It’s a science-backed mindfulness tool called Just the Facts, and it actually works

A middle aged woman alone in her home in isolation with her hand on her head.
A middle aged woman alone in her home in isolation with her hand on her head.
Photo: valentinrussanov/E+/Getty Images

Every single morning for the past 10 days, I’ve woken up with a singular thought blaring in my brain, a certainty: Well, it’s finally here. I’ve caught the coronavirus.

My body, however, disagrees: I actually have no Covid-19 symptoms, which can include a dry cough, painful muscle aches, a high fever, and shortness of breath. I also don’t live in any of the “hot spots” for the coronavirus, nor have I left the house in the past week. Despite this, the anxious thoughts just keep coming: I’m sick. It’s fatal. …


Your eyelids feel heavy for a reason

Photo: andresr/Getty Images

Surely you’ve experienced the phenomenon of feeling like you can’t possibly keep your eyes open for one second longer when you’re tired — in the predawn hours feeding a newborn or while attempting to stay up and watch your favorite show. Why does this eyelid heaviness happen?

There are a multitude of reasons. Eyelids are made of muscles, and these muscles are at work all day, keeping the eyelids open and blinking. Like all muscles, says Dr. Kelsey Kleinsasser, an eye specialist based in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, they need rest. “During waking hours [our eyelids] are continuously blinking,” Kleinsasser says…


It could have something to do with an overachieving vagus nerve

Illustration: Amber Vittoria

One afternoon when she was six years old, Kim Petschek was walking home from school when she stubbed her toe on the sidewalk, resulting in a small — but bloody — gash. The next thing she remembers is waking up on the street, sprawled out face-first on the concrete with her front two teeth knocked out from the impact of the fall. She had fainted. “And then I was really bleeding!” she says with a laugh.

“I think for me there has to be some idea of danger, or that there’s a big problem.”

Looking back, Petschek (now 65 years…


Despite obvious symptoms, it took me months to realize I had PTSD — and even longer to accept it. Here’s why it’s so hard to recognize and to treat.

Illustration: Ellie Ji Yang

“It sounds like you have post-traumatic stress disorder,” my therapist said.

I was 21 and sitting across from my therapist on the third floor of the university health center, a box of tissues on the coffee table between us and her bulky copy of the DSM-5 spread out on my lap. The book — otherwise known as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders — listed everything that could possibly be wrong with a person, and over the course of my weekly therapy sessions we zeroed in on one of them for me: PTSD.

I started going to the…


A brief look into a trendy amino acid

A variety of different pills and supplements are laid out in a grid against a white backdrop.
A variety of different pills and supplements are laid out in a grid against a white backdrop.
Photo: Image Source/Getty

People take supplements for all sorts of reasons — omega-3s for heart health, calcium for strong bones, vitamin B12 for more energy. But rarely is there one supplement that claims to heal seemingly every ailment, from asthma to liver disease. Yet NAC, short for N-acetyl cysteine, is that kind of pill. Or so its fans like to claim.

On Reddit, users say NAC helps them combat anxiety, asthma, insomnia, and other conditions, while some bodybuilders claim it helps combat muscle fatigue. Research suggests NAC can help prevent cognitive decline and even potentially curb aging.

What’s the truth? Here’s the lowdown…


Many people hospitalized from vape-related illnesses reported using THC oil. Here’s what experts know, and how you should proceed.

Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

As of September 17, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported at least six deaths and 530 hospitalizations from the use of vape products like e-cigarettes and vape pens. The illnesses have spanned 36 states and one U.S. territory, but the deaths have come from states on the West Coast and in the Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, California, and Oregon.

“Patients have been coming in with various lung issues caused by irritation in the lungs related to [vapes],” says Dr. MuChun Tsai, a pulmonary care physician at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. While there have been…


The effects may not be long-term, but doctors are seeing more people with screen-related vision problems

A man at his desk in the dark. He is in front of a computer while looking down at his iPad and holding an Apple Pencil.
A man at his desk in the dark. He is in front of a computer while looking down at his iPad and holding an Apple Pencil.
Photo by Rietveld Ruben on Unsplash

If you glance at the news today, order groceries, or schedule a playdate for your child, chances are you’re doing it in front of a screen. Research shows that the average American adult spends up to half their waking hours on a phone or other electronic device. It’s starting to impact physical health in a few detrimental ways — including issues with the eyes.

“It’s something I see on a day-to-day basis,” says Dr. Christopher Starr, an ophthalmologist at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York. “There are so many people who have symptoms from spending time on digital devices.”

Starr…


A new therapy teaches people to process their trauma as a way to treat chronic pain. Does it work?

Danny Owens/ Death to Stock

Human beings have long sought to understand the basis of pain. Until the late 17th century, pain and disease were considered a byproduct of sin, or something a person endured to test their faith. But after philosopher René Descartes first theorized that pain was a physical sensation interpreted by the brain, doctors started looking to the body for answers.

Today, chronic pain — which affects 50 million people in the United States alone — is still widely understood as a phenomenon that always originates in the body. …


Failing spectacularly in a high-stakes situation is a near-universal experience. Fortunately, there’s plenty of research on how to keep a cool head.

Photo by Chase Fade on Unsplash

Even now, 10 years later, I still remember the moment with excruciating clarity: During the fourth and final round of a high school regional speech competition, after a full day of flawless performances, I went up to the front of the auditorium for my last speech and froze.

In a way, my entire senior had been leading up to that point. For six months, I had painstakingly prepared and rehearsed that piece — a prose reading — in the hopes that I would qualify for the state finals. …


What works, and what doesnt, in the quest to make yourself more illness-resistant

Credit: Maskot/Getty Images

The same aisle exists in pretty much any drugstore — the one with the powders, pills, chewable tablets, gummies, sprays, and drinks, all claiming to help you stave off or shorten illnesses.

It’s a comforting idea — that a heartier defense system is that close at hand — especially if you’re one of those people who always seems to be coming down with something. But as with almost all quick fixes, this one is mostly too good to be true. There’s no conclusive evidence that “megadosing” on vitamin C will keep you from getting sick. …

Sarah Watts Wisniewski

Give me a good essay and some sushi and I’m good to go.

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