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How Metacognition, or Thinking About Thinking, Can Improve the Mental-Health Crisis

Researchers report metacognition therapies, or directing personal thoughts and emotions for the benefit of mental wellbeing, can have positive effects on the treatment of anxiety, depression, and addictions.

In these times of virtual meet-ups, negative news overload and widespread uncertainty, it’s fair to say it has been a tough time for our brains. If you’ve been feeling mentally subpar, you may be floating around the edges or caught in the middle of the cognition crisis. And don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Our world is facing a global mental health crisis, one that is unique to modern times. Neuroscientist and neurologist Adam Gazzaley calls this a problem of “ancient brains in a high-tech world.”

Our brains evolved for a very different environment, and our biological instincts are struggling to keep pace with a sea of information, artificial stimulation and smartphone pings. This has contributed to a worldwide surge in anxiety, depression, addiction and other cognitive issues.

As is often the case, technology comes first and society adapts second. We are learning that surviving and thriving in the modern world requires a better understanding of our mind. This need for “cognition about cognition” brings us to the science of metacognition.
The successes of metacognitive therapy
Computer simulations of cognition are a large focus of the Cognitive Modeling Lab at Carleton University where I work as a researcher while pursuing a PhD in cognitive science. The theme of my research is the use of computational modelling to clarify metacognition. Metacognitive strategies can be thought of as a kind of mental software that can help to improve our cognitive functioning.

From my experience, it is worth looking at the successes of metacognitive therapy. It is unique in the sense that it involves the development of beneficial metacognitive beliefs. In many cases, it has shown to be more effective than cognitive behavioural therapy, another dominant approach taken by therapists.

For example, it can be helpful for someone to believe “I can direct my thoughts and emotions, and it is beneficial for me.” Believing in this possibility is a necessary precursor to action. Metacognitive therapy focuses on building this foundation, and it’s from this firm grounding that people can reach for the specific tools of metacognition.

We are already aware of many of these tools. And yet our practical minds require evidence before committing to them. The improving of attention through mental training or meditation practice works. Likewise, the strategies offered by cognitive behavioural therapy are among the most effective for learning emotional regulation. Particularly useful is the practice of “detached mindfulness” for treating depression and anxiety. Memory strategies have also shown to be productive, including the famous mind palace technique.

It’s time we take care of our minds
Overcoming the cognition crisis partly depends on getting around our mind’s automatic pleasure-seeking. Internally, we can avoid falling into the trap of instant gratification by being mindful of the information and entertainment we consume. Externally, we can craft a physical environment that improves our efficiency and mental welfare. Distraction blocking software offers just one example of how to do this.

We exercise, control what we eat and buy ergonomic desk chairs to take care of our bodies — it’s long past time we take the same care of our minds. There are so many evidence-based actions we can take to design a personalized toolkit of mental habits and strategies. Doing so will allow us to be more deliberate with our thoughts, attention and emotions, which can then improve every aspect of our lives.

Just as human health depends on mastering our own physical systems, the future of cognition depends on understanding and controlling our own psychological states. Solving the cognition crisis requires we get smart about our own minds, and there’s never been a more vital time to do that.

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The effect of psychotherapy on functional medical disorders

You may need medication, physical therapy, surgery, and so on. Psychotherapy can be a vital part of holistic treatment for all patients with medical conditions.

Functional somatic disorders are common and costly, thereby driving the need for the development of effective brief treatment options. many studies showed that  psychotherapy is a valid treatment option for diverse functional somatic disorders conditions resulting in somatic symptom reductions that persist over time. So psychotherapy should be included in functional somatic disorders treatment guidelines.
"The need for innovations in mental health to improve access and quality of care is urgent," said lead author Dr. Paul Kurdyak, Director of Health Outcomes and Performance Evaluation in the Institute for Mental Health Policy Research at CAMH and lead of the Mental Health and Addictions Research Program at ICES. "But increasing the number of specialists who provide psychotherapy alone will not solve the existing problem of poor access to psychotherapy in a publicly-funded system."
Psychotherapy is an evidence-based treatment for conditions like depression and anxiety, two of the most common psychiatric disorders. Treatment guidelines suggest that structured, evidence-based therapies like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) should be a front-line treatment option for patients with mild to moderate depression or anxiety.
"Evidence-based psychotherapy should be available to all patients suffering from the most prevalent mental disorders," said Dr. Kurdyak. 
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Taking Care of Children’s Mental Health


When most of us think about folks going to therapy for mental health, we think about adults — people struggling with substance abuse, domestic violence survivors, folks going through a divorce, and those who are dealing with the loss of a loved one, for example. 
Unfortunately, many in society tend to overlook a critical group that needs mental help therapy just as much as everyone else: the youth. 
Just because this younger segment of the population might not have mortgage payments and bank accounts to worry about doesn’t mean they’re immune from mental health problems. In fact, one recent report found that 27 percent of young people felt anxiety within the last week, while 15 percent felt depressed. 
Believe it or not, more than half of high-risk youth don’t have access to the therapy they need to ensure their mental, emotional, and physical well-being. In the next section, we’ll examine why that is. 
One of the main reasons kids are an underserved population for mental health services is because society hasn’t necessarily prioritized the importance of mental health counseling for young people as much as it should.  
Case in point? According to the American School Counselor Association, each school should have one counselor per 250 students to ensure they’re getting the mental health support they need to live their best lives. Despite that, the average school district has just one counselor per 455 students. 
Right off the bat, we’re collectively setting the tone that says something like this: While student mental health services are important, they’re not incredibly important to the point we need to make them a top priority. 
Perhaps this is because many adults think that kids who are suffering through issues are “just going through a stage” — and that their problems aren’t anywhere as serious as an adult’s problems might be. This couldn’t be further from the truth — particularly for those who grow up in less-than-ideal circumstances (e.g., in poverty or with an abusive parent). 
The COVID-19 pandemic 
Since kids can struggle with mental health issues in the best of times, it comes as no surprise that these struggles only compounded in the wake of the pandemic.  
All of a sudden, life was flipped upside down for those in the younger generation. Their routines were completely changed overnight. They couldn’t go to school, they couldn’t see their friends, and they couldn’t leave their houses. 
Not every child was able to seamlessly transition into the new normal. In fact, many youngsters reported having a hard time coping with attending class over Zoom and being separated from other students. Kids were also scared about the virus itself. For these reasons, it comes as no surprise that the prevalence of depression and anxiety was even higher than normal among this group of kids when COVID-19 set in. 
The good news is that by giving children’s mental health the respect it deserves and taking a proactive stance with treatment, it’s possible to help kids navigate through their issues and end up in a much healthier state of mind because of it. 
When parents prioritize their kids’ mental health and give them the support they need to get past the issues they’re facing, great things happen.  
When kids are in a solid place, they’re able to think clearly, learn new things, and improve their social skills. At the same time, parents’ mental health improves, too, since they benefit from a stronger relationship and can find joy in seeing their kids thrive. 
No matter what issues your child is struggling with, the right therapist can help them. For example, if you and your child aren’t getting along, you may benefit from parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT), which is designed to help kids and parents overcome concerns related to things like ADHD, anxiety disorder, autism, oppositional defiant disorder, and selective mutism, among other conditions. 
Essentially, both parties join forces in PCIT to work through issues together, and these learnings can help guide the relationship forward over the next several years. After somewhere between three and six months, the therapy sessions wrap up, and parents and kids build on their relationship from there. 
Similarly, if a child is working through physical or emotional trauma they’ve experienced, parents might want to look into whether trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) can help them overcome the obstacles they’re facing. 
At a basic level, TF-CBT is a cognitive behavioral treatment that helps children figure out how to overcome trauma, respond to stressful situations, and cope with difficult emotions. They’ll also grow more in tune with their emotions and more able to express their feelings in productive ways. 
By now, you have a better idea about how therapy can help improve children’s mental health. But what if you’re not a therapist — is there anything else you can do? 
While parents, teachers, and caregivers might not be able to give children professional mental health services, they can certainly help anxious kids work through their issues. Here are some ways they can do that. 
Maintain an open dialogue 
First things first: If you’re not talking to the children in your life on a regular basis, how can you possibly expect to know what they’re dealing with and what’s going through their minds?  
One of the easiest ways to help kids deal with mental health problems is by maintaining an open dialogue with them to understand the issues they’re working through. For example, as the pandemic first shut down schools, parents were in a unique position to talk to their kids about the virus and what the experts had to say about it. By being open and honest, parents can help assuage some of their children’s concerns — particularly compared to folks who didn’t have much to say to their kids about the issue. 
Bottom line? By engaging in conversation with your kids every day and knowing more about the issues they’re facing, you can begin to have healthy dialogues that can help kids overcome the challenges they face. 
Recognize the warning signs 
It’s one thing for a child to have a bad day. It’s quite another to have several bad days in a row, with no signs of anything improving anytime soon.  
While parents, teachers, and caregivers aren’t able to provide professional mental health services, they can become familiar with the warning signs that may indicate they are suffering from issues like depression or anxiety. Here are some of the indicators to be aware of: 
•	Lack of appetite 
•	Low motivation 
•	Withdrawal from activities 
•	Fatigue 
•	Worsened school performance 
•	Low self-esteem 
Seek help when it’s needed 
Once you’re familiar with the warning signs to look out for, you’ll know when it’s time to enlist the services of a mental health counselor to help your child or student live a happier, more fulfilling life. 


6 Ways to Design for Social Connection and Community

How the built environment can help heal and prevent loneliness.

