August 18, 2014

Short and Sweet

Certain Foods Linked With Depression: Many of the foods we eat because we are rushed and may not make time for healthier meals are linked with depression. These include fast food, refined grains, and soft drinks.

Casual Sex Linked To Depression And Suicidal Thoughts: Dr Sara Sandberg-Thoma said: "This study provides evidence that poor mental health can lead to casual sex, but also that casual sex leads to additional declines in mental health."

Less Sleep Brings More Rapid Brain Aging: Sleep troubles are more common with age, and shrinkage of certain brain structures is normal. But for the over-55 study participants, those changes could be seen accelerating slightly with each hour less of sleep each night.

Light Drinking Is Less Healthy Than Researchers Thought: Reducing even light consumption of alcohol will not only improve your chances against coronary heart disease, but also help you lose weight and ease high blood pressure, it said.

The Biggest Bucks In The Business Of Healthcare: Though the recent release of Medicare’s physician payments cast a spotlight on the millions of dollars paid to some specialists, there is a startling secret behind America’s health care hierarchy: The base pay of insurance executives, hospital executives and even hospital administrators often far outstrips doctors’ salaries.

Are Pain Relievers Wrecking Your Health?: What many people don’t realize as they reach for a bottle of ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen is that these medications can cause a surprisingly common condition called leaky gut syndrome, which is “a breakdown of the barrier of the intestinal lining,” says Leo Galland, M.D. Leaky gut can cause fatigue, joint pain, allergies, digestive troubles, mood swings, and other symptoms.

August 11, 2014

"O" Zone - The Race of Your Life

So what race are you running? We run through our lives, judging ourselves by the way others are running, what pace they keep, how hard they are breathing, and if they look more tired than us or not.  
But we usually don’t ask ourselves, "What race are they running?" Some run a sprint. A short burst to get to a short-term goal, without the long term in mind. They can crush our self-image, if we judge ourselves by the way they look in the midst of their race. We will always feel inadequate. 
Or maybe they are running a marathon, or middle distance, or even a half-mile. Each requires different ingredients from the runner. 

Most dangerous is if we are not sure what our race is, but we try to pace ourselves by those around us. We will be exhausted by the sprinters, or bored by the long distance runners.
Object number one is to figure out your own race. What is it? What is the distance you are running, for what reason, and how do you need to run your race according to your gifts and current ability? All these things need to be figured out before we will find comfort or peace in our race. 

I have a friend who shared this personal story with me: 
“I was a bad runner. I saw myself as a bad, SLOW runner, not competitive, and heavier than most runners. For the first year and a half of races that I ran in, I cried. I cried because I was embarrassed by my obvious weaknesses. I was so slow compared to others. 
“When I was out running one day, I started wondering why I've continued to run although I still carry the same weaknesses, and at what point did I stop crying? After about a year and a half of running it had started to get a little easier for me. I didn't wear out quite as fast and, because I didn't have a competitive nature, I never worked to be faster. 
“In one race, I was running by a girl who was having a harder time than I was. I encouraged her along, building up, and complimenting wherever I could. We finished and went our own ways. The next week, our cross country coach got a letter from her parents. They said that whatever I had said had made a huge difference in their daughter’s life, and to please thank me.  
“When you're in the back, you're around people who are usually really struggling, who are in a lot of pain and want to give up. As I continued running, I kept helping all those people I was around. I would talk to them and motivate them and tell them to stick with me because I had a very slow pace and I could help them finish the race. In the beginning a lot of my teammates told me that if I had the energy to talk I had the energy to run faster but I didn’t really because I really am just slow. (Don't get me wrong: I'm sure if I worked super ultra hard I could do it, but that's not the point.) My coaches kept getting letters from other coaches thanking them for me and the help that I offered people on their team. I was often able to stop for people who were hurt or felt sick and either get them through the race or get them to help if they needed it. Even parents from other teams were writing my coaches. It wasn't before long that my entire team started to emulate my actions.

“Seven years later, I still considered myself a bad runner. But one day, I realized that I'm not a bad runner. I am a great runner…I had only considered myself a bad runner. But what I realized in that moment was that I am a slow GREAT RUNNER. And it must be said in that order: I’m not a great slow runner because that emphasizes SLOW. By saying slow GREAT, I am acknowledging that I am indeed slow but what I really am is a great RUNNER because I was slow.”

This friend’s race was more about helping others than helping self. Her greatest wish was to nurture another fellow traveler in life, rather than to acquire accolades. As a result, she healed herself in the process of helping to heal others. Her race was to serve. 
What is your race about? Once you know, the stress is mostly gone. The tears dry, and we rarely look around to see how others are running their race and compare; either them to you, or you to them. 
Decide, what race you are running, then get going and have fun at it! Enjoy the journey!  

Have a blessed month,

Dr. Olson