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It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Perseverance Part 2

It has been demonstrated that various diets result in limited success. Homo sapiens have difficulty sticking to these diets. For me, a lifestyle change in eating habits resulted in reducing sugar intake, red meat, French fries, potato chips and ketchup. However, at my last Sunday’s dinner prior to attending Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility play at the Shakespearean Festival in Ashland, Oregon, I ordered the Angus burger with fries and ketchup. This, more than likely, will not be the last time that I shall stray from going off the wagon.
Further, it’s been suggested that exercise, 30 to 60 minutes per day attaining 60-90% of maximum heart rate is recommended. To calculate, subtract 220 BPM minus age to equal 100% heart rate.   I am compulsive about exercise and have my own plan. For instance, I am reaching 79 years of youth, next month. For the last five years or so, I hit the trail and run the number of years of my age in a week, every November. I must confess that Tony reminded me this year. Over the last few weeks, I have been toying with the idea of running those 79 miles or little over three marathons in five or six days. My birthday falls during the week of the University of Michigan and Ohio State football game. Depending upon game time, if need be, I’ll complete, if necessary, those miles on my elliptical so I can watch the game. Game time hasn’t been established as of yet.
Remember, you are what you eat. Don’t forget to keep moving.

Friday, October 19, 2018


Last year Linda suffered a severe equestrian injury that was followed by severe osteoarthritis discomfort. She consulted a surgeon and was administered a steroid.  She also changed her diet and reduced the inflammation and discomfort. In addition, she persevered with range of motion exercises. Linda was successful in that she eliminated that dreaded surgery. For her, exercise and diet proved successful. She also consumes, depending upon her discomfort, boswellia, extra strength curaphen, ibuprofen and other nutrients.
An article in the September/October 2018 The National Psychologist titled Nutrition Studies Can Aid Clinical Psychologists was pertinent. This article highlighted the relationship between an unhealthy diet and mental health. For example, too much junk food, or not enough nutrient dense foods are a risk factor for depression and anxiety. In addition, anxiety, schizophrenia, psychosis and child behavior conditions cannot be ignored as well. The article added that perhaps a food diet Journal might help the individual to become more aware of the addictive qualities of sugar. Perhaps the writing down of foods digested might help people make more intelligent food choices. Additionally, nutritious foods, plant-based food, fish and poultry, olive oil instead of butter and a minimum of red wheat rather than prepackaged products were recommended.
A continuing education class sponsored by the Institute for Natural Resources pointed out that the federal government publishes nutritional recommendations, employing a My plate chart. This chart is divided into four portions, about a quarter reach for protein, grains, fruits and vegetables. Latest studies showed that only 2% of us eat in a healthy manner, 70% of the time. Although vegetables are consumed. It’s not the ones that are needed. The most commonly eaten vegetable, in the United States is a potato, but that is usually in the form of French fries, or potato chips. The second most common veggie is the tomato, usually in the form of ketchup, pasta sauce or pizza sauce. Onions are the third most consumed vegetable and the fourth is iceberg lettuce, which has little nutritional value and is mostly water.
To Be Continued

Monday, October 15, 2018

Anxiety part4

Alcohol, smoking, drugs, droning oneself with long hours and being compulsive about work; the inordinate need for sleep; and engaging in sexual activities might serve as a safety valve through which anxiety can be released. Unfortunately, these provide only short-term fixes and do not address the underlying psychodynamic issues. Performing rituals is another escape mechanism, as evidenced when watching a professional baseball player at-bat. When the hitter steps out of the batter’s box, he loosens or unties and then re-fastens his batting glove numerous times before getting back into the batter’s box. This behavior is done over and over again and operates automatically.
Another common way to escape anxiety consists of avoiding all situations thoughts or feelings, which might arouse anxiety. If one is conscious about the fear of driving in the mountains, then one can avoid it. Sometimes one is not aware of the anxiety. In this case, one attempts to avoid it by procrastinating and experiencing difficulty in making decisions. Sometimes this avoidance operates automatically and the phenomena of inhibition arises. In addition, inhibition is the inability to do, feel or think certain things without dysfunction. It’s an attempt to avoid anxiety which would arise if the individual attempted to do, feel or think these things.
We’re certainly living in the age of anxiety. It’s a definite problem of our times. With the multitude of external threats and unresolved psychodynamic underlying issues, there are numerous individuals with poor mental, physical health; addictive disorders; economic inequities; and homicidal and suicidal behavior and deaths. Further, as evidenced by the bitterness, verbal aggression and hate expressed on social media, radio and TV, suggests that we have an epidemic of anxiety in our culture. Furthermore, there’s talk “they are going to take away my guns; changing the Second Amendment; I have to protect my family” which is like adding fuel to burning embers. Those rationalizations do not mitigate or solve the underlying issues. Having a gun, or guns does not remove insecurity. Owning a gun does not resolve the real issue. Not only that, providing more weapons to anxious individuals is dangerous and counterproductive.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Anxiety part 3

