recent articles.en-usRssTrump budget proposal would dramatically cut foreign aid | Reuters - U.S. President Donald Trump's proposed budget would slash nearly a third in funding for diplomacy and foreign aid including global health and food aid, peacekeeping and other forms of non-military foreign involvement.Tue, 23 May 2017 13:32:20 -0400's Tedros wins WHO race, first African to get top job | Reuters - Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, a former health minister and foreign minister of Ethiopia, won an election on Tuesday to head the World Health Organisation , the first African to do so, edging out a veteran insider from Britain.Tue, 23 May 2017 13:14:15 -0400 House Republican steps aside over healthcare divisions: Politico | Reuters - One of the leaders of a group of moderate House Republicans resigned as co-chairman of the caucus on Tuesday, citing divisions over efforts to overhaul the nation's healthcare system, according to a Politico report.Tue, 23 May 2017 13:02:38 -0400$675,000 – Orange County Register median price of an Orange County home hit a record high for the fifth time in the past year, CoreLogic reported Tuesday.Tue, 23 May 2017 12:53:45 -0400 Woods police blotter, May 15-20 – Orange County Register outside agency: May 20. 5:27 p.m. El Toro Road/Paseo de Valencia. Caller said there is a small terrier inside a Nissan with the window cracked for over 35 minutes. Welfare check: May 19. 7:48 p.m. 3000 block of Via Vista. Caller said an elderly female is lying on the ground and states she is […]Tue, 23 May 2017 12:39:35 -0400 coming to Newport Beach – Orange County Register over 150 craft beers at the Newport Beach Beerfest. Live bands and DJs will take the stage and food trucks will be on hand as well. Guests went through more than 150 kegs last year. Funds raised will go toward the 1/1 Marine Foundation. — Louis Casiano Jr. If you go When: 7 p.m.-10 p.m., Saturday. […]Tue, 23 May 2017 11:59:22 -0400'War on sugar' takes toll; Asia, Brazil struggle to make up shortfall | Reuters YORK - The "war on sugar" being waged by governments and consumers to combat public health emergencies like diabetes is slowing growth in global demand, which along with other factors could signal a fundamental shift in consumption ahead.Tue, 23 May 2017 10:49:14 -0400 Reasons Why … You Should Stay Alive Netflix show 13 Reasons Why has definitely caused some recent controversy. Some feel that the show encourages teens to think about suicide as a viable option to deal with their problems while others feel it spotlights the issues of youth suicide, bullying, and sexual […]Tue, 23 May 2017 10:20:15 -0400’ Brandon Ingram wants to ‘dream big’ with his 5-year plan – Orange County Register most intriguing Lakers workout this summer might not involve UCLA’s Lonzo Ball, Washington’s Markelle Fultz, Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox or Kansas’ Josh Jackson. The Lakers surely will play host to those players as they evaluate their options with their No. 2 draft pick, but the most interesting workouts of the summer might involve former Laker Kobe Bryant […]Tue, 23 May 2017 10:00:03 -0400 sports not enough to fulfill activity requirements -- ScienceDaily sports don't provide children with nearly as much exercise as many parents might expect, according to a new study.Tue, 23 May 2017 09:54:22 -0400 administration sending Congress $4.1 trillion budget – Orange County Register — President Donald Trump Tuesday is unveiling a $4.1 trillion spending plan that relies on faster economic growth and steep cuts to programs for the poor in a bid to balance the government's books over the next decade.Tue, 23 May 2017 09:53:22 -0400 James Bond star Roger Moore dies at 89 – Orange County Register -- Roger Moore, the longest-serving movie star to play iconic British spy James Bond in the famed film series, has died in Switzerland after a brief bout with cancer. He was 89.Tue, 23 May 2017 09:48:15 -0400 medics say U.S. health aid cuts will mean more abortions | Reuters, Kenya - President Donald Trump's dramatic expansion of a policy blocking U.S. aid to organizations offering abortion services will have one sure result, say medical workers in this city: more abortions.Tue, 23 May 2017 09:48:03 -0400 court favors vaccination of child in parents' dispute | Reuters - Germany's highest court ruled on Tuesday that a father could have his child vaccinated according to a schedule recommended by authorities even though the mother of the girl is opposed.Tue, 23 May 2017 09:43:51 -0400’s time for prom! Get out the breathalyzers and tear gas – Orange County Register just saw some Las Vegas lounge singers taking pictures of themselves in the park. Oh. Wait. They were teenage girls, with proud parents snapping photos before they went to the prom. I suppose I’m just not with the program, but I fail to see why gorgeous young girls need to dress up like Vegas […]Tue, 23 May 2017 09:09:09 -0400 future amusement park rides be based on original ideas and not movies? – Orange County Register of the Galaxy, Harry Potter, Fast and Furious, Frozen – why can't theme parks come up with new attractions based on original ideas?Tue, 23 May 2017 09:00:42 -0400 Obesity May Raise Risk of Later Depression overweight or obese in childhood may substantially increase one’s lifetime risk of major depression, according to a new study presented at the European Congress on Obesity. Researchers found that […]Tue, 23 May 2017 08:45:22 -0400 Disorders May Hit Women Harder research suggests sleep disorders affect men and women differently. Investigators determined women are more likely than men to have more severe symptoms of depression, trouble sleeping at night, and […]Tue, 23 May 2017 08:00:54 -0400's The Senate To Do With The House Health Care Legislation? party in power often overreaches. House Republicans did just that when they voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a flawed alternative that threatens the health coverage of millions of Americans.The Republicans’ replacement would make insurance more expensive for most seniors, limit federal assistance to those middle-income families who struggle the most to pay for coverage and give states the ability to cover fewer people under Medicaid.Instead of threatening coverage for those Americans who need to most help securing health insurance, Republicans would have been smarter to fix some of the obvious flaws in the Affordable Care Act. And Democrats would have been just as wise to join them.First, eliminate the Independent Payment Advisory Board. IPAB was established to slow the growth of Medicare. The Affordable Care Act gives the panel broad discretion to reduce Medicare spending once the program eclipses a certain threshold. IPAB is unnecessarily bureaucratic and should be scrapped. Arbitrary price-setting is rarely successful.Republicans and Democrats oppose IPAB because it threatens to limit what Medicare covers. Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the number two Senate Republican, and Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, the top Democrat on the Finance Committee, introduced separate bills this year to block the board from forming. Sen. Wyden warned “it would be a huge mistake” to allow the panel to push “harmful cuts to Medicare with minimal input from Congress.”Now, time is running out for Congress to correct this mistake because Medicare spending is soon expected to blow past the target that will force the president to set this process in motion.Second, the Affordable Care Act created an imperfect formula to achieve those savings, essentially pegging reimbursement rates to much broader measures of inflation. But health care spending is climbing much faster than the rest of the economy, driven by unique demographic and financial variables.Congress too often relies on arbitrary targets to slow the growth of federal programs, particularly Medicare. In 1997, former President Bill Clinton and congressional Republicans agreed to use the Sustainable Growth Rate to control Medicare costs.In total, Congress voted 17 times to shield doctors from these cuts and ensure seniors continued access to their physicians. The annual ritual even earned a nickname, “The Doc Fix.” Republicans and Democrats finally abandoned that routine in 2015, saving doctors from a 21 percent pay cut under Medicare. The bill also changed how doctors are reimbursed under the program. Instead of tying reimbursement rates to arbitrary targets, the new law transitions Medicare to a payment system that rewards doctors for the quality of their care, not the quantity of procedures they perform or patients they see. But these are not enough.To control health care costs, we must eliminate fee-for-service medicine. Buying health care is not like buying a car. The free market cannot work in a field where consumers cannot control costs or make informed choices without the assistance of those who benefit financially from their choices. The only way to have predictable budgets for consumers and payers, both private and public, is to replace fee-for-service with an all-inclusive fee that covers all health care services.  