Where we live, work, play, and learn impacts our social health and how connected we are as a society.
As cities invest in infrastructure, paying attention to how they impact loneliness and community well-being can benefit everyone.
Design guidelines that can help you advocate for better design wherever you are include accessibility, nature, and a sense of place.

In a time of hyper-connection and communication, recent surveys find that approximately half of U.S. adults are experiencing loneliness and lacking connection. This can increase risks of premature illness and death at levels comparable to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

For this reason, the U.S. Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, recently issued a public advisory calling the American people to this “urgent public health issue.” Murthy lists “design the built environment to promote social connection” as a part of the first pillar of his advisory.

Julianne Holt-Lunstad was the scientific chair of Murthy’s report, "Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation." Nearly two years ago, Holt-Lunstad and I published a piece, "Is Your Environment Making You Lonely?" In it, we explored ways to cultivate connection using the built environment, policies, and programming.

Today's post focuses on one of the central themes we discussed then–shared spaces, or what Ray Oldenburg called third places open to all people to gather, such as cafes, parks, and libraries. I discuss why shared space is so essential and offer six design guidelines to help any built environment feel more conducive to fostering social connection.

Six Design Guidelines for Social Health
When I think of design for connection, I often think of the Italian piazzas I visited with my mother after my first year of architecture school. They are open to all people (accessibility), an inviting hub of activity (activation), with warm natural clay bricks and stones, often ivy tracing the walls (nature), with the choice of whether you want to sit in the center by a fountain (choice) perhaps, or under an umbrella on the edges (human scale); and they have a history and sense of place unique to each one (sense of place), carved into the place itself.

Taken together, those make the six design guidelines for social health, below I discuss these in more detail:

Creating places that are inclusive, safe, and walkable (stroller-able, wheelchair friendly, etc.) for the people who will use it is the essential first ingredient. This includes creating libraries, pocket parks, and gathering spaces that are an easy-to-reach part of the local social fabric.

We are hardwired to be drawn to and soothed by nature, a phenomenon called biophilia. Nature, specifically urban green space, has been linked to reducing loneliness, increasing sociability, and improving mental health. Infusing nature, greenery, and park space into our neighborhoods are essential to getting people outside their homes, lingering with one another.

Ideal shared spaces are vibrant and have some type of activation. By placing seating, refreshments, and amenities in the path of natural travel and circulation, we can create liveliness through purposeful collisions.

We each have different set points for our need for simulation or mental rest, and these needs change throughout our days, and lives and based on our tasks or activities. We can customize our space to our needs by providing options and adaptability.

Human Scale
We evolved in community with others, using our space to keep ourselves and the collective safe, so we are naturally drawn to places that provide a sense of scale or fit with our bodies. This includes a preference for edge conditions, such that we’re drawn to booth seating or leaning against the wooden porch railing. This includes creating nodes or nooks within a larger space, such as a front porch, as a welcome place before entering a home or a small waiting area to ease you into your child’s daycare and allow you to bump into other parents.

Sense of Place
A sense of place helps remind us of who we are and what matters to us and fosters a feeling of belonging. This ties to the idea that a place can create a sense of “ambient belonging” about how the built environment signals to others whether or not they are welcome here. The place is imbued with values, culture, and meaning, and a sense of place recognizes that significance.

Reference: Psychology today
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For parents, carers and adults looking to connect with their children in a way that is meaningful

It’s well known that our early years are important for good mental health in later life, but I’ve often been asked by parents why that is.

Positive connections between caregivers and their children support a child’s biochemistry and neurobiology for a lifetime. It’s scientifically evidenced  to be fundamental in laying the foundations for long-term psychological and physical wellbeing, fostering resilience[1].

Bonding experiences give children a sense of safety and security in the world. This directly links to the development of the autonomic nervous system which affects, levels of anxiety, depressive moods, stress disorders. It also facilitates the development of our social brain which supports loving, nurturing, healthy behaviours and generally help navigate life’s difficulties[2].


When does connection occur and what is it?
A connection occurs when a person is open and available for another. Establishing social connections and bonds with people can help us feel valued and seen.

A parent is like a fantastic teacher for all age groups conveying messages through facial expressions, tone of voice, movement and touch, that contribute to enriching experiences.

But it’s not always easy to establish good emotional connections and this can leave caregivers feeling not good enough which may leave them feeling guilt and shame. Children can be defensive and there may be many reasons they’re unable to connect.

No family is the same. The beauty and strength of parents and caregivers is their journey to know their children. There is no such thing as the perfect parent and children gain from repairing disruptions in their connection.


How can I make that connection?
When things aren’t too complicated there are a few ways how:

Make time and space to actively listen. Let your child know you can hold them in mind even when you’re busy.
Touch – even resting a hand on a wrist releases the love hormone oxytocin.
Creative and imaginative play is the simplest way to engage children. They can communicate what is happening for them in a way that feels safe and non-intrusive. Some caregivers really struggle with this, but children can teach you. Child-led play starts with really noticing what your child is interested in and then going along with it. Once you get an understanding of what they enjoy it gets easier. Then follow their lead and allow them the freedom to show you as long as it’s safe.

When parents find connecting too difficult Child Psychotherapy can help
Psychotherapy is a safe, confidential and non-judgemental place where large and difficult feelings can be explored with a therapist through talking, play and multi-arts. This is how sense-making can begin with children of all ages even when it seems as though you are facing significant challenges.

If you’re interested in exploring therapy for a young person you care for then you can find more information on the UKCP website, including how to find a qualified psychotherapist.


Martino, J., Pegg, J., & Frates, E. P. (2015). The Connection Prescription: Using the Power of Social Interactions and the Deep Desire for Connectedness to Empower Health and Wellness. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 11(6), 466-475. https://doi.org/10.1177/1559827615608788. PMID: 30202372; PMCID: PMC6125010.
Gerhardt, S. (2015). Why Love Matters: How affection shapes a baby's brain. 2nd Edition.
Sunderland, M. (2008). The Science of Parenting.

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Why kindness and connection are important to mental health

How can a psychotherapist help someone looking for connection?

One of the main reasons we’re all unfortunately hardwired to struggle as human beings is that two of our central needs often disconnect us from ourselves and others: our safety needs and our reward needs. Safety needs view everything and everyone with a problem-focus while reward needs can cause disconnecting comparisons, competitiveness and feelings of dissatisfaction and frustration. In fact, much of what people bring to therapy – including anxiety, depression, chronic anger, narcissism, addiction, procrastination and stress – can all be seen as both causing and caused by this disconnection. 

When we feel connected, on the other hand, we feel safe, rewarded, alive and fulfilled. Life has meaning and purpose. Whether it’s to ourselves, trusted others, pets, groups, communities, nature or the environment around us, establishing and maintaining connection - which includes the quality of kindness both as its cause and its result - is fundamental to maintaining good mental and physical health. 


How can a psychotherapist help someone looking for connection?
To add to our biological tendency to do so, many of us also often disconnect easily due to our childhood experiences in relationships. These can include adverse incidents that happened to us, as well as a lack of genuine love and connection during that time. Because it was relationships that led to these difficulties, if we’re going to be able to connect more later on, we have to experience the quality of relationship we initially needed. 

Good therapy holds the very real potential for such a reparative relationship. The experience of being truly heard and listened to, of trusting someone enough to be vulnerable and say the previously unsayable will help with connection in all areas of life.   

Connection often requires conscious and consistent effort before it becomes the norm and each of its facets can be looked at in therapy. We can focus on how to improve connection with ourselves - including our thoughts, values, beliefs, self-image, body, feelings and behaviours - and with others by exploring areas like boundaries, communication and how we express love and resolve conflict. Looking at the client/therapist relationship itself in real-time can also be valuable here. 

If you’re interested in exploring therapy, then visit our website for helpful advice for those looking for an accredited and registered therapist.


Don’t hold on to the wrong connections 
It’s important to remember that nurturing connection and kindness doesn’t mean having to remain connected with others to our detriment. For good reason, our safety needs will be sceptical about striving for connection and kindness with everyone at all times. We all know there are people who are better left untrusted. In fact, disconnecting from another might be the kindest thing we do for ourselves and therapy can be a great place to explore this too. 

Link: https://www.psychotherapy.org.uk/news/why-kindness-and-connection-are-important-to-mental-health/
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Timely treatment of depression could reduce the risk of dementia

the course of ineffectively treated depression carries significant medical risk.

Depression has long been associated with an increased risk of dementia, and now a new study provides evidence that timely treatment of depression could lower the risk of dementia in specific groups of patients.

Over 55 million people worldwide live with dementia, a disabling neurocognitive condition that mainly affects older adults. No effective treatment for dementia exists but identifying ways to help minimize or prevent dementia would help to lessen the burden of the disease.

The study, led by Jin-Tai Yu, MD, PhD, Huashan Hospital, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, and Wei Cheng, PhD, Institute of Science and Technology for Brain-Inspired Intelligence, Fudan University, Shanghai, China, appears in Biological Psychiatry, published by Elsevier.

Professor Yu and Professor Cheng used data collected by the UK Biobank, a population-based cohort of over 500,000 participants. The current study included more than 350,000 participants, including 46,280 participants with depression. During the course of the study, 725 of the depressed patients developed dementia.

Previous studies examining whether depression therapies such as pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy could lower the risk for dementia produced mixed results, leaving the question unresolved. "Older individuals appear to experience different depression patterns over time," said Professor Yu. "Therefore, intra-individual variability in symptoms might confer different risk of dementia as well as heterogeneity in effectiveness of depression treatment in relation to dementia prevention."

