A recent study shows that an optimistic attitude has a huge impact on the long-term survival of heart patients.

 The study, published in Archives of Internal Medicine, reports that heart patients with optimistic attitudes have a 30% greater chance of survival after 15 years.

 Heart patients were followed for 15 years, and 2,800 people were included in the study, making it the largest and longest study of its type. Regardless of gender, severity of heart disease, income, or depression, optimism is still a robust, solid indicator of an improved outcome.

 Why is this?

 Optimistic people may be better able to problem solve and use good coping skills. They may have stronger social connections and be more compliant with medical care. Because they handle stress differently, they may have fewer physical complications from stress.

 How does this relate to you?

 There are clear benefits of cultivating an optimistic outlook on life. A more positive attitude will help you reduce stress, feel more relaxed, lead to better sleep, and help you enjoy the people around you. You may be more motivated to take good care of yourself and have a better quality of life.

 Cardiac rehabilitation programs are a great way for heart patients to strengthen their resilience and optimism. Exercising under supervision, being around other people, and learning healthy behaviors all lead to improved cardiac outcomes as well.

 In the 19 years that I’ve been providing psychosocial consultation for our local cardiac rehab program, I’ve seen hundreds of heart patients improve their prognosis by making positive lifestyle changes.

 Developing a more optimistic outlook really can be life-changing and life-extending!

 See an abstract of the Archives of Internal Medicine:

 Cardiac rehabilitation at Haywood Regional Medical Center:

When your relationship hits some tough times, you may wonder if getting into counseling might be a good idea. Here are 10 ways to increase the impact of couple’s therapy.

  1. Don’t just go to counseling so you can say you tried everything. If you don’t have any interest in trying to save the relationship, don’t waste your time and money on counseling.
  2. Be honest with the therapist. Therapists aren’t mind readers, and all we have to go on is what you tell us.
  3. If you are having an affair, stop it. Therapy isn’t going to fix that when it stays a secret anyway.
  4. Make and keep regular therapy appointments. It’s important to show up.
  5. If your therapist suggests homework, do it. There’s a reason for it, and people who do homework between sessions progress a lot faster.
  6. Be willing to change yourself, not your partner. You can’t change someone else anyway.
  7. Make sure both of you like your therapist and think it’s a good fit.
  8. Speak up about your concerns. A therapy session is the perfect place to talk about issues that you normally have trouble talking about.
  9. It’s okay to talk about intimacy issues. Most couple’s therapists welcome this and won’t be shocked by whatever you might say.
  10. Have hope. Counseling can be incredibly helpful for couples that value each other and want the relationship to be better.

 Couple’s therapists are credentialed through American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy at They have a therapist finder service online at

Click here to see a clip of Scott Brown’s CBS interview

Scott Brown recently revealed that he was sexually abused as a boy. The Republican senator from Massachusetts says he felt embarrassed, hurt, and afraid. How does sexual abuse usually affect boys? The impact depends on a lot of different factors:* The age of the boy and the age of the perpetrator

* The relationship between them (friend, relative, caretaker, stranger)

* Threats made if the boy were to tell about the abuse

* The extent of physical injury or pain

* If the boy keeps the abuse secret, it seems to have a more negative outcome

* If the parents find out about abuse, their reaction plays a huge role in helping their son recover

Child sexual abuse is a horrible violation, and one that can cause damage for many years. Boys who are sexually abused often feel tremendous shame and guilt.

One book that addresses this issue is Victims No Longer: The Classic Guide for Men Recovering from Sexual Child Abuse by Mike Lew.

Online information and support can be found at

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