13 Apr 2013

Expressive writing


According to James Pennebaker, writing about our feelings and emotions or about what's upsetting us, can help not only mental health but also pshysical health.

Prof. James Pennebaker, from the University of Texas, has been conducting experiments for decades and found that writing 15 min a day for, say, 4 days in a row, can be truly helpful.

I have been listening to his interview to BBC 4 and was specially struck to the benefits in general health felt by women with breast cancer who followed Pennebaker's instructions.

The procedure is quite simple. I'll quote from Prof. Pennebaker's site:

Promise yourself that you will write for a minimum of 15 minutes a day for at least 3 or 4 consecutive days.

Once you begin writing, write continuously. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar. If you run out of things to write about, just repeat what you have already written.

You can write longhand or you can type on a computer. If you are unable to write, you can also talk into a tape recorder.

You can write about the same thing on all 3-4 days of writing or you can write about something different each day. It is entirely up to you.

What to Write About

Something that you are thinking or worrying about too much
Something that you are dreaming about
Something that you feel is affecting your life in an unhealthy way
Something that you have been avoiding for days, weeks, or years.



5 Apr 2013

Stop smoking

These are only some of the chemicals smokers inhale from a cigarette:

The good news is, according to NHS and ASH Report on the benefits of stop smoking for life,

After 20 minutes, blood pressure drops to a level close to that before the last cigarette. Temperature on hands and feet increases to normal.

After 8 hours, the carbon monoxide level in the body drops to normal.

After 24 hours, the risk of a heart attack decreases.

Within 3 months, the circulation improves and lung function increases by up to 30 per cent.

After 120 days, a new supply of healthy blood cells have developed.

After 1 year, the excess risk of (coronary) heart disease is half that of a smoker.

After 5 years, stroke risk is reduced to that of someone who has never smoked.

After 10 years, the lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker’s. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decreases.

After 15 years, the risk of coronary heart disease is that of someone who has never smoked.
(this text was written by Helena Meadows)

3 Apr 2013

Quote by Neil deGrasse Tyson

“The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things in life like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people in life recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation. For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And lessen the suffering of others. You'd be surprised how far that gets you".

- Neil deGrasse Tyson's response on Reddit when asked "What can you tell a young man looking for motivation in life itself?"




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