Thursday, May 23, 2013

In July, I am headed to present at the AAMSE Conference in St. Louis. The title of my talk: "The Psychology of Happiness: What You Need to Know for Life Balance." Are you an optimist or pessimist? If you are an optimist, not only are you happier, you life longer with a better quality of life. How does your attitude affect happiness? How about "profoundly?" A positive attitude gives you a greater sense of pleasure, flow and meaning. If your life is out of balance, your body will let you know. How? By more colds and flu, headaches, pain, sleeplessness, muscle tension, stomach problems and much more. Stress gets expressed through the body and mind. Anxiety, depression, worry are all manifestations of a life being out of balance. How do you get back into balance? Actually, you already know the answer. My question to you is, why aren't you doing what you know works? Problems, symptoms, worry actually are "opportunities" for you to notice that you are out of sync and take charge. Get back to the basics, good sleep hygiene, relaxation, exercise, healthy nutrition, social support, spiritual connection and cutting back on work. Play, fun and positive thoughts can bring you around to balance. Don't ignore "symptoms" or "problems", they will escalate and amplify more distress.

Lupus....How it affects your body

Lupus is a chronic illness which causes many life changes and physical symptoms. It is an autoimmune disease where the body's immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, health tissue. Symptoms such as extreme fatigue, aching joints, inflammation, swelling, skin rashes, hair loss, and pain take their toll. "Lupus Fog" is also a common problem with tremendous frustration. All of these factors together severely affect your ability to maintain you work, school and social life. A hallmark of Lupus is awareness of a pending flare up. If you know the signs and become aware a flare is starting, there are things you can do. One very important factor is controlling stress and tension in your life.
Tips to manage Lupus:
  1. Establish good sleep patterns
  2. Eat a healthy diet
  3. Exercise regularly
  4. Stop smoking (if you are a smoker)
  5. Wash hands regularly
  6. Take medications as prescribed
  7. Learn to manage stress, depression & anxiety
Educate yourself about your illness. There are great resources available how to get support, help and education about the latest treatment methods. There is a link below for you to check out the best information available. You can fight back.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Coaching.....Is it Right for Me?

Last August, I was delighted to be invited to do a presentation on Videoconferencing at the International Coach Federation Chapter in Houston.  Coaching has really taken off for executives, wellness, and life coaching. As a part of my practice, I have been very involved in executive coaching, conducting workplace profiles, personality assessments and 360 evaluations. As of this date, I have done videoconference coaching in 14 countries. There is a need an demand for people to provide services to other countries, since we are quite advanced in our technology & training. We did a live demonstration of one platform for videoconferencing, Skype. There are several platforms out there that are free, encrypted and even HIPAA compliant. I would recommend taking a course or trying out iChat, VSee, FaceTime, Skype, Vidyo or ooVoo. If you want to give videoconferencing a try, give me a video call. My Skype address is:  michael.klaybor, for VSee, just use my email address: Simply download the free software, create a login name and password and you are ready to go. Of course, you will need a camera on your laptop. 
In his blog, Larry Barrett from Information Week, The Business Value of Technology announced that this videoconferencing is the wave of the future. Are you up to date? Do you need an objective, motivational push to get you on the right track. Coaching  may be the answer and videoconferencing makes it very convenient. Click on the link below to check out my coaching website.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Placebo Effect: How the Mind Can Help with Pain

The Placebo Effect is well known, but not well understood. The word Placebo comes from the Latin for "I shall please." Patients given a placebo with have "an actual or perceived improvement" in their medical condition. In essence, "what your mind believes to be true, becomes a reality." Therefore, if you "believe" a medication, treatment or procedure will help you heal, recover, relieve your pain, it will do so about 33% of the time. This is a quote from the Official Journal of the American Academy of Neurology, "How placebos work is still a mystery. It is important to understand that not all placebo effects are good. Just as some patients improve with the power of positive thinking, some get worse and drop out of research studies because of the side effects caused by the placebo. In a recent, well-publicized and fascinating study of Parkinson disease (PD), it was discovered that the patients who improved with placebo had changes in their brain that were identical to the changes caused by the actual medication (called levodopa).1 Levodopa causes an increase in brain dopamine, and the placebo should not. However, the patients who got better with placebo had a similar increase in dopamine, identical to what happened in those who were given the drug. Talk about mind over matter! That is like convincing yourself you can run a 40-yard dash in 4 seconds and then doing it. Similar effects of changes in brain chemistry have been found in studies of pain and of depression. However, this does not work in secret. When patients in a study of treatment for pain were given pain medications without their knowledge, the benefit was far less than when they were given placebo and they were able to expect a benefit." Hypnosis, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Positive Psychology can all help. 
The link below is a very interesting and useful explanation of just how placebo works in the mind.
Placebo Effect VIdeo

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Crossroads: Work Life Balance

If only there was a magic solution, a magic pill to fix everything...Yesterday, I was delighted to review with a client what she has done to get her life, work and emotions back in balance. To achieve stability, there are many physical and psychological dimensions to engage. Take a moment to review this list and see what you can gleam from it to apply to your life to regain balance.

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Medication
  • Yoga
  • Keeping logs of moods
  • Self-soothing activities (to relax & calm yourself)
  • Reframing of negative thoughts'
  • Fun
  • Exercise & activities
  • Trips (large & small)
  • Deep breathing techniques
  • Joining a volunteer organization
  • New rituals & routines
  • Cleaning up clutter
  • Taking small bites & practicing moderation
  • Focus on being "good enough" rather than "perfection"
  • Affirming self for accomplishments
  • Being positive
  • Getting social 
  • Accepting support
  • Confiding in friends
  • Slowing down & pacing yourself

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