific Advisory Body on Nutrition, a great many of us have worryingly low levels of Vitamin D. This is a problem for one in five adults and one in six children. Vitamin D has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect.
We all know, but tend to forget, that just because we are not sick or ill, this does not mean that we are physically fit and healthy. It’s exactly the same when it comes to our mental health. Having good mental health usually involves having the resilience to deal with life’s slings and arrows, and to experience a sense of purpose and positive well-being.
A growing number of us are starting to carry around a gadget that may be causing subtle health problems. Yes, you have guessed it – it’s the smartphone.
Do you have any area of your life, which if you could address or overcome it, would make your life better or easier? Actually, most people can identify some area of their life that feels a bit ‘stuck’ – and although each type of ‘stuckness’ will be different, there will be one common ingredient. This common ingredient is our tendency to avoid emotional discomfort.
With today’s hectic pace of life there appears to be a greater need to take breaks or holidays. In fact, a lot of research now highlights the health benefits of taking vacations. For example, the famous Framlington Heart Study in America, followed 12,000 men over a nine year period and found a clear link between the holidays and physical wellbeing.
Have you ever considered therapy whilst sitting in the comfort of your own home? As the internet becomes more established in many people’s lives, it is not surprising that more and more services are being delivered online.
When was the last time you experienced a sense of awe? It isn’t a feeling that we encounter very often and it is quite hard to put into words. Interestingly, psychologists are starting to study the impact of awe on people and the results are starting to look interesting.