How to prevent holiday depression and stress

Marriage and Family Health, Mental Health
This last week, I saw three patients in the office all suffering from holiday depression. One was a grandmother who had suffered the tragic loss of her first grandchild this summer. Two others were people who had lost dear ones over the last few months. It was a good reminder to me to keep an eye out this season for those around me to whom Christmas may not be a joy, but an emotional roller coaster. (more…)
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General Health, Marriage and Family Health, Mental Health, Parenting, Woman's Health
Today I'll be interviewed on the Internet TV show, Your Family Live. The show is aired, live, from 200 - 300 pm ET, and I'm tentatively scheduled to be on from about 235 - 250 pm ET. You can watch it live, or archived (after the show) here. The theme of the show is "Stressbusters for Moms." I'll be interviewed by my friends Yvette Maher and Juli Slattery. (more…)
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Less stress and more sleep may help you lose weight

Heart Health, Mental Health, Nutritional Health, Obesity
If you or someone you love is overweight or obese, here's some good news on a couple of other ways (other than better nutrition and exercise) you could consider to lose weight. The Los Angeles Times "Booster Shots" reported, "Getting a healthy amount of sleep, avoiding stress, and complying with specific elements of a weight-loss plan (such as keeping a food diary) seem to boost the odds of" losing weight." (more…)
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Overweight Children Are Affected More By Stress

Children's Health, Obesity, Parenting
American kids are really stressed out — not least of all overweight and obese kids, according to a new survey from the American Psychological Association. The report found that children who are overweight or obese feel particularly stressed, more so than their normal-weighted peers. And such stress has a lasting impact on other lifestyle behaviors that negatively affect overweight kids' health. Below I have some of the details from a report in Time. If, however, your kids are overweight or obese, you may want to pick up a copy of my book, SuperSized Kids: How to protect your child from the obesity threat. The book is currently on sale in HARDCOVER for $4.99 here (save $18) and in SOFTCOVER for $1.99 here (save $11). The book is chock-full of ways you,…
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Give Yourself the Gift of a Stress-Free Holiday

Mental Health
Here are some steps you can take (if not this year, next) to protect your and your family's health by keeping it simple during the Christmas season. This was originally published at HealthFinder and I hope it's helpful: 'Tis the season to be jolly, not stressed out, and an expert offers some tips on how to take care of yourself during the holiday rush. While it's easy to feel overwhelmed by all the shopping, planning and other tasks associated with the season, you need to take steps to keep your stress under control in order to protect your health, said Dr. Gary Kaplan, founder of the Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine in McLean, Va. "Stress is the way our body automatically responds to difficult situations. You may feel nervous, irritable…
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Hostile, Competitive Types May Be Harming Their Hearts

Heart Health, Mental Health
An Italian study finds that a hostile personality type is linked to a thickening of neck artery wall -- which may be associated with an increased risk of heart attack, heart disease, and stroke. Here are the details from a report in HealthDay News: Hostile people, especially those who are manipulative and aggressive, may be paying a price in terms of heart health, a new study finds. These types of people showed a thickening in the walls of their neck arteries tied to a 40 percent higher risk of having the artery narrow. And that could boost their risk for cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke, the researchers concluded. "The public is often worried about stress, but sometime it's how our personalities interact with stress that can have an effect on…
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Positive Brain Changes Seen After Meditation (What is Christian meditation?)

Alternative Medicine, Mental Health
A number of Christian scriptures recommend meditation as a spiritual discipline: Psalm 77:12: I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. Psalm 119:15:  meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. Psalm 119:27: Let me understand the teaching of your precepts; then I will meditate on your wonders. Psalm 19:14: May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 104:34: May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD. Now, comes a study showing that positive brain changes take hold after just 11 hours of practicing a form of meditation. Here are the details in a report from HealthDay News: The study included 45 University…
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Stressed women may have reduced chance of becoming pregnant

Mental Health, Woman's Health
We've known for many years that stress and anxiety can affect a woman's pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Now, a new study is connecting stress and conception. USA Today reports that "a new study in the journal Fertility and Sterility lends credence to a link between stress and time to conception, and not just in couples dealing with infertility." The new "study involved 274 British women 18 to 40 years old" who "were followed for six menstrual cycles or until they got pregnant, whichever came first." The Time "Wellness" blog reported that the study found "no correlation between women's levels of cortisol, another more commonly measured stress hormone, and their chance of conception," however. But, "the researchers worry that, in a cruel twist, the inability to conceive may create a vicious…
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3 Lifestyle Habits That Can Boost Your Sex Drive

General Health, Heart Health, Marriage and Family Health, Men's Health, Mental Health, Nutritional Health, Woman's Health
For this Valentine's Day weekend, some advice for our married readers from my friends at on how you can not only boost your sex drive, but become more highly healthy at the same time: 1. Get plenty of exercise If you want to make your marriage a bit more "hot-blooded," then improve your circulation. Physical fitness can increase blood flow, which in theory can make sex more pleasurable since sexual arousal for both men and women involves increased blood flow to the genital area. And that can increase desire itself—if it feels great, you tend to want to do it more. Exercise boosts endorphins, which lift your mood, and it can increase your energy. Not to mention that being toned makes some people feel sexier. 2. Eat a healthy…
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