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42 Healthy lifestyle & healthy ageing relevant abstracts: July '17 newsletter

Here is a downloadable PDF of these abstracts.

U.S, Food & Drug Administration. (2017). Eating fish: What pregnant women and parents should know. U. S. F. D. Administration.

            FDA and EPA have issued advice regarding eating fish. This advice is geared toward helping women who are pregnant or may become pregnant - as well as breastfeeding mothers and parents of young children - make informed choices when it comes to fish that is healthy and safe to eat (however pretty much anyone can benefit by being aware of this information).  The advice includes a chart that makes it easier than ever to choose dozens of healthy and safe options, and a set of frequently asked questions & answers.

 

Recent research: articles from spring/summer journals

I read a lot of research.  When I find an article of particular interest I download it to my bibliographic database - Endnote - which currently contains over 25,000 abstracts.  I also regularly tweet about emerging research, so following me on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ (click on the relevant icon at the top of this web page) will keep you up to speed with some of what I'm finding interesting. Additionally you can view this highlighted research by visiting Scoop.it (click on the "it!" icon at the top of the page).  At Scoop.it, I stream publications into five overlapping topic areas: Cognitive & General Psychotherapy, Depression, Compassion & Mindfulness, Healthy Living & Healthy Aging, and Positive Psychology.

Psychotherapy with couples & other close relationships

This weekend I'm due to give a two day training workshop in Belfast on "Psychotherapy with couples & other close relationships".  Here are the downloadable slides for the first day on "Working with couples(sadly with the cartoons removed for copyright reasons) and here the slides for the second day on "Close relationships".  There are lots of relevant handouts - here are the details.

Compassion lecture: what? why? how? so ... ?

I'm due to give a short lecture tomorrow on "Compassion".  Here is a downloadable copy of the slides ... sadly with most of the images removed for copyright reasons.  The event is a "Collider session".  It's a kind of upmarket brainstorming exercise with an invited group of participants to look at how compassionate ideas & interventions might be helpfully introduced when the new Edinburgh university student intake arrives this autumn.  I'm being wheeled on to give a brief introductory overview.

Useful to have Paul Gilbert's very recently published book to refer to:

Balanced meditation practice: an overview

Taking our attention inwards can be done helpfully in so many ways.  We can relax; we can be mindfully aware; we can use visualisations; we can deeply savour present time experience; we can process difficulties from our pasts or prepare ourselves for challenges in the future.  There are so many useful ways of using our minds to help ourselves.  In the diagram below, one can think of "mindfulness' as representing "content irrelevant" - it's how we're relating to mind-body content rather than what the mind-body content is that's important.  "Exploring & processing" however is very much "content relevant" - whether one is gaining perspective by seeing what the content is and "naming" it, or seeing what the content is and learning from it (as in focusing).

Self-compassion: soothing touch helps us settle and relax

Touch can be profoundly soothing and settling.  In an intriguing study - "Nonverbal channel use in communication of emotion: how may depend on why" - researchers found that when participants generated displays of eleven different emotions, touch was the most preferred nonverbal way of showing love and sympathy.  Welcomed touch can be very good for us physically, so we know touch settles stress hormones - "Social touch modulates endogenous mu-opioid system activity in humans"  ( ), and can even reduce vulnerability to infections - see "Does hugging provide stress-buffering social support? A study of susceptibility to upper respiratory infection and illness".