I’ve confessed before, but I’ll confess again. I love newspapers. This apparently makes me desperately old-fashioned. But while I also check newspaper articles online, nothing compares to sitting down in the morning with the real thing and going through it page by page. I miss the little things on the internet. The local tidbits. The letters to the editor, sometimes hysterical, sometimes maddening, sometimes moving. The classifieds? Little gold mines of ideas for novelists, as are the pithy human interest stories.
The Sarasota Herald Tribune has wonderful magazine sections. Tuesday is Health and Fitness. Wednesday: Food and Wine. Thursday is the Ticket section with more good things to do over the weekend than anyone has time for. Then Friday is Home. I feel right at home myself since many of the articles come from the Washington Post, my last local paper.
Today’s Health section was filled with great things to share here. For instance:
- Unlike other senses, smell has an immediate link to the limbic system. That’s the part of our brain that produces emotions. So when smelling something triggers a strong feeling for you? That’s your reason. In fact sometimes we have a reaction and aren’t consciously aware of the smell.
- Can’t talk to your doctor about important issues like dying? A recent survey tells us why. Language and medical interpretation issues are the number one reaons, followed by religious, spiritual and cultural barriers. Sounds almost insurmountable, doesn’t it? So you’ll have to work harder if you want that conversation.
- Wonder why you eat sweets when you’re under stress? Because sugar reduces cortisol, aka the stress hormone.
- Mothers who nursed babies seem to have a better outcome after a breast cancer diagnosis, and less aggressive tumor types.
- Teachers are among the least likely to suffer from drug or alcohol addiction. Miners are among the most.
One of my favorite articles today was about a doctor who trained in India where he treated patients suffering from “poverty, malnutrition and disease.” But surprise, surprise, when he came to the U.S. and began to treat patients who were healthier and wealthier, he discovered their level of suffering was the same. So Dr. Amit Sood began a lifelong quest to understand the scientific basis of suffering and come up with practical suggestions.
His new book is characterized as both playful and profound, and it sounds like a wonderful read. The Mayo Clinic Handbook for Happiness is available now, and Sood is the chair of the Mayo Mind Body Initiative as well as director of research at the clinic’s Complementary and Integrative Medicine program.
One of his topics? “It’s not your fault.” Our minds are hard-wired to attach the negative because that once gave us a survival advantage. He prescribes a four step, ten week program to help overcome it.
The other article I loved is about mastering our habits. Gretchen Rubin has written a new book Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives. Like Dr. Sood she concentrates on happiness. I’m intrigued by the way she divides us into categories depending on the way we respond to expectations. Then she helps each category learn how to improve their own habits, based on the way they see the world. Fascinating stuff.
And that’s just a sample.
Do you read the paper? Is reading it one of those habits Gretchen Rubin talks about? Something you do because you’re expected or? Or do you love what you find? Wallowing in bad news is one of the things Dr. Sood warns us about, so look for the good stuff in your pages.
If you find something fun to share here, please do.
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