How do you thrive in life no matter where you are in life?
If you’re lucky to live long enough, you know that life has many pieces to it. It has the wonderful bits: falling in love, having a career, traveling, following your passion. And it often contains difficult times: illness, divorce, and loss. How you navigate through these different experiences determines how well you thrive in your life.
In this program from the Stein Institute for Research on Aging, Dr. Darlene Mininni shares how resilience, emotional intelligence and mindfulness can affect physical health. The motto that most inspires her comes from Job Kabat-Zinn: “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” In other words, good and bad events can occur in life. You might not be able to change the circumstances, but you can learn how to “surf” through them.
Sleep deprivation takes a huge toll on society, and not just because it makes for a cranky population. Poor sleep has been linked to a range of health problems and researchers at the University of California and elsewhere are working to better understand how sleep — or lack of it — impacts our brains and bodies.
Two new UCTV programs highlight sleep research on specific segments of the population: women and older people.
UCTV Prime’s “Sleep, Memory and Age” shows how scientists at UC Berkeley have found a link between poor sleep and the hallmark maladies of old age: memory loss and brain deterioration. Their discovery opens the door to boosting the quality of sleep in elderly people to improve memory.
The latest “Skinny on Obesity” episode, “A Fast-Paced, Fast Food Life,” focuses not just on what we put in our mouths, but how we live our lives. UCSF experts Elissa Epel and Barbara Laraia explain the connection between stress and obesity and offer practical, effective solutions that don’t involve dieting and exercise.
How do researchers even measure stress? One way is the Perceived Stress Scale, developed by Sheldon Cohen and his colleagues in 1983. The Perceived Stress Scale aims to measure the degree in which situations in one’s life are appraised as stressful. It was developed to address the link between the occurrence of stressful events and the perception by the respondent regarding how threatening or demanding such an event was. This scale can provide an index of chronic stress or strain, and coping with these stresses.
So… how stressed are you? Take the stress quiz and find out. Just answer the ten simple questions, then follow the instructions to calculate your score and gauge where you fall on the scale.
Scores around 13 are considered average. Researchers at UCSF’s Center for Obesity Assessment, Study and Treatment (COAST) have found that high stress groups usually have a stress score of around 20 points. Scores of 20 or higher are considered high stress, and if you are in this range, you might consider learning new stress reduction techniques as well as increasing your exercise to at least three times a week. High psychological stress is associated with high blood pressure, higher BMI, larger waist to hip ratio, shorter telomere length, higher cortisol levels, suppressed immune function, decreased sleep, and increased alcohol consumption. These are all important risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
If you find yourself in the high range, you might consider looking into some of these suggested stress reduction resources from UCTV and the folks at COAST:
As a Distinguished Professor in Integrative Medicine and Director of UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Dr. Margaret Chesney knows a lot about stress. At least, how to cope with it so that it doesn’t take a physical toll on your body and quality of life.
The holidays are a time when even the most placid souls can get frazzled by all the hustling and bustling about, preparing for time with family and friends. Judging by the phone calls Dr. Chesney receives this time of year from journalists looking for stress reduction tips for their readers, it seems to be a pretty universal problem.
Lucky for our viewers, Dr. Chesney and her colleagues at UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine are regular guests on UCTV, always willing to share some of their well-researched tips, tactics and techniques for mindfulness-based stress reduction that can get you through the holidays, and keep you calm all year long.
Here are some programs featuring Dr. Chesney to get you started: