Health
February 28, 2020
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Wonder what it’s like to lose your senses? Dealing with emotional storms The risk of isolation and loneliness from hearing loss First dental visit – Make it a good one! The Groundhog’s last plane ride What Medicare does (and doesn’t) cover When hard things happen Ten things you can do now to protect your five senses as you age The spirit of Alzheimer’s learning Part II The wonders of a growth mindset Halloween pirate’s gold Fall risks are sometimes simple, yet fatal Is multi-generational living for you? Sniffles and sneezes and fevers, oh my... Natural disaster threats call for preparedness plan to protect seniors The spirit of Alzheimer’s learning  Winter sun safety: What to know about protecting yourself during colder months Tending to spiritual distress with aging and illness Blood pressure control a focus of American Heart month Home your own way March is colorectal cancer awareness month Safety at home for seniors Prepareness plan to protect seniors Valentine’s Day befuddling How to prevent bad breath War on opioids in California Help families make time for seniors during the holiday season Helping seniors with vision and hearing impairments Holiday stress-busters for harried caregivers It’s what’s inside that counts! Dental emergencies Don’t wait until it hurts! Does spring mean allergy season for you? Top 10 products to help seniors stay home How to take Tylenol safely The role companionship plays in aging 7 Tips to reduce the stress of incontinence caregiving Five best pet types for seniors Time for the yearly flu vaccine The state of Alzheimer’s and caregiving in the U.S. Steps to help minimize wandering behavioral symptoms Improving the state of aging in America Fight flu this season by getting immunized Confirm your preparedness plans for Seniors Did you get your flu shot? If not why not? A message from the heart Using anxiety to your advantage Youth, women and dementia The long-reaching impact of dementia Children’s dental health month Ten tips for healthy aging Planning for aging at home Thirty-four years as a dentist Tooth friendly Easter tips Feeding my hungry heart How to keep older adults cool during the heat of the day Invisible braces work wonders Prosthetic joints and dentistry Avoiding spooky smiles this Halloween How to keep an aging adult’s blood pressure in the green zone Mother's gum disease linked to infant’s death Giving thanks The increasingly important role of caregivers Dental emergencies can happen Senate passes Alzheimer’s and dementia research funding October’s most celebrated event Our Feelings Come From Our Beliefs Making sense of the season for seniors Cultures differ on what makes a beautiful smile! How to have a better year Falling in love is easy, but staying in love is very special A confession Women in dentistry Plan for where you want to age Three ways a senior can fund a home remodel Cannabis as medicine-Changing the face of aging May is skin cancer awareness month A brain is a reason to join the Alzheimer’s fight Recognizing and reporting elder abuse Dental technology- computers have changed our lives Create your personal Medicare account Understanding the aging brain Two ways to get your Medicare taken care of Are you stressed out? Seven ways seniors can interact with pets The joy of root canal therapy Lung cancer screening helps combat the #1 cancer killer in the nation Simple happiness hacks for caregivers Multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease Seniors and Diabetes What you need to know Let’s talk about guilt and the emotional journey of being a caregiver Kobe - preparing for shocking death How to know if you are in danger of compression fractures Psychology Today The Art of Resilience: I Have I Am…I Can The advantage of dental implants Too much of a good thing for seniors and the holidays What families’ caregivers need to know about Recommendations for screen time Resolutions for your oral health Super Bowl, Joe Montana and blood pressure Open heart surgery – Thoughts from the other side Chewing gum - Helpful or harmful? 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Aspirin relieves mild pain Fighting osteoporosis and preventing fall-related injuries Pets and seniors make the perfect pair Turn the page Anxiety: The real reason Mom won’t leave the house My prostate and thyroid cancer Oral piercings and your teeth Understanding senior care options Staying well and safe for the holidays Health habits for the new year New Year, new you: Practicing active aging in 2020 Spotting the signs of Alzheimer’s disease Un-retiring in a changing economy Coping with the unpredictable life of caregiving Double duty tools: toothbrush and floss Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Tips for living with low vision  Keep your Medicare costs down The freedom and choice to again place at home Put dementia on the agenda for 2019 Free app shows what Medicare covers The reason “Four” is the magic number? 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Aging gracefully Cannabis symposium Sept. 19th The importance of immunization Returning home is bittersweet Kids who grind their teeth at night Osteoporosis, osteonecrosis and dental health Living with Lupus Erythematosus Still time to change your Medicare health plan How dentistry handles gastric reflux disease Use it or lose it- Muscle mass as you age  A free cheek swab test Twice a victim Finding a path forward after an accident Use it or lose it- Muscle mass as you age  If it is not broken, don’t fix it! Managing your mental health with or without insurance coverage Why gardening is the most recommended exercise for seniors

When we’re haunted by regret, we all have regrets.

