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Enriching Your Life!

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Archive - Enriching Your Life Newsletter

Talking to a Friend Can Help

Sunday, October 01, 2000


Down in the dumps? Make time to talk with a supportive friend. A recent study found that a weekly chat with a friend sometimes lifts moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication or counseling. The researchers paired chronically depressed participants with volunteer "friends"; each pair then spent one hour per week together. Sixty-five percent of those participants with a friend experienced an easing of their depression. Of those participants who didn't have this same regular social contact, only 39% experienced an easing of their depression.

MORE GREAT WAYS TO MEDITATE

1. Breathe for Peace
Focusing on breath is one of the best forms of meditation. Learn simple breathing techniques to help clear your mind.

2. Light a Candle
Enjoy your meditation with a candle. Make sure you find one that doesn’t pollute the air with synthetic chemicals. Find candles made with plant waxes and essential oils to create a peaceful atmosphere.

3. Listen
Stop and listen to the world around you to help you reach a meditative state. For five minutes, close your eyes and listen to the small sounds around that you usually tune out. Allow any thoughts or emotions that arise to pass away so you can focus on the listening.

4. Make More of Your Workout
Repetitive sports like swimming or biking not only are great ways to stay physically healthy, but also provide convenient ways to meditate. Just focus you mind on your breathing, your movements, and the way your body feels.

WEIGHT LOSS - WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

Excess weight not only increases our risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer, but it compromises our psychological welfare. Being overweight can lower self-esteem and heighten vulnerability to anxiety and depression.

Many of us have misconceptions about weight-loss. Take a look at the following false statements. Have any of them influenced your thinking?

1. “You can’t lose a lot of weight and keep it off.”
Researchers were surprised at how easy it was to find people who have achieved major weight loss goals. The National Weight Loss Registry found that the project’s 2,800 respondents have maintained an average 67-pound weight loss for five years, with up to 14% of them staving off a more than 100-pound weight loss.

2. “Your ‘set-point’ determines how much you weigh.”
Studies show that when we lose weight, our metabolism actually shifts to a normal rate for that new weight, in spite of our individual differences. Some want to blame their bodies rather than their own behavior for their weight-loss failure.

3. ”Poor willpower is to blame for excess weight.”
It’s not that simple. There are genetic, metabolic, biochemical, cultural and psychosocial factors. We’ve also seen an increase in easy access to delicious, high-fat foods and decreased opportunity and motivation for physical activity. Willpower helps but to lose weight and keep it off, an active lifestyle is an important step.

More weight loss myths will be exposed in following newsletters.

For more information about Kathy J. Marshack, Ph.D., P.S. and her work as a marriage and family therapist, family/business consultant, author, columnist, seminar leader and internet consultant go to her web site www.kmarshack.com. You’ll find self-help tips, a library of family business articles, information on e-consultation and much more.