April 2010

Dr. Kamen hiking in the Red Mountains of Utah

Physical activity has always been a saving grace for me. As a teenager I loved swimming in the summers and running along the beach with my dog whenever I could.

One day while meandering through the Brooklyn College bookstore I discovered a book on the practice of yoga. As I read that book, gleaning various breathing techniques and dynamic postures, something clicked. I learned to stretch and move through space while deepening my breath and gradually becoming more skilled at slowing down. [click to continue…]

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Woman riding a bike at sunset

“Mindful” exercise, walks or workouts are flow activities. They create a shift in consciousness through physical activity. Think of physical activity not just as a way to stay fit or look better, but as a sacred time for you to devote away from the pressures of everyday life. Your body needs to be exercised and your mind and spirit need to be rejuvenated – all of which can be accomplished in taking a mindful walk, yoga or Pilates class, a bike ride, swim, dance class or a multitude of other forms of exercise. [click to continue…]

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The Activites of the Happiest Women

(text to video)

Some of the activities of the happiest women include:

The happiest women surround themselves with loving family and friends. In general they spend the least amount of time alone.

They do not measure themselves by other people’s standards.

The happiest women get immersed on a regular basis in flow activities. Flow activities are projects or interests that occupy the mind in such a deep way that we lose track of time.

Painting, writing, yoga, dancing, working, gardening or just being with friends are all great examples of flow activities. It is best when these activities are integrated into one’s daily routine.

Happy women pursue personal growth and intimate connections throughout their lives.

The happiest women also know or learn how to forgive readily.

What are one or two things you can do to add to your happiness factor?

I have found in my work as a psychologist that to bring more joy into your life, you need to foster you relationships by connecting regularly with friends and family members.

Choose to be with people who lift your spirits and are not the ones who bring you down.

It may require some time and energy on your part to initiate a new relationship or strengthen an existing one. Either way you are guaranteed to feel happier by being proactive.

Eleanor Roosevelt said: Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.

Happiness is a result of living a life filled with loving relationships and flow activities.

The best part is that you are having fun while boosting your sense of connection and well-being.

To read more on this and other topics about What Women Need go to DrKamen.com

Thanks for joining me.

With love and inspiration,

Dr. Kamen

Please share your comments about what brings joy and happiness into your life.


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Women doing yoga

Only in recent years have we come to understand the positive effects of exercise on the brain and mental health. Exercise is also good for one’s physical health. Reduced body fat, stronger muscles,  bones, and heart, and lower blood pressure are among the benefits. It also helps us look and feel healthier and fit.

During exercise the levels of neurotransmitters – the “feel good chemicals” serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine – increase. Exercise, therefore, has powerful antidepressant properties. In a study conducted at Duke University researchers found that 60% of the participants who exercised for 30 minutes 3x week over a four week period successfully overcame their depression without the use of antidepressant medication. This is the same percentage as people who benefit from taking antidepressant medication. This is not to suggest that people stop taking medicine for depression, but it does suggest that exercise would significantly help in the management of this prevalent psychological disorder. [click to continue…]

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Create a practice of physical activity and reap the benefits:

  1. Improve energy level
  2. Burn more calories at rest
  3. Improve physical appearance
  4. Tolerate stress better
  5. Recover faster from injuries and surgeries
  6. Stay focused longer
  7. Increase lean body mass
  8. Build endurance and flexibility
  9. Decrease risk of illness
  10. Key to balance and happiness

Practice daily for 10-30 minutes or more

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Lonesome woman walking

Jennifer transforms feelings of loneliness into an opportunity for greater self-care and connection with women friends. She didn’t even realize the depth of her isolation and depression until we started talking about her typical daily routine.

A forty–one year old mother of two pre-teen girls, Jennifer is more of a planner and caretaker than the warm and fuzzy sort. Jennifer dutifully takes her daughters to school, music and skating lessons and assorted play dates. She routinely does the laundry, grocery shopping and prepares the family meals. Jennifer take her job as homemaker seriously and carefully analyzes the best ways of handling her multitude of responsibilities. [click to continue…]

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Lissa Coffey headshot

Bright, articulate and beautiful, Lissa Coffey embodies her favorite quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” Lissa exudes enthusiasm about relationships, her career and making a difference in the lives of others. In her most recent book, Closure, she exhibits a keen understanding of the power of relationships.

Like many women, Lissa’s personal and professional lives evolved over the years to include multiple roles: daughter, sister, model, songwriter, wife, mother, author, television reporter, actress, producer, Big Sister and coach/lifestyle designer. [click to continue…]

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Woman exhibiting signs of stress

Did you know that April has been designated as National Stress Awareness Month? Most Americans feel stress in their everyday lives but do not pay much attention to its consequences. The impact plays havoc with our minds, bodies, relationships and overall health and well-being.

Health care professionals across the country annually come together to increase public awareness about the symptoms, causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic. The Health Resource Network (HRN) sponsors this national, cooperative effort to inform people about the dangers of stress and the strategies for developing greater resilience. [click to continue…]

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Sandra Bullock and Jesse James at the Oscars

Given the recent revelations about the Sandra Bullock and Jesse James scandal and the less recent revelations about Tiger Woods, it is impossible to escape the age-old topic of infidelity. [click to continue…]

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Lovers' feet in bed

Jessica never dreamed she would have to deal with infidelity in her marriage. She married her best friend Richard soon after she turned twenty-three and graduated college with a teaching degree. She dreamed about starting a family, fixing up their new house and becoming involved in the community with other young couples following this path. [click to continue…]

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Photos directly above by Laura Bergstein, all rights reserved; Portrait Photography of Dr.Randy Kamen by Janet Wolbarst Photography www.janetwolbarst.com