About David Joel Miller

David Miller is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Clinical Counselor, faculty member at a local college, certified trainer and writer.

Loneliness is a disease that changes the brain.

Person alone

Loneliness.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Loneliness doesn’t just feel bad; it makes you sick.

According to the British Psychological Society, researchers have concluded that loneliness, rather than being the result of physical and mental health problems, may be a direct cause. Higher than normal levels of loneliness have been connected with a number of physical diseases. Loneliness not only changes the way you think about things and your feelings but eventually, over time, it can change the very structure and chemistry of your brain. Here are some of the ways that loneliness affects your physical and mental health.

Loneliness is bad for your physical health.

Loneliness, living alone, and poor social connections are as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. (Holt-Lunstad, 2010) Loneliness is worse for you than obesity. (Holt-Lunstad, 2010)

Loneliness impairs your sleep.

One study in Health Psychology found that loneliness impairs the quality of sleep and leaves you feeling more tired the next day, even if you get the same number of hours of sleep that night.

This connection works in both directions. Being lonely impairs the quality of your sleep. Poor sleep quality impairs your daytime functioning, making you more likely to avoid others and increases your loneliness.

Lonely people have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep.

Being lonely increases sleep latency, meaning it takes you longer to fall asleep and may result in difficulty staying asleep. Both of these lead to daytime drowsiness and impaired health and functioning.

Lonely people have higher blood pressure.

Loneliness can increase your blood pressure as much is thirty points. Loneliness increases the blood pressure just about as much as losing weight decreases it. People with the highest blood pressure also are likely to score highest on measures of loneliness.

Being lonely decreases your resistance to diseases.

Loneliness leads to chronic stress and inflammation, which can weaken your immune system. It’s the feeling of being lonely rather than the objective measure of social isolation, which leads to reduced resistance to diseases. Even when you have plenty of relationships, you can feel lonely if the quality of those relationships is poor

Lonely people have impaired cognitive function.

While being lonely affects sleep and lack of sleep impairs cognitive function, the relationship goes even deeper. When you’re using up a lot of your cognitive abilities being under constant stress and feeling lonely, you don’t have much capacity left to focus your thinking.

Lonely people have an increased risk of developing dementia.

Considering all the other things loneliness does to your nervous system, it’s not surprising that being lonely puts you at an increased risk of developing dementia. Of course, that probably runs in the other direction also, people with dementia are more likely to experience loneliness. Lonely people are more likely to suffer from dementia, heart disease, and depression. (Valtorta et al, 2016) (James et al, 2011) (Cacioppo et al, 2006)

Loneliness causes depression.

Feelings of loneliness are a major factor in depression. Not feeling loved or supported is depressing. People with depression tend to avoid other people and often have negative thinking patterns. If you believe you’re being rejected, you are likely to develop depression.

You won’t live as long if you’re lonely.

Chronic loneliness shortens the lifespan. Other mental illnesses reduce lifespan also. Having a mental or emotional problem that goes untreated puts you at risk for early death. Loneliness is likely to increase your risk of death by 29% (Holt-Lunstad, 2015)

Health risk information from The Campaign to End Loneliness.

For more on this topic, look at the materials on The Campaign to End Loneliness website.

Have you been feeling more or less lonely lately? What have you done to cope with feelings of loneliness and isolation?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story BureauStory Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty Baldwin takes a job in the capital city working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Grandparents.

Grandparents.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Grandparents.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“The simplest toy, one which even the youngest child can operate, is called a grandparent.”

― Sam Levenson

“When grandparents enter the door, discipline flies out the window.

~ Ogden Nash”

“The reason grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is that they have a common enemy.”

― Sam Levenson

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Story Bureau – Kindle edition is Free today

Story Bureau – a post-apocalyptic, dystopian novel is now available.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Story Bureau – Kindle edition, free today 9/9. Grab your copy now before this offer ends.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty Baldwin takes a job in the capital city working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Story Bureau – my seventh book and the first book in the Surviving the Apocalypse Series, is available on Amazon both in paperback and Kindle editions.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Six David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Story Bureau.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Story Bureau – Free for two more days

Story Bureau – a post-apocalyptic, dystopian novel is now available.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Story Bureau – Kindle edition, will be free for two more days, Tuesday 9/8, and Wednesday 9/9. Grab your copy now.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty Baldwin takes a job in the capital city working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Story Bureau – my seventh book and the first book in the Surviving the Apocalypse Series, is available on Amazon both in paperback and Kindle editions.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Six David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Story Bureau.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Story Bureau – Free for three days only

Story Bureau – a post-apocalyptic, dystopian novel is now available.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Story Bureau – Kindle edition, will be free for three days Monday 9/7, Tuesday 9/8, and Wednesday 9/9. Grab your copy now.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty Baldwin takes a job in the capital city working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Story Bureau – my seventh book and the first book in the Surviving the Apocalypse Series, is available on Amazon both in paperback and Kindle editions.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Six David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Story Bureau.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Carefulness.