To address that heterogeneity, the researchers then categorized participants into one of four courses of depression: increasing course, in which mild initial symptoms steadily increase; decreasing course, starting with moderate- or high-severity symptoms but subsequently decreasing; chronically high course of ongoing severe depressive symptoms; and chronically low course, where mild or moderate depressive symptoms are consistently maintained.

As expected, the study found that depression elevated the risk of dementia – by a striking 51% compared to non-depressed participants. However, the degree of risk depended on the course of depression; those with increasing, chronically high, or chronically low course depression were more vulnerable to dementia, whereas those with decreasing course faced no greater risk than participants without depression.

The researchers most wanted to know whether the increased risk for dementia could be lowered by receiving depression treatment. Overall, depressed participants who received treatment had reduced risk of dementia compared to untreated participants by about 30%. When the researchers separated the participants by depression course, they saw that those with increasing and chronically low courses of depression saw lower risk of dementia with treatment, but those with a chronically high course saw no benefit of treatment in terms of dementia risk.
He notes that, "in this case, symptomatic depression increases dementia risk by 51%, whereas treatment was associated with a significant reduction in this risk."

"This indicates that timely treatment of depression is needed among those with late-life depression," added Professor Cheng. "Providing depression treatment for those with late-life depression might not only remit affective symptoms but also postpone the onset of dementia."

"The new findings shed some light on previous work as well," said Professor Cheng. "The differences of effectiveness across depression courses might explain the discrepancy between previous studies."
Journal reference:
Yang, L., et al. (2022) Depression, Depression Treatments, and Risk of Incident Dementia: A Prospective Cohort Study of 354,313 Participants. Biological Psychiatry. doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2022.08.026.
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Digital interventions can help relieve depressive symptoms

data from smartphones and wearable devices might be used to identify people with symptoms of depression and anxiety.

With a shortage of therapists, help with mental health problems is being sought from digital interventions, where elements of psychological treatment are offered via computer programs or mobile applications. According to a study, smart devices can help identify people with symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Every year, 400 million people worldwide are affected by depression or anxiety, and the coronavirus pandemic has only increased the prevalence of mental health problems. At the same time, there is a shortage of psychotherapists. Digital interventions, where elements of psychological treatment are offered via computer programs or mobile applications, have been proposed as a solution.

In his doctoral thesis in the field of psychology, researcher Isaac Moshe investigated the effectiveness of digital interventions in treating mental health problems, with depressive symptoms in particular focus.

Tracking depression and anxiety with smart devices
One sub-study in the doctoral thesis examined whether symptoms of depression or anxiety can be identified from data collected by smartphones or wearable devices. A total of 60 adults who used an iPhone or an Oura Ring took part in the sub-study.

Based on the study, smartphone GPS data was predicted the user's depressive symptoms. Subjects who visited the same locations repeatedly had more depressive symptoms than those whose location had more variability. The data collected by smart rings indicated that the longer the person slept or spent time in bed on average, the more depressive symptoms they had. The ring data also revealed that the more frequently people woke up at night, the more symptoms of anxiety they had.
Digital interventions alleviate depressive symptoms
The most extensive sub-study of the doctoral thesis was an international collaboration that assessed the effectiveness of digital interventions in treating depression by conducting a meta-analysis of all previous studies. Digital interventions typically include videos, interactive exercises or text to deliver the core components of psychotherapy, which are then packaged into an online program or smartphone app.

The dataset was composed of 83 randomized controlled trials conducted between 1990 and 2020 involving 15,530 participants.
The findings indicate that digital interventions brought relief from depressive symptoms when they were offered in public or private healthcare settings. Digital interventions alleviated symptoms in people of all ages, regardless of depression severity or physical comorbidity.

Moshe points out that there are important caveats: in children and adolescents, digital interventions were less effective than in adults. Having human support alongside the digital interventions was also critical to people completing the programs and therefore getting the maximum benefits. Furthermore, the researchers felt that it was unclear whether digital interventions were indeed as effective as face-to-face psychotherapy, as so few comparative studies on the topic have so far been conducted.

Moshe believes that, overall, digital interventions could provide a valuable way to help meet the growing global demand for mental healthcare.

"They lower the barrier to accessing treatment, enabling anyone with a computer an internet connection to benefit from psychotherapy at a time and place that is convenient to them. Digital interventions also require much less time from therapists than traditional therapy, making it possible to shorten waiting lists and treat more people."
Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki)
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6 Characteristics of a Healthy Family

To understand what is unhealthy, we first have to define what is healthy.

While each family is different, there are some common elements that can contribute to a healthy family environment.
Respecting opinions and personal needs, as well as showing respect, are all part of healthy family systems.
In isolation, one or more of these characteristics not being a part of your family is not in itself dysfunctional.
Whenever I conduct trainings or start working with clients who are beginning their journey in recovery from family trauma, I like to go over some basic characteristics of healthy families. If we do not know what is healthy, it's difficult to identify what was unhealthy.
These may sound easy to identify, but in truth, many of us are unaware of what makes a family healthy—or normal. Words like “healthy” or “unhealthy” have become so commonplace, but few of us could describe the characteristics required to use these words in relation to families. Thus, I focus on these six to give a foundational understanding to build from.

Here are six common characteristics of healthy families or social systems:

1. Respecting healthy emotional and physical boundaries: Children and other family members have privacy, and all members understand and respect that. In healthy families, parents do most of the emotional work with their children by modeling empathy, self-control, and appropriate behaviors in response to emotions or stress. The role of children is to learn.

2. Seeing each family member as an individual with an opinion: Everyone is allowed to have an opinion and all family members should respect and allow those opinions to be expressed as long as they are respectful, even if adults make the final decision. In families where there is little room for differing opinions, it is common for children to grow up into adults who do not know who they are. When you are always taught how and what to think, it is normal to not know how to do this for yourself.

3. Setting consistent, fair, and age-appropriate rules and expectations: All families have rules and it would be normal to find homes with different sets, but rules that are inconsistent or not age-appropriate create an environment of confusion and chaos. Children are still growing and learning, so a caregiver’s expectations of them should not be the same as their expectations of themselves or other adults.

4. Meeting each person’s needs appropriately: All members are concerned with the health and well-being of others, but in an age-appropriate way. Parents provide emotional care for the children; not the other way around. As best as they can, other members also seek to meet their other family members' needs.

5. All members of the family feel safe and secure: Children in a healthy family feel safe learning, growing, and making mistakes. They have a healthy understanding of mistakes and understand that they will not challenge or threaten their security or safety. Love is unconditional.

6. Expecting mistakes and forgiving them in a healthy way: The family members understand that we are all humans learning and growing. Conflict is handled in an appropriate and safe way, with adults modeling appropriate ways to manage disagreements and disputes. These families explore mistakes to understand and improve, instead of shaming people for them. Children understand that they will be punished for unacceptable behavior, but that they will also be forgiven for making mistakes, instead of having them held against them for years after.
Take a moment to think about your family history and if you remember any of the above characteristics. Often, people who experienced family-of-origin trauma will not have these experiences. This list can just give you an idea—if none of them took place in your home, that might be a sign that things were at least somewhat unhealthy.

In isolation, one or more of the above characteristics not being a part of your family of origin is not in itself dysfunctional. For example, different households might have different ideas about whether and how the children can express their opinions based on individual family dynamics, like culture, generation, and other factors. All of the above items do not have to exist together, either, for a family to be healthy.

Alcohol Is Not Good for Your Health, Even in Moderation

New research confirms that even small amounts of alcohol have real health risks.

It turns out that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol daily does not—as previously thought—protect health or contribute to a longer life.
New research confirms increases in the risks of numerous health problems and dying prematurely, even with modest drinking.
A 2020 report found that the alcohol industry directly or indirectly paid for 13,500 studies linking alcohol use to health benefits.
As comforting as it might be to think that drinking is good for one’s health, increasingly, the science does not support it.
It turns out that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol daily does not—as previously thought—protect against heart disease or contribute to a longer life. Apologies if your alcohol consumption depends in part on this popular belief and (until now) useful rationalization.

For decades, scientific studies suggested moderate drinking was better for most people’s health than not drinking at all, and could even boost longevity. But, a new analysis of more than 40 years of research has concluded that many of those studies were flawed and that the opposite is true.

Just published in JAMA Network Open, this meta-analysis reviewed 107 observational studies that involved more than 4.8 million people. The massive study stressed that previous estimates of the benefits of moderate alcohol consumption on the risk of death by “all causes” — meaning anything, including heart disease, cancer, infections, and automobile accidents — were “significantly” biased by flaws in study design.

According to the researchers, earlier research did not adjust for numerous factors that could influence the outcome, for example, age, sex, economic status, and lifestyle behaviors such as exercise, smoking, and diet. Using statistical software, they essentially removed such bias, adjusting for various factors that could skew the research. After doing so, there were no significant declines in the risk of death by any cause among the moderate drinkers.[1]

While these previous observational studies could identify potential links or correlations, they could also be misleading and didn’t prove cause and effect. Moreover, they failed to recognize that many light and moderate drinkers had other healthy habits and advantages and that non-drinkers used as a comparison group often included people who had given up alcohol after developing health problems.

This represents the largest study to effectively call B.S. on the widely held belief that moderate drinking of wine or other alcoholic beverages is healthy. In contrast, it found that the risk of numerous health problems, as well as that of dying prematurely, increased significantly after less than two drinks per day for women and after three per day for men.

This data adds to that of another substantial meta-analysis from 2022 in which researchers in Britain examined genetic and medical data of nearly 400,000 people and concluded that alcohol consumption at all levels was associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease.[2]

The modern-day belief that daily alcohol consumption promotes health emerged in the 1980s, when researchers identified the so-called “French paradox,” which suggested that low rates of cardiovascular disease among men in France was associated with daily wine consumption. Although later analyses found flaws in the research, the idea that moderate drinking improved health became broadly accepted. Wine—particularly red wine—developed a reputation for having health benefits after news stories highlighted its high concentration of resveratrol, a protective antioxidant also found in blueberries and cranberries.
However, the hypothesis that moderate alcohol use is health-enhancing has come under increasing scrutiny over the years as the alcohol industry’s role in funding research became clear, revealing that many of the studies that purport the alleged health effects of alcohol have been funded by that industry. A 2020 report found that 13,500 studies have been directly or indirectly paid for by the alcohol industry.[3] Concurrently, a range of other studies has found that even moderate consumption of alcohol—including red wine—may contribute to cancers of the breast, esophagus, head and neck, high blood pressure, and atrial fibrillation, a serious heart arrhythmia.

Dietary guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 recommend that adults limit alcohol intake to two drinks or fewer a day for men and one drink or less for women, adding “that drinking less is better for health than drinking more.” The guidelines also warn that even drinking within the recommended limits may increase the overall risk of death attributable to various causes, including some types of cancer and heart disease, even at levels of less than one drink per day.[4]

This past January, Canada issued new guidelines warning that no amount of alcohol consumption is healthy and urges people to reduce drinking as much as possible. Issued by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, the new guidance was a significant departure from its 2011 guidelines, which recommended women limit themselves to no more than 10 standard drinks a week and men no more than 15.[5]

Alcohol is the most used recreational drug, and unfortunately, for those who enjoy drinking for relaxation and recreation, this is unwelcome news. As comforting as it might be to think that it’s good for one’s health, increasingly the science simply does not support it. The extensive new research decimates the hope of many that moderate alcohol use is healthy and makes clear that people should not drink alcohol for the express purpose of improving their health. If maintaining and/or improving health is your priority, in terms of alcohol consumption, less is more.

Reference: Psychology today

Smiling to Death: The Hidden Dangers of Being ‘Nice’

We can learn to bring more awareness to our own emotions and needs.

Pushing down anger, prioritizing duty, and trying not to disappoint others are leading causes of chronic illness.
Ignoring or suppressing how we feel and what we need revs up our stress response, pushing our body toward inflammation.
Our need to maintain membership in our groups leads us to suppress our emotions in a tug-of-war between attachment and authenticity.

Being nice and pleasing others—while socially applauded and generally acknowledged as positive traits—actually can harm our health, says Gabor Maté.Decades of research point to the same conclusion: Pushing down our anger, prioritizing duty and the needs of others before our own, and trying not to disappoint others are leading causes of chronic illness, says the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness and Healing in a Toxic Culture.

“Our physiology is inseparable from our social existence,” argues the Vancouver physician. Ignoring or suppressing how we feel and what we need—whether done consciously or unconsciously—revs up our stress response, pushing our body toward inflammation, at the cost of our immune system, he says.

“If we work our fingers to the bone, if we’re up all night serving our clients, if we’re always available, never taking time for ourselves, we’re rewarded financially and we’re rewarded with a lot of respect and admiration,” says Maté, “and we’re killing ourselves in the process.”

Personality Features of People With Chronic Illness
When Maté reviewed the research on the chronic illnesses he’d treated for more than 30 years, he discovered a pattern of personality features that most frequently present in people with chronic illness:

Automatic and compulsive concern for the emotional needs of others, while ignoring one’s own needs;
Rigid identification with social role, duty, and responsibility;
Overdriven, externally focused hyperresponsibility, based on the conviction that one must justify one’s existence by doing and giving;
Repression of healthy, self-protective anger; and
Harbouring and compulsively acting out two beliefs: I am responsible for how other people feel, and I must never disappoint anyone.
“Why these features and their striking prevalence in the personalities of chronically ill people are so often overlooked—or missed entirely,” is because they are among the “most normalized ways of being in this culture…largely by being regarded as admirable strengths rather than potential liabilities,” says Maté.
These characteristics have nothing to do with will or conscious choice, says Maté.
Coping Patterns
“No one wakes up in the morning and decides, ‘Today, I’ll put the needs of the whole world foremost, disregarding my own,’ or ‘I can’t wait to stuff down my anger and frustration and put on a happy face instead.’” Nor are we born with these traits—instead, they are coping patterns, adaptations to preserve our connection to others, sometimes at the expense of our very lives, he warns.

We develop these traits to be accepted, in what Maté describes as the tug-of-war between our competing needs for attachment and authenticity. We need attachment to survive, as we are a tribal species, wired for connection, conforming to the needs and rules of others to secure our membership in groups.

But we also need authenticity to keep us healthy. We’re designed to feel and act on emotions, especially the “negative” ones. It’s our alarm system to survive danger. Psychiatrist Randolph Nesse, founding director of the Centre for Evolution and Medicine at Arizona State University, explains that we’ve evolved to survive, not to be happy or calm.

Low mood, anger, shame, anxiety, guilt, grief—these are all helpful responses to help us meet the challenges of our specific environments. Having loud, sensitive protective functions like emotions that sound alarms when we’re threatened isn’t a design flaw. It’s a design success.

Our emotions act as smoke alarms to match the perceived threats around us, says Nesse. This seems most obvious with emotions, like fear, that scream out warnings of danger. But even more subtle emotional experiences help us navigate threats and rewards for survival. The discomfort of a low mood is signaling that there aren’t enough rewards in our environment to outweigh the risks of being there, motivating us to seek out circumstances that are more rewarding or conserve our energy in a safe place—like in bed bingeing Netflix—until the rewards return.
Anger, too, is a necessary response to fight inequities, violations, and having our needs blocked. It’s our most effective tool to mobilize action against injustice. The biggest obstacle to social justice is not heated opposition, but apathy. And, yet, society has socialized many of us to suppress anger. Even the vilified emotion of anger’s more subtle form, resentment, is helpful. When our body and brain pick up subtle cues that our boundaries are not being respected, the resentment alarm shouts out loud and clear to assert these boundaries before we even have time to reflect on the situation.

Suppressing Vital Emotions
Yet, the need to maintain membership in our groups has led us to suppress these vital emotional signals, disarming our ability to protect ourselves, says Maté. Even more problematic, says Maté, is that conscious suppression of emotions has been shown to heighten our stress response and lead to poor health outcomes. “We know that chronic stress, whatever its source, puts the nervous system on edge, distorts the hormonal apparatus, impairs immunity, promotes inflammation, and undermines physical and mental well-being,” says Maté. And numerous studies show that a body stuck in a chronic stress response stays in an inflamed state, Maté continues, the precursor of many chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases, Alzheimer’s, depression, and many others.

Maté is careful not to use this research to blame people for their own illnesses. “No person is their disease, and no one did it to themselves—not in any conscious, deliberate or culpable sense,” he says. “Disease is an outcome of generations of suffering, of social conditions, of cultural conditioning, of childhood trauma, of physiology bearing the brunt of peoples stresses and emotional histories, all interacting with the physical and psychological environment. It is often manifestations of ingrained personality traits, yes—but that personality is not who we are any more than are the illnesses to which it may predispose us.”

Our personality and coping styles reflect the needs of the larger social group in which we develop, says Maté. “The roles we are assigned or denied, how we fit into society or are excluded from it, and what the culture induces us to believe about ourselves, determine much about the health we enjoy or the diseases that plague us.” Illness and health are manifestations of our social macrocosm, he argues.

It’s no surprise, then, that the inequities of society deeply affect our health, with those more politically disempowered or economically disenfranchised being forced to shape and suppress their emotions and needs most gravely to survive, says Maté. This means systemic change to fight inequities and focus on social justice is the foundation of improving our health, a common thread in The Myth of Normal.

At the same time, we can work to unlearn these behaviour patterns by bringing more awareness to our own emotions, signals in our bodies, and our needs, rather than automatically ignoring them in the service of others.

“The personality is an adaptation,” says Maté. “What we call the personality is often a jumble of genuine traits and conditioned coping styles, including some that do not reflect our true self at all but rather the loss of it.”
Maté describes true healing as opening ourselves to the truths of our lives, past and present. “After enough noticing, actual opportunities for choice begin to appear before we betray our true wants and needs,” he says. “We might now find ourselves able to pause in the moment and say, ‘Hmm, I can tell I’m about to stuff down this feeling or thought—is that what I want to do? Is there another option?’

