Nov 16 2017

How Are Your High School Kids Doing?

How Are Your High School Kids Doing? Vol 428, Nov. 16, 2017

The other day I was out with my older friend having coffee with a few of his older friends. One of his friends observed that the grandson of one of his friends was under so much pressure with all that he was doing, that this gentleman couldn’t fathom how he could deal with it all. Apparently, this seventeen-year-old was in seven advanced placement courses, involved in two sports and had a part-time job. Now, this successful gentleman is well aware of the hard work involved to make it in life. However, even he could understand that kids do need to have time to be kids and to enjoy themselves. From his perspective, these kids have plenty of years to devote to work, so why make them deal with it so early in life? In fact, he said that for the minimum amount of money that could be earned from a part-time job, he would find it much better to just give the kid the money for the extras needed for college, so he would have time to do what he wanted.

Now, I know from my own practice that there are many kids who are feeling truly overwhelmed with all the pressures that they feel placed upon them. Some of these pressures are coming from their parents who want them to attend the best colleges, get scholarships and even get through school in less time by taking the advanced placement courses while they are in high school. These kids are the ones who tend to become anxiety-ridden or depressed because they feel that they have to always perform in order to be loved and accepted. In some cases, kids will fall into drugs and alcohol and even eating disorders, to stop having to feel the pressure. In other cases, the depressions get so bad that they may commit suicide, all because they can’t handle the pressure.

Now, I do realize that some kids place this pressure on themselves to excel. However, we need to ask ourselves why it is that they feel that they have to do this to themselves? Because this is a lot of stress that young kids really don’t need. They don’t know how to contend with it.

Please ask yourself if you are the sort of person that places a lot of pressure on yourself to excel. Ask yourself if you are placing the same sort of pressure on your own kid(s) to perform. Because life isn’t about always having to perform. It really is okay for a kid to just enjoy what they are doing without having to be the best or to win. Sometimes those things that were once enjoyed, become something that is resented and no longer desired, the fun having been beaten out of it.

Check in with your child to make sure that these activities and these courses are something that your child truly desires, or if it is only out of a sense of obligation to you, that these activities are being pursued. Hopefully, you have a good enough relationship to get the truth.
Because, if you are looking to have a happy, healthy and productive kid, “happy” and “healthy” are the most important aspects. They have a whole lifetime of productivity in front of them as the gentleman I spoke with acknowledged.


Photo by tvdflickr

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Nov 13 2017

210: How Are Your Kids Doing?

Are your kids excelling because they want to or because you want them to? Undue parental pressure can have extreme negative psychological effects that persist well into adulthood. Master Hypnotist Suzanne Kellner-Zinck comments on this here.

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Nov 09 2017

Helping Older Friends & Family

Helping Older Friends & Family – Vol. 427, Nov. 9, 2017

Over the past couple of months, I have been helping an older friend of mine who has been diagnosed with chronic heart failure. There are many things that have changed in his life as a result of this diagnosis, especially as he works to stabilize his condition. There is a morning regimen that needs to be adhered to, that at times he is less than interested in dealing with, as he is used to being totally independent, doing what he wants at the moment. However, this is not the case now. There are many doctors appointments, weekly visiting nurse visits, physical therapy and a low sodium diet to keep fluid from being produced in his body. On some mornings we get “into it” because he really hates waiting the requisite hour between having his medications and having his vitals taken, through a machine that sends all the measurements to the visiting nurse agency. On these days, I know that I need to “take space” and do.

There is a person that I know from Toastmasters that is a single adoptive daughter who feels compelled to help her father who has Alzheimer’s and a mother who is very abusive, both declining as they are aging. She is always complaining about the abuse that she takes, the fact that she has to be at the house at certain times to give them medications, feed them, etc. It is clear that this situation is taking away her life and that she is struggling with the situation.

The question that we have to ask ourselves is this: Are we able to be warm and present most of the time, or are we feeling angry and resentful and perhaps a bit depressed, given the situation at hand?

If you are feeling anger, resentment or depression – feeling overwhelmed, you need to get the extra help required to assist you. Many times there are agencies that can help with respite care so you can take the time you need for yourself. The senior centers are full of helpful resources as are the agencies that work with elders. Social workers at the hospitals are also very helpful if your loved one was admitted and is going for ongoing care to one of their outpatient clinics. Please do yourself and the person that you are caring for a favor, and tap into these resources. Because in the end, the only person that can help you, is you, by reaching out to the community services that are there to help you.

Photo by Cerillion

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Nov 06 2017

209: Thinking About Helping Older Friends & Family Out.

Being a caregiver for anyone is a massive job. Find out how important it is to take care of yourself while you are taking care of someone else.

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Nov 02 2017

Anger At What Price?

Anger photo

Anger At What Price? – Vol. 426, Nov. 2, 2017

During my neuro-linguistic training, I learned of the fact that anger can create heart attacks. Well, I came across an article in Science Daily called: Keep Calm, Anger Can Trigger a Heart Attack. The University of Sydney found that there is an 8.5 times higher risk of a heart attack in the two hours that follow a burst of intense anger. If anxiety was involved, there was a 9.5 fold increased risk in a heart attack happening in the two hours after the anxiety attack. The results were based on anger being at the level of one being so angry their fist or teeth were clenched, and were ready to burst, up to one who is out of control and throwing objects.

