Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Health Problems Loneliness May Cause

woman at beach

What It’s Not

Loneliness isn't simply about being alone -- some people are happy on their own. And it’s not how many people you know or how often you see them, or a bad day when you don't feel connected. What matters is to have strong connections. Those who do tend to be happier, healthier, and more productive. Those who don’t may feel isolated, misunderstood, and depressed: lonely. It can take a physical toll, too. But you can take steps to overcome that.
work exhaustion

Immune System

If you're lonely for a long time, it may to make it harder for your body to fight sickness. Part of the reason for this may be that loneliness triggers some of the hormones your body makes when you're under stress. And that can dim how well your immune system works, too. Many other things also affect how well your body defends itself. Your doctor can help you pinpoint what changes might help.
blood pressure check

Blood Pressure

If you’re lonely -- especially if it lasts for 4 years or longer -- your blood pressure is more likely to go up. Scientists who study this effect can’t prove that loneliness is to blame. But they found that the rise isn't caused by other things like age, gender, diet, or family background.
women walking


An active lifestyle helps keep you well in body and mind. If you’re lonely, you’re more likely to cut back on or stop your workouts. Don't do that! Stay in the game. Walk with a friend, go to the gym, play a game of neighborhood kickball -- being active with pals is a way to start or grow relationships that make you feel better. Aim for at least 2.5 hours of activity per week. If you have health problems, check with your doctor first.
chess game

Mental Sharpness

Your ability to solve problems or remember things as you age is likely to be affected if you feel lonely. And you may have a greater chance of a brain disease like Alzheimer's. Keep in mind that a lot of things affect those risks, and research doesn’t prove that loneliness causes these conditions. But at any age, finding ways to connect with others is wise.
lit cigarette


You’re more likely to light up when you’re lonely. But this habit is bad for you from head to toe. Smoking is linked to diabetes, heart disease, and lung illnesses, and it affects nearly every organ in your body. Some people reach for a cigarette when they’re stressed. If that’s you, talk with your doctor about how to quit and find other ways to manage stress. Even if it takes more than one try to kick the habit, it’s worth it. Keep at it!
heart monitor

Poor Heart Health

The more lonely you’ve been over your life, the more likely you are to have conditions that affect your heart health: obesity, high blood pressure, and bad cholesterol levels, for example. And women who are lonely may be more likely to get coronary heart disease. Why? There could be many reasons -- like if you smoke, get depressed, or don’t work out when you’re lonely.
depressed woman


It affects your body as well as your mind. If you’re lonely, you may start to feel bad about your life and get depressed. And depression can be isolating, so you start to feel even worse. If you have symptoms that are severe or last more than two weeks -- including feeling down or hopeless, less interest in things you usually enjoy, low energy, sleep problems, or appetite changes -- get help. Tell your doctor or call a counselor.
zipping pants

Weight Gain

You’re more likely to add pounds when you’re lonely. Why? You might eat more than usual or unhealthy foods to soothe yourself, or you might stop your workouts. This can make you feel worse about yourself and may also make you more likely to get conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. So if your weight is going up, it’s a good idea to look at your emotions, as well as your diet and exercise.
woman in bed


You might toss and turn more, or have a tough time falling asleep if you're lonely. That can make it harder to focus during the day and put you in a bad mood. It may be bad for your health, too. Over time, poor sleep can make diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, and obesity more likely.

Drinking and Drugs

You may be more likely abuse drugs, including alcohol, if you’re lonely. It may give you a false sense of feeling better, but it doesn’t last and will backfire. Over time, it can seriously damage your body, family, work life, and relationships.
male artist

What About 'Me' Time?

Everyone is different. You may need more time on your own to recharge, compared with someone who’s more of an extrovert. That can be healthy and normal. It’s only a problem if you feel too disconnected from other people. This can happen if you stay on your own too much. But it can also happen if you simply don’t feel understood or cared for -- even if there are lots of people around.

group therapy

Take Action

Look for ways to connect. Interested in chess, hiking, tennis, bridge, or books? Join a club and get to know others with the same interests. Make plans with friends and family. Talk to them about how you feel. If you find it really hard to connect with people -- even those you know well -- it may help to talk with a therapist. Take care of yourself, too: Regular exercise, good sleep, and eating for wellness can boost your mood.
doctor consoling patient

When You Need Help

Almost everyone feels a little lonely now and then. But if you try to reconnect and still feel isolated after several weeks, or if you’re so lonely, depressed, or anxious that it gets in the way of your work or home life, tell your doctor. You can get help -- things like therapy, lifestyle changes, and medicine for certain conditions -- to get back on your feet.