Let’s start with rationalization. Rationalization is the best explanation for the evasion of responsibility: it consists of simply turning anxiety into a rational fear. One example is an over-solicitous or helicopter mom. She would be concerned about her children, regardless of whether she admits to having anxiety or even whether she interprets her anxiety as a justified fear. When she’s told that her reactions to her children are not a rational fear, but simply anxiety, this is threatening and implies that her responses are not proportionate to the existing danger. It’s too threatening to admit to personal factors as causation. Immediately, likely becoming angry, she refutes the interpretation as being related to her. Rationalizations are exhibited into “proving” that she’s right and you’re wrong. So instead of feeling helpless, or exhibiting prey to one’s emotions, or admitting to irrational elements in attitude or belief system, the individual instead feels angry and entirely rationally justified in thought, behavior and actions.
Denying the existence of anxiety is another way to escape it, which means excluding it from consciousness. Generally, all that appears are the physical concomitants of fear, and anxiety, such as shivering, sweating, accelerated heartbeat, choking sensations, frequent urge to urinate, diarrhea, vomiting, and feeling of restlessness of being crushed or paralyzed. During every trail competition, there is an array of porta potty’s with lines of people waiting their turn. I know because I have been in line many a time. In one of my AR 50 trail runs, by the time I left the porta potty, the race had already started. Then we have an example of a conscious denial of anxiety which results in a conscious attempt to overcome it. In this example, an individual might attempt to get rid of the fear by recklessly disregarding it. Typically, it might be a soldier who was driven by the impulse to overcome the fear and as result performs heroic deeds. Rationalization and denial are only two examples of defense mechanisms employed per Karen Horney. There are more.
To be continued

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Anxiety part 2

About 6 to 9 months later, when mother leaves the room or becomes out of sight, we experience that tension, anxiety, fear, loss of “love” or helplessness that our needs are not going to be met because of her separation. This is called separation anxiety. We also began to experience anxiety when we are punished, as we now are afraid of the loss of mother’s love. Receiving punishment compared to receiving “love” are diametrically opposed. In other words, as infants, the basis or the blueprint of helplessness and anxiety have been established. The dynamics of separation anxiety, and loss of love are re-experienced throughout one’s lifetime over and over again.
Psychologically, our job is to deal with all the emotional storms of a lifetime of stress; overcoming obstacles; by employing a variety of strategies or substitute gratifications to master the unpleasantness of anxiety. More often than not, we are unable to identify the root causes of our anxiety. As a result, we distort the real, or underlying reasons for it.
Because it’s difficult, for many, to identify the signs of anxiety, the following physiological symptoms may help per DSM. Dyspnea or difficulty with breathing; palpitations; chest pain or discomfort; choking or smothering sensations; dizziness, vertigo or unsteady feelings; feelings of unreality ;parenthesis or tingling in hands or feet; hot and cold flashes; sweating; faintness; trembling or shaking; fear of dying, going crazy and doing something  uncontrolled during an attack are just a few indicators. Additional psychological components or signs of anxiety include excessive brooding, worry, preoccupation, rumination, anticipation of misfortune to self or others, difficulty in concentrating, and insomnia. This list is far from exhaustive.
With the assistance of our ego, we consciously or unconsciously [not knowing it] experience a threat internally; detect some great external danger; or predict that some calamity is about to happen. Helplessness, then occurs, and with the help of our ego, we spring into action to confront this unbearable or unpleasant situation. In our culture, there are numerous ways of escaping this terrible feeling of anxiety. According to Hans Selye, It could be flight, fight or freeze. Typically with fight, different aspects of aggression, contempt, resentment, or scapegoating follow. On the other hand, we can also rationalize it; deny it; narcotize it; or avoid thoughts, feelings, impulses and situations which might arouse it.
To be continued