Monday, August 8, 2016

Embrace Your Challenges & Choices

The photo to the right of this weight lifter at the Rio Olympics dramatically illustrates an important psychological principle. You must find a way to embrace your challenges and fears. Can you see and feel how this athletes loves for her sport makes her "one" with the experience? She "loves" the weights because she strives to make her competition a cooperative venture with the weights, not an adversarial one. How often do you avoid taking on a challenge, or act afraid of taking a test, trying something new, breaking out of your comfort zone? 
There are 3 routes you can take with any challenge in your life,
  1. You can resist, become perfectionistic, find the negatives of any situation, which only serves to make you an adversary to your challenge. Problems arise for many people when they feel performance is pressure rather than fun or exciting. Stress, fear, and anxiety about performance always negatively impacts achievement. 
  2. You can avoid and distract yourself with excuses & rationalizations and live in fear or,
  3. You can "take the call to adventure" (Joseph Campbell-Hero's Journey reference) to face your fears by leaning into them. Get prepared, get support, learn the skills, get coaching, find the best practices for your endeavor. 
If you have a fear of elevators, driving, heights, public speaking, taking tests, intimacy, or change, there is help and hope. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) provides skills, tools and techniques to assist you in overcoming these limitations. The best way out of fear is going through it. So, embrace the fear with a guide and teacher to partner with it. You can accomplish your goals and conquer those fears.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Video of a Smoker's Lung.......Yikes!!!!!

If you are a smoker or have family member that is currently a smoker, this video may change you forever. Having developed smoking cessation programs and run them in many corporations, worked as a volunteer for the American Cancer Society as Chairman their Tobacco and Health Committee for 16 years and heading the Great American Smokeout on several occasions, I feel qualified and committed to helping people quit smoking to save themselves from a the addiction of cigarettes. The video link below will take you to one of the more convincing and graphic ones that I have seen to help convince anyone on the harms of smoking. Although the adult rates of smoking have dropped in the US and Texas in the past 10 years from 26% to about 19% of the population, rates for teens have gone up to about 33%. The problems from smoking related disease are very tricky because they don't usually show up for about 30-40 years. Then, emphysema, lung cancer, and other health problems emerge. Take a moment to view this brief video and imprint in your mind a commitment to quit smoking. When you have a plan to quit, support, education about how to manage urges and mental tools, you can be successful. Call if you would like some direction to help yourself or someone you love.
Quitting any addiction is difficult, so you need support, resources and the right tools to manage. Let me know if you would like more information. 

Click on the link below. 
Lungs from Smoking

Understanding Chronic Pain

Pain is a very complex and subjective experience. To complicate the matter of pain even more, there are about 100 million people suffering from chronic pain in the US alone. This is about 1 in 4 people have a severe and debilitating pain condition. Some people have a high pain tolerance and others quite low. This makes treating pain even more complicated for medical professionals. Doctors don't want you to suffer, thus end up prescribing stronger and stronger narcotic (addictive) medications to help you. Even following doctors orders can lead to problems. Over time, all of these medications fail to provide relief. 

It might be helpful to understand the different types of pain because treatment methods vary greatly based upon the type of pain experience. For example, in the acute pain phase, painkillers such as Vicodin, Percocet, Hydrocodone are typically prescribed and are very effective. With chronic pain conditions, when the pain continues after an expected time of healing, painkillers are typically increased in both amount and frequency leading to problems with overuse and addiction. These "painkillers" no longer "kill" the pain and become less effective over time, so without other means of relief from the pain, addiction is inevitable. In fact, in 2016 in the US, death from overdose of painkillers is now the leading cause of death with an average of 47 deaths per day. 
  1. Acute pain, which is the time from injury to about 3 months,
  2. Chronic Pain, which extends beyond a 3-6 month window of duration, 
  3. Chronic Pain Syndrome, which is pain which continues beyond 6 months. 
Hope is at hand. There are programs, methods and help available to manage chronic pain. Multidisciplinary pain programs which incorporate psychology, medicine, chiropractic methods, acupuncture, massage, mindfulness meditation, mental imagery, biofeedback, hypnosis, cognitive restructuring have proven to be extremely effective in managing chronic pain. The mind is very powerful and can be harnessed to decrease, distract and transform the pain experience. You don't have to continue to suffer.  Click on the link below in blue to view an educational and informative video to help you understand how to help yourself manage your pain.  Please call if you would like to know where to get help with your pain when you feel you are in need of help. 
Video on understanding chronic pain...informative video about pain.  

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