Thursday, January 27, 2011

Understanding Problems with Alcohol

These are some basics about alcohol dependence or abuse. 
  • Alcoholism or Alcohol Abuse is a progressive disease like Diabetes. It cannot be cured, only treated with ongoing support, AA and relapse prevention.
  • Denial or about severity of impairment or underestimating quantity or effects alcohol is a common
  • Downplaying the negative consequences of drinking minimizes the impact on self and family
  • Blame or complaining that family and friends are exaggerating
  • Using alcohol to "relax" with increased frequency and amounts
  • Recurrent use of alcohol in situations that are physically hazardous (driving)
  • Continued use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of the substance
  • Blackouts
  • Arguments and losing emotional control
  • Hangovers, missing work and not attending to the demand of life

Is alcoholism a disease?

Yes, alcoholism is a disease. The craving that an alcoholic feels for alcohol can be as strong as the need for food or water. An alcoholic will continue to drink despite serious family, health, or legal problems.

Like many other diseases, alcoholism is chronic, meaning that it lasts a person's lifetime; it usually follows a predictable course; and it has symptoms. The risk for developing alcoholism is influenced both by a person's genes and by his or her lifestyle.

Can alcoholism be cured?

No, alcoholism cannot be cured at this time. Even if an alcoholic hasn't been drinking for a long time, he or she can still suffer a relapse. Not drinking is the safest course for most people with alcoholism. But, alcoholism can be successfully treated.

Here is a good link to check out for more information.
We can guide you in the right direction for help.

Divorce and Separation

Most couples end up in divorce court because they wait until it is too late to get the help needed to save their marriage. Not dealing with marital problems can mean a build up of resentment; hurt feelings and can cause one spouse to emotionally detach from the other. 

Perhaps, you have already emotionally disengaged. Below are signs that you may have waited too long to save your marriage.
  •  dream about a life without your spouse
  •  bad emotions and experiences outweigh the good
  •  keep things to yourself
  •  feel alone in the marriage
  •  rarely, if ever have sex
  •  don’t feel desired or wanted
  •  there is no fun or humor anymore
  •  don’t do things together
  •  work to avoid going home
  • are often defensive
Couples therapy can help. We work with couples, so don't wait too long for help.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Recovering from Burnout

Sometimes it’s too late to prevent burnout – you’re already past the breaking point. If that’s the case, it’s important to take your burnout very seriously. Trying to push through the exhaustion and continue as you have been will only cause further emotional and physical damage. While the tips for preventing burnout are still helpful at this stage, recovery requires additional steps.

Burnout recovery strategy #1: Slow down

When you’ve reached the end stage of burnout, adjusting your attitude or looking after your health isn’t going to solve the problem. You need to force yourself to slow down or take a break. Cut back whatever commitments and activities you can. Give yourself time to rest, reflect, and heal.

Burnout recovery strategy #2: Get support

When you’re burned out, the natural tendency is to protect what little energy you have left by isolating yourself. But your friends and family are more important than ever during difficult times. Turn to your loved ones for support. Simply sharing your feelings with another person can relieve some of the burden.

Burnout recovery strategy #3: Reevaluate your goals and priorities

Burnout is an undeniable sign that something important in your life is not working. Take time to think about your hopes, goals, and dreams. Are you neglecting something that is truly important to you? Burnout can be an opportunity to rediscover what really makes you happy and to change course accordingly. 
Below are some hints....take a few moments to take stock of your situation to provide clues to your reasons for burnout and possible remedies. 

Remember, you can get coaching to help you refocus and recharge.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Smoking marijuana as teen may have lasting brain effects, study suggests

"Teenagers respond differently to drugs than adults, and early use may lead to long-lasting effects on brain development, according to new research."
A study presented at the Society for Neuroscience meeting, in San Diego last week, shows people who start using marijuana at a young age have more cognitive shortfalls. Also, the more marijuana a person used in adolescence, the more trouble they had with focus and attention.
"Early onset smokers have a different pattern of brain activity, plus got far fewer correct answers in a row and made way more errors on certain cognitive tests," says study author Staci Gruber, assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) backed that up. Gruber presented fMRI data that showed that the frontal cortex of marijuana users' brains activated differently. The frontal cortex is where attention, decision-making and executive function take place.
The author and study suggests that, "Given the prevalence of marijuana use in the United States, these findings underscore the importance of establishing effective strategies to decrease marijuana use, especially in younger populations," she says.
If you want to read the article in its entirety, click on this link: 

