It has been well-known for some time now that women enjoy longer life spans than men all around the world. Many studies have examined why and whether men can do anything about it. The statistics are related in part to physical and biochemical differences, but controllable factors also play into life expectancy. Men tend to have more unhealthy behaviors than women, smoking and drinking more heavily and overeating more often. Men also tend to avoid doctors more than women, and are, on average, less socially connected.

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness month. Alzheimer’s disease, named for Dr. Alois Alzheimer who first described the disease in 1906, is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for 60-80% of dementia cases. It is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S., and the average Alzheimer’s patient lives four to eight years after diagnosis.

Joplin’s own Mark Liston, PhD, professional counselor with JoMo Counseling and educational psychologist, worked with award-winning psychologist Ed Diener, PhD, to develop a valid scale to assess our well-being.  The Flourishing Now Scale (© 2012 Mark Liston) is used in over 30 states and 8 other countries.  Why so popular?  First, it’s short with only eight questions.  Second, in 2 minutes, you can get a snapshot of your well-being.

The Oxford Dictionary defines mindfulness as “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”

We are experiencing times of uncertainty and stress, but with self-care – and care for each other – we can get through this stronger than ever. Self-care is an essential component of your well-being and can help you feel at ease and be resilient. Many are finding mindful meditation to be helpful.