It’s heartbreaking to learn that suicide rates across Australia have increased by 20% in the last decade.
Is there nothing we can do to reverse this tragic trend?Continue Reading
Our social, theological and healthcare reformers stand on the shoulders of such “greats.” Why they should be celebrated during Australian Women’s History Month and for International Women’s Day.
I wept for Maud Watts’ plight. She was the central character in the 2015 film, Suffragette, which depicted the core group of women who fought to obtain the vote in 1912 London. A socio-political environment hostile to women’s suffrage led to a tragic set of circumstances where she was forced to give up everything she held dear. Her marriage, her son, her home, her job, her dignity and her health were stripped from her as she devoted herself to lobbying for a woman’s basic right to have a say about how things could be done better in her world.
The Commonwealth of Australia had already given women here that right a decade earlier. But progress was slow in the state governments, and it was not until 1926 that women were able to both vote and stand for all Houses of Parliament in all parts of the Commonwealth.
A special day for thanksgiving hasn’t really caught on in Australia yet, despite the good efforts of many here to celebrate a National Day of Thanksgiving in May each year. However, it may be time to consider its inclusion as part of a preventative approach to health care, because gratitude is so good for you!
In his inspiring book, Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, psychologist Robert Emmons cites research that found saying “thank you” measurably increases our happiness and health.Continue Reading
World Smile Day, today, was launched in 1999 by the creator of the smiley symbol that we all know so well. He felt that all of us should devote one day each year to smiles and kind acts throughout the world. The smiley face knows no politics, no geography and no religion – nor should we!Continue Reading
I often talk about ‘love’ in my writing, and find that this word ‘love’ is the word that is most often misunderstood in the human language. We seem to want to categorise it by psychological terms, such as emotional, platonic, parental or romantic. Some just want to question its existence at all, by replacing it with its opposites – dependency, manipulation or lust.
But the very essence of us is pure, unconditional love; love for ourselves and love for each other.Continue Reading
“Break barriers and open doors: to realise an inclusive society for all”, urges the United Nations in its brief for International Day of People with Disability, celebrated earlier this month.
Well, those doors are opening at Aware Industries in Albury-Wodonga. Aware’s best practice tools, procedures and support mechanisms enable people with disability to work productively and effectively. Similar to Endeavour Foundation services in Queensland and western Sydney, their strong workforce manufacture and distribute timber products and offer mail/despatch services, as well as food, light engineering and packaging services for the community.
My niece really likes working on the marketing team there. She says that the love and support for her from the workers there is palpable.Continue Reading
There’s a game where the price for goods that you produce is determined by a god called “Theoi”. Participants have the option of contributing some of their goods to Theoi in the hope of ‘pacifying him’ and becoming more successful.
Recently a group of players were part of a research study conducted at the University of Queensland. Researchers found that there was a belief among both believers (that Theoi made a difference to the outcome) and non-believers that expenditure and sacrifice might somehow reap rewards, even when there was no effect on outcomes. “There seems to be a default belief that people can bargain with the unknown, and they need a lot of evidence to the contrary before it fades away”, researcher Professor Paul Fritjers said. Even when witnessing hundreds of occasions where it made no difference, they kept sacrificing large portions of their income to the perceived source of the problem, Theoi.
Have you accepted the necessary sacrifice to the poker machine, Blackjack, cards or Keno god – hoping for that big win? Continue Reading
This post was first published on ON LINE Opinion, Australia’s e-journal of social and political debate, as Connect the dots out of an obesity epidemic to ‘picture of health’.
My childhood friend was getting quite plump, had trouble running and became the victim of chubby and fat jokes by kids and adults alike. This was back in the ‘60s when most children were quite slim.
If you’d seen her a year later, you wouldn’t have recognised her. She regularly rode her bicycle, played tennis and had established a healthy diet despite being part of a family who often overindulged. And her slender appearance hasn’t changed during the ensuing five decades.
What changed for her? There was more going on than just seeing-out the ‘puppy fat’ years. It was pretty clear that there was a major change in her thinking when she realised that she could take charge of her life.Continue Reading
This post first appeared on ON LINE Opinion, Australia’s e-journal of social and political debate.
Who make the health science laws of the day? Medics? Researchers? Drug companies?
Nobel Prize winning astrophysicist Brian Schmidt stated on Q&A this week, science is about ‘testing theories’ that when proven lead to reliable knowledge. Scientific theories that become laws have a constant, consistent outcome when tested.
Medical researchers will agree that the health sciences are often unsure what causes disease or the best ways to treat it. There is a fairly universally held belief that certain drugs and treatments provide beneficial effects for specific diseases. However, double-blind studies often prove inconclusive and other studies show that the placebo effect is the only reliable effect. Considering that a drug needs to be only 15% effective to be approved for use in many countries, there’s a very strong case for concluding that drug-effectiveness is often random and not governed by a law at all.Continue Reading
Gratitude pays. Just ask Dr Robert Emmons. My guest post today is by Eric Nelson, who has been published and featured in numerous newspapers, online publications, and radio talk programs. He speaks from years of experience in the mind-body field, especially as it relates to health. In addition, he is the media and legislative spokesperson for Christian Science in Northern California. Visit Eric at his website and twitter.Photo: ©iStockphoto.com/PeskyMonkey
Last week the John Templeton Foundation announced that they were giving Emmons, a psychology professor at U.C. Davis $5.6 million to fund a three-year project to promote evidence-based practices of gratitude in schools, offices, homes, and communities. But as Emmons himself would likely say, the real payoff isn’t in the number of dollars his research is attracting, but in the impact that gratitude is having on people’s lives; perhaps most importantly on their health.Continue Reading