Mike the Psych's Blog

What if psychologists ruled the world? In real life?


If you really have to make new year resolutions..

here are some sensible ones from Dr Mark Porter who writes for the Times (with my own comments added):looking_in_mirror_1600_wht_5647

  1. Get a tape measure and measure your waist. This should be less than half your height to maintain good health. Body Mass Index (bmi) is so out-of-date as I’ve written before.
  2. Buy a blood pressure monitor as one in three of us develops high blood pressure which often requires lifelong treatment. Taking your BP at home may be more accurate than if taken in a stressful environment such as a hospital or GP’s surgery (the well-known white coat effect).
  3. Buy a petrol car next time as diesel has been proved to be dirtier fuel and unhealthy in built-up areas
  4. Learn what sepsis looks like. Blood poisoning or septicaemia as it was once called kills thousands of people a year. It typically starts with bacterial infections of the chest, abdomen, or urinary tract. You can get it at any age and it often mimics flu or gastroenteritis. Doing a SEPSIS test means looking for Slurred speech,Extreme shivering or muscle aches, Passing no urine (in a day), Severe breathlessness, “I feel like I might die”, Skin mottled or discoloured and any rash that doesn’t blanch under pressure from glass tumbler.
  5. Check your heart age. Go to nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-health-check/pages/check-your-heart-age-tool.aspx or download a free heart risk app fromwww.jbs3risk.com. These might prompt you to change your diet and lifestyle habits.
  6. Eat more nuts. More evidence that a good intake of nuts (no more than a handful a day but not salted peanuts) is associated with a longer, healthier life. I’ve blogged about nuts before.
  7. Get stronger. Build strength as strong muscles are good for arthritis and thinning bones, reduce the risk of falling and can prevent pain. Exercise is good at any age but don’t overdo it.
  8. Make Saturday at home an internet-free day. Get people off the screens and doing something together. Why not the whole weekend? In France they have banned firms e-mailing staff outside working hours which is a good move as well.
  9. Cook more. Use fresh food rather than relying on processed food. And invest in the future by teaching your kids.
  10. Give up vaping. Although less hazardous than smoking the long-term inhalation of glycols is bound to have some impact on your lungs. Some experts say it helps people give up smoking. Fine but don’t keep on vaping. In any case people who vape in public look like prats.
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I’m so lonely, I could die

ulearn2bu

stick_figure_liking_it_500_wht_9170It’s not only the elderly who suffer from loneliness.

Scientists at the University of North Carolina now believe that a teenagers are just as much at risk.

Isolation can cause harmful changes to the body in adolescents just as in the elderly. Those with fewer friends are significantly more likely to have high levels of inflammation and higher blood pressure when they reach adulthood.

The scientists examined four age groups to find out why lonely people die earlier and are more susceptible to many diseases.

A large group of 12 – 18 year olds were asked about their friends and 8 years later had their blood pressure, bmi, and a test to measure inflammation. Social isolation made the teenagers 27% more likely to have high inflammation, a sign of biological stress, in their early adulthood.

A professor of sociology at the university, Kathleen Harris, said scientists had been concerned with the…

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What becomes of the broken-hearted? Latest update

ulearn2bu

broken_heart_pc_1600_wht_1665Well some of them actually die it seems.

In the post below, updated a couple of times, it’s clear that there’s a real risk of someone elderly dying following a bereavement, particularly if they have a pre-existing condition.

Danish researchers have now found that younger people are also at risk of heart irregularities after the death of a partner.

People under 60 are 40% more likely to develop atrial fibrillation which has high risks of stroke and heart failure. They are more vulnerable to heart complications in the weeks following their loved one’s death or if it was unexpected. The risk is highest between 8 and 14 days after the loss of a loved one and it takes up to a year before the risks drop to normal levels.

The loss of a partner is considered one of the most stressful life events and is likely to affect most people, independently…

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