The year was 1984. The place was San Francisco at the Moscone Convention Center for the Democratic National Convention. The excitement was palpable. History was about to be made. Walter Mondale, after interviewing several possible candidates, chose Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate in the 1984 presidential campaign.
Gerry, as she was known, made history by becoming the first woman on a major party ticket in a presidential election.
And I got to meet her!
Gerry did not have it easy as the child of Italian immigrants growing up in New York City. When she was only eight years old her father died, leaving her mom to raise her and her brother. In high school, not surprisingly, she was voted “most likely to succeed.” When she finished high school, her uncle said, “Why send her to college? She’s pretty. She’ll get married.” Her mother said, “No way. She’s getting a full education.”
Over the years, I have been fascinated by the physiology of emotion.
Everyone has experienced the negative impact of emotion on your own physiology. For example, you might feel a “knot in your stomach” when you’re worried. Or, you might feel your heart race when you’re nervous or anxious.
Because I’m interested in people getting to good health outcomes as quickly and efficiently as possible, let’s focus on two emotional practices that have been scientifically shown to improve your health: gratitude and appreciation.
Gratitude is usually defined as “thankfulness” or “readiness to show appreciation”.
Appreciation builds on gratitude. Definitions include “a full understanding” and “the recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.”
Coffee is one of the world’s most popular beverages. Thanks to its high levels of antioxidants and beneficial nutrients, it also seems to be quite healthy. Studies show that coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of several serious diseases.
Here are the top 5 health benefits of coffee.
1. Caffeine blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter in your brain, which causes a stimulant effect. This improves energy levels, mood and various aspects of brain function.
2. Several studies show that caffeine can increase fat burning and boost your metabolic rate.
First of all, let me be clear that when I say I still “like” mammograms I am not saying that I “enjoy” mammograms.
Nobody relishes the idea of getting their breast squished between two cold plates of a giant machine.
I don’t feel nervous on my way to a mammogram because of the technique or method of doing the test, but for the same reason that any woman would feel nervous. I’m worried about the test finding a problem. The nervousness that accompanies the drive to the mammography center lasts all the way until the letter arrives with the results.
Fall is falling, the days are getting shorter. My “baby” is now 17 years old and has started his senior year of high school. Quiet Summer is in my rear view mirror and a busy Fall is now in full swing.
Nowadays, “busy” easily spills over into “stress”.
Our adrenal glands keep us going under stress, and they can get tired. There are entire books written about adrenal fatigue, so here I will focus on cortisol, a.k.a. the stress hormone.
As we get ready to wind up summer and send our kids back to school, I am here to remind you to take care of yourself as well.
Maybe when I say that, you say to yourself, “Yes, I know, I will take care of myself.”
However, what I observe all too often is that people (women, in particular) are self-conscious or even self-critical about taking time for themselves. Many of us have a little voice (mine seems to be in my ear – maybe yours sits on your shoulder) that expresses disapproval if I say “no” to an invitation, or if I leave work on time to get to an aerobics class at the gym.
My friend Sue is making wonderful plans for her summer break from her job as a special needs teacher for our public school district. I’m jealous.
OK, even though I don’t get several weeks off every summer, it does take pressure off my schedule that my son is out of school (it helps even more that he is away at camp for 6 weeks in Pennsylvania). Just that extra half hour of sleep in the morning makes such a difference.
In my patients working on weight loss, I see the difference enough sleep makes.