Wellness Made Easy: The Real Basics of Better Health
The basics of wellness -- eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and practicing healthful habits -- can help you live a longer, healthier life. Adopting even one of the following components of good health and better self-care can improve your well-being. Embracing all of them will yield significant benefits.
On the Road in Retirement
No matter where you travel, plan ahead for health care when you're on the road.
Baby Blues: Mood Swings or More Serious?
For many women, the "baby blues" pass quickly. For others, the feelings of sadness don't ease and may become worse.
Smoking Adds Another Wrinkle to Aging
Everybody knows smoking is bad for your health. Now here's something you may not know: Smoking is bad for your looks. It's true.
Anger Can Raise Cholesterol Levels
There's evidence that people who respond rigidly to anger-provoking events are likely to wind up with significantly elevated levels of heart-damaging cholesterol.
Alcohol and Your Heart
Alcohol may have some health benefits, including lowering the risk for heart disease, but it may also lead to abusive drinking and other diseases.
Start Some Healthy Holiday Traditions
The Truth About Lying
If the truth be told, most of us lie to some degree, especially when faced with an alternative like hurting someone's feelings. Some of us, however, lie so often that we stop realizing it.
Is Your Teen Abusing Drugs or Alcohol?
Besides having trouble with school and relationships, teenagers taking drugs may display emotional extremes with irritability, anger and changes in sleep patterns.
Q and A: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Rituals such as hand washing, counting, checking or cleaning are often performed in hope of preventing obsessive thoughts or making them go away. Performing these rituals, however, provides only temporary relief, and not performing them markedly increases anxiety. Left untreated, obsessions and the need to perform rituals can take over a person's life. OCD is often a chronic, relapsing illness.
Break Through the Alcoholic's Psychological Defenses
The most important thing that friends and family can do for an alcoholic is to stop enabling the addictive behavior.
Teens and the Self-Esteem Shield
Research shows that adolescents who grow up with high self-esteem are far less likely to abuse drugs or drink, compared with children who grow up without much sense of self-worth.
How to Help Teenagers With Addicted Parents
Growing up is a tough challenge for most adolescents, but when their parents are abusing alcohol or drugs, the obstacles can seem overwhelming.
Sexual Harassment's Emotional Toll
According to researchers at the American Psychological Association, nearly 50 percent of American working women will experience on-the-job sexual harassment at some point in their careers.
Keeping Party Drinking Under Control
The holidays can be enjoyed without drinking alcohol. But if you choose to drink, there are responsible ways to consume alcohol.
Remember This: Many Have Memory Lapses
Unpredictable, frustrating and, at times, embarrassing memory lapses can be common. So if frequent bouts of forgetfulness are causing you stress and worry, take note: there is most likely a simple explanation.
For Seniors: How to Prevent Falls
As you age, your risk for falling increases. More than one-third of people ages 65 and older and half of those ages 75 and older fall each year. And many falls in older adults result in fractures and other severe injuries.
How to Cut Down on Drinking
It helps to understand why and when you drink if you are going to successfully reduce the amount of alcohol you consume.
Social Drinking vs. Problem Drinking
Alcohol is considered a drug because it depresses the central nervous system and can disrupt mental and motor skills, as well as damage internal organs when used excessively.
Breaking Yourself Out of a Rut
A routine isn't necessarily bad; it can be comforting because it adds structure to your life and it isn't stressful. But dissatisfaction may start to gnaw at you and erode your self-esteem if you believe you want something more in your life.
Caregivers Need to Care for Themselves
More than 22 million Americans are involved in some form of helping elderly family members or friends with their daily routines. If you're part of this group, whether you call yourself a caregiver, or simply a good daughter or son, you know that caring for an aging parent or friend has its rewards and its trials.
Cool Tools to Keep Your Kids From Smoking
Many teenagers still think smoking is cool. Here are some tools to help parents stay diligent in keeping their kids from smoking.
Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome
While being a new Mom brings lots of joy, it also brings stress—something a crying baby can make worse. Better understanding why your baby cries can help you deal with this stress in a healthy way and help you avoid the most common form of child abuse: Shaken baby syndrome.
