Category: Dr. Sue Ferguson

Is Your Glass Half Full?

Optimism involves expecting good things to happen whether by chance, other people or events, or by your own actions. Having positive thoughts about the future can motivate you to set goals for your future and to come up with plans to deal with future stressors. Research shows that optimism predicts higher wellbeing, better health behaviours (such as better nutrition and dental care), helps adjustment to cancer and chronic pain and lowers stress. Optimism has even been shown to predict lower death rates from heart attacks and reduce the risk of cognitive impairment as we get older. However, we need...

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Turn to Gratitude in Times of Strife

We could all use a mood boost about now! Research has shown that consistently practicing gratitude over time can lead to feeling more positive emotions and help you deal with stress. Practising gratitude is a way of reminding yourself of all the good things that have happened to you (and savouring them). However, gratitude also involves acknowledging and being thankful for the people who helped make those good things happen. Gratitude can just be a way you feel and think, or you can involve expressing your thanks to someone who has helped you or been kind. Gratitude stops you...

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Are You a Worry-Wart at the Moment?

A certain amount of anxiety or worry is normal and helpful. If you often feel shaky, get butterflies in your stomach, find it hard to relax, or worry a lot, these can be part of anxiety. A good way to reduce anxiety is to practice relaxation or meditation! Smiling Mind or Calm apps are good. Try this breathing exercise – take a long slow breath (imagine you are sniffing a flower or perfume), then slowly breathe out (imagine you are blowing out candles). It’s normal to feel concern and be hesitant to get back to activities we have avoided for...

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The Importance of Self-Care for Seniors

Taking the time to care for yourself is linked to not just your own health, but also to your ability to take care of others. As one of my sisters reminds me, (metaphorically, following airline advice) put your own facemask on first, only then can you help others. Yes, self-care includes a good diet, exercise, and sleep, but also protecting yourself from COVID-19, and the flu. So, keep social distancing and get your flu shot if you haven’t already! It also involves keeping up with self-management routines for your existing chronic illnesses and talking to your GP regularly (by...

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Positive Ways to Deal with Stress

This is a tough time for everyone, with physical distancing from others and anxiety about COVID-19. There is a lot to deal with – the loss of our usual routines and activities, the loss of income for many as our superannuation goes down, and some the loss of jobs. For those living alone, the loss of physical contact or a simple hug is particularly hard. It’s important to acknowledge the feelings we are having in this situation. One important point is to stay up to date with the latest information, but only watch or read about it once or...

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