Saluting Courage This Independence Day

Last Updated: 15 Jun 2020

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July 2, 2020   •   Volume 13, Issue 27

Saluting Courage This Independence Day

Remember the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz? He lived up to his name not because he really was a coward, but because he didn’t believe in himself.

It can be difficult to drum up the inner strength required to accept our bipolar diagnosis and persevere through challenging episodes—especially in these trying times. But there is courage lying in wait for those who seek it, an innate ability—even if somewhat muted—to face unknowns and uncertainties.

So let’s celebrate that fact, shall we? Let’s use Independence Day to honor the fortitude and resilience we show when we are at our healthiest.

That means different things to different people, of course. There is a lot of diversity in the way people define courage, and that definition varies depending on age and life experience, according to Penn State Altoona associate professor Amir Marvasti, who has studied the meaning of courage. However, it is “a noble quality we all aspire to.”

Sometimes people don’t see our courage even when it’s on full display. Clinical psychologist Carrie Bearden, PhD, suggests this may be more about a lack of understanding than a judgment. She suggests emphasizing several points in both professional and personal settings: “You’re managing a treatable illness, [you’re] aware of how this illness affects you, … you’re being responsible about all of it, and [you] are focused on having a very productive life.”

Indeed. This Fourth of July, let’s join together and salute what makes you brave—even through fear or difficulty.

“I walk my own path, with the courage to be who I am,” says bpHope blogger Beth Brownsberger Mader. “Feeling confident in my ability to take various actions when necessary to get past obstacles in that path is what keeps me upright and moving forward.” Read more >>

Higher Daily Step Count Linked with Longer Life

March 24, 2020, Bethesda, MD—In a new study whose research was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, higher daily step counts were associated with lower mortality risk from all causes.

Compared with taking 4,000 steps per day (a number considered to be low for adults), taking 8,000 steps per day was associated with a 51 percent lower risk for death from all causes. Taking 12,000 steps per day was associated with a 65 percent lower risk compared with taking 4,000 steps.

“It’s good to see further evidence from a large study with a broad sample that the main thing is to get moving for better overall health as we age,” says study coauthor Eric Shiroma, PhD. Read more >>

About the author
Robin L. Flanigan is a national award-winning journalist for magazines and newspapers, and author of the children’s book M is for Mindful. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in language and literature from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, she worked for eleven years in newsrooms including The Herald-Sun in Durham, North Carolina, and the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, New York. Her work has earned awards from the Education Writers Association, the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association, the New York Newspaper Publishers Association, and elsewhere. She wrote the children’s book M is for Mindful, and also authored a coffee-table book titled Rochester: High Performance for 175 Years. When not writing for work, Robin is usually writing for pleasure, hiking (she climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in 2008), or searching for the nearest chocolate chip cookie. She lives in Upstate New York with her husband and daughter, and can be found at or on Twitter: @thekineticpen.

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