Inspirational Quote – January 16, 2018

“When something bad happens you have three choices, you can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.”

We don’t have any control about the bad things that happen to us all at times but we do have a choice as to how we deal with them. We can wear it like a cloak for everyone to see, allow it to overcome us and bring us to our knees or deal with it and move on. I know which one I would choose and it’s not either of the first two choices. What would you choose?


The Gifts of Imperfection

Have you ever wondered what makes it easier for some folks to bounce back from difficulties than others? Resilience, or the ability to overcome adversity, includes 5 core components: resourcefulness, help-seeking, the belief that they can do something to help manage their feelings and to cope, availability of social support, and connections with others. But there's more to the stories of those who cultivate Wholehearted lives despite the stress, anxiety, and trauma they face. In this article, psychologist Brene Brown discusses how spirituality ultimately shapes our ability to bounce back from life's greatest challenges. "Without exception, spirituality the belief in connection, a power greater than self, and interconnections grounded in love and compassion emerged as a component of resilience." 

Monday, January 15, 2018

How Your Height Affects Your Health

man and woman standing side by side

The Long and Short of It

The average height for men in the U.S. is about 5 feet 9 inches. For women, it’s about 5 feet 4 inches. If you’re taller or shorter than average, you might notice a few pros and cons to your size. That holds true as your height relates to your health, too. While height -- or lack of it – doesn’t cause any health conditions, studies show it may make you more or less likely to have certain problems.
ovarian cancer


Some research shows that a below-average height may mean you have lower odds of getting some types of cancer. For example, a study of more than 100,000 women in Europe and North America showed that shorter women are less likely to get ovarian cancer. Another of more than 9,000 British men between ages 50 and 69 showed that shorter men had lower chances of getting prostate cancer.
woman using lanclet


The length of your legs may be linked to your chances of getting type 2 diabetes. Based on 5 years of data on more than 6,000 adults, scientists think tall people may be less likely to get it. It’s not clear why the two are related, but one idea is that short stature is a sign of poor nutrition or other metabolism problems before birth or during childhood.
doctor points to heart chart

Heart Disease

Scientists aren’t sure exactly why, but people who are shorter than 5 feet 3 inches are about 50% more likely to get coronary heart disease than those who are 5 feet 8 inches or taller. The reason may be poor nutrition or infections before birth or in childhood that affect growth. It could also be that your genes affect both height and your odds of heart problems later in life.
man having stroke illustration


This happens when blood flow to an area of your brain gets cut off. Taller people are less likely to have one, and this is especially true if they’re at a healthy weight. Nutrition and other health-related things in childhood that affect how tall you are may be one reason for the link.
blood clot illustration

Blood Clot

This can be a serious condition, especially if one forms in a major vein or travels to your lungs. Researchers can’t explain why, but studies show that the shorter you are, the less likely you are to have a blood clot in a vein. People who are 5 feet or shorter have the lowest chances of getting one.
man doing puzzle

Alzheimer’s Disease

Height may be an advantage when it comes to this type of dementia, especially for men. One study of more than 500 people showed that men who are about 5 feet 11 inches or taller are almost 60% less likely to have Alzheimer’s disease than those who are about 5 feet 7 inches or shorter. Taller women may have lower odds of it as well, but the link to height doesn’t seem to be as strong for them.
pregnant woman reading


Tall women are more likely to have longer pregnancies than shorter women. In one study, women who were 5 feet or shorter were more likely to give birth before they reached full term than those who stood 5 feet 8 inches or taller. And for every centimeter of difference in height between two pregnant women, the shorter woman gave birth one-fifth of a day sooner. Scientists aren’t sure why this is, but it could be related to the size of certain body parts, like the pelvis or cervix.
balding man being measured

Hair Loss

A study of more than 22,000 men from seven countries showed that shorter guys have a greater chance of going bald. The scientists looked for changes in specific genes that can raise a man’s odds of losing his hair early. They found four that were linked to both male-pattern baldness and shorter stature.
family birthday

Longer Life

Several studies over the years have shown that shorter people tend to live a little longer than taller people and have fewer long-term diseases as they age. Scientists are still studying the reasons behind this, but some areas they’re looking into include the amount of damage to cells over time, the levels of some hormones, and the size of some organs, like the brain, liver, and kidneys.
exhausted man

Heat Exhaustion

Shorter people are less likely to get overheated or have the more serious condition called heatstroke. This is mainly because taller -- and heavier -- people make more body heat. If they make it faster than they can get rid of it, like during intense exercise, that can lead to heat stroke or heat exhaustion. On the flip side, taller people can stay warmer than shorter people in colder weather for the same reason.
leaning tower of pisa

Lower Back and Hips

Shorter people are less likely to have lower back pain or break a hip. One possible reason taller people have a bigger chance of a hip fracture is their high center of gravity. That not only makes them more likely to fall, but it also may make them hit the ground with more force if they do.