Performance Anxiety Can Choke Up Athletes
Anxiety can help focus and sharpen performance. For some athletes, however, the pressure of performing well takes its toll in the form of performance anxiety, which causes them to do less than their best.
Depression Not a Normal Part of Aging
In general, only about three percent of the elderly living independently in the community will experience depression. That figure increases to around 20 to 30 percent of persons in nursing homes or with chronic illnesses like emphysema, heart disease or diabetes.
We Can Head Off Teen Tragedies
Preventing teen turmoil starts at birth. Parents set examples in the way they interact, express anger, and treat substance abuse.
Now Is the Time to Get Moving
As cold weather settles in for the season and the days grow ever shorter, it's tempting to put off any thoughts of becoming active.
Hypothyroidism and Depression
Chances are you know the difference between occasional sadness and depression. But here's a fact you may not know: Hypothyroidism, a common thyroid disorder, can cause depression.
Keep Your Brain Functioning
If your brain gets too much or too little of what it needs, vital processes are disrupted. When things are out of sync in your brain, it can play havoc with your thoughts and emotions. Depriving your brain of sleep, for example, will impair your ability to concentrate and make decisions.
Binge Drinking Dangers for Young People
Binge drinkers are most likely found on college campuses, where many students consider a big game or fraternity party an excuse to drink all weekend.
What You Need to Know About Heroin
Until recently, heroin was not considered a problem among children of middle-class parents. But lately, it has been showing up in new places.
Up in Smoke: Cigars and Your Health
Most people realize that cigarettes can cause lung cancer and heart disease. But many people erroneously believe that cigars aren't harmful.
Maintaining Weight Once You've Quit Smoking
Although people generally gain weight when they stop smoking, you can reduce your chances of adding extra pounds by taking steps to prevent it.
Weighing the Benefits and Risks of Alcohol
Excessive drinking can cause potentially fatal conditions, not only high blood pressure, but also damage to the brain, heart or liver; diabetes and stroke.
How to Develop a 'Can-do' Personality
What's the difference between a can-do and a won't-try person? It's usually a matter of bravery.
Smart Shopping for Women
Nicotine Substitutes Can Help You Quit
For many smokers, nicotine substitutes can ease withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and restlessness.
Focus on Keeping Your Spirits Up
Good mental health is just as important as good physical health. But we all face changes in life that can challenge our emotional well being.
What You Can Do to Prevent Child Abuse
Child abuse can happen in any family and in any neighborhood. Studies have shown that child abuse crosses all boundaries of income, race, ethnic heritage and religious faith.
Many Seniors Go Back to the Books
No matter what you like to do, now is a great time to sign up for a class so that you can explore your interests. Many colleges and other educational organizations offer special discounts to older adults. Here are some ideas about how to get started.
Are You a Compulsive Shopper?
Compulsive shoppers generally are people prone toward low self-esteem, anxiety and depression, as well as fantasizing, perfectionism and lack of sufficient social contacts, one expert says.
How You Can Avoid Aggressive Drivers
Where to Turn for Mental Health
It's normal to feel stressed or anxious now and then. But it's time to call for help if emotional issues interfere with your life, your job or your personal relationships.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death in 15- to 24-year-olds. The strongest risk factors for attempted suicide in youth are depression, substance abuse, and aggressive or disruptive behaviors.
Doing Your Part to Help Prevent Drunken Driving
Just about everybody loves a party. But if your party menu includes alcohol, be a smart host and insist that your guests to play it safe on the way home.
When a Family Grieves
Learning about grief and how it affects your family can help you get through the difficult times together. It may even help your family grow stronger.
An Rx for RV Living
More than a million people have pulled up roots and hit the road full time in recreational vehicles (RVs). If you're thinking of joining them, be sure to consider your health.
Everyday Ways to Get More Activity
Moderately intense activities like walking briskly from your parked car to the mall entrance won't help you train for a sport. But they can help you get to a healthy weight and improve your overall fitness.
It’s Never Too Late
Keeping Envy and Jealousy Under Control
When someone gets a raise or a special perk, can you say congratulations and mean it? Or do you seethe inside and think, "That really should have been mine?"
Sunny Self-Talk: Seeing Through the Storm
How you view any situation has a lot to do with how you feel.
