Newsletter-Widowers Feel Less Pain

December 2, 2013

Study Finds Widows and Widowers Feel Less Pain

Cheri Cheng
November 19, 2013

Studies that have examined the effects of being married or in a committed relationship have found that having a partner can increase survival rates. On the contrary, studies have found that when spouses lose their partners, their mortality risk increases in comparison to people who have not lost their partner. In a new study, researchers are reporting that widows and widowers might feel less pain than people who are still married and people who are single.

resilienceFor this study, researchers examined nearly 2,000 patients from the medical College of Virginia pain center. The patients were between the ages of 16 and 73 with the average age of 41. The researchers were testing the participants’ tolerance to chronic pain and theorized that married people would fare better than people who have been widowed because they have their partners as their support group. The researchers found that surprisingly, widows and widowers experienced the lowest levels of depression, anxiety, anger, frustration and fear in response to pain.

“We think that loss may force us to develop coping strategies to bounce back from threats to your quality of life, a kind of emotional inoculation against future lifestyle threats,” the lead author, James Wade said according to TIME. Wade is a professor of psychiatry at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine.

Wade explained that widows and widowers might have better coping mechanisms since they have lost a loved one. Wade also stressed that the lost was due to uncontrollable circumstances, such as death as opposed to separation or divorce. Researchers who were not involved with the study stated that more research needs to be done to examine the relationship widows and widowers have with pain but believed that the findings are promising.

“Several theorists think the process of going through something like spouse loss can create increased resilience,” commented Laura Watson, a gerontological psychologist at California State University at Fullerton.

The researchers took into account pain intensity, gender, age and ethnicity. The study, “The relationship between marital status and psychological resilience in chronic pain,” was published in Pain Research and Treatment.

To read the entire study:

The Unexpected Source That Inspired Whole Foods, Apple’s Sleek Design and The White Album

The Huffington Post | By Carolyn Gregoire Posted: 11/20/2013 8:30 am EST | Updated: 11/20/2013 2:35 pm EST

Mindfulness and meditation are some of the most popular practices among leaders in fields as disparate as business and the arts. But even before meditation entered the mainstream, a few public figures quietly credited the practice with their greatest ideas and successes.

Bulb light on handResearch has demonstrated that meditation can in fact boost focus and creativity. A 2011 study found meditation to boost both divergent thinking, which helps new ideas to be generated, and convergent thinking, which is linked with effective problem-solving. With more and more research proving meditation’s extensive cognitive benefits, increasing numbers of artists, writers, musicians, athletes and business innovators are turning to the practice to tap into their deepest creative potential.

“Ideas are like fish,” the filmmaker David Lynch wrote in “Catching the Big Fish,” a book on meditation and creativity. “If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper. Down deep, the fish are more powerful and more pure.They’re huge and abstract. And they’re very beautiful.”

Read more:

On the Vine Brussels Sprouts

I love finding Brussels sprouts in their freshest form and not wrapped in a container wrapped in plastic. To me, this is winter. I made this Brussels Sprout dish for Thanksgiving and it will make a return on Christmas.

3 cups Brussels sproutsbrusselsprouts
1 Tbls. of olive oil
2 Tbls. Balsamic vinegar
1 Tbls. Maple syrup

Cut the Brussels sprouts from the stalk and cut in half if on the large size. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Place the Brussels sprouts in a baking dish with the 1 Tbls of oil and coat. Bake for 20-30 minutes checking with a fork for tenderness.

In the meantime on the stovetop, mix the balsamic vinegar with the maple syrup until the mixture becomes of a syrup consistency. Drizzle the syrup over the Brussels sprouts.

Brussels Sprouts are low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Thiamin, Riboflavin, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium and Manganese.


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