We know this works, and it is the only cost-containment approach that does. We have to move away from a model that has fueled the dramatic rise in health care costs for more than 30 years.  The Affordable Care Act established the seeds of this approach, which is one of reason I oppose efforts to repeal it. As Democrats, we should highlight the best parts of this law to show why it should be fixed, not eliminated.Repealing President Barack Obama’s signature health law has become a crusade for Republicans. But yanking health insurance from millions of Americans is not the best way for President Donald Trump to help people who depend on it, including many who voted for him. Trump has many failings, but he is not ideological. So, it doesn’t make sense for him to govern that way.Democrats should do everything in their power to prevent the president and his Republican allies in Congress from repealing the Affordable Care Act – even if that means agreeing to changes that will strengthen the program for Americans who depend on government health care programs.Howard Dean is the former Governor of Vermont and an advisor to Dentons. The views expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect the firm or its clients. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.Tue, 23 May 2017 07:59:59 -0400 Benefits from Home Practice new study suggests that home practice is an important component of developing competency in mindfulness. Danish researchers discovered a typical student in a standard mindfulness course says they practice […]Tue, 23 May 2017 07:15:04 -0400 competition watchdog accuses Merck of obstructing biosimilars | Reuters - Britain's competition watchdog has accused Merck & Co of operating an unfair discount scheme for its medicine Remicade that it said was designed to restrict competition from so-called biosimilar copies.Tue, 23 May 2017 06:32:02 -0400 of Our Blogs: May 23, 2017 much energy do you spend on your physical health? Many of us devote a lot of time to fixing our outward appearance, but neglect our emotional health. It takes but a simple mind-shift. The next time you decide to go out to get fit, […]Tue, 23 May 2017 06:30:53 -0400 Finds ‘Sexting’ Fairly Benign, But Research Is Spotty new review of existing research on “sexting” suggest the practice has little impact on sexual activity and sexual behavior. But it does highlight significant shortcomings in the research itself. “There’s […]Tue, 23 May 2017 06:30:50 -0400 The GOP Health Bill Could Affect Employer-Based Health Care : Shots states opted to change so-called essential health benefits, as the current health care bill allows, out-of-pocket spending limits and caps on coverage in large group insurance plans could weaken.Tue, 23 May 2017 05:00:01 -0400 must remain patient as Russia probe plays out – Orange County Register Americans feeling overwhelmed by the pace of political news today, it can be hard to see very far into the future — even more difficult than it has been in recent years. The new appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel, overseeing the investigation into Russian election malfeasance, may help clarify […]Tue, 23 May 2017 03:04:28 -0400 proposals posit that bigger government is better – Orange County Register, California has learned through long experience, isn’t always better. In fact, it can be downright destructive, as when a city outgrows its water or freeway system. The question of whether bigger can actually be better, more responsive and cost-effective arises again this spring, in a pair of proposals that could fundamentally change politics both […]Tue, 23 May 2017 03:03:00 -0400’ latest bid for Cup trip ‘not meant to be’ – Orange County Register — In this latest episode of the long war between Head and Brick Wall, the outcome stayed the same. The Anaheim Ducks threw all of their guns at once at Pekka Rinne and the Nashville Predators, but it all exploded into space. They used up all their sweat equity in tying the score, 3-3, in […]Tue, 23 May 2017 00:23:33 -0400 OC bus routes see ridership increase, staff propose more reductions to boost overall system productivity – Orange County Register — The Orange County Transportation Authority reallocated resources from lower- to higher-performing bus routes in two major service changes last year in an effort to reverse ridership declines – and it seems to be working for those bolstered lines. While total average weekday ridership dropped 2.9 percent from March 2016 to March 2017, ridership […]Tue, 23 May 2017 00:21:24 -0400 sweep Spurs to reach 3rd straight NBA Finals – Orange County Register ANTONIO — Steph Curry scored 36 points and the Golden State Warriors closed out the Western Conference finals against the injury-ravaged San Antonio Spurs with a 129-115 victory Monday night, becoming the first team in league history to start the playoffs 12-0. Golden State led by as many as 22 points in cruising to its third […]Mon, 22 May 2017 23:52:05 -0400 Francona, former Dodgers employee, takes discrimination claim to MLB – Orange County Register Francona’s name is in the news because, he believes, his story is worth sharing if it saves the life of one military veteran. Remember that. Remember that, while Major League Baseball investigates the circumstances surrounding Francona losing his job in the Dodgers’ Player Development department. Remember that, while peeling back the layers of a […]Mon, 22 May 2017 23:18:48 -0400 are denied as Predators hold on to win Game 6, series – Orange County Register, Tenn. – With their season on the brink Monday night, the Ducks brought the best Game 6 they’ve played in many years. The same empty feeling of one without a Stanley Cup still couldn’t be avoided. This one culminated in the Western Conference finals for the second time in three years. The unheralded Colton […]Mon, 22 May 2017 23:05:18 -0400 square off earlier than normal – Orange County Register pitch at a time. One inning at a time. One game at a time. It is a cliché, but in the one-and-done nature of the postseason, it is what every coach is preaching inside his or her dugout. And for good reason. “We all know it’s going to get tougher,” La Habra softball coach […]Mon, 22 May 2017 22:56:59 -0400 to bring forward target for increased generic drug use: sources | Reuters - Japan will bring forward a target to boost the use of generic drugs by six months to September 2020, two government sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday.Mon, 22 May 2017 22:52:34 -0400 takes the long view in developing young players – Orange County Register, Tenn. – To the reason behind the rapid development of rookie defenseman Brandon Montour, Randy Carlyle quickly blurted out, “Coaching.” It could be that, given the Ducks coach was a 17-year NHL defenseman who won the Norris Trophy as the league’s best in 1981. But just as quickly, Carlyle cited the real people behind […]Mon, 22 May 2017 22:45:46 -0400 Cameron Maybin leads Angels to win over Rays – Orange County Register PETERSBURG, Fla. — Cameron Maybin apparently wants to hang on to the leadoff spot. Maybin, who insisted that it’s not coincidence that he got hot when the Angels put him at the top of the order, homered and reached base four times in the Angels’ 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday […]Mon, 22 May 2017 22:41:32 -0400 wins help some move up (5-22-17) – Orange County Register Register’s Orange County baseball top 10. ORANGE COUNTY TOP 10 1. Huntington Beach, 27-4 overall The Oilers got off to strong start in playoffs with 11-1 rout of Redondo; they are at Servite on Tuesday. 2. El Toro, 23-7-1 […]Mon, 22 May 2017 22:30:09 -0400 contract talks heating up, Aaron Donald a no-show at Rams OTAs – Orange County Register’s get the bad news out of the way first. Such as it is, anyway. The Rams kicked off Day One of their full-team Organized Team Activities on Monday in Thousand Oaks and Aaron Donald, their best player, was nowhere to be found. Oops. Granted, these practices are voluntary and thanks to the Collective Bargaining […]Mon, 22 May 2017 21:42:38 -0400 Down for Quick Stress Relief“For fast-acting relief try slowing down.” – Lily Tomlin It sounds much too simple and easy, but slowing down really does work like a magic pill to help reduce stress. Think about it. When you’re in a hurry, you’re much more likely to be anxious, […]Mon, 22 May 2017 19:45:43 -0400 to Medicaid, social safety net expected in Trump budget Video | Listen to the AudioJUDY WOODRUFF: Let’s move to the president’s domestic agenda now.Later tonight, his administration will release his first full budget plan, which lays out his priorities for spending and taxes. Congress will have the final say, but this lays down an important marker for the coming year.Early reporting suggests Mr. Trump’s proposal will feature some big changes, including substantial spending cuts and a shift in priorities overall.Lisa Desjardins has been reporting for us, and she is here now to give us a preview.So, Lisa, what’s different about this budget and what is different about the way they’re approaching it?LISA DESJARDINS: This is a very dramatic proposal the president is making to Congress.He would significantly increase military spending and significantly decrease most spending in other domestic agencies. Now, as part of this, he is trying to change the way people look at budgeting.Sources, congressional sources are giving me all this information. They say he’s trying to say, don’t just look who is the recipient of a program. Look at those who are funding it, taxpayers, and ask, do taxpayers think this is worth it? That’s a sign of cuts to come.JUDY WOODRUFF: And we’re hearing big changes to Medicaid, health care for the poor. What do we know about that?LISA DESJARDINS: These congressional sources say the president will propose additional cuts to Medicaid on top of what is already in the House Republican bill.We have talked about that extensively. There’s a lot of shifts in that bill, but essentially it would likely mean, according to the Congressional Budget Office, millions fewer Americans on Medicaid. The president plan would have additional decreases to that.JUDY WOODRUFF: And, finally, Lisa, we’re hearing about several other changes to the so-called social safety net.LISA DESJARDINS: That’s right.JUDY WOODRUFF: What are you hearing about that and why?LISA DESJARDINS: A couple of big programs to watch, the Earned Income Tax Credit.Again, congressional sources say the president feels that there should be more responsibility, accountability in these programs, and he’s going to require that everyone in that program have a Social Security number. Who does that affect? Undocumented immigrants. It could also affect their children, some critics point out.One other program, Judy, SNAP, lots of times referred to as food stamps. The president is going to propose that states share more in that cost. That would be a big difference. And one key to all of this, it’s a dramatic proposal, but Congress ends up deciding all of these funding debates.And when I talk to some Republicans in Congress on Friday, they were ready for this dramatic proposal. And they said a lot of these cuts will not pass there.JUDY WOODRUFF: All right, Lisa Desjardins, again, this comes out tonight. We will be able to talk much more about it tomorrow. Thank you so much.The post Cuts to Medicaid, social safety net expected in Trump budget appeared first on PBS NewsHour.Mon, 22 May 2017 18:35:18 -0400, Sanofi rheumatoid arthritis drug wins U.S. approval | Reuters - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi's biotech drug for adults with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, the two companies said on Monday.Mon, 22 May 2017 18:12:52 -0400 Obamacare, insurance companies provide more breast pumps | Reuters 2010 Affordable Care Act may have helped more women in the United States breastfeed as a result of its coverage of breast pumps, suggests a new study.Mon, 22 May 2017 18:00:38 -0400 doctors tied to higher patient death rates | Reuters the same hospital, elderly patients had higher death rates when they were treated by older physicians than when younger doctors cared for them, a recent study concludes.Mon, 22 May 2017 17:55:14 -0400 filters may increase lung cancer risk | Reuters filters, introduced decades ago to reduce the amount of tar smokers inhale, also alter other properties of smoke and smoking in a way that raises the risk of lung cancer, researchers say.Mon, 22 May 2017 17:53:12 -0400 Trump delays health care decision, insurers seek stability President Donald Trump listens to House Speaker Paul Ryan on May 4 after the House of Representatives approved the American Healthcare Act, to repeal major parts of Obamacare and replace it with the Republican healthcare plan. Uncertainty over the future of health care for millions grew deeper Monday as the Trump administration left in limbo the fate of billions of dollars in federal payments. Photo by Reuters.WASHINGTON — Uncertainty over the future of health care for millions grew deeper Monday as insurers released a blueprint for stabilizing wobbly markets and the Trump administration left in limbo the fate of billions of dollars in federal payments.At the federal courthouse, the administration and House Republicans asked appeals judges for a 90-day extension in a case that involves federal payments to reduce deductibles and copayments for people with modest incomes who buy their own policies. The $7 billion in “cost-sharing subsidies” remains under a cloud as insurers finalize their premium requests for next year.In requesting the extension, lawyers for the Trump administration and the House said the parties are continuing to work on measures, “including potential legislative action,” to resolve the issue and make judicial action unnecessary. Requests for extensions are usually granted routinely.Trump: ‘Australians have better health care than we do’Hours before the filing, a major insurer group released a framework for market stability that relies in part on a continuation of such subsidies.The BlueCross BlueShield Association represents plans that are the backbone of insurance markets under the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, and would also be the mainstay with a Republican approach.As the GOP-led Congress works on rolling back major parts of the Obama law, the BlueCross BlueShield plan called for:Continued protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions and sustained federal funding to offset the cost of care for the sickest patients.More leeway for states to experiment with health insurance benefits, with a basic floor of federal standards.Preserving ACA consumer safeguards including no lifetime caps on benefits, no higher premium for women based on gender, and a requirement that insurers spend a minimum of 80 cents of every premium dollar on medical care.Penalties such as waiting periods and higher premiums for people who fail to maintain their coverage. Republicans want to repeal the Obama-era tax penalties on uninsured people deemed able to afford coverage.Significant federal funding to subsidize premiums and out-of-pocket costs.“There needs to be sustained federal funding,” said Justine Handelman, policy chief for the insurer group. “It’s critical to ensuring overall affordability.”About 20 million Americans purchase individual health insurance policies, with more than half using the ACA’s markets, which offer income-based subsidies for premiums and out-of-pocket costs.The Trump administration has sent mixed signals, and the White House is now saying it needs more time to decide on the cost-sharing money. Without those subsidies, experts say, premiums could jump about 20 percent in 2018. Another round of sharp premium increases and insurer exits seems possible.READ MORE: Senate GOP weighs future of Medicaid in health care overhaulThe cost-sharing money is embroiled in a lawsuit originally filed by House Republicans. Democrats call the whole thing a cynical ploy.“In merely delaying their suit, Republicans cynically continue to sow uncertainty in the health coverage of millions of Americans,” House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California said in a statement. “At a critical period when insurers are deciding premiums for next year, Republicans are pouring uncertainty into the health insurance marketplaces.”The case is on appeal after a lower court ruled that the government lacks constitutional authority to make the payments because Congress failed to specifically approve them in the Obama-era health overhaul legislation. Democrats argue that is based on a faulty reading of the law.Both the Obama and Trump administrations have kept making monthly payments while the case is pending.But President Donald Trump at times has suggested he’d stop, publicly musing that could force congressional Democrats to negotiate.“You know when people say, ‘Oh, Obamacare is so wonderful,’ there is no Obamacare, it’s dead,” Trump said in a recent interview with The Economist magazine. “Plus we’re subsidizing it and we don’t have to subsidize it. You know if I ever stop wanting to pay the subsidies, which I will.”READ MORE: Trump says new GOP health care plan will have lower premiumsThe cost-sharing subsidies are available to customers with incomes up to two-and-a-half times the federal poverty level, or about $30,150 for an individual, $61,500 for a family of four.The Blue Cross Blue Shield message may find a receptive home with Senate moderates in both parties, said industry analyst Sheryl Skolnick.“There is a caring aspect to this that is mutually beneficial, helps the individual and helps the company,” said Skolnick, of Mizuho Securities USA LLC. “Yeah, it’s about making money and providing the service, but it’s also about coverage.”The court case is known as House v. Price.Associated Press Health Writer Tom Murphy in Indianapolis contributed to this report.The post As Trump delays health care decision, insurers seek stability appeared first on PBS NewsHour.Mon, 22 May 2017 16:20:58 -0400 to Be with Sadness thought of going to a funeral used to be a terrifying prospect for me. Walking into a room filled with sadness and grief evoked — well — an intense desire not to go. Anxiety was all I could feel. It obscured the feelings I […]Mon, 22 May 2017 15:35:48 -0400 Big Reason '13 Reasons Why' Is Failing Our Teens’s nothing easy about being a teen. From peer pressure to parental expectations to body shaming and insecurity, there are countless reasons why teens can get down, frustrated and even desperate at times.If it’s been a while since you’ve been a teen, this might seem like new ground to you. But many parents are getting a crash course in teendom thanks to the new Netflix series “13 Reasons Why.” In the show, Hannah Baker is a 17-year-old high school student that completes suicide. She leaves behind recordings detailing the 13 reasons responsible for her death.The show does an excellent job of portraying what today’s teens face, from bullying to alcohol and drug use to PTSD, rape, self-harm, LGBTQ issues, depression, fitting in with peers and, obviously, suicide. But overall, there’s one big reason why the series does teens – and their parents – a tremendous disservice. Teens who watch the show are left with no hope or direction on where to go if they feel at risk for suicide.The fact that Hannah’s school counselor, teachers and even her loving parents were clueless about her suicide plans isn’t actually that unrealistic. I lived with my husband, Bill for years without understanding the depth of his depression and suicidal ideation. He bought into the stigma of mental illness, and denied that he had a problem with depression. Looking back, all the signs were there for me to see, but he was the great pretender when he needed to be. His silence cost him his life – and my lack of knowledge made me just spin in circles wondering what I could do.Now, I have the knowledge and training to know what to do. But that’s not the case for teens watching “13 Reasons Why,” possibly considering Hannah’s decision to complete suicide a logical – or even glamorous – choice.What I teach teens now is exactly what “13 Reasons Why” is lacking. I direct teens on what to do and where to go for help and I offer a strong message of hope. Too often, those closest to teens – their parents, teachers and counselors – do not have the education they need to intervene when a teen is depressed or suicidal. In my book R U OK?, I outline the warning signs and risk factors of depression and suicide. I point out the common myths surrounding suicide. I tear down the social stigma around mental illness and let teens know it’s okay – and necessary – to get help and treatment.Recently, an 8-year-old boy in Cincinnati, Ohio completed suicide. Video footage of the boy shows he was beaten up in the school bathroom, after which his classmates stepped over him as he lay unconscious on the floor. Bullying is just another factor that leads to depression – and it can start at a very young age. Kids today don’t need 13 reasons to complete suicide. They need one good reason and zero people intervening to get them the help they need.That help is exactly what “13 Reasons Why” lacks. Thanks to Netflix, these conversations may be happening more and more. Blaming teachers, parents or counselors isn’t going to help save our teens. What will help is providing teens with the resources and support they need when life inevitably gets tough. In discussing and educating about suicide, our schools need to be proactive rather than reactive, when, like in Hannah’s case, it’s too late.What you can doIf your teens are watching “13 Reasons Why,” it’s time for a healthy conversation about suicide and depression. Talking about suicide is the first step to prevention; sometimes, the thoughts they leave unsaid are the most dangerous. Approach the topic as you would any other topic you discuss with your child: drugs, drinking, sex, bullying, etc.The most important tip I give parents and teachers is to be direct. Start with questions like, “Do you talk about suicide at school or with friends? What do you think about it?” Ask about the underlying problems that may create thoughts of suicide for your child or their peers. Listen without overreacting. This keeps the door open for future conversations. Discuss some of the more common warning signs of suicide, many of which are depicted in “13 Reasons Why,” and which I’ve also outlined here:Teen Suicide Warning SignsDisinterest in favorite extracurricular activitiesSubstance abuseBehavioral problemsWithdrawing from family and friendsChanges in sleep patterns: sleeping too much or too little, changes in eating habits: overeating, binging, not eatingNeglecting personal appearance, not showering or having a messy appearanceLack of concentrationDeclining gradesPreoccupation with deathRisk-taking or self-destructive behaviorFrequent complaints of boredomDoes not respond as before to praiseWhere to go for helpIf you or your teen needs more information, resources or immediate help, please know it’s available! The following toll-free hotlines are available to help 24/7:Teenline : 800-TLC-TEENAFSP American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: 800-273-TALKTrevor Lifeline : 866-488-7386Bullying Hotline: 800-273-8255National Eating Disorder Association: 800-931-2237National Alcohol and Drug Abuse Hotline: 877-437-8422 -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.Mon, 22 May 2017 15:10:45 -0400 Mouse Sperm Survives Trip in Space tests did find slightly increased DNA damage, compared with freeze-dried earth sperm, the space version did the job when it came to fertilizing eggs.Mon, 22 May 2017 15:00:28 -0400 asthma drug shows AstraZeneca promise beyond cancer | Reuters - AstraZeneca's experimental injection for severe asthma cut substantially the need for patients to take problematic oral steroids drugs in a late-stage study, boosting hopes for a medicine that is expected to reach the market later this year.Mon, 22 May 2017 14:42:01 -0400 drinking less common among teens today | Reuters U.S. adolescents are regularly binge drinking today than a generation ago, but not all teens are turning away from alcohol at the same rate, a new study suggests.Mon, 22 May 2017 14:39:43 -0400 Signs That You're An Ambivert’m sure you’ve been asked many times whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert. For some people, it’s an easy choice, but for most of us, it’s difficult to choose one way or the other.It’s hard to choose because the introvert/extrovert dichotomy reflects a tired and outdated view of personality. Personality traits exist along a continuum, and the vast majority of us aren’t introverts or extroverts — we fall somewhere in the middle.Personality consists of a stable set of preferences and tendencies through which we approach the world. Personality traits form at an early age and are fixed by early adulthood. Many important things about you change over the course of your lifetime, but your personality isn’t one of them.“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” ― Bruce LeeThe continuum between introversion and extroversion captures one of the most important personality traits. It’s troubling that we’re encouraged to categorize ourselves one way or the other because there are critical strengths and weaknesses commonly associated with each type.Adam Grant at Wharton set out to study this phenomenon, and his findings are fascinating. First, he found that two-thirds of people don’t strongly identify as introverts or extroverts. These people are called ambiverts, who have both introverted and extroverted tendencies. The direction ambiverts lean toward varies greatly, depending on the situation.Think of introversion and extroversion as a spectrum, with ambiversion lying somewhere in the middle:Ambiverts have a distinct advantage over true introverts and extroverts. Because their personality doesn’t lean too heavily in either direction, they have a much easier time adjusting their approach to people based on the situation. This enables them to connect more easily, and more deeply, with a wider variety of people.Grant’s research also disproved the powerful and widely held notion that the best-performing salespeople are extroverts. He found that ambiverts’ greater social flexibility enabled them to outsell all other groups, moving 51 percent more product per hour than the average salesperson. Notice how sales increased as extroversion increased, peaking with those who were just moderately extroverted.Grant explained the finding this way:“Because they naturally engage in a flexible pattern of talking and listening, ambiverts are likely to express sufficient assertiveness and enthusiasm to persuade and close a sale, but are more inclined to listen to customers’ interests and less vulnerable to appearing too excited or overconfident.” function onPlayerReadyVidible{'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track}!function{if{if{var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if{var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute}i}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout{t},0)}},onPlayerReadyVidible);  How Ambiversion Works in the Brain­­­How social you are is largely driven by dopamine, the brain’s feel-good hormone. We all have different levels of dopamine-fueled stimulation in the neocortex . Those who naturally have high levels of stimulation tend to be introverts — they try and avoid any extra social stimulation that might make them feel anxious or overwhelmed. Those with low levels of stimulation tend to be extroverts. Under-stimulation leaves extroverts feeling bored, so they seek social stimulation to feel good.Most people’s levels of natural stimulation don’t reach great extremes, though it does fluctuate. Sometimes you may feel the need to seek out stimulation, while other times, you may avoid it.Finding Out Whether You’re An AmbivertIt’s important to pin down where you fall in the introversion/extroversion scale. By increasing your awareness of your type, you can develop a better sense of your tendencies and play to your strengths.If you think that you might be an ambivert, but aren’t certain, see how many of the following statements apply to you. If most of them apply, you’re most likely an ambivert.I can perform tasks alone or in a group. I don’t have much preference either way.Social settings don’t make me uncomfortable, but I tire of being around people too much.Being the center of attention is fun for me, but I don’t like it to last.Some people think I’m quiet, while others think I’m highly social.I don’t always need to be moving, but too much down time leaves me feeling bored.I can get lost in my own thoughts just as easily as I can lose myself in a conversation.Small talk doesn’t make me uncomfortable, but it does get boring.When it comes to trusting other people, sometimes I’m skeptical, and other times, I dive right in.If I spend too much time alone, I get bored, yet too much time around other people leaves me feeling drained.The trick to being an ambivert is knowing when to force yourself to lean toward one side of the spectrum when it isn’t happening naturally. Ambiverts with low self-awareness struggle with this. For example, at a networking event, a self-aware ambivert will lean toward the extroverted side of the scale, even when it has been a long day and he or she has had enough of people. Mismatching your approach to the situation can be frustrating, ineffective, and demoralizing for ambiverts.Bringing It All TogetherTalentSmart has conducted research with over a million people and found that those in the upper echelon of performance at work also tend to be highly self-aware and emotionally intelligent . By gaining a better sense of where you fall on the introversion/extroversion scale, you can build insight into your tendencies and preferences, which increases your self-awareness and emotional intelligence. This will help you improve your performance.So, are you an ambivert? Please share your thoughts in the comments section, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.Want to learn more from me? Check out my book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0.type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related... + articlesList=58d3bbe3e4b062043ad4b02e,55b8ce95e4b0224d88347f63 -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.Mon, 22 May 2017 14:37:45 -0400 administration asks for time to weigh Obamacare subsidies | Reuters - The Trump administration and U.S. House of Representatives Republicans on Monday told a federal court they have not yet decided on how to proceed in a major case that could end cost-sharing subsidies paid to insurers that are vital to the functioning of the Obamacare healthcare law.Mon, 22 May 2017 12:57:52 -0400 grow own medical marijuana as weed ban loosens | Reuters - Chileans are increasingly growing their own cannabis for medical purposes as the conservative South American nation begins loosening legal prohibitions on the formerly illegal plant.Mon, 22 May 2017 12:45:02 -0400 e-cigarette ads might sway teens to try tobacco products | Reuters non-smoking teens see ads for e-cigarettes, and are curious about the products advertised, perhaps even identifying with a favorite brand, they might also be more susceptible to taking up cigarettes, a new study finds.Mon, 22 May 2017 12:40:16 -0400’s One Thing You Can’t Forget As You Embrace Change knows that change can be hard, whether it hurts you or is for the benefit of all involved. Change happens everywhere all the time from the changing of the weather and the seasons to changing of emotions or even changing appearances. Sometimes you only really notice changes which spark your memories of what once was. When it comes to personal changes from breaking habits or recovering or even solving problems in relationships, change can be one of the hardest obstacles anyone faces. Stephen Grosz wrote in The Examined Life, “I want to change, but not if it means changing.” That quote alone speaks volumes for the mindset of so many people today. For instance, weight loss can’t happen overnight, it takes an entire healthy lifestyle change to really get the results you may be searching for. But so many people hop on and off diets and routines and supplements before their bodies even begin the fat burning process. When some people live stressful lives, changing can just become another stressor, after all, they have to deal with each day. If you’re dealing with a ton of stress and cut out your friends and family in that moment, it’s going to take a lot of change to get back to their trusting and loving sides. They are your friends and family, but they have their own lives too. On the other hand, this could also apply to addiction. It always starts with, “I can stop when I want to” until it can’t because the addict is in too deep to want to change their life.It’s a simple trend for people to be afraid of change. Consistency can be comfortable. A daily routine that digs a rut can seem comforting, yet boring leading to the hope for a change. But when something new is introduced to that daily routine, chaos may arise. This doesn’t always last very long and some people adapt to it very quickly, allowing life to progress on forward rather than taking a step back.Since changing is hard and it means leaving the comfort zone, you can start with a small thing; changing the way you think.You see, your mind is the main controller of your behaviors and it has a strong power to lead you to be a better person or otherwise. Changing the way you think might be challenging too, but it is the first thing you need to do if you want to change your life. If you’re trying to move on right now, try not to think about how to move on and shift your attention to those people who never leave your side. If you want to lose weight, think about the health instead of the result of your body size. Try to always think differently of something which feels positive and good for your well-being.Trying to change the way you think is hard in the beginning, but you’ll get used to it. Start to be aware of what your mind is telling you in every situation that you confront, then change it into another point of view which is more positive. Then, without your concern, you will begin to change your behaviors as well. The key is to be aware of what you think inside your mind. It’s good to have a strong will to change, but you also have to remember that you shouldn’t lose your own self for other people; if you want to change, make sure it’s for your own good. The truth is, you can’t please everyone even though you’re changing everything about yourself. The people who accept the way you are will always stay whether you’re changing or vice versa. Thus, make a change if only it feels right for you, not for other people. At the end of the day, always remember that maybe you’ll never be good enough for everyone, but you’ll always be enough for yourself. Collaboration with Rayi Noormega and Cassandra Marie Vella -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.Mon, 22 May 2017 12:37:14 -0400 Documents: Facebook Appears to Put Features, Profit Above Users’ Safety, the 13-year-old behemoth with 1.23 billion active users, generates over $8 billion per quarter in revenue — $3 billion of that is net income . But with so many users, Facebook appears to have left its users’ safety as a secondary concern. Until […]Mon, 22 May 2017 12:33:39 -0400 Cuts Are The Most Important Part Of The AHCA American Health Care Act , passed by the House of Representatives by a margin of one vote on May 4th, overhauls the way in which the federal government and states cover the costs of state Medicaid programs. Most notably, it converts Medicaid from an open-ended entitlement into a ‘per-capita cap’ program.Medicaid provides coverage for over 70 million individuals and relies on both federal and state funding to continue growing. Under current law, the federal government covers, on average, 57 percent of each state’s total Medicaid costs, no matter the amount. The states pay for the remainder.In contrast, under the AHCA’s per capita cap Medicaid program, starting in 2020, the federal government would provide states with a flat, capped dollar amount of funding for each person they enroll. The dollar amount is based on states’ 2016-level per-enrollee spending. Following the first year of the program, the cap would be adjusted based on two factors:Changes in the ratio of the ‘enrollment groups’ of Medicaid enrollees for each state, including children, those with disabilities, eligible adults, and seniors.The Consumer Price Index for Medical Care , which measures consumer spending for health care premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, and similar purchases. Importantly, the CPI-M is a slower growth metric than the projected annual growth rate for federal Medicaid spending. As a result, federal funding cuts to Medicaid would increase year-over-year relative to current law, a cut of approximately $116 billion over 10 years.States will have to pay for any additional Medicaid coverage costs over that capped sum themselves.Many Representatives and Senators argue that per capita caps will cut out waste, fraud, and abuse that drive unsustainable Medicaid cost growth. However, annual audits required by the Improper Payments Act show that the Medicaid eligibility error rate, that is, recipients who are enrolled in Medicaid but not eligible for coverage, is only 3 percent. While important to address, this alone is not a significant contributor to Medicaid costs.On a per capita basis, Medicaid operates quite efficiently, costing less than other forms of insurance. State Medicaid expenditures are currently below those made by Medicare or private insurance for comparable services. States already have a strong interest in controlling Medicaid spending since they are liable for a significant portion of the cost of their programs.The most prominent argument in favor of per capita caps is that it will give states the flexibility to design innovative Medicaid programs that suit their unique populations. History points out that federal spending cuts under a capped program are likely to result in the exact opposite. Health economists at Harvard and MIT found that states that chose to expand Medicaid were able to cover more people with higher quality care and saw no significant increases in their spending levels due to increased financial support from the federal government.The American Health Care Act, in contrast, reduces federal Medicaid funding by $880 billion over 10 years. To compensate for severe federal funding cuts, state governors have readily admitted that they would have no choice but to constrict their Medicaid programs, including:Restricting eligibility and capping enrollment – Arizona infamously restricted coverage in 2008, which led to many citizens thrown off the program and left others delaying surgeries, foregoing medications, or traveling to Mexico to seek affordable care.Reducing payments to providers – Physicians and dentists are already hesitant to accept Medicaid patients due to low reimbursement rates, making it notoriously difficult for patients to find doctors that can treat them. Reducing reimbursement rates will further exacerbate that problem and make it more difficult for Medicaid patients to find providers.Cutting health benefits, including mental health, dental care, and reproductive health – Reduced benefits will decrease the quality of care that enrollees can receive and potentially lock them into a cycle of poverty. Both mental and dental health are particularly important for social mobility, and failure to cover reproductive health is functionally discrimination against half of the U.S. population.Additionally, the ever-present risk of a major public health threat hitting the U.S., such as another Zika or Katrina, merits significant financial flexibility in offering Medicaid coverage.Finally, Medicaid was designed to be countercyclical to economic performance. If, during a recession, more people became eligible for Medicaid due to layoffs or reductions in income, states would receive more federal funding. Under a capped program, states will have no choice in a recession but to further restrict Medicaid eligibility and benefits just as more people’s incomes drop and would have otherwise become eligible for the program.While federalism may enable experimentation and allow states to tailor their laws to better suit the preferences of their citizens, in the case of Medicaid, the federal government is better suited to finance coverage expansion, as is well articulated by University of Michigan Law professor Nicholas Bagley in the Yale Law Review. Notably, Bagley argues that while Medicaid should be funded primarily by the federal government, states should retain substantial authority to structure and operate their health care markets as they see fit. Herein lies the delicate distinction between financial federalism and regulatory federalism, one often missed by members of Congress that may leave the very lives of their constituents hanging in the balance.type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related... + articlesList=59121e6be4b0e070cad7098a,5910d491e4b056aa2363d813,58dd2d1de4b0efcf4c66a680 -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.Mon, 22 May 2017 12:19:13 -0400 evidence of the benefits of exercise therapy in chronic diseases -- ScienceDaily is strong evidence of that aerobic exercise, strength training and condition-specific therapeutic exercise affect positively on the functional capacity of patients with chronic diseases. A systematic review of meta-analyses evaluates the effects of exercise therapy on more than twenty of the most common chronic diseases such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, coronary artery disease, heart failure, type 2 diabetes, different types of cancers, and Alzheimer’s disease.Mon, 22 May 2017 08:09:24 -0400 Suicide Is Selfish? Here's Why You've Got It All Wrong has been a pretty fucking horrible week. On Wednesday, a suicide hit way too close to home, and it’s been awful.  