Goal Setting for Everyday Success
Setting goals gives direction to your life. Without goals, you can drift and go nowhere.
The Dangers of Binge Drinking
Too many young people are participating in a dangerous practice called binge drinking, or drinking to intoxication. It's defined as having five or more drinks in a row for men; for women, it’s four-plus drinks in a row.
The Facts About Marijuana
Knowing about marijuana can help you recognize its use in children and others and help a user seek treatment.
Should Tattoos Be Taboo?
People who are thinking about getting a tattoo should slow down and think twice.
Caring for the Caregiver
Caregivers come in all shapes and sizes. They can be adult children, spouses, siblings, friends or neighbors, who help with daily activities such as bathing, feeding and clothing.
Help for the Holiday Blues
The unrealistic expectations of the season, time and financial pressures, missing loved ones and reflecting on past events as the year comes to an end all contribute to the blues.
Thriving After a Heart Attack
Over the long term, your quality of life is tied to how severe your heart attack was and how it was treated. Beyond that, any change will depend largely on you.
Primer: What You Need to Know About Ecstasy
Ecstasy, or MDMA -- also called "Adam," "E," or "XTC" on the street -- is a synthetic, mind-altering drug with hallucinogenic and amphetamine-like properties.
How to Quit Smoking, Again
Fewer than a quarter of those who attempt to quit are able to make it beyond three months before resuming smoking. Women usually find it harder to quit than do men, even though women have a higher risk of smoking-related diseases. The following suggestions can help you kick the habit, again, for good.
Major Depression in Adolescents
Depression is a mood disorder that involves a adolescent's body, mood, and thoughts. It can affect and disrupt eating, sleeping, or thinking patterns.
Helping a Friend With an Addiction
When a friend shows signs of abusing alcohol or other drugs, it's hard to know what to do or say.
For Seniors: Is It More Than the Blues?
Although anyone can suffer from depression, it is particularly common among older adults. Depression affects 15 out of every 100 adults older than 65.
Close the Door on Intimate Partner Violence
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines intimate partner violence as actual or threatened physical or sexual violence, or psychological and emotional abuse, directed at a spouse, former spouse, current or former boyfriend or girlfriend, or dating partner.
Easy Ways to Remember to Take Your Medications
If you have more than two medications to manage, consider getting a pill organizer -- a special container marked with the days of the week. Besides housing multiple medications, a compartmentalized organizer can be useful for keeping track of the medications you've taken.
Keeping Your Anger Under Control
Learning where your anger comes from and how to deal with it can help lead to a happier, more productive life.
The Power of Resilience
When tragedy strikes with the death of a loved one, a serious illness or a job loss, some people fall apart, while others adapt to such life-changing events more easily. Being resilient is what makes the difference.
Women, Alcohol, and Drugs: The Risks Are Higher
As a woman, your body is much more sensitive to the effects of alcohol and more easily damaged than a man’s body. Because women have less water in their body than men, alcohol doesn't dilute as much and more of it gets absorbed into the blood. That’s why women suffer greater physical damage and often become more intoxicated than men when they drink identical amounts of alcohol.
Health Myths and Facts
There are a number health myths where knowing the facts can make a world of difference to your health.
Recognizing Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is behavior someone uses to control a spouse, partner, date or elderly relative through fear and intimidation.
Breaking the Habit: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
The symptoms of OCD vary widely from person to person. Without treatment, OCD can last for a lifetime.
All About LSD
LSD, also called acid, is one of the most commonly used hallucinogens or psychedelic drugs.
Alternatives to Alcoholics Anonymous
Some treatment programs teach problem drinkers to reduce their drinking, an approach that appeals to people who otherwise might not seek treatment.
How to Lower Your Financial Stress
Whether your credit card balances are soaring, or you and your partner are arguing constantly over nickels and dimes, there are things you can do to relieve financial stress.
Finding Support for Emotional Issues
How do you know when your emotions are of the everyday sort, or when you could benefit from seeing a therapist?
The Word on Talk Therapy
Talk therapy helps people gain insight into and resolve their problems through verbal exchanges with the therapist.
Bullies Go High-Tech
You can now add bullying to the list of things made easier by technology. Bullies use e-mail, instant messaging, and text messaging on cell phones to reach victims.