Carefulness

Warning.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”

― Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night

“Be careful about reading health books. Some fine day you’ll die of a misprint.”

― Markus Herz

“I don’t trust people who don’t love themselves and tell me, ‘I love you.’ … There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.”

― Maya Angelou

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Story Bureau – a post-apocalyptic, dystopian novel is now available

Story Bureau – a post-apocalyptic, dystopian novel is now available.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty Baldwin takes a job in the capital city working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Story Bureau – my seventh book and the first book in the Surviving the Apocalypse Series, is available on Amazon both in paperback and Kindle editions.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Six David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Story Bureau.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

You can change your personality.

personality disorder

Can Personality Change?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Your personality is not as fixed as many people believe.

We used to think that you were born with a specific personality characteristic. You might be an introvert or an extrovert. Long-term studies have shown that people’s personalities do change across the lifespan.

Some personality traits change more readily than others. But why those personality characteristics change has been unclear.

Some personality characteristics change as you age.

One research paper – Trajectories of Big Five Personality Traits: A Coordinated Analysis of 16 Longitudinal Samples examined these changes.

Extraversion, conscientiousness, and openness all decline with time. Not every person shows the same level of decline, and various studies have come up with different results. Neuroticism, on the other hand, seems to be the highest in both the very young and the very old. I read other research which tells us thoughts of death are highest at those extremes also. It would seem that the very young and the very old have more to worry about.

Life experiences can alter your personality.

Research has detected a significant number of cases in which is a result of life experiences people’s personality changes. If you are forced into a situation where you have to interact with a large number of people every day, and you can’t escape that situation, over time, you may become used to this, and gradually you might become more extroverted.

One of the treatments for various fears and phobias is exposure and response prevention. This treatment is especially effective in treating obsessive-compulsive disorder. Something that initially was scary, and overwhelming, becomes less fear-inducing the more you’re exposed to it, especially if that exposure is in the company of someone who reassures you.

People who have a fear of public speaking and take a class in public speaking often get over that fear. There are also groups you can join to help you overcome your fears.

Which parts of your personality change most readily?

Most researchers study personality using the Big Five Personality Characteristics, Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. Some of these characteristics change more readily across the lifespan as a result of life experiences.

Can you deliberately change your personality?

Recent research in the area personality conducted by Nathan Hudson at Southern Methodist University and his colleagues, some aspects of personality change more readily than others. It’s not enough merely to wish that your personality was different. Some of these characteristics, like muscles, require exercise to develop. Taking deliberate, intentional action to make yourself a better person can also result in a change in your basic personality.

The two traits which most people wanted to change were neuroticism and extraversion. People would like to be more emotionally stable, that is less neurotic. And most people wish they were more comfortable in social settings and, therefore, more extroverted. Interestingly, in one study of how people could deliberately change their personality, almost no one wanted to become more agreeable.

Tasks that challenge one of your personality characteristics, such as openness, vary in difficulty just as exercise for muscles can vary in difficulty. The more difficult the task you undertake, and the more often you undertake a behavior of any difficulty, the more likely it is to shift your personality.

The conclusion of the study was:

“The single largest implication of our study,” said Hudson and his team, “is that actively engaging in behaviors designed to change one’s personality traits does, in fact, predict greater amounts of trait growth across time.”

There were some qualifications in this study. People who tried a task but were unsuccessful in completing it moved their personality in the opposite direction from what they intended.

There’s also a limitation to this study in that it was conducted over fifteen weeks. While it’s likely that some people would continue to undertake tasks to improve themselves in a particular direction, whether these changes would last over a long period or be overridden by typical life experiences is still an open question. The participants in the study were psychology students, presumably young and with an interest in the outcome. I have to wonder if personality may be more changeable in young people both because of their lack of experience and the larger deliberate efforts that it would take among people farther along in the lifespan.

What do you think about changing your personality?

Are you happy with who you are and your personality characteristics? Is there some part of your personality you’d like to change? If you could change something about yourself, what would that be? I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below or feel free to use the contact me form.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Six David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Some family secrets can be deadly.

What if your family secrets put you in danger?

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead?

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Sasquatch. Wandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Apathetic

Apathetic
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“Apathetic people sit back and wait for things to get better before they move. Radical people make things get better, by how they move.”

― Shannon L. Alder

“As long as the general population is passive, apathetic, and diverted to consumerism or hatred of the vulnerable, then the powerful can do as they please, and those who survive will be left to contemplate the outcome.”

― Noam Chomsky, Who Rules the World?

“those who are politically apathetic can only survive if they are supported by people who are capable of taking action.”

― Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian War

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration