The Soft Answer

verbal T'ai Chi for sociable self-defense

Health

Sometimes you need a little space

Prevention Magazine has regular articles about psycho-emotional health, and heading into the winter holidays they've offered one on What to Do When It's Time to Break Up with a Family Member.

This is no easy territory. But sometimes the kindest and healthiest thing for everyone involved when a relationship has become dysfunctional, is to let go. This piece explains how stressful relationships can be harmful to your physical health, but also that, "it takes two to tango." We are charged with taking responsibility for our own actions.

I'm an optimist, so even when I have had to "break up" with a family member, I've tried to hold things open and lightly enough that a turn around could be possible. But I've also been fortunate. I love my family and I have never had to make the really hard choices many live with every day.

Every situation is different. This article provides some helpful information on how and when to draw the line.

Gratitude is good for the heart

NPR has a report out today: Gratitude Is Good For The Soul And Helps The Heart, Too

We didn't know about this research until after we'd launched our Soft Answer Verbal T'ai Chi course, but it turns out that you can get cardio benefits right from Lesson One!

In our first lesson, we ask you to start your own Soft Answer notebook and to create a section for gratitude, to write and keep an ongoing list of things you are grateful for.

It turns out that this is exactly what 
Paul Mills, a professor of family medicine and public health at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine asked heart patients to do.

The results were improved sleep, lower inflammation indexes, improved heart rhythms, better moods and more energy.

Here's the research:
A Grateful Heart is a Healthier Heart