These fits of rage—the stomping, screaming, and falling on the floor—are a normal part of childhood development. Temper tantrums often occur only with a parent. They are a way for the child to communicate his or her feelings.
Understanding Alcohol's Effects
The extent of alcohol's effect on the central nervous system depends upon how much is in your blood and how much blood you have.
Older Adults: Preventing Falls
Every year, millions of adults fall, leading to injuries and emergency room visits. Many of these falls and injuries can be prevented.
Moving Beyond All-or-Nothing Thinking
When you lapse from your goals, remind yourself of all you've learned and how much you've accomplished.
Primer: Smokeless Tobacco
Many people think using smokeless tobacco is safer than smoking. Just because there's no smoke, doesn't mean it's safe.
Understanding the Power of Addiction
When addicted, the drug user will do just about anything to obtain the drug.
Hospices Offer Comfort at Life's End
As medical progress prolongs our lives, the end can linger. So, more and more people are turning to hospice care.
Understanding the Teen Brain
Parents need to realize the rational part of a teen’s brain isn’t fully developed and won’t be until he or she is 25 years old or so.
For many people, end-of-life planning brings peace of mind and a sense of control. It also takes the burden off loved ones, because they don’t have to guess what you would want.
Stages of Substance Abuse
People who become addicted to drugs or alcohol typically go through predictable stages of abuse. Understanding these stages can help you recognize a problem and seek help before substance use becomes an addiction.
The Menace of Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine is related to the legal stimulant amphetamine, but has stronger effects.
Keep Your Noggin Fit with Brain Exercise
Active thinking pumps extra blood into your brain. Getting more blood to the brain is an important way to counteract the effects of aging.
You Can Choose to Have a Healthy Life
Each year, two out of every three deaths in the United States are caused by cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or stroke. That figure could be significantly reduced if Americans made healthier food choices, got more exercise, and stopped smoking.
Medications to Treat ADHD in Children
Children who have ADHD are often given medication as part of their treatment plan. The type of medication most often chosen is a psychostimulant.
Getting the Most from a Mental Health Support Group
Mental health support groups offer support, understanding, and helpful information to people struggling with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other conditions.
Alcohol and Older Adults
Many older adults enjoy a glass of wine with dinner or a beer while watching the game on TV. In fact, half of Americans ages 65 and older drink alcohol. Having a drink now and then is fine—as long as you don’t overdo it.
Why Quit Smoking?
You know you should quit smoking. But you just haven't gotten around to it yet. Here are some reasons to help you commit to quitting.
Prescription Drug Addiction
Three kinds of prescription drugs are potentially addictive: opioids, tranquilizers, and stimulants.
In Support Groups, You Get (and Give) Help
In a mutual support group, people just like you face similar ordeals and challenges.
Answers to Your Questions About Codependency
Codependency is an emotional and behavioral condition. It affects a person’s ability to have healthy, mutually satisfying relationships.
Understanding Compulsive Overeating
The disorder may develop when others make repeated negative comments about a person's weight.
Coping with Miscarriage
A pregnancy ended by miscarriage can be a traumatic loss. Unfortunately, it’s one that many women experience. Knowing how to deal with your feelings and find support can help you cope during this difficult time.
Quit-Smoking Tools: Help for Kicking Your Habit
As you probably already know, quitting smoking isn't easy. But, millions of other people have done it, and you can, too.
The High Cost of Smoking
When people consider the cost of smoking, they usually focus on the cost of the cigarettes alone. But that's only the first step.
Health Risks of Alcohol and Drug Abuse
It's important to understand how alcohol and drugs can affect your health and well being.
For Men: Doctors Are Good for Your Health
Men are missing opportunities to detect and address medical problems in their early stages, when many conditions are more treatable and less threatening to overall health.
Putting Disease Risk into Perspective
The way we gauge the peril a given disorder poses is called risk perception.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
A person with generalized anxiety disorder often worries excessively about health, money, family, or work, and continually anticipates disaster.
Alcohol Use Among Teens Is Epidemic
The leading substance-abuse threat to children may be as close as your refrigerator. About 10 million adolescents drink alcohol. In fact, minors drink 19 percent of the alcohol consumed in the United States.
