Monthly Article Archives: December 2011

Realistic Lifestyle Changes: A Positive Approach to Nurturing Our HealthRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

In last month’s article I highlighted the concept of “personal control” in relation to the lifestyle we lead. I reviewed research that indicated that while the genes we inherit can predispose us to a variety of physical and psychological conditions, including cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and depression, whether these illnesses emerge or to what extent they emerge iss more within our control than we might recognize. The point I advanced was that while we do not have control over the genes with which we are born, we do have the capacity to choose healthy lifestyle practices that can help to neutralize or minimize inborn vulnerabilities towards different illnesses. I highlighted an article authored by Dr. Roger Walsh, a member of the faculty of the Department of Human Behavior at the University of California College of Medicine in Irvine. The article appeared in the American Psychologist and was titled “Lifestyle and Mental Health.” Walsh contends, “Lifestyle factors can be potent in determining both physical and mental health. In modern affluent societies, the diseases exacting the greatest mortality and morbidity–such as cardiovascular disorders, obesity, diabetes, and cancer–are now strongly determined by lifestyle.” Walsh introduces the concept of therapeutic lifestyle

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