No, it wasn’t Chris Cornell ― it was someone much closer to my inner circle ― but both events on the same day evoked an overwhelming amount of emotional commentary, both on social media and in person.Unfortunately, when suicides occur, there are some people who blame the victim. There are many who lash out in anger at the one who caused others pain by taking their own life. It’s understandable to be angry about a loss, but when anger is directed at the person who took their own life it shows a significant lack of understanding of how depression works.I don’t know what was going through our friend’s mind because I was not in it. I just know how depression manifests and how destructive thoughts can flit through the brain and how depression is able to justify them.Here are some answers to things like:1. Don’t they love their family? Don’t they understand what impact this will have on them? OF COURSE THEY DO. They know it well. They hate the thought, and they’re sick about it. The fucked up part is that their brain is telling them that not being here is the better option to that horrific outcome – that living without them is helping their family live a better life than living with them. DEPRESSION LIES and it says things like, “You’re a burden” and “You’re dragging those around you down” and “You’re making everything worse.” I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to not believe your brain, but it’s pretty much impossible to not listen to what your own mind is telling you.2. How could they do this? How could they leave their loved ones forever? Depressives feel like they are already gone inside, so they don’t see leaving as leaving because they’re already gone. They might not look that way, they might not act that way, but they feel that way. And they’ve been feeling that way for quite a long time at this point. DEPRESSION LIES and tells them they are gone for good, even though therapies and medications can often bring them back. Depression is a convincing liar. It is a seasoned actor that masquerades as truth. It’s a macabre magician’s act that makes someone think they’re already gone even when they are standing right there.3. Why weren’t they more grateful? They should have been more thankful for what they had. As irony would have it, practicing gratitude makes severe depression worse, not better. This is contrary to popular belief because for people without mental illness, their emotional state depends on REASONS. So, focusing on all the good you have around you helps your mood. But, depression doesn’t give a shit about reasons. It doesn’t give a shit if you are poor or rich, weak or strong, ugly or beautiful. It doesn’t need ungratefulness. It doesn’t need back stories or traumatic experience to exist. Depression is like a parasitic worm swimming around in your brain but you never once visited the tropics. And that’s the kicker – when there is no “why” depressives often feel guilty. After all, they have everything to be grateful for, right? Nothing to complain about. Because of this, their feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness increase. They don’t feel worthy of your love, their friend’s love, their kid’s love. How could they be, when they don’t even feel worthy of their own depression? They know how good they have it and yet they still find themselves in a state of intense internal turmoil and emotional distress. DEPRESSION LIES and the more grateful the person is, the more monstrous depression makes them feel. No one in a remotely normal state of mind can understand how this is possible, so if you fall in that camp, consider yourself privileged.4. Every problem can be fixed, how didn’t they see that? Whoever wrote the whole “suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem” bullshit clearly never suffered from depression. You don’t need REASONS to be depressed. Neurochemicals don’t tend to care about your problems or your social life. Most depressives are not sad about a particular event. They might not even feel SAD. They often feel things like hopeless, or worthless, or nothingness. They often feel empty for absolutely no reason at all, other than their own chemical imbalance. When the problem is your own self, you don’t have a “temporary problem.” You just have YOU. DEPRESSION LIES and tells you that you cannot be fixed.DEPRESSION LIES. It’s a horrible asshole bitch that breaks people – it breaks good people, strong people, loving people, grateful people. It does not discriminate. It’s an equal opportunity fucker.This post was originally published on A Morning Grouch. Follow A Morning Grouch on Facebook.If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for theNational Suicide Prevention Lifeline.You can also text HELLO to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from theCrisis Text Line.Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.Sun, 21 May 2017 21:12:24 -0400 Habits Of Extremely Happy People fiction would have use believe happiness is a reward we get for achieving our goals in life. That it’s a light at the end of the tunnel. That it comes later.Popular fiction is wrong.Happiness is actually a foundation, not a result, of a good life. Rather than the result of any major accomplishment, happiness is the product of a lot of little habits that you follow, day in and day out. Here are 20 of the habits that some of the happiest people in the world use to live a good life.Wish someone the best. At least once a day, look at a random stranger and think to yourself “I hope they’re happy.” Better yet, do this to two strangers, several times a day.Sleep in a completely dark room. Remove all sources of light. Cover the windows with blackout curtains. Wear a sleep mask.Go walking. Take a walk in the sun for at least 20 minutes, twice a day.Drink more water. A lot more. Most people suffer from low energy and brain fog due to chronic dehydration. Have a glass of water roughly every two hours.Eat more slowly. Take the time to savor each bite. Finish your meal in thirds, pausing a few minutes between each third. Be mindful of everything you eat. If you’re with others, spend more time talking with them during the meal.Keep in touch. Once a week, call or write a message to someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time.Meditate for two minutes a day. Sit in a comfortable chair, lean back and close your eyes. Focus on your breathing for two minutes. That’s it.Count your blessings. Every day, take a minute to think about all the ways in which you’ve been lucky in life.Surround yourself with other happy people. Happiness is contagious. So is misery.Goof off once in a while. Sing a silly song. Play a game. Allow yourself to stop being serious for a few minutes.Cultivate resilience. Internalize the belief that failure is not the end, and adversity is an opportunity to grow stronger.Try to be happy. According to two recent studies, simply making an effort to feel happier can be surprisingly effective.Look for the good in others. You can almost always find a reason to like someone, or dislike them ― which one you look for is up to you.Volunteer. No matter how busy you are, find some way to help others.Deepen your conversations. It’s perfectly fine to start with small talk, but when you talk to people, try to move deeper and discuss the things that each of you feel truly passionate about.Listen. Focus entirely on what the other person is saying to you. Don’t think about what you’re going to say next. Don’t change the subject. Don’t interrupt them in a misguided attempt to “actively listen.” Just listen.Visit people in person. Facebook will only take you so far ― meet up and have en evening out with your friends.Listen to music. There’s no right or wrong kind ― just listen to music you enjoy.Exercise. Walking is a good start, but it’s not enough. Exercise hard enough to tire yourself out several times a week.Stand up straight. Miserable people have a certain look to them. So do happy, confident people. Stand and walk like someone who feels on top of the world.That’s a lot of habits to follow, so work on just two or three at a time. If you want to learn how to build good habit and make them stick ― or break bad habits ― read The Habit Change Cheat Sheet to learn the five best techniques for changing a habit. Click here to get The Habit Change Cheat Sheet now. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.Fri, 19 May 2017 16:58:03 -0400 LaPorte’s White Hot Truth Soothes Self-Help Fatigue your self-help turned into self-criticism?The self-help struggle is real. Collectively we search for the truth, our path, and purpose from the outside in. We seek answers from psychologists, psychics, and priests without slowing and softening to the wisest guru of all: Ourselves. During my sultry conversation with Danielle LaPorte about her newly released book, White Hot Truth, she shed some light, because, as she says “it’s all about the light,” on how she became her own guru.Danielle vividly explained the moment when she realized she was at a “jarring juncture: the conflict between sincere spiritual aspiration and the compulsion to improve.” As she opened her day planner and saw upcoming appointments with a shaman, psychotherapist, and astrologist, along with scheduled massages and yoga classes, she had a revelatory moment where she realized “all of this self-helping was becoming a bit of a burden and impinging on my ability to create with a capital C. Spirituality was becoming just another thing on my f*ing to-do list.”Through breathy prose she broke down how she questioned her spiritual quest and transformed her to-do list, thus creating freedom and fluidity. With her lyrical lathering in full force I noticed my shoulders settling into their natural position, less like accessories for my ears, more gliding down my back like wings. My breath eased its way into a gentle rhythm as I physically released the anxiety of my own daunting self-help regimen.What is this feeling overcoming me as this diva I’ve admired for years – thanks to her rockstar books like The Desire Map and The Firestarter Sessions – reveals her process and progress to me? Ah, yes, it’s relief! Relief that there’s another way. Relief that we can still be self-evolving, spiritual seekers, without stressing ourselves out on the regular. Without drowning ourselves in green juice cleanses and repeatedly clearing our chakras. We can liberate ourselves from the perpetual spiritual striving through discernment and self-love. Finally!“It’s Not How We Seek Spiritual Growth; It’s Why We Seek It.”Many of us, myself included, are drawn to the vast sea of self-help. Investing copious amounts of cash to feel free. We sign up for the lightworker retreat, past life regression, and some oh-so-necessary karmic healing. Yet, ultimately—I’m speaking from my own decades worth of psychotherapy, angel card readings, and psychic sessions—it wasn’t ever quite what my soul needed to truly heal. Why? Because everything I thought I could find ‘out there’ was already inside me. I’d become dependent, tethered actually, to the feedback from others that only I could best offer myself. What once was a young woman chained to an eating disorder like a dog on a leash, was now someone addicted to guidance from experts. Looking to strangers to tell me about…me. Someone who could only get quiet and still in a yoga studio. I was missing the point.It’s painful to be lost, for sure. However, suffering is waiting for someone else to bring you home when you knew the way all along. You don’t need to wait until next Wednesday at 2 p.m., or head to an ashram to get clarity about your path, because, as Danielle says, “the best self-help is self-compassion.” Guess what, it’s free!Self-Help or Self-Hate?When Danielle described, in her alluringly poetic way, that underneath all of our self-helping is a whole hell of a lot of self-hatred I heard myself silently screaming, “Hell ya, sister! Preach!” I mentally scanned the thousands of self-help books I’ve purchased in an attempt to transcend whatever self-imposed trap I was caught in. Books with promising titles like, 10 Steps to Radical Self-Acceptance, left me feeling frantic as they gathered dust on my nightstand. Why do I continue to buy into the notion that a book, sermon, or healer holds the key to unlock the door to my evolution? Probably because it seemed easier.Without question, I’m devoted to spiritual growth, healing suffering , and tending to my psyche and soul. There’s nothing inherently wrong with these soul goals, unless, they disempower you, or require you to disown your deeply held inner wisdom. Seek the counsel of others as a conduit to connecting with your truth, not as a means to adopt others’ truth about you.Compulsive Self-Improvement   Danielle believes, “We are driven by the compulsion to improve. We all look so healthy on the outside, but we’re really actually pretty neurotic on the inside.”Danielle is clear that she didn’t ditch her spiritual to-do list entirely, she’s found a more useful sequencing of priorities. “Self-referencing is a lifelong journey. I meditate daily, pray, or engage in some sort of contemplation. It’s like brushing my teeth, it has to happen.” Therapy continues to be on her agenda, but it’s evident she’s no longer reliant on it to make a decision.White Hot Truth is the permission we all need to check in with ourselves deeply, with reverence, and to listen to the wisdom of our bodies and souls. We don’t have to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Keep the yoga class if it serves you. Call the astrologist if you’re in the mood. But let’s stop the perpetual insanity of striving to perfect what was never intended to be perfect. Let’s greet ourselves—our messy, sometimes arrogant, or inconsiderate selves—with compassion, gratitude, and unabashed acceptance. We have everything we need. Already. We are wholly enough even when we feel dreadfully inadequate. Beautiful even when we feel broken. The solution is not out there, my love, it’s right here inside. Go talk to the part of yourself that knows. Find her in the trail alongside the river. Find him in the pauses, those quiet moments in between. Sit in your own company and dwell there long enough to remember yourself. That’s the way home. Those are the moments where we hear the truth. Lean on others for support, yes, but don’t let their interpretation or analysis be your sole compass.Get White Hot Truth!Hungry for more?*Part 2 in this blog series will be published on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017*I’d love to inspire you to take the next step on your path to recovered and send you my free weekly Recovery Tip videos. Please visit my website to sign up. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.Fri, 19 May 2017 16:39:00 -0400 young women's weight gain to less than 800g/year could help prevent progression from healthy weight to overweight and obesity -- ScienceDaily research shows that rates of weight gain are established by the time women are 18-23 years old. Measuring rates of weight gain at this age could identify women who are likely to become overweight or obese by the time they are 40. Furthermore, women who are divorced, separated or widowed, and those who smoke >10/day are most at risk of becoming overweight or obese.Thu, 18 May 2017 22:09:59 -0400 fatty acids and heart disease, 19 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400 fatty acids reveal your child's diet -- ScienceDaily lots of sugary candy may strain the liver, alter the body’s fatty acid metabolism and increase the risk of cardiometabolic diseases already in childhood. Children’s blood fatty acid composition reflects their diet – but luckily this composition can be influenced by lifestyle interventions, say researchers.Thu, 23 Mar 2017 08:40:23 -0400 hormone, protein linked to bone mass are impacted by 12 months of targeted exercise -- ScienceDaily affects more than 200 million people worldwide and is a serious public health concern, according to research. Now, newly published work is the first in men to show that long-term, weight-bearing exercises decrease sclerostin, a protein made in the bone, and increase IGF-1, a hormone associated with bone growth. These changes promote bone formation, increasing bone density.Wed, 22 Mar 2017 14:31:35 -0400