“The emergence of new choices in place of old, preprogrammed dynamics is a sure sign of our authentic selves coming back online.”
Reference :
Psychology today
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What COVID Can Teach Us About Stress Management

Different coping styles tell us a lot about healthy eating

Now that COVID is somewhat behind us, we have some space to stop and reflect. We can remember the days when masks were mandatory, lockdowns were frequent, and many businesses were shutting down (except, of course, hospitals).
Some of us used the time to down-regulate our lives, taking advantage of a less hectic lifestyle. Others’ lives became even more hectic as schools closed, and daycare was a non-starter. Job insecurity became a huge issue. Supply chains were questionable. Not to mention the loss of loved ones and acquaintances.
And we had no idea when things were going to improve, at least until a vaccine became widely available. That first year was quite a challenge, and there was nowhere to go. It was a worldwide health threat.
COVID Anxiety and the Consumption of Junk Foods
A couple of studies presented in a 2022 research paper (Juad and Lunardo) looked at anxiety during 2020 in adults aged 18-35 in the United Kingdom and France. Their background research showed that this age group tended to struggle more with anxiety than older adults, showing a greater tendency to feel isolated, overwhelmed, and helpless.
This particular study decided to look at the uptick in eating junk foods (high-calorie, processed foods) and sugary drinks as a coping strategy for pandemic anxiety. Juad and Lunardo also found that there were specific coping strategies used by some individuals that did not lead to continued states of anxiety and turning to compensatory eating practices.
They discovered that feelings of helplessness caused many individuals to have a lower acceptance of the situation. Helplessness indicates a general feeling of not having the ability to find a way to cope with the situation. This is known as low self-efficacy.
Individuals who felt helpless tended to eat more junk food (often accompanied by weight gain) during the first year of the pandemic. On the other hand, those who were able to accept the situation were then able to develop positive coping strategies. As a result, they did not turn to junk food as a coping strategy.
Anxiety and Self-Efficacy
Other research has explored the connection between helplessness and feelings of low-self efficacy. Low self-efficacy can lead to ignoring or rejecting positive coping strategies that a person does not feel capable of performing. The opposite would be self-efficacy, or a person’s belief in their ability to find and use coping strategies to achieve a goal or complete a task.
These same concepts are evident when designing behavior change interventions that promote a healthy eating style compatible with maintaining a healthy weight.
What do they have in common? Both have to do with conquering the negativity that comes with stress that can leave a person stuck in an unproductive belief system. Without self-efficacy on board, it is easy to stay focused on the negative, use negative self-talk, and stay in black-and-white thinking. These patterns can lead a person to think that changing the situation is impossible.
The question is, can some interventions increase self-efficacy, and if so, how?
The Role of Stress Management
A study in 2022 (Carfora, Morandi, and Catellani) identified several techniques that had a positive effect on developing dietary self-efficacy. Self-monitoring, feedback on performance, review of behavioral goals, setting up a reward system, and social support all increased dietary self-efficacy.
The kicker was that stress management was consistently associated with self-efficacy across all analyses and came out as the strongest indicator.
This finding takes us right back to what was happening during COVID with regard to turning to unhealthy foods. Anxiety is a big part of stress. Jaud and Lunardo found a huge association between being able to handle the anxiety of an uncontrollable situation like the pandemic and the ability to make healthy food choices. That association points to the role of self-efficacy when handling the stress of the situation.
Rewriting Stress
Getting back to the question of whether self-efficacy can be increased, it would appear that stress management plays a key role. Taking it a step further, what actions can be taken to respond to stress that will lower its effect on us?
As Jaud and Lunardo indicated, the ability to accept the situation could then serve as the basis for developing coping strategies leading to the ability to maintain healthy eating during the pandemic.
Other research has supported several techniques used to reduce stress and develop coping strategies when designing healthy eating interventions. These techniques have been proven effective time and again. These strategies can be applied to the successful management of stress during challenging times, such as the pandemic, as well as using behavior change interventions in healthy eating or weight-loss programs.

psychology today


I Can’t Live Without Her: When Grieving Men Die

A new study finds differences between men and women in the “widowhood effect.”

The death of a spouse affects people differently, but many experience negative health effects.
Men and women are affected differently by the death of a spouse.
Man have a higher likelihood of dying themselves after the death of their spouse than women do.
What is the worst thing that you could imagine happening to you?

For many people, it's the death of their spouse. Accordingly, many people experience grief, stress, and negative physical health effects when their spouse dies. Others, however, are largely unaffected by such a tragic event. Which factors determine how somebody is affected by the death of their spouse is not well understood in psychological research.

A new study on differences between men and women in the widowhood effect
One commonly investigated phenomenon in the context of the death of a spouse is the so-called "widowhood effect." The widowhood effect postulates that if one spouse dies, the other one has an increased chance of also dying, compared to other people of the same age. The widowhood effect reflects that the death of a spouse is a highly stressful life event that increases the chance of negative health events like heart attacks in the surviving person.

A study just published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE investigates whether the widowhood effect may be influenced by the biological sex of the surviving spouse (Katsiferis et al., 2023). In the study, led by scientist Alexandros Katsiferis from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, the research teams analyzed data from a large Danish study on more than 900,000 people over the age of 65. The scientists looked at the amount of money spent on healthcare by people who suffered the loss of a spouse and the amount spent by people who didn't. This was done to assess whether the loss of a spouse was associated with an increase in health problems. The researchers also analyzed whether people who experienced the loss of their spouse had a higher chance of dying compared to people who did not lose their spouse.

Men are more likely to die after the death of their spouse than women
Overall, about 8.4 percent of people in the study experienced the loss of their spouse. About 65.8 percent of these people who lost their spouses were women, reflecting that, on average, men die earlier than women.

For healthcare costs, there was a clear difference between men and women. Men who lost their spouse spent an average of 42 Euros per week more, while the increase for women was only 35 Euros, suggesting that men experience more health problems after the death of their spouse than do women.

A difference between men and women was also observed in the chance of dying after the death of a spouse, but here age also had an influence. The scientists found out that among those 65 to 69, men had a 70 percent increased chance of also dying in the first year after the death of their spouse. For women in the same age group, the increase was much lower, only 27 percent. This general pattern of males having a higher chance of dying after their spouse’s death remained the same in all other age groups in the study (70 to 74 years, 75 to 79 years, 80 to 84 years, older than 85), but the overall percentages got lower with increasing age.
Taken together, the study showed that men aged 65 to 69 years are most strongly affected by the widowhood effect. In general, men experience a stronger widowhood effect than women. Interestingly, an analysis of timing effects showed that men also showed an increase in the probability of dying after their spouse’s death for much longer than women. The scientists suggested that this reflects increased problems in men returning to a normal, functioning state after experiencing the loss of their spouse. Women seem to show higher resilience to stress in the situation and better psychological coping mechanisms to return to a normal life. These findings clearly suggest that men (and women) who experience the loss of their spouse should seek help and support from family, friends, or a therapist to deal with stress and grief and not “tough it out.”

Katsiferis A, Bhatt S, Mortensen LH, Mishra S, Westendorp RGJ. (2023). Sex differences in health care expenditures and mortality after spousal bereavement: A register-based Danish cohort study. PLoS One, 18, e0282892.

Integrating mental health support with routine care is essential for people with congenital heart defects

Increase the prevalence of care for psychological well-being to help people with CHD experience a full and healthy life.

Although many individuals born with congenital heart defects develop resilience and have a high quality of life, they may face a variety of health-related psychological and social challenges throughout their lives. More mental health support that is integrated into their routine health care is advised to help them achieve optimal health and quality of life, according to a new American Heart Association scientific statement published today in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Congenital heart defects (CHD) occur when people are born with structural abnormalities of the heart or blood vessels involving the heart. Surgery and catheter interventions are often required to address these issues. Most people with CHD survive through adulthood, with adults now outnumbering children among more than 2.4 million living with CHD in the United States. A surgical intervention, however, does not cure CHD. People may need multiple operations, and specialty heart care is required throughout their lives, especially if they were born with complex heart problems.

"Decades of research describes the psychological and social stressors and challenges that can present across the lifespan for people with CHD," said Adrienne H. Kovacs, Ph.D., chair of the writing committee for the scientific statement and a clinical psychologist who specializes in working with people who have CHD. "It's long overdue that we move beyond awareness to action and providing more resources and expert mental health care for people living with CHD."

An American Heart Association scientific statement is an expert analysis of current research and may inform future guidelines. The Association's 2011 scientific statement on a related topic addressed developmental delays and other neurodevelopmental outcomes in children with CHD. However, this is the first statement to summarize the psychological and social challenges from childhood through adulthood and to review age-appropriate mental health interventions to improve quality of life.

According to the new statement, children with more complex CHDs have a 5-times higher rate of receiving an anxiety diagnosis in their lifetime compared to children without CHD. Despite the evidence of emotional, social and behavioral difficulties, only a small fraction of children with CHD are offered or participate in mental health assessment or treatment. For adults with CHD, the rate of experiencing a mood or anxiety disorder in their lifetime is about 50%, compared to about 30% for adults in the general population.

The statement summarizes the psychosocial impact of CHD during various stages of life:

Infancy - Babies may be exposed to frightening or painful procedures, and they may be separated from caregivers and family for extended periods of time for surgery or other hospitalization. In response, infants with CHD may be hypersensitive to light and sound, have difficulty feeding and sleeping or display intense fear and distress, and they may have developmental delays.
Childhood – There may be additional hospitalizations and surgeries, therefore, less opportunity to play or attend school, and they may also have developmental delays. In response, children with CHD may become socially withdrawn, experience symptoms of anxiety or depression, have difficulty in school, or display aggression or hyperactivity.
Adolescence – Health concerns may arise at the same time teens are striving for independence, expanding their social networks and taking on more responsibility for managing their health care as they transition from pediatric to adult care. In response, adolescents with CHD may have social difficulties, become angry, defiant or frustrated, or have body image concerns. They may also display risky behaviors or not follow health recommendations.
Adulthood – There may be new or worsening heart symptoms, repeat surgeries or other cardiac interventions during adulthood, and CHD can have a negative impact on finances, employment, insurance and family planning options. In response, adults with CHD may have difficulty with interpersonal relationships, higher education or employment. They may also have trouble taking care of their health needs and become worried about death and dying.
According to the statement, approaches to mental health care may encompass self-care strategies, such as relaxation techniques and hospital-based or online support groups; psychotherapy such as talk therapies for individuals, couples, families or groups; and medication therapy where a medical team can determine appropriate, heart-safe medications for depression or anxiety.