Friday, January 14, 2011

When People are Poison

Be on the lookout for toxic people in your life. If you have a difficult relative or relationship, you need to know when to call it quits. In a recent article by Mark Goulston, he describes signs of toxic people. Take a moment to review this list to see if you need to remove either people or negative/toxic thoughts from yourself.

Here are some signs:
1) Seeing them makes you tense.
2) They're mean to others, nice to you.
3) You fear them.
4) You worry they'll embarrass you.
5) They're easily upset and hard to please.
6) You no longer respect them.
7) You don't look forward to seeing them.
8) Friends tell you to get away from them.

Essentially, if you have tried every avenue to let the offender know how you feel, it may be time to distance yourself. Very calmly tell the person exactly which behavior you cannot tolerate and say you need a break. Handling them in a gracious way shows you haven't been infected with their toxicity. Don't try channeling Clint Eastwood, things will only escalate.

Spend time with people you look forward to seeing, enjoy your time together and feel great after meeting up. These are the signs of a healthy, positive and fulfilling relationship.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Why Relaxing Is Hard Work...Can't slow down? Even on vacation? You've got plenty of company.

In a Wall Street Journal article from June of 2010, there was an excellent article about relaxing in America.  Here are some suggestions. Find out what works best for you. 

-- Try something new. Learning something in a new place can be more relaxing and refreshing than trying to do nothing. While it's good to get outside your comfort zone, it's not necessary to explode out of it. "I don't want to go bungee jumping," says Matthew Edlund, a sleep expert in Sarasota, Fla., and author of "The Power of Rest\" who says he'd much prefer walking through Berlin or Beijing. "You decide what your level of adventurousness is and do it."

-- Have a plan, but be flexible. Completely winging it somewhere can be stressful, so have a rough idea of what you're going to do, but be willing to change it. "If you find that you're on a beach and you\'re bored out of your mind, get up and do something else," says Dr. Edlund.

-- Get physical. Besides releasing endorphins, exercise also burns off excess adrenaline and cortisol. The "flight" can be on the treadmill, after all. If you haven\'t been exercising, a vacation can be a good time to start. Even a walk on the beach can be invigorating for a chaise potato. At the other extreme, some people relax by doing marathons or triathlons. But overdoing it be stressful as well.

"We really weren't meant to sit at a desk 12 hours a day," says Dr. Edlund, who recommends that vacationers alternate periods of "food, activity and rest."

-- Build in a buffer. Don't work right up until the moment you leave and head back to work right off the plane. If possible, schedule an extra day off before you depart and another when you come back to dive back in slowly.

-- Manage expectations. Make sure your colleagues and clients know that you’ll be away and checking in only occasionally; tell those back home the kind of matters you want to be bothered about.

-- Breathe. As New Agey as it sounds, meditating and paced breathing can stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which works to balance the surges of adrenaline and cortisol that accompany stress, says Dr. Rosch.

-- Practice mindfulness: Research suggests that focusing the mind on the present moment can have profound effects. Mostly, it involves observing your surrounds without making judgments. Try observing your own feelings.

"Work on not working," says Dr. Robinson. "With five minutes to think, ask yourself, 'Why do I work this way? Why am I rushing?' Most of us keep judging ourselves all the time, workaholics especially. It's never enough. Examine those feelings. They might lead you to enlightenment."

Why not find a coach, personal trainer, or get with a friend and commit to developing relaxation skills.  It has been proven scientifically that you live longer, the quality of your life will improve. Find your "haven" and spend time there either in fantasy or by a visit or both.

In fact, pick a day to do nothing and then relax afterward!!!

Why Worry? Recently, a reprint of the book  Why Worry  by friend and prolific author, Eric A. Kimmel was recently released. Gayle and ...