Making “Modern Magick” Modern

by Donald Michael Kraig
(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)
I am so very grateful to the many people (over 150,000 of you!) who have made Modern Magick the most popular and successful book of its kind ever published. Many people have told me how Modern Magick changed their lives for the better. It has changed my life, too. It enabled me to meet amazing people, travel the world, and share information. It's been an incredible ride, and I like to think that I've merely finished the first lap and that the future is going to be even more fantastic.
It's not just me and the readers of Modern Magick who have changed. In the years since Modern Magick was initially published the world had dramatically changed. If you were born after Modern Magick was originally published:
  • You've always known about and used computers
  • You probably never played a 45 or 33 rpm record
  • The war in Vietnam was something you read about in history books, not something you saw every evening on the news
  • The Beatles was the name of the band Paul McCartney was in before Wings
  • The USSR was gone and not a nuclear powerhouse to be feared
  • The Berlin Wall was gone and not an icon of terror and repression
  • Everything has always had barcodes on it
  • You've always been told to worry about AIDS
As you may know, I teach workshops all over the US. I have had to change various workshops to meet the needs of the changing times. And yet, in spite of a second edition with corrections and an added section (The "Modern Magick FAQ"), the book Modern Magick was essentially unchanged.
Is Modern Magick Modern?
I have to admit that I'm prejudiced, but I think that Modern Magick is a great book. Its purpose has always been to help people become fully grounded in the basics of practical magick so that anyone could understand, learn, and work with any system of magick. Part of the goal was to do this from a contemporary perspective, bringing old and archaic presentations up to date. Frankly, I don't know of any other book that does this and covers so many topics, including such things as the kabalah and kabalistic magick, ceremonial magickbanishingsdivinationTarotastral projectiontalismanic magick, natural magick, evocation, astral rituals, invocationsex magickTantrapathworking on the Tree of Life, psychic self-defense, real meditation, visualization techniques, designing your own rituals, inner and outer alchemy, making and consecrating magickal tools, and so much more.
In the world of magick, change occurs slowly. Most of the supposedly new paradigms of magick that have appeared over the past few decades have vanished. They were often simply someone's personal interpretations of traditional magick, not really anything new. When that person's interest in their supposedly ALL NEW! discoveries of magick waned, their new system was mercifully forgotten.
In all of this, and for over two decades, Modern Magick has held up extremely well. But as I looked over the book, everything from my way of saying things, the art, and even the way the text looked on the page felt old and dated. The information was still good, but Modern Magick just wasn't modern any more.
The Phoenix 
Phoenix: A mythological bird that lived for centuries in the Arabian desert. It then burned itself in a funeral pyre and would rise from the ashes with renewed youth and vigor, ready to live for another cycle.
With the encouragement of Llewellyn, I began the process of completely updating Modern Magick. This has taken over eighteen months to accomplish. It is not simply a few words changed here and there; it is literally a completely new book. As it is about to be published I feel as excited as I was when the first edition was published half of my life ago. Modern Magick, like a phoenix rising from the fires, is being born again more beautiful and better than before. Here are just some of the changes:
  • Completely revised. I went through every word on every page. It's been completely updated and revised. Rituals are more clearly explained. There are dozens of new tips, personal stories, suggestions, and ideas. I've incorporated twenty years of experience, study, and practice. This is the Modern Magick for the 21st century.
  • New art. I literally overwhelmed the art department with ideas for art to be included in this new edition. You can see some of my original illustrations and photos used as suggestions by visiting my new website, www.modernmagick.com. Llewellyn's art department took the best of my suggestions and created art that helps bring this book to new life.
  • Format improvements. In this new edition you'll find:
    • The contents pages have more information about each chapter, making it easier to access every concept and idea.
    • Stressing the nature of the work, the new edition of Modern Magick is presented the way it always should have been, as a course of lessons, not a book with chapters.
    • The new edition is divided into two sections, the "Outer Order" and the "Inner Order." While studying in the Outer Order, you'll learn all of the philosophy, history, and theory while you practice the basic rituals and techniques. While in the Inner Order you'll learn numerous rituals and methods of practical magick to improve your life, including how to design your own rituals.
    • The index has also been completely rewritten for even more precise discovery of information. The new index is more concise and more accurate, making it easier to use.