The statement strongly advocates for the integration of mental health professionals within CHD specialty care teams. Integrated mental health care normalizes emotional reactions to health challenges, reduces stigma, improves timely access as soon as health challenges arise, and provides coordinated care across the multidisciplinary health care team.

"The goal of this statement is to foster psychologically informed care that empowers people with CHD and their families and provides emotional support," said Kovacs. "We would like mental health assessment and support to be part of comprehensive care for all people with CHD rather than a special service that is offered only in some places or special circumstances."

In addition, the statement highlights priority areas for research to better understand and improve psychological outcomes for people with CHD, including:

how to best identify significant psychological distress;
factors that may contribute to psychological resilience and well-being;
gaining more information about the safety and effectiveness of psychotropic medications at different ages; and
personalized approaches to mental health interventions.
This statement follows two other scientific statements from the Association addressing care for people with CHD: a March 2022 scientific statement on support for the transition from pediatric to adult health care; and an April 2022 scientific statement addressing the impact of social determinants of health on CHD care throughout life.

This scientific statement was prepared by the volunteer writing group on behalf of the American Heart Association's Council on Lifelong Congenital Heart Disease and Heart Health in the Young (Young Hearts) and the Stroke Council. The writing group included a diverse, interdisciplinary group of experts with a long-standing commitment to the psychological care of individuals with CHD including two authors with CHD.

American Heart Association scientific statements promote greater awareness about cardiovascular diseases and stroke issues and help facilitate informed health care decisions. Scientific statements outline what is currently known about a topic, and what areas need additional research. While scientific statements inform the development of guidelines, they do not make treatment recommendations. American Heart Association guidelines provide the Association's official clinical practice recommendations.
Kovacs, A.H., et al. (2022) Psychological Outcomes and Interventions for Individuals With Congenital Heart Disease: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. doi.org/10.1161/HCQ.0000000000000110.
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Positive Parenting, Brain Development, and Teen Alcohol Use

Parents’ closeness in teen years enhances resiliency and reduces alcohol abuse.

Not only does positive parenting make for a happier family life, but it also enhances children’s cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development going forward. A recently published study shows that this remains true through the teen years, and that it's particularly important for kids at risk of substance abuse.
Adolescence is a time of rapid and critically important brain development, a time during which positive parenting leads to better self-regulation, cognitive processing, decision-making, and judgement. The developing brain can be nurtured by positive parenting, and it can also be damaged by drug or alcohol abuse, very much including binge drinking.
Research Findings Support Parental Closeness During Adolescence
In a recently published study, Gayathri Pandey and colleagues investigated whether parents’ closeness to their children aged 12 to 17 had an impact on the teens’ binge drinking behavior. They found that young people at risk of alcohol abuse were less likely to be binge drinkers, and more likely to show signs of healthy brain development, if they felt close to their parents through the teen years.
There were some differences by sex (e.g., closeness to mothers was more strongly related to avoidance of binge drinking; closeness to fathers showed a bigger impact on neurocognitive factors), but in general both parents’ closeness to their adolescent child made a difference in the likelihood of binge drinking and healthy brain development.
Pandey and colleagues concluded that, “Positive parenting and parent–child closeness promote children's efficient executive functions and self-regulation, which in turn reduce risky drinking and other externalizing behaviors.”
How to Practice Positive Parenting in the Teen Years
1-Take good care of yourself. It can be very challenging to be the parent of a teenager. In order to maintain a patient, loving relationship with your child, do your best to get good nutrition, enough sleep and exercise, and time for yourself.
 2-Be positive. The teen years are filled with anxieties, insecurities, and self-doubts, as well as a heightened alertness to possible criticism. No matter how challenging it might be, look for ways to show your approval every day, and be careful to avoid critical judgement.
3-Show up. As much as possible, be there for your teenager. Quality time is important, but so is the amount of time you’re present and available.
4-Listen. Your teenager may not always want to talk to you, but when they do, listen with an open heart, without criticism or judgement. Do your best to avoid lecturing or pontificating. Just listen, with empathy and (as much as possible) approval.
5-Be calm and confident. It’s normal and healthy for you and your teen to see things differently and to argue about that. No matter how you feel at the time, it’s good for their development if they contest your attitudes, beliefs, and values. That’s the best way for them to hear why you think the way you do. If you can be calm and confident about your position, you’ll increase the likelihood they’ll see things your way.
6-Respect your child’s autonomy. Treat your teenager as the young adult they are in the process of becoming. Give them as much respect and independence as they can safely handle. Let them learn from making small mistakes now, as a way to prevent larger mistakes later.
7-Support your child’s solution-finding. Even if your child asks for advice, if they come to you with a problem, be empathetic and start with questions that help them define their own solutions. “What do you think you should do?” is always a good start. Followed by, “What do you think would happen if you did that?” After that kind of conversation, if your child still wants you to weigh in, or if they haven’t come to a good solution, you might say, “If I were you, I think I’d probably…”
8-Set expectations, rules, and consequences collaboratively. Discuss with your child what you need from them, and what they need from you, to keep your home running smoothly. Make as few rules as possible, and make sure they’re clear and understood. Get your child involved in deciding on consequences for violations. Rather than removing privileges like screens, discuss additional chores as possible consequences.
9-Be a good role model. You may not realize how closely your child is watching what you do, how you relate to others, how reliable and trustworthy you are, whether or not your actions match your admonitions to them. They learn so much more from what you do than from what you say.
10-Stay connected. Keep your focus on your connection with your child, not on the mistakes they make, or the bad judgement they show, or the disrespect they show for you and others. What matters most in the long run is their feeling that you love and support them, that you believe in them, not whether or not they fail a grade, drink too much at a party, or stay out past their curfew.
There are many good reasons to practice positive parenting with your teenager. These new research findings show that supporting their healthy brain development and reducing the likelihood of substance abuse are two more.

psychology today


Anti_Inflammatory Diet

Foods you should eat to help fight inflammation

You might be surprised to learn that diet plays an important role in chronic inflammation-- digestive bacteria release chemicals that may spur or suppress inflammation. The types of bacteria that populate our gut and their chemical byproducts vary according to the foods we eat. Some foods encourage the growth of bacteria that stimulate inflammation, while others promote the growth of bacteria that help suppress it.
Here are some of the foods and beverages that have been linked to less inflammation and reduced risk for chronic diseases:

    Fruits and vegetables. Most fruits and brightly colored vegetables naturally contain high levels of antioxidants and polyphenols—potentially protective compounds found in plants.
    Nuts and seeds. Studies have found that consuming nuts and seeds is associated with reduced markers of inflammation and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
    Beverages. The polyphenols in coffee and the flavonols in cocoa are thought to have anti-inflammatory properties. Green tea is also rich in both polyphenols and antioxidants.
Studies have shown that polyphenols have multiple anti-inflammatory properties. A review published in the British Journal of Nutrition summarized a number of studies supporting the notion that dietary polyphenols may lower inflammation in the body and improve the function of cells that line blood vessels. Foods high in polyphenols include onions, turmeric, red grapes, green tea, cherries, and plums, as well as dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collard greens.
In addition, olive oil, flaxseed oil, and fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel offer healthy doses of omega-3 fatty acids, which have long been shown to reduce inflammation.
Foods that can fuel inflammation
The foods that contribute to inflammation are the same ones generally considered bad for other aspects of health. These include sugary sodas and refined carbohydrates (like white bread and pasta), as well as red meat and processed meats.

Such unhealthy foods are also likely to contribute to weight gain, which is itself a risk factor for inflammation. In addition, certain components or ingredients in processed foods, like the emulsifiers added to ice cream, may have effects on inflammation.

The key to reducing inflammation with diet

To practice anti-inflammatory eating, it’s best to focus on an overall healthy diet rather than singling out individual "good" and "bad" foods. In general, a healthy diet means one that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish, and healthy oils, and limits food loaded with simple sugars (like soda and candy), beverages that contain high-fructose corn syrup (like juice drinks and sports drinks), and refined carbohydrates.
7 Simple Steps
Step #1: Eat to beat inflammation. Harvard experts warn that many “anti-inflammatory diets” are not grounded in science.  In this Special Report, you’ll discover the three best diet choices—plus essential food “do’s and don’ts” to help suppress inflammation levels. 

Step #2: Get moving! Fighting Inflammation reveals how much aerobic exercise (surprisingly little!)it takes to lower inflammation levels—and how too much exercise may actually provoke an inflammatory response. 

Step #3: Manage your weight. Discover the simple strategies to help you zero in on reducing abdominal fat—the kind that produces pro-inflammatory chemicals. For example, you’ll learn surprising no-pain secrets to help reduce sugar in your diet. 

Step #4: Get enough sleep. Inadequate sleep not only robs you of energy and productivity it also elevates inflammation—which is especially hazardous to heart health. Fighting Inflammation reveals 4 simple steps to help you get a healthier and more refreshing night’s sleep!

Step #5: Stop smoking. Kicking the habit can result in a dramatic reduction in inflammation levels within just a few weeks, experts say. Even if you’ve tried to quit before, the steps revealed in this Special Report can help you succeed!

Step #6: Limit alcohol use. When it comes to inflammation, alcohol can be either your friend or foe. Find out in this Special Report why a little alcohol may be helpful and how much is over the line for keeping inflammation in check.

Step #7: Conquer chronic stress. Chronic stress can spark the development of inflammation and cause flare-ups of problems like rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, depression and inflammatory bowel disease. Fighting Inflammation reveals 10 powerful ways to help lower unhealthy stress. 

Whether you’re aiming to prevent cancer, heart disease, diabetes, dementia, or other conditions connected to chronic inflammation, the sooner you incorporate these seven steps into your life, the better!

