POSTED JANUARY 08, 2014 , UPDATED AUGUST 05, 2019
Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter
Although meditation still isn’t exactly mainstream, many people practice it, hoping to stave off stress and stress-related health problems. Mindfulness meditation, in particular, has become more popular in recent years. The practice of mindful meditation involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing, and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future. (Or, as my mom would say, “Don’t rehearse tragedies. Don’t borrow trouble.”)
Harvard Women's Health Watch, published: August, 2010
The danger is that important medical decisions will be left to a physician who is unaware of your values, beliefs, or preferences, or to a relative who doesn't know your wishes, while your best friend, who knows far more about you, is legally powerless to intervene. One solution to this problem is a living will or health care power of attorney (also called a health care proxy form) — documents known as advance care directives. Every adult should have one or both of these documents.
Harvard Heart Letter, Published: October, 2016
Talking with loved ones about your values and wishes can help ensure you'll receive the type of treatment you want.
Harvard Mental Health Letter, published: May, 2008
The term "positive psychology" is a broad one, encompassing a variety of techniques that encourage people to identify and further develop their own positive emotions, experiences, and character traits. In many ways, positive psychology builds on key tenets of humanistic psychology. Carl Rogers' client-centered therapy, for example, was based on the theory that people could improve their lives by expressing their authentic selves. And Abraham Maslow identified traits of self-actualized people that are similar to the character strengths identified and used in some positive psychology interventions.
Advance care planning is not just about old age. At any age, a medical crisis could leave you too ill to make your own healthcare decisions. Even if you are not sick now, planning for health care in the future is an important step toward making sure you get the medical care you would want, if you are unable to speak for yourself and doctors and family members are making the decisions for you.
Many Americans face questions about medical treatment but may not be capable of making those decisions, for example, in an emergency or at the end of life. This article will explain the types of decisions that may need to be made in such cases and questions you can think about now so you're prepared later. It can help you think about who you would want to make decisions for you if you can't make them yourself. It will also discuss ways you can share your wishes with others. Knowing who you want to make decisions on your behalf and how you would decide might take some of the burden off family and friends.
POSTED JULY 05, 2017, 10:30 AM
Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch
POSTED OCTOBER 22, 2019, 10:30 AM
Brad Manor, PhD, Contributor
Despite considerable research and clinical effort, falls among people 65 and older are on the rise. An older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall every 11 seconds, with injuries ranging from simple cuts and bruises to broken bones. Hip fractures are the most serious injury from falls, and more than half of older adults hospitalized for hip fractures after a fall never regain their previous levels of mobility or quality of life. Further, falls are a leading cause of death among older adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an older adult dies from a fall every 19 minutes. Despite these sobering statistics, falls are not an inescapable part of aging; on the contrary, most falls are largely preventable.
POSTED MAY 08, 2017, 10:00 AM
Robert John Waldinger, MD, Contributor
The Harvard Study of Adult Development has tracked the lives of 724 men from the time they were teenagers into old age — 268 Harvard College sophomores, and 456 boys from Boston’s inner city. Using questionnaires, interviews, medical records, and scans of blood and brains, we’ve monitored their physical and mental health, work lives, friendships, and romances.
Here are five of the big lessons we’ve learned about what contributes to a good life:
POSTED MARCH 31, 2017, 7:00 AM
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing
Follow me on Twitter @RobShmerling
We’ve all heard it before: to be as healthy as you can be, choose a healthy diet. And while that’s easier said than done, the impact of improving your diet may be large. That’s according to a recent study that estimated the impact of dietary modifications on premature cardiovascular deaths in this country. The verdict? More than 400,000 deaths each year could be prevented with dietary improvement.