There are many things that one can do to alleviate the anger. The first thing on the list as far as I am concerned is stress release. Self-hypnosis or meditation would certainly help anyone to relax. One who is relaxed, by definition cannot be tense.

The second thing that I would suggest is forgiveness. There are so many people that hold onto resentments that end up hurting themselves more than the person with whom they are angry. I always ask my clients if they really believe that this old resentment is something that the person they are still holding anger toward is being hurt as much as they are? Invariably the answer is “no.” Now, I don’t mean to forget that negative behavior that brought on your anger toward this person, because you really don’t want to be hurt again. However, to forgive the other person is to allow yourself to let go of the anger associated with the past events.

One may ask how that is done. Well, the easiest way that I have found to do this is to understand why it is that the person was acting in the manner in which they do. Many times it has to do with that person having their own issues and then taking them out on you. The reality is that we can only control ourselves, and our own choices, while the other person’s behavior is out of our ability to change.

I do suggest to my clients that they have a conversation with the person with whom they are angry to see if they can heal the emotions. Sometimes this will ease the anger and even build the relationship into one that was stronger than before. However, this is not always possible to do. You will know if it is possible if moving further into time the behavior is changed so as to no longer trigger your anger. How do you have this conversation? You meet the person in a public place and let them know that you have something that you would like to discuss with them. At the meeting, you let them know that they may not be aware of the fact, but during the event, you felt angry as a result of whatever the action was that they did. You can then tell them that it would be so much easier for you if in the future they could handle it in a different manner and then tell them what would have worked better for you. Many times having this sort of conversation will really clear the air, and that person will no longer act in such a manner as to cause the negative feelings. If after having this conversation the behavior is not changed, you may just find it easier to move onto healthier relationships. Anger, as you can see through this study, an indeed have very large ramifications to your health, so dealing with it as soon as possible is the best way to discharge negative emotions, allowing you to keep your health and your calm.

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Oct 30 2017

208: Enjoying the Simple Things in Life

It really is the simple things in life like being present for those that need us that bring true joy.
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Oct 26 2017

If You Want the Chronic Symptoms to Go Away, Stop the Stressors

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If You Want the Chronic Symptoms to Go Away, Stop the Stressors – Vol. 425, Oct. 26, 2019

I can’t tell you how many times I find myself working with people who have chronic illnesses where the symptoms get to the point where they just can’t live with them anymore. The doctors give them medication to help alleviate the symptoms, and yet, the symptoms are still there. What is going on?

If you are a person who suffers from migraine headaches, fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, for example, you may just find your symptoms lesson if you take better control of your personal boundaries. For example, if you are a mother and your parents are telling you when they are going to visit the grandkids, and that time is not good for you, you need to let them know that it is you, the parent, who decides when the visits are happening, not they. I bring this particular example up because I had two clients with severe migraine headaches because their parents were dictating the calendar when the parents were retired and while the client had small kids with a schedule to follow. Once these two women took control of the time when the visits occurred, times that were suitable for the family as a whole, the migraines disappeared.

Boundaries are so important because all too often we want to please other people, not let them down, and in so doing we are putting ourselves out of the way. There are also those times when you would rather not put up with negative or abusive behavior for standing your ground. When this happens and you are suffering from a chronic condition, your condition is going to flare up, letting you know that your body is not happy with the overrunning of your own personal boundaries.

If you are in an abusive relationship and you are suffering from a chronic condition, your body is going to let you know that you need to make a change.

I had a client not that long ago who had an adult child who was a drug dealer. This kid was always getting into trouble and the mother was always getting stomach aches. It was her body letting her know that she needed to be out of this situation because there was not a thing she could do to make her son stop his illegal and damaging behavior. The best she could do for herself was find a different living situation for herself, which she did. She is still concerned about her son and wants the best for him, but she no longer has to have her emotional space violated every day, never knowing what is going to happen. Some days he would be kind and considerate and other days he could be abusive all depending on the drugs that he may or may not have ingested and the people that he was hanging around at any particular moment.

I had an older client who had a husband who was very frustrated with the fact that he couldn’t remember where he put things or when to pay the bills, etc. She did her best to get him to organize his papers, but he was unwilling to do so. Well, they would have arguments and as a result, she would end up feeling very depressed and would sometimes develop pains in her body as well. In this case, we found out what the underlying problem was for the husband and it was taken care of as best it could be. Things were quite a bit better for them from there since they better understood why his memory was not as good as it once was, though not perfect.

If you have an illness like congestive heart failure or diabetes, you have to eat appropriate food. So many times people are out with others and they are tempted to eat things that their body just can’t handle. Well, if you want to feel good, staying away from those irritating or damaging items is what you need to do. In the case of congestive heart failure, salt is a no-no as sugar is to a diabetic, including alcoholic beverages that are made from sugar.

We were all given a brain, which can help us if we are willing to listen to the indicators that it gives us. The problem is that all too often we fail to listen to the signals given to us, creating worse problems later. Please, listen to your body. If there are people in your life that are making it more painful for you to live, you need to do something to create better boundaries. There is no reason to continue to put your body and mind into these situations. Because, in the end, the only person that is responsible to help you is you, right?


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