Harvard Health Publishing
Harvard Medical School 

Cause of Shoulder Pain

Worsening shoulder pain can keep you from enjoying daily activities. Understanding what’s wrong is the first step to finding relief.

Dear Reader,

Shoulder pain can seem like a mild annoyance at first...but it can quickly escalate and restrict your movement, making routine activities difficult and painful.
It’s time to seek relief.
In Healing Shoulder Pain, Harvard Medical School experts guide you through the process of identify the cause of shoulder pain and mobility loss and how to find the most appropriate treatment.
Are you experiencing minor shoulder pain or major shoulder pain?
Minor shoulder pain that is related to overexertion or a small injury often can be easily managed on your own at home.

On the other hand, severe pain and limited motion in the shoulder can disrupt your life and warrants a call to your doctor — injuries that might have fractured a bone or torn soft tissue requires urgent care.

In other words, you can’t just shrug off shoulder pain

Shoulder problems rarely go away on their own. Which is why, Healing Shoulder Pain will show you how to speed their departure with information on specific diagnoses and tailored treatments.

You’ll discover:

    How to accurately troubleshoot the condition triggering your pain

    The telltale symptoms that distinguish tendinitis from bursitis

    How to effectively and safely achieve pain relief

    Why you may be increasingly vulnerable to shoulder impingement

    What condition a “Popeye muscle” bulge may signal

    The occasional unrecognized signs of a rotator cuff tear

    How to maintain flexibility and renewed range-of-motion

    And so much more!

Also included in this report is a special section, Exercises to prevent and relieve shoulder pain, which includes safe and effective workouts you can do at home.
You’ll understand the latest advances in shoulder surgery.
The report includes techniques known to help reverse and repair damage...and tips to strengthen and protect your shoulder’s mobility and durability.
You’ll also discover the important considerations when choosing a surgical procedure...what to expect before, during, and after surgery...and the breakthroughs that are lessening pain and speeding recovery.

Harvard Health Publishing
Harvard Medical School 

Get off Your Diet and Loose Weight for GOOD

Say goodbye to the yo-yo dieting treadmill and lose weight with NO calorie-counting… NO starvation… and NO deprivation

Dear Reader,

Most of us have been on a weight-loss diet at one time or another. And we’ve all likely enjoyed the sweet taste of success. But then life happens and, slowly but surely, the pounds creep back on and we’re back where we started from...or even worse. Sound familiar?
Now there’s a better way to drop 10, 20, 30 pounds or more and keep them off without dieting.
How? Simply by incorporating some of the latest evidence-based strategies that allow you to custom-tailor a healthy weight loss plan that works best for you — with no calorie-counting, and no starvation or deprivation.
Simple strategies for weight loss success
While many weight loss programs focus on low-fat or low-carb diets or “miracle weight-loss foods” that you have to scrupulously follow, this Online Course helps you customize a plan that you can live with to reach your weight loss goals. For example, you’ll discover:

    Foods that help protect your gut against obesity-causing bacteria in as little as one day

    How to instantly spot hidden sugars in your diet that can lead to obesity and diabetes

    10 surprising ways to get more weight-busting fiber in your diet

    9 kitchen tricks to help you slim down your meals without sacrificing an ounce of flavor

    A meal planning guide for tasty, nutritious meals guaranteed to keep you satisfied so you’ll never feel deprived

    Good fats/bad fats — how to tell which is which for weight loss and better health

    The brain-confusing problem with artificially sweetened food and drinks

    Simple tricks that let you say “no” to cravings and save hundreds of calories

    The powerful “mindful eating” strategy shown to reduce hunger and binge-eating

    3 simple stressbusters that help stymie stress eating

    12 satisfying snacks that help you control hunger between meals

    How to short-circuit the trigger that can lead to calorie-laden comfort eating

    4 simple habits of people who lose weight and keep it off

Get a sneak peek at what you’ll discover in Lose Weight and Keep It Off
PLUS: You’ll learn the truth behind commercial weight loss plans, weight loss supplements and anti-obesity drugs. You’ll get expert tips to maintain your weight-loss motivation. You’ll discover important considerations about weight-loss surgery. And so much more.
The Harvard Lose Weight and Keep It Off Online Course is overflowing with simple eating plans, practical hints and tips, food charts, and more — all the practical tools you need to help you reach and maintain your ideal weight.
Harvard Health Publishing
Harvard Medical School 

How to confidently make the most informed, intelligent, and beneficial decisions for large and small health decisions

from the experts at the prestigious Harvard Medical School.

    Man-to-man: Straight talk about sex, back pain, heart health, prostate health, memory concerns, and more.
    New treatments: Updates about new drugs, surgical procedures, and at-home remedies.
    Practical: Pros and cons help you make the best, most informed decisions about your health.
    Unlimited digital access to the latest research and breakthroughs.

Harvard Health Publishing
Harvard Medical School 

Discover how to keep your brain its healthiest best!

Learn the 6 simple steps that can enhance your mental stamina, boost your memory, and provide added years of robust cognitive fitness.

Dear Reader,

Cognitive fitness goes far beyond just memory. It embraces thinking, learning, recognition, and sound decision-making. Cognitive fitness is the bedrock of a rewarding and self-sufficient life.
You can be “brain-healthy” for life!
This Special Health Report will show you how to sidestep threats to your brain’s wellness. You’ll learn how to build a “cognitive reserve” to address your brain’s changes. And most of all, you’ll gain the tools to shape and secure lasting and fulfilling cognitive vitality.
As never before, you can attain enduring brain health. Doctors at Harvard Medical School have identified six steps, which together can spur and protect cognitive fitness.
This multi-pronged brain fitness program includes and integrates proven approaches like optimal nutrition, exercise, stress reduction, social interaction, sleep, and stimulating activities.
A program that makes good sense — and designed for your success!
This guide will equip you to give your brain the attention it needs to stay at its best. The program will help you maintain a responsive memory, sustain your learning abilities, and remain confident that your mental skills will continue to serve you well.
This guide shares the wisest choices to defend your brain against the effects of aging. At the heart of the program are modest — but specific — changes in your diet, exercise regimen, and your lifestyle.
You’ll master the strategies that will stimulate your thinking!
You’ll be introduced to easy-to-follow brain-friendly diets. You’ll find five delicious foods linked to better brainpower. And you'll learn a little-known secret to maximizing exercise’s cognitive benefits.

You’ll find tips to ease stress and to get the sleep essential for memory. You’ll learn the keys to a brain-power nap, 10 tested methods to manage stress, and tricks to beat insomnia naturally.

The Special Health Report will help you strengthen your brain’s agility and nurture the personal interactions that keep your mind engaged. You’ll be briefed on techniques to supercharge your mental workouts, effective ways to foster an invigorating social network, and much more.
Don’t wait. See this empowering report for yourself. After all, there’s nothing better than making up your own mind!
In A Guide to Cognitive Fitness, you’ll find...
✓ 	Cognitive fitness: Your No. 1 health goal
✓ 	How cognitive function is shaped over a lifetime
✓ 	STEP 1: Eat a plant-based diet
✓ 	STEP 2: Exercise regularly
✓ 	STEP 3: Get enough sleep
✓ 	STEP 4: Challenge your brain
✓ 	And more!

Harvard Health Publishing
Harvard Medical School 

Why People Over 60 Are Now
Hearing Whispers

Harvard doctors reveal the truth about hearing loss… what to do if your hearing is a problem… plus how to enjoy better hearing at any age

Dear Reader,

Imagine if there were ways to improve your hearing so you could hear as well as you did decades ago.
So you could easily hear what people are saying at a loud party… or soft sounds like your grandchild’s whispered secret.
And you’d never have to suffer from the embarrassment of needing to ask people to repeat themselves. Or worry about not hearing something that could put you in danger, like a smoke alarm.
Here’s great news. You can regain your hearing. And there are proven ways to hold on to your hearing. Now Harvard Medical School doctors reveal all the surprising facts about hearing loss in their Special Health Report Coping with Hearing Loss, A guide to prevention and treatment.

Do you really need a hearing aid?

When most people think about a hearing aid, they picture big embarrassing contraptions stuck on their ears. Even worse, over the years you may have noticed that hearing aids didn’t seem to work well for other people. So how well could they work for you?
Well, there have been a lot of advances in the last few years. In this report you’ll discover that some new hearing aids are so tiny, no one can see them. You’ll also learn about new breakthroughs in hearing aid technology that make sounds crisp and clear. Plus you’ll find out about solutions like surgery that can treat your hearing loss if a hearing aid isn’t right for you.
Best of all, you’ll know all the secrets to preventing hearing loss — so you’ll never miss out on a good joke’s punch line, an important word in a conversation, or the sweet sound of birdsong in the morning.
In this special report, you’ll find out the latest, proven solutions including:

    How to stop hearing the ringing in your ears that’s driving you crazy

    The do-it-yourself 5-minute hearing test

    Why you should never buy a hearing aid through the internet or a magazine ad

    The “magic number” for protecting your precious hearing

    How to choose the best hearing aid that fits your lifestyle

    8 medications to avoid that can give you permanent hearing loss

    And much more!

Coping with Hearing Loss, A guide to prevention and treatment gives you all the must-know facts about hearing loss. You’ll find out all the ways to treat hearing loss so you can regain your hearing. Even better, you’ll discover the secrets to preventing hearing loss. So you can enjoy an active social life and hear well at any age.
Harvard Health Publishing
Harvard Medical School 

Secrets of Probiotics

Get Your Gut in Order

Dear Reader,

Probiotics: The very word mystifies many. Worse, it has sparked a sizable supply of stubborn myths.