    • As before, there is a bibliography at the end of each chapter and an annotated bibliography at the end of the lessons. These have been completely updated to focus on current, in-print titles.
    • The popular self-tests at the end of each lesson have been expanded to help you determine, for yourself, if you have learned the information.
    • There is a new, expanded glossary, making understanding everything easier than ever.
    • And, of course, I've written a new introduction.
  • FOUR new forewords. Modern Magick has become so well known that five people were willing to write a foreword for the new edition. They are:
  • An entirely new chapter. I've always felt that Modern Magick would be better if it had a dozen chapters, resulting in at least a full year of training. But what should be included? As I wrote above, most new approaches to magick have been personal approaches that have faded away. But I have noted three new directions in magick. Two are definitely lasting and one could be the future of magick. I cover all three, including rituals and ritual ideas, in this new lesson/chapter:
    • The first system is known as Neuro-Linguistic Programming or NLP. Most people think that NLP is some sort of therapy or a means to secretly coerce people to your will. Actually, NLP is a broad set of techniques for making changes in your life. The techniques are often so simple that they seem like magick. The first book on NLP was actually called The Structure of Magic. To learn NLP I went through extensive training and became a certified NLP Master Practitioner. In the first part of this new chapter I'll share some great methods with you. You'll discover amazingly simple ways to determine how you relate to time, a way to insert a visualization into your future, and how this will work in harmony with the power of your unconscious mind to make your desires manifest.
    • The second system is known as Chaos Magick. This system of magick is far more popular in Europe and the UK than in the US. For a time, there, it looked as if it would transcend the popularity of Witchcraft and Wicca. I imported books on it from England and wrote for one of the first Chaos Magick journals in the US. It turns out that Chaos Magick is actually a new approach to some old systems. For example, many "Chaotes" use the techniques of Austin Osman Spare, a contemporary of Aleister Crowley. In this part of the lesson you'll the history and philosophy of the system, as well as two banishing techniques, one of which is a ritual, and a ritual for charging a magickal sigil by spinning in place.
    • The third system described in this lesson is known as Postmodern Magick. It literally takes the very best of all systems of magick, including NLP and Chaos Magick, and combines everything into a single system. However, it approaches it in an entirely new way, from the point of view of computers and communication. It is truly a method to understand and work magick that is perfect for the 21st century. Included are new methods to create sigils for talismans and a way to enhance evocations by asking a simple question: "WWBD?" Postmodern Magick is not as popular as either NLP or Chaos Magick…yet. But it may be the future of magick. This lesson includes an introduction to this amazing system. Once you understand the basic concepts you will understand and discover more in Patrick Dunn's books, Postmodern Magic and Magic, Power, Language, Symbol.
  • A new size. With the extensive revisions and additions, the new edition of Modern Magick is about 40% larger than past editions. And when you add in all of the new art, well, the old 6" x 9" size just couldn't hold it all. As a result, the new, expanded and revised edition is a massive 8.5" x 11" and over 525 pages in length. But don't worry. I've worked very hard to make sure it's still friendly, cumulative (so each lesson builds on what you learned in previous lessons), easy to understand and easy to use. This does not mean it's been "dumbed down." Rather, it means it's clear and written to you rather than confusing or written down at you.
  • A new cover. I have always loved the original cover to Modern Magick. In fact, I believe the cover, created by Martin Cannon, is so wonderful that it's one of the reasons my book has been popular. People look at the cover and think, correctly, "That could be me. I can do this." To be honest, when it was decided to do a new cover I was worried.  When I saw the new cover by fantasy illustrator John Blumen, however, I was absolutely blown away! It takes the original cover as an inspiration and moves it into the 21st century with more emotion and passion. Below is a low resolution copy of that cover. The full resolution version of the cover on each copy is absolutely spectacular.
Okay. I'm taking a deep, cleansing breath…I’m relaxing now. If this article sounds like a prepubescent kid hopped up on three bowls of Cocoa Puffs cereal who is about to meet the Jonas brothers, I really apologize. But I can't help it! I'm really excited about this new version of Modern Magick.
I started this article by saying how very grateful I am to all of you who have supported this book. I'm ending it the same way. I am deeply indebted to those of you who have supported me by getting my books and attending my workshops and lectures. I just want to say two more things: First, I think when you see the actual, finished new edition of Modern Magick, you're going to be as excited about it as I am. And second, to thank you for your continued support, I promise to write more (including blogs) and give more workshops and more lectures so I can personally meet as many of you as possible.