How to Flourish in the Face of Adversity | The Health Sessions

How to Flourish in the Face of Adversity

It’s an age-old question: is it possible to thrive, not just survive, in the face of adversity?

Countless of best-selling books and blockbuster movies have been made about unexpected heroes, people who succeeded despite the obstacles in their way. But how exactly can you flourish when you’re living with chronic illness, financial troubles or strained relationships?

For decades, the field of psychology focused mostly on preventing and treating mental health problems. But when you’re trying to fix problems and reduce suffering, by definition you’re working to get people to a neutral state, to “zero”. It wasn’t until twenty years ago that renowned psychologists started to investigate how you can lead a good and happy life – how you can get from a mediocre “5” to a blooming “8”.

Flourishing means you’re living in the optimal range of human functioning, where you experience positive emotions, find fulfillment and accomplish meaningful tasks, most of the time. It’s not the same as simply being happy. When people are asked how satisfied they are with their lives, their answer depends strongly on their current mood. But a ‘good’ life depends on more than fleeting feelings of happiness.

In his book ‘Flourish’,  Martin Seligman, the pioneer of positive psychology, states that you need 5 elements for optimal wellbeing: positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishment. This PERMA-model is a good template for how to flourish in life, but how do you put these pillars into action, especially during tough times?

Have a look at these 32 actionable strategies from the world’s experts on how to flourish.

Read more >How to Flourish in the Face of Adversity



Road to Recovery: How Zoe Emma Healed Her Chronic Fatigue | The Health Sessions

Road to Recovery: How Zoe Emma Healed Her Chronic Fatigue

When you’re diagnosed with chronic illness, is there anything you can do to improve your health and happiness? Can you (fully) recover from persisting health problems, and if so, how? In this first interview on recovery, Zoe Emma from Heal Chronic Fatigue shares her story.    Tell us a little about yourself. Hello! I’m Zoe … Read more >



How to Deal with the Guilt of Parenting with Chronic Illness | The Health Sessions

Parenting with Chronic Illness: How Do You Deal with Guilt?

It’s the one feeling parents with chronic illness struggle with the most: guilt.

Because it hurts when you can’t take your kids to the park or the playground because of your health. Especially when you see the disappointment in their eyes. It hurts when your kids are missing out on experiences because you can’t take them everywhere. Not to mention the guilt you may feel about overburdening your kids with extra responsibilities or worries about your chronic illness.

In theory, guilt is a useful emotion that forces us to contemplate what we’ve done ‘wrong’ and how we can ensure a better outcome next time. But in reality, you can easily develop a negative self-image, depressive feelings or anxiety when the situation you feel guilty about is beyond your control.

No parent with chronic illness wants to miss their daughter’s sports games or son’s school play. We all wish we could pick up our kids from school, go on bike rides and read bedtime stories each night – but that’s not always possible.

So how do you deal with the guilt of parenting with chronic illness?

Read more >Parenting with Chronic Illness: How Do You Deal with Guilt?



A Fresh Take on Sleep Restlessness: How a Weighted Blanket Could Soothe Your Racing Mind | The Health Sessions

A Fresh Take on Sleep Restlessness: How a Weighted Blanket Could Soothe Your Racing Mind

This is an article by James M. Gregory.

50 – 70 million.

That would be the answer if the question were, “How many people in the US have a sleep disorder?”

That number might seem innocent on its own. So people don’t sleep well, no big deal, right? You might shrug it off if you don’t dig deeper and look at the ominous statistics about fatalities and injuries related to sleep deprivation (as reported by sleepassociation.org):

  • 1,550 fatal and 40,000 non-fatal injuries directly caused by drowsy driving alone
  • 100,000 fatal outcomes related to medical errors caused by sleep deprivation

 

An issue with the stats

There are gaping flaws in the statistical model we’re using today. Any sleep therapist with a modern approach could probably write an essay on all the things the stats can’t tell you.

The topic is beyond the scope of this article, but let us takes a moment to point out 3 obvious problems:

  • What constitutes a sleep disorder?
  • How many people are diagnosed vs. how many are suffering in silence or don’t even know they have a problem?
  • How many people involved in the sleep-related accidents or medical errors will be open about it?

You see a pattern here – most of the stats we have are subjective. To be honest, the issue of subjectivity is tricky and there isn’t much we can do about it. Furthermore, statistical models have a way of improving on their own as science moves forward and we tweak the models.

Read more >A Fresh Take on Sleep Restlessness: How a Weighted Blanket Could Soothe Your Racing Mind



How to Deal with the Uncontrollable Stress of Living with Chronic Illness | The Health Sessions

How to Deal with Uncontrollable Stress

The number one advice when you’re tense, frazzled and overwhelmed is to minimize your exposure to stress. But when life’s tragedies hit, that’s not an option.

Living with chronic illness comes with unavoidable stress. On top of unpredictable symptoms, pain and insomnia, you’re also faced with anxiety about the future, identity issues and new relationship dynamics. Even worse, you may have to deal with losing your job, financial problems or marital troubles. Not to mention the mountain of paperwork you have to sort through to keep track of medical records, insurances and social security benefits.

When stress can’t be prevented or escaped, there’s only one solution: finding effective ways to best deal with the uncontrollable stress.

Read more >How to Deal with Uncontrollable Stress