So should your annual physical include a few questions about your spiritual side? Questions like: “Do you have peace of mind?” and “Are you able to reach down deep into yourself for comfort?”
While acknowledging that some doctors might be uncomfortable delving into their patients' spiritual or religious life, a San Antonio researcher says such questions are surprisingly effective in predicting repeat visitors to outpatient and mental health clinics, as well as a patient's overall satisfaction with life.
His findings from a study of 353 patients at two University Health System clinics were published today in the Annals of Family Medicine — one of three papers focusing on spirituality and health that appear in the journal.
“A small percentage of our patients — 10 (percent) to 20 percent — are very heavy utilizers of health care services,” said Dr. David Katerndahl, professor of family and community medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
“You see them weekly. They talk about chest pain this week; next week they have a stomachache. You never really make an impact on this. So one of the things we may think about is maybe there's something going on with them at a spiritual level that we need to at least address with them.”
Katerndahl said spirituality is a natural extension of a movement in recent years to see patients as more than just the sum of their parts, like a machine. Some tout a biopsychosocial model of health care, which also looks at the patient's psychological and social health to understand their overall well- being.
Katerndahl developed a survey that combined questions about physical symptoms, emotional and social (are you isolated from other people?) symptoms, along with seven spiritual symptoms.
Spiritual symptoms include the degree to which patients feel peaceful, have a reason for living, feel their lives are productive, have peace of mind, have a sense of purpose, are able to reach deep within themselves for comfort and feel a sense of harmony. None of the questions referred to a specific religion.
Katerndahl then measured how each of the symptoms predicted 10 health outcomes that included frequent use of services, overall health status, quality of life and an absence of meaning in life. Spiritual symptoms — either alone or in combination with emotional or social symptoms — predicted seven of the 10 outcome measures.
In fact, the spiritual symptoms were far more effective than psychological symptoms in predicting whether someone had recently sought mental health services.
In an accompanying editorial in the journal, Richard Davidson with the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison suggested that a spiritual-medical connection isn't so far-fetched.
“Science has begun to dissect the complex mechanisms by which the brain can influence peripheral biology, thereby providing the beginnings of a mechanistic understanding of how the mind may influence bodily systems,” Davidson wrote.
Katerndahl acknowledged that doctors are divided on whether spirituality is an off-limits topic in the exam room.
“There are certain doctors who think the spiritual side (is something) we don't want to touch,” he said. “No matter what kind of questions you ask, it's not real science to talk about this stuff. We don't think patients want us to ask them about it. “On the other hand, if you ask the patients, they overwhelmingly want their doctor to talk about these things — especially in certain situations. When they're having a baby. If there's some sort of life stress, some crisis in their life. Some patients even want their doctor to pray with them.”
10 ways to control your anger - Professional expert’s advice
I am really emotional and excitable person. I think that there are two types of anger: constructive anger and a destructive one. In order to understand the anger phenomenon I decided to investigate the nature of anger, reasons of its appearing, key factors and anger management.
What does it mean this anger? Anger is a strong indignation feeling of our emotional sphere that is attended by self-control losing. Anger is a signal of our state. Glands produce an array of hormones that have a great and deep effect on all our body. The main participants of this process are adrenaline and cortisol. They activate cardiovascular system and consequently all organs. Adrenalin causes fast heart beating, rising blood pressure. These rich oxygenated blood streams to the places are responsible for reaction. Thus some extra energy is released.
There are 4 basic ways of anger expressions:
1. Straight and immediately (verbally or nonverbally) to show your anger. It gives an opportunity to free from the negative emotions.
2. To express anger in an indirect way. In this case usually suffer persons that are weaker, not dangerous and those ones who “come to hand”, usually they are our family and close relatives. Thus we hurt our dear ones. One of the best ways is to express your anger to the person who is the source of this very anger. If it is impossible- better find some compromise.
3. Restraining anger you “drive” it deep inside. So, negative emotions store will provoke a big stress sooner or later.
4. You may foresee situation of anger feeling, try not to expand this feeling but get to know the reason, understand and solve it. A Roman philosopher Seneca said: “When you are feeling of ascending “volcano”- stand still, not doing anything- not speaking, not moving.”
Anger is a normal and natural human feeling, especially nowadays as life is really fast and we have a huge amount of information to accumulate (in comparison with our previous generations). The range of anger is rather wide: from a slight annoyance to impetuous fury. Anger can be quick and long, lasting for years in form of bitterness, vengeance or hate. Anger can lead to health issues like depression, high blood pressure, hearth diseases, stresses, alcohol dependence and obesity. If you are anger- express it. If you feel discomfort from these “negative splashes”- then we can give some techniques how to manage your emotional anger:
- 1. Take a deep and continuous breath. Count up to 50 or imagine your aggressor just naked, only in socks. This will help you to calm and smile.
- 2. Have a walk. Look at high sky. Continue to breathe deep and easily. So you appraise the situation and calm down.
- 3. Do some physical exercises. When you are angry- your body is very tensed and tough. If you stretch your muscles it will relax your body, as you will spill out all your negative energy into action. Your brains will get more oxygen and it assists to clear your thoughts.
- 4. Write down all your thoughts. Write down that you are mad and why. Avoid being rational, logical or laconic. Write on paper all you are feeling this moment. Try to write all in details. The function of this technique is to shift all your anger out of your head on paper.
- 5. Be grateful. Find someone to thank. Do you not forget about yourself. Thank that you have woken up today, thank that that the Sun is shining for you, that the sky is blue and the grass is green.
- 6. Prayer. Ask God to be with you during this anger moment and lead you.
- 7. Meditation. Close your eyes, look into solar plexus, and be all your anger, breathing deeply.
- 8. Change of places. Move yourself on your enemy’s place. And look at situation from his point of view. Better look at the situation from the ceiling. Focus on details, especially on funny and absurd ones. Strive to forgive your enemy as well as forgive truly yourself.
- 9. Go back to your childhood memories. Recollect state when you were angry. Hug this child and say: “All is ok. I am here. You are good child. I love you and I will not leave you.”
- 10. Your values. What is the most significant thing in your life? Who are the most important people in your life? What kind of person do you want to be? Think and accept that point that you are living your life, and you are living your values. There is a good man inside you that wants to help you. I wish you good luck!
I am really emotional and excitable person. I think that there are two types of anger: constructive anger and a destructive one. In order t...
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