By: Steven Campbell
January 17, 2020

A relationship that didn’t work out.

A career opportunity that passed us by.

A sacrifice that wasn’t worth it in the end. 

Very few of us are strangers to the sting of wishing things had gone differently. 

And while regret is a normal human experience, intense regret can be painful and overwhelming. 

So here are three questions that can shift your perspective.

1. In what ways was my decision understandable?

As time goes by, it’s easy to forget the complex reasons for our decisions. Instead, we believe we somehow should have known how things would turn out, even when it was not possible to predict, 

Psychology calls this hindsight bias. 

In truth, there may have been plenty of good reasons to make the decision we did, and plenty of outcomes we could not have anticipated. 

For example, whether the decision to attend college turns out to be the best one for a given person depends on multiple factors, many of which are difficult to foresee, such as:

Changes in the economy

Changes in a person’s interests 

Changes in life circumstances over time

The shifting value of a particular degree in the job market.  

Being compassionate about ourselves 

A self-compassionate approach is more likely to help us learn from our mistakes and move on. 

In one study, participants who spontaneously described regret experiences in a more self-compassionate way were rated by outside observers as demonstrating more self-improvement in relation to their regret

2. What good things came from my decision and what bad things were avoided?

Regret tends to involve focusing on the negatives of what happened and the positives of what might have been. 

One way to ease regret is to flip this on its head: 

What are the positives of what happened and the negatives of what might have been?

The first question is more straightforward. It involves finding the silver linings. And dear reader, the silver linings are always there...you just have to look for them.

E.g., “Maybe I got married too young, but now I have three wonderful kids.” 

Or “I didn’t take the higher paying job, but it allowed me to have more work-life balance.” 

Other research has found that the ability to find meaning in lost opportunities, whatever form they take, is associated with maturity and happiness. 

Finding the negatives in what might have been is more complicated because they are hypothetical, making them harder to imagine. 

In other words, we just CANNOT know what would have happened if we’d remained unmarried or taken that job. 

Though there is no need to dwell on potential catastrophes, recognizing that major downsides were possible—and were averted—can help put things into perspective.

The “it could have been worse” mindset is called downward counterfactual thinking and is associated with emotional benefits. 

3. What does this tell me about the kinds of things I might regret doing or not doing now when I look back in the future?

When it is possible, we can take some sort of corrective action to:

Rekindle a lost relationship

Go back to school, or 

Make amends for a mistake. 

But research suggests that regret is often most powerful when there is no going back. It’s especially painful when something that could have been changed at one time is no longer possible to change. 

But dear reader...All hope is not lost!

But just because the past can’t be undone doesn’t mean all hope is lost. 

Our biggest regrets reveal what we value most and can point us in a direction that is less likely to result in regret later on. 

If you regret not spending more time with loved ones in the past, are there ways to make more time now with those who are still with you? 

In one study, women who made regret-related “midcourse corrections,” such as career changes in midlife, reported greater well-being and less rumination, compared to those who did not make changes. 

We cannot change our past, but we can affect our future!

Sometimes we’re so focused on reprimanding our past selves that we forget to consider our future selves, the ones who will be looking back on our present selves 

Studies have shown that these future selves are hard to vividly imagine; they feel distant and abstract, making us less concerned with their well-being. But we will be in their shoes before we know it, so it’s worth asking ourselves: 

“Years from now, what might I wish I was doing differently at this time?”

It’s hard to go through life without experiencing some level of regret. 

Every decision has its downsides, and even the safest bets are no guarantee of happiness. Part of what makes regret so heavy is the feeling that something valuable has been irrevocably lost. 

In some cases, there are very real losses to grieve. 

But there are also unexpected second chances, happy twists of fate, and new beginnings we never could have planned.

 

Wow!