When Your Child Has a Chronic Health Condition
A chronic, or long-lasting, illness can be difficult for anyone to deal with. But for a young child diagnosed with a chronic health condition, there are challenges for both child and parent.
Bullies: Helping Your Child Cope
Bullying is intentional tormenting that can be physical, social, or psychological. Hitting, shoving, threatening, shunning, and spreading rumors can all be forms of bullying.
Kids who experience bullying can become depressed, develop low self-esteem, avoid school, feel physically ill, and even think about killing themselves.
End-of-Life Concerns for Cancer Patients
How you choose to live out and prepare for the end of your life, are choices that you are able to make, to make this time as meaningful as possible.
How to Control Your Temper
At least some anger is necessary for survival. Frequent or intense episodes of anger, however, aren’t good for you or the people around you. If you find yourself boiling mad more often than not, try some of these tips to keep your temper in check.
Finding the Right Rehab Program for Substance Abuse
Drug addiction and alcohol addiction are chronic diseases that can be treated as successfully as many other chronic diseases, including high blood pressure, asthma, and diabetes.
When a Spouse Has Cancer: What to Do and How to Cope
Being a caregiver for a spouse who has cancer may be the toughest job you’ll ever have. It may also be the most vital and the most rewarding. As the spouse, you become part of the cancer treatment team.
Tai Chi: Exercise for Mind and Body
Tai chi is called a mind-body type of exercise because it combines meditation, focused breathing, and physical movement. Because it’s also a low-impact exercise, it may be particularly well suited for older adults, but it’s a beneficial exercise for people of all ages.
Can Optimism Make a Difference in Your Life?
A growing number of scientific studies indicate that optimistic people tend to live longer and have better physical and mental health than pessimistic people.
Sports and Music: Both Good for Kids
Organized sports for children offer obvious benefits such as physical fitness and sportsmanship, but did you know that a musical education program has many of the same benefits? Music education and participation in sports are both great ways to prepare your child for future success.
Older Adults and the Importance of Social Interaction
Research has shown that social interaction offers older adults many benefits. Staying socially active and maintaining interpersonal relationships can help you maintain good physical and emotional health and cognitive function.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal affective disorder, a type of mood disorder, can occur in late fall to early winter or late spring to early summer.
Emotional Eating: How to Cope
Emotional eating affects most everyone from time to time, but regularly letting your feelings guide your food intake can affect your health.
Five Steps to Better Memory
Aging can make it harder to remember some things. But by focusing on your potential and continuing to exercise your mind, you may be able to boost your memory power. Here are some strategies.
Teaching Children Good Sportsmanship
Good sportsmanship is one of the life lessons that children can learn from sports. Its hallmarks include being able to win without gloating, respecting one’s opponents, and being able to lose gracefully.
Stress and Older Adults
Studies show that long-term stress can damage brain cells, leading to depression. Depression is one of the most dangerous effects of stress in older people.
The Benefits of Laughter
Laughter can do more than just put you in a good mood. It may buffer you against depression, reduce your stress, and improve your quality of life.
With Help, You Can Break a Bad Habit
Whether it’s a minor habit like biting your nails or a more serious one, like habitual drinking stopping a troublesome behavior is difficult. With a little hard work and strategy, however, it’s possible to break a bad habit.
Tips for a Successful Quit Smoking Day
Keep this in mind: if you can make it through this first day and this first week when nicotine withdrawal symptoms are at their worst, you will be on your way to success.
Journaling for Mental Health
Teenagers and After-School Jobs
Keep Anxiety from Controlling Your Life
Teaching yourself ways to relax can help settle anxiety before it starts to overwhelm you. Simple lifestyle habits can help you stay calm and in control when you feel the effects of stress.
Overcoming Anti-Gay Harassment
Gay and lesbian teens are often targets of bullying, harassment, and aggression. Anti-gay bullying can range from verbal abuse, such as name-calling, to life-threatening physical assault.
Men and Mental Illness
Mental illness can cause different symptoms in men than in women, so some disorders in men may be harder to recognize. Men who are depressed, for example, may appear angry and irritable rather than sad and withdrawn.