A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Wellness Matters: Hanging on to negative thoughts? Don’t, try mindfulness instead

By Jan Carden KyForward columnist   We all struggle with negative thinking – negative thinking about our work, our bodies, our financial situation, other people, the meal we just ate, politics, the future, something someone said to us, events in the past.   It’s seemingly endless.   But it’s not surprising. We are hardwired to track and to hold onto negative information...

Wellness Matters: Nightmares, guilt, anger and even spiritual turmoil can impact sleep

By Marty Seitz KyForward columnist   In previous columns I have addressed the cognitive, behavioral, biological, environmental and sensory factors that can negatively affect sleep. In this one I will complete the series on sleep by discussing the following six additional sets of problematic sleep factors, as well as resources for overcoming them: emotional, ethical, spiritual, subconscious, interpersonal...

Wellness Matters: What you see, hear, taste, smell and touch can help or hinder your sleep

By Marty Seitz KyForward columnist   The physical environment in which you routinely sleep can help or hinder your sleep. Such environmental factors can be categorized according to which of your five senses they interact with: vision, hearing, taste, smell or touch.   Visual factors   What you see as you prepare for sleep or whenever you awaken during your sleep period can be either...

Wellness Matters: Want to get a better night’s sleep? Then it’s time to change your behavior!

By Marty Seitz KyForward columnist   Good sleep is one of the fundamental things that matter for overall wellness. Just as we cannot exist long without air, water and food, we cannot exist long without sleep.   Sleep is a basic physiological need, and inadequate and/or poor-quality sleep is a causal factor in many mental, physical, behavioral and interpersonal problems. In my experience,...

Wellness Matters: We’re a sleep-deprived nation because we don’t make sleep a priority

  By Marty Seitz KyForward columnist   Recently, the Today Show had a segment on the importance of sleep. No surprise the, report said: Most Americans are sleep derived, and sleep deprivation is implicated in many medical problems we Americans have, such as impaired immune systems, weight gain, greater susceptibility to infections and atherosclerosis, to name a few.   Sleep deprivation...

Wellness Matters: Recognizing strengths
with challenges gives healthier perspective

  By Blake L. Jones KyForward columnist   I’ll never forget the sight: The patient who earlier in the morning had been lying prone on the floor, sobbing, was now doing a load of laundry. She was focused on her task, folding each piece of clothing neatly, stopping at times to sniff the flowery smell of her newly washed clothes. It was on the behavioral health unit at Saint Joseph Hospital....

Wellness Matters: Compromise comes in all shapes, sizes for mutually agreeable solutions

By Marty Seitz KyForward columnist   To many people, the word compromise is a bad word with negative connotations. Perhaps we think of compromise this way because it is associated with giving up some part of what we value to get something we deem as more valuable or not to lose more of what we already have.   Compromise has often meant having to settle for less than the ideal in the hopes...

Wellness Matters: How to tell if your child needs medical intervention for ADD/ADHD

Dr. John D. Michelman KyForward columnist   “Doctor, I want to help Jimmy (age 10 and squirming in the chair). How can you tell if he really needs medication?”   Does the child have ADD/ADHD?   Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a medical condition with problems in attention, focus, distraction, organization and impulse control. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) also...

Wellness Matters: Our relationships, like our cars, need regularly scheduled maintenance

By Marty Seitz KyForward columnist   In my previous article, Stress coping resources abound, but support from others most potent, I discussed the value of social support. In this article, I discuss the importance of maintaining your most significant relationships — with your spouse/partner, your family, your friends and yourself. I also describe some means for doing so.   These days almost...

Wellness Matters: When dealing with the aftermath of trauma, remember to look away

By Blake L. Jones KyForward columnist   I knew I shouldn’t be looking. On the day of the tragic bombing at the Boston Marathon, I was seeing patients all day at Access Wellness Group. Every hour, however, I would log on to CNN and watch the latest horrific video feed or pictures of runners stumbling to the ground as the blast erupted. I had just finished talking so someone about taking care...

Wellness Matters: Stress-coping resources abound, but support from others most potent

By Marty Seitz KyForward columnist   When I teach stress management, I am often asked, “If you could recommend only one resource for coping with stress, what would it be?”     There are so many coping resources that I am always hesitant to mention just one. In fact, perhaps the most hope-inspiring thought is just how many resources are available to help persons cope with the stressful...

Wellness Matters: Developing an attitude of gratitude starts with focusing on little things

By Bill Nolan KyForward columnist   Previously, in this column, I have written about wellness matters related to substance use and addiction. Much of my work over the last several years has focused on this particular problem facing many of my clients and their families. Over the years, I have learned a great deal from my clients as they worked to overcome their abuse and addiction. Many of these...

Wellness Matters: Narrow religious beliefs relying on guilt and fear can be harmful

Linda McGinnis KyForward columnist   A lesson I have learned over the years is that the topic of religion can provoke emotional responses. I enjoy passionate, thought-enhancing conversation and/or debate around almost any subject. However, I understand that this is not true of everyone. So I begin this article with a warning: I will address the potential harm that can occur from narrow Christian...

Wellness Matters: When ‘tender’ love is insufficient, give ‘tough’ love a chance to work

By Marty Seitz KyForward columnist   Most people have at least heard of, even if they aren’t familiar with its specifics, the “5 love languages” made popular by Gary Chapman in his book by the same name. These languages include (1) doing acts of service, (2) spending quality time, (3) giving tangible gifts, (4) saying words of affirmation and (5) giving positive, wanted physical...

Wellness Matters: ‘Letting go’ is difficult
but in the end can bring tremendous relief

By Jan Carden KyForward columnist   Pain is physical, suffering is mental. Suffering is due entirely to clinging or resisting. It is a sign of our unwillingness to move, to flow with life. Although all life has pain, a wise life is free of suffering. Nisargadatta   Wanting something, fearing the loss of something and trying to hold on to something are likely our greatest sources of emotional...

Wellness Matters: Anger, like pot of soup, can steam up, boil over, burn; needs special care

By Marty Seitz KyForward columnist   Think of yourself as a pot of soup on the stove, and anger is the heat. While you need some heat to cook soup, too much heat can cause it to steam up, boil over or even burn. This analogy is common for helping people communicate about their experience of anger.   Vent appropriately   When people feel threatened, they have an automatic fight or flight...

Wellness Matters: Codependents appear to be controlling, but are the ones being controlled

Linda McGinnis KyForward columnist   In her book, Codependent No More, Melody Beattie defines a codependent as someone “who has let another person’s behavior affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person’s behavior.” We often believe that we’d be happy if the other person would just change.   Many of us think that we need to be in charge of...

2012 Review: Our Health stories, columns focused on positives, identified challenges

When it comes to Kentucky’s health and well-being, the bad news sometimes threatens to overshadow the good. And while we at KyForward would be remiss to ignore the health challenges our state faces, we take seriously our commitment to showcase the success stories as well. Whether it’s a report about the first Total Artificial Heart implant, the story of a Central Baptist Hospital nurse...

Gayle McGrath: Therapy is difficult, often painful, but sticking with it is key to success

Editor’s note: Gayle McGrath of Lexington is a client at Access Wellness Group. A significant part of her therapy for bipolar disorder is writing, so after reading a Wellness Matters column on KyForward about the bravery necessary to seek therapy, she decided to write a description of a client experience. McGinnis encouraged McGrath to share it with us here at KyForward and, with her permission,...