Mind Body & Spirit

Making that resolution stick

Here it is two weeks into the new year and I’m just beginning to feel “detoxed” from ridiculous amounts of sugary, rich holiday food. It’s sad that it takes only days to break our good health habits and weeks or months to make them stick. (Research from University College of London shows that it takes an average of 66 days for a new healthy habit to feel automatic.)

Improving infants’ quality of life through music

The neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) at Kosair Children’s Hospital downtown and Norton Women’s & Kosair Children’s Hospital in St. Matthews offer music therapy for infants and their families.

This clinical and evidence-based health practice is very different from expressive therapy, which uses music along with art, massage, writing, drama and more to help patients and families express feelings and cope with emotions. NICU music therapy is used to achieve a variety of medical and developmental goals and improve the parent-infant bond.

Just breathe

The ancient yogis said we were born with a limited number of breaths, so each breath in and out should be long and slow. In yoga, we learn how to control our heart rate and blood pressure through various breathing techniques — some are relaxing and calming; others energizing.

Try a calming breath exercise called “alternate nostril breathing” when you are feeling anxious, prior to work that requires concentration or creativity, or before you go to bed. You may find it is a simple method of creating a calm and focused mind.

Mindful Eating: Awaken your senses for better health

How many times have you sat in front of the TV and either snacked or eaten a meal? For many, this is a daily practice — and an unhealthy one. Called “distracted” or “mindless” eating, it can cause you to overeat and prevents you from enjoying your food and the eating experience. Research shows mindless eating also can lead to stress and anxiety.

The opposite behavior is called “mindful” eating. It is the deliberate, nonjudgmental act of paying attention to the flavor, taste, texture and experience of eating. It’s about being present and content while you eat.

3 ways exercise strengthens your spirit

You’ve heard it before: Your body is a temple. That may sound cliché these days, but it’s true. When you take care of your body, you take care of your soul. Consider how exercise improves the health of your soul:

1. Exercise clears the mind.

It relieves stress by pushing out worries and anxiety, allowing you to work through problems, find solutions and make decisions that are weighing on you. Exercise also can break obsessive thought patterns. When your mind is clear, you are more at peace. And when you are at peace, your soul is happy.

The Science of a Spiritual Child

In an age of calorie counting and exercise worries, it can be easy to forget that children have a fulfilling means of achieving health: the soul. Spirituality is a proven vehicle for children’s health.

Recent research on childhood spirituality has shown that kids who have positive, active spiritual relationships are 40 percent less likely to use and abuse substances, and have 60 percent less depression as they grow older.

Tips for happier kids (and parents)

Nearly three decades ago, my husband and I took our first newborn daughter home without any formal training on how to be good parents. I laugh now about how clueless we were.

I’m thankful, however, that through trial and error, help from our parents and prayers along the way, Paul and I raised two kind, compassionate, beautiful young women. I only wish I had known about someone like sociologist Christine Carter, Ph.D., when my kids were little.

Happiness Tip: Trade Expectations for Gratitude

This blog is courtesty of Christine Carter, Ph.D, sociologist and acclaimed author of Raising Happiness.

Feeling frustrated or disappointed?

It isn’t that we shouldn’t have high expectations, or that we shouldn’t feel hurt when someone lets us down. But one of the best ways to recover from disappointment is to notice what actually is going well in our lives.

Rivals come together for a cause

How the Pink and White football game is kicking breast cancer

The Pink and White Game isn’t like any high school football game you’ve ever attended: Two rival girls’ schools battle it out on the field, and two rival boys’ schools dance it out during the halftime show — all to support the fight against breast cancer.

The motto “Four schools. Two rivalries. One cause. Everyone wins!” perfectly sums up this annual philanthropic flag football game.