well-being

It’s official! Word just came in from Punxsutawney Phil as his 2017 prediction scroll—translated from Groundhogese— proclaims:

At Gobbler’s Knob on Groundhog Day ~ We celebrate a world-wide Holiday ~ It’s mighty cold weather, you’ve been braving ~ Is it more winter or is it spring that you’re craving? ~ Since you’ve been up all night and starting to tottle ~ I, Punxsutawney Phil, shall not dawdle ~ My faithful followers, I could clearly see ~ A beautiful, perfect shadow of me ~ Six more Weeks of Winter, it shall be!

Accurate or not, the conclusion made by this tradition of weather forecasting often seems on par with the many other more conventional forms of prognosticating. Groundhog Day is a long...

Full Disclosure: Before five minutes ago, I was unsure what teams made it into the upcoming Super Bowl. I mean, if one of them isn’t the Eagles, then my attention span plummets to nonexistent.

But, being that “THE” game is apolitical and topical, what better way to contribute some semblance of expertise than through analysis of the ads and how they may or may not reflect the health interests and possible status of the audience? 

Given that the ads are my favorite part of the event anyway, they will be the focus.  Because they are the focus of a lot of people, the ads have become a cultural phenomenon, and so there is real investment in being entertaining. It sometimes makes or breaks companies for the year so they want to appeal even to those not captivated by...

Basic —but vital—needs being met contribute significantly to overall health and well-being.  They play a substantial role in disease prevention, maintenance and the success of many therapeutic interventions. 

A well-balanced diet, sufficient sleep, routine exercise and social connection are core tenets that empower us to go out into the world each and every day.  These necessary tools of daily living serve to improve our physical and mental health.  

Sex is also considered an essential component of life and wellness.  Touch, intimacy and the resultant pleasurable physiologic responses bestow a number of benefits and facilitate the ability for us to participate in the experience of being human.  

Though most research in the United States tends to emphasize the...

This is clearly the week of me being triggered, given I am no fan of the “trigger warning.” Inside-the-box thinking triggers me. Putting arbitrary limitations on human potential triggers me. Labels that attempt to stifle innovation or possibility trigger me.

Dr. Ben Carson, former Republican presidential candidate and pediatric neurosurgeon, was nominated by President-elect Donald Trump to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Immediately, a firestorm of political pushback ensued.

The following is part of Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s statement regarding this decision:

“Dr. Ben Carson is a disconcerting and disturbingly unqualified choice to lead a department as complex and consequential as Housing and Urban Development. There is no...

Watching the jaw drop or tug-of-war facial reaction battle of another person when they discover my educational and career endeavors is so uniformly commonplace that I would be hard pressed to come up with a day let alone a week where such an occurrence didn’t take place.

Apparently, I don’t look like a doctor.

Earlier today the waiter at lunch was first speechless then over-complimenting once it sunk in how dramatic his response was to the news that not only was I one, but I was not fresh in or out of training and had dabbled in the possibility of brain surgery as my chosen vocation.

Typecasting by others or the insistence on attempting to place me in a box is the story of my life.  I always joke I am like Rodney Dangerfield, “I just get no respect.”  Though...

All you have to do currently to encounter an influx of negativity and persistent “what ifs” or anxiety is turn to social media or any news outlet.  This pervasive, chronic theme—no matter where you fall on the political spectrum—has been ever present the last 18 or so months throughout the campaign season.  

Now that election day has come and gone it appears we keep attaining new thresholds of vitriol.  

Life is replete with ups and downs.  Negative emotions are a part of the deal.  They often make positive experiences more joyful due to the perspective they promote.  Some stress can be a salvation to enable us to flee danger, hence, why we have the innate, instinctual biological response of hormone release during those critical moments or brief periods of time.  

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Kids are my favorite. They are way cooler than adults.  No giant leap there.  As a pediatrician whose coffee has yet to kick in this day before Thanksgiving, I shouldn't be too impressed with my own grasp of the obvious.

They see a world of wonder.  They, especially the littlest ones, view their environment with amazement replete with such an honesty and purity in their perspective.  This natural curiosity should be— in most situations— a nurtured and valued commodity. 

However, like what goes up must come down, this quality can be accompanied by a touch of mischief and consequent hazards.  So, instead of unloading an endless barrage of terrifying doctorate-level home and object child-proofing restrictions, enjoy this practical guide to surviving the holiday season. ...

Excited to report that a new study in Health Affairs provides us with another metric that we have previously known and repeatedly been shown in the literature (and in medical practice):  Life expectancy and well-being are positively linked.  

If you have ever practiced medicine, then you are used to constant email or text alerts from hospitals, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the Department of Health, to name a few.  Most say urgent or emergent in the header.  Since patient results and inquiries are nonstop, being tethered to the phone is a modern reality for the practicing physician.  Often, while running between patients, procedures, facilities and electronic medical...

Co-Authored By Jordan Wells

  My co-author and niece, Jordan, said to me, “I want to write an article with you on role models.”  Since she is my life coach and I cut her cord when she was born, the mere suggestion was heartwarming and completely exhilarating.  

  I charged her with the task of finding the research to support her hypothesis that they matter to children and youth development, in general.  Because National Aunt’s Day — obviously there is one— is in July and the requisite Niece Day is in December, we split the difference and did the analysis now.  

  Passionate about psychology and understanding behavior and its origin, her theory was the advice itself and point-of-view from a non-parental adult is different from what...