    You may have seen reports saying probiotics cause digestive issues.

    You may have heard all yogurts are equal sources of probiotics.

    You may think that foods containing probiotics are expensive or hard to find.

Science has been debunking these and other probiotics myths for decades. But sorting them out isn’t easy — unless you know where to look and which sources to trust.
“Bad” bacteria can wreak havoc on your health.
Enter probiotics — “good” bacteria that help wage war against harmful microorganisms.
Benefits of Probiotic Foods
ow you can get the truth about probiotics from the experts at Harvard Medical School. They’ve compiled the latest information into a clear, concise guide called Benefits of Probiotic Foods, and it’s available right now.
Confusion reigns
We hear a lot about probiotics these days. More and more, the word is showing up in health headlines and on food packaging. You’re just not sure what probiotics actually are. Or what they do for us. Or where they come from. The general perception of probiotics can be summed up in the title of an old Bob Dylan song: “Mixed-Up Confusion.”
Our e-guide Benefits of Probiotic Foods brings you the most important advantage you can have: clarity. We always want clarity regarding our health. By absorbing plain-language explanations from Harvard’s medical experts, you’ll get it. Our accessible and digestible guide teaches you how probiotics can make a difference in your gut health... and your overall health.
A stronger immune system?

A stronger immune system?

Now more than ever, we worry about our immune system. About our ability to fight viruses. About staying germ-free. About fending off harmful microorganisms we can’t see, smell, or feel. Count probiotics as an ally. Out of literally hundreds of ingestible bacteria classified as probiotics, two strains in particular may help strengthen your immune system: Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria.
Harvard Medical School’s experts explain how to identify these health-enhancing probiotics. You’ll learn about others, too — including probiotics that can ease cramps and diarrhea... or neutralize toxins in the gut... or help with lactose digestion... or decrease the oral bacteria that cause tooth decay.
Good vs. Bad
Think about this: The human gut has 100 trillion bacteria — some harmful, some useful. By working probiotics into your diet, you help counterbalance the “bad” bacteria in your gut. Probiotics can provide a boost to your “good” bacteria as they wage war against dangerous organisms.

About those dangerous organisms: You can’t see them or feel them, but they’re there. They invade the human body and are known to cause poor health... serious infections... disease... even death.

    You know about Salmonella, the most common cause of food-related illness in America. Every year in the U.S., Salmonella causes 1.35 million infections, 26,500 hospitalizations, and 420 deaths.

    You’ve heard of E. coli, another food-borne illness. E. coli afflicts 265,000 Americans every year and causes 100 deaths.

Probiotics can help provide a natural defense against these and other infection-causing organisms.
That’s not all. Research in this field is new and developing, but studies are showing probiotics may help you avoid digestive ailments and gastrointestinal issues. Furthermore, probiotics may help ease inflammation — a cause of countless ailments from head to toe.
Recent studies also have shown probiotics may help protect against certain cancers... help manage conditions that raise the risk of heart disease... aid recovery from stress... and enhance brain function. Probiotics, studies show, may even aid in weight-loss efforts!

But where do I get probiotics?

But where do I get probiotics?

Let’s start your gut-health education right now. Getting probiotics into your body — and starting the process of combating harmful bacteria — is simple. Make sure your diet includes foods that provide probiotics. Now, in our exclusive guide, you’ll learn about the best sources of probiotics, from the obvious (yogurt) to the unusual (kimchi, a cabbage dish) and everything in between:

    You’ll learn in Benefits of Probiotic Foods about common foods that — because of their probiotics advantage — should have a regular place in your diet.

    You’ll get simple probiotic-rich recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

    We’ll tell you about sauces, dressings, and marinades packed with probiotics.

How much is enough?

How much is enough?

It’s one thing to know about dietary sources of probiotics. But how much probiotic-rich food is enough? Can you consume probiotics if you’re taking antibiotics? And how might women (and new moms) benefit from probiotics?

Harvard medical experts have the answers to these and other questions in Benefits of Probiotic Foods. Click below to order our special guide.

Harvard Health Publishing
Harvard Medical School 

Learn how you can treat — and prevent — diverticulosis and diverticulitis…and enjoy renewed colon health!

Find out the “don’t wait” secrets to a lifetime of digestive wellness!


 	In Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis you’ll discover:
✓	the four symptoms that mean get medical care NOW!
✓	the one food substitution that can lower diverticulitis risk 20%!
✓	the nut with three times more fiber than almonds
✓	what to ask your doctor before taking a fiber supplement
✓	the drink that can keep you regular — even if it’s decaf!
✓	the best time to exercise for maximum digestive benefit
✓	19 foods that can speed recovery from diverticulitis

Dear Reader,
You know it’s not indigestion. This abdominal pain is different. It is sharp and distinct. You don’t know where it came from. You do know you want it to go away.
Call it a “gut reaction.”
As we age, weaker areas of our colons can develop pea-sized pouches called diverticula. That’s diverticulosis. Diverticulitis occurs when a pouch becomes inflamed or infected, triggering abdominal pain, cramping, nausea. Diverticulitis can cause a hole in your colon that could lead to a life-threatening condition called peritonitis.
Discover the treatments that bring relief and prevent recurrence.
In this downloadable report, Harvard doctors will brief you on the four defining symptoms of diverticulitis and the one essential diagnostic test. You’ll learn the best steps to reduce stress on your digestive system, resolve complications, and speed recovery.
You can end the agony and anxiety of diverticulitis — starting now!
When it comes to your colon, help starts at the top. Adding select foods can dramatically lessen the strain on your digestive system and preclude the formation of diverticula. You may know that fiber is key, but to unlock its fullest benefits, you need to know more. With this new report you will!
The foods to choose for optimal digestive health!
In the Guide you’ll learn easy ways to introduce more fiber to your diet. You’ll read why you need to add both soluble and insoluble fiber to maximize its digestive benefits. And you’ll find the 23 foods — from nuts and berries to grains and greens — that deliver the most fiber per serving.
Plus more steps and strategies to keep your digestive system at its best!
The Guide shares exercises that will keep your digestive system running smoothly. You’ll find tips for maintaining regularity without laxatives...the role of probiotics and fiber supplements... and more.
You can lower your risk of diverticulitis. You can do it effectively. You can do it successfully. Don’t wait. Order your copy of this informative and empowering report today!

 	In Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis you’ll discover:
✓	the four symptoms that mean get medical care NOW!
✓	the one food substitution that can lower diverticulitis risk 20%!
✓	the nut with three times more fiber than almonds
✓	what to ask your doctor before taking a fiber supplement
✓	the drink that can keep you regular — even if it’s decaf!
✓	the best time to exercise for maximum digestive benefit
✓	19 foods that can speed recovery from diverticulitis

Harvard Health Publishing
Harvard Medical School 


17 heart-healthy strategies to lower your cholesterol effectively and safely!

“Take-charge” techniques that are transforming cholesterol control and giving you renewed protection from a heart attack or stroke

Dear Reader,
If you’ve ever fought high, or even elevated, cholesterol, please send for this new report from Harvard Medical School today. It will show you how you can reduce harmful cholesterol — up to 50%—and do it with confidence and success!
The report is yours risk-free — and here’s the reason why.
Just a 10% drop in LDL cholesterol can mean a 20-30% drop in your risk of a heart attack. We want you to enjoy lower risk when it comes to your heart, so there’s no risk when it comes to this offer!
There are more ways than ever to have less!
Through specific lifestyle changes and with an emerging roster of drug therapies, you can significantly lower LDL levels, dramatically reduce harmful triglycerides, and actually reverse atherosclerosis.
In this just-published report, you will learn sensible, safe, and studied strategies that will help you meet the latest guidelines for cholesterol management and reduced cardiovascular risk.
The answers you need for the cholesterol numbers you want!
Why is it so important to lower cholesterol? What is your risk of a heart attack? How can you assure that your cholesterol numbers are accurate? Managing Your Cholesterol will tell you. You’ll learn about two important protective factors you can ramp up right now...why reduced cholesterol is good for your brain as well as your heart...and how to determine — in 30 seconds — if you truly need a statin.
You’ll discover the smart, powerful, and natural steps that work!
You’ll be introduced to LDL-lowering diets that don’t demand sacrifice. You’ll find tips (and tricks) for better cholesterol balance. You’ll read about three tasty ways to lower triglycerides. Plus, the Report will brief you on four cholesterol-corraling superfoods...a surprising HDL-boosting beverage ...and the one exercise regimen that can lower the proportion of the most dangerous LDL particles.
You’ll find the wisest and safest choices in medications — and more!
You’ll get candid assessments of 30 popular cholesterol-reducing drugs (including low-cost generics.) You’ll learn how to maximize the effectiveness of your statin. You will be introduced to exciting new alternatives, including an injection that shrinks the risk of heart attacks...a medication that stops cholesterol from reaching the bloodstream...and a slick prescription oil that cuts triglycerides in half!
What’s gone up, can come down! Managing Your Cholesterol will show you how. Remember, this empowering Special Report is yours 100% risk-free! Don’t wait. Order today!

The Managing Your Cholesterol Special Health Report includes:
✓	3 easy ways to improve the accuracy of your cholesterol test
✓	The type of cholesterol that is actually good for your arteries
✓	Why some people may be able to take lower doses of a cholesterol-lowering statin
✓	9 heart disease risk factors you can change
✓	Plus, you get a Special Bonus Section: Lifestyle changes to improve your lipid levels
✓	And so much more!

Harvard Health Publishing
Harvard Medical School