Category Archives: Resilience

Behavior change not behavior explanation

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), often called attention deficit disorder (ADD), begins in childhood and can persist in adulthood.

It can affect your everyday and job and employment life but don’t make excuses if you’re diagnosed with it.

The diagnosis of ADHD may be a life-changing explanation for you. It is not an excuse, however, in the real world, which requires behavior change not behavior explanation. Although some may sympathize with you because they know someone with disorder, others most likely are disinterested at best or do not care.

People in the real world set goal plans, timetables and carry out tasks on schedule.

Make your life easier: accept this truth.

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Anxiety and you

Have you felt anxious at some point in your life?

Frequent worrier?

Have illness, being fired, feeling discriminated, unemployment, job searching, new job, moving to a new city— made you feel stressed and overloaded?

Have you had full blown panic attacks – chest pain, palpitations, sweating, shortness of breath and dizziness?

Is your anxiety becoming part of a cycle of doubt, worry, fear, inaction, paralysis, depression?

“You need some anxiety in your life and it’s there for a reason. It’s what motivates us to work and keeps us out of trouble,” says Dr. Tom Rebori, medical director of the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Center at Evanston Northwestern Healthcare in Illinois.

If anxiety is interfering with your daily life – disrupting sleep or concentration – it could mean that you have an anxiety disorder. New treatments and research offer good news: anxiety disorders are highly treatable.

Here are the four main anxiety disorders, plus tips and techniques to cope with them and learn to deal with them.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

In the last six months, have you spent half of the days worrying?

Excessive worrying — which interferes with daily life — also causes physical symptoms like low energy, sleep disturbances, muscle tension, sweating, nausea and difficulty concentrating.

Here are two ways of coping.

Keep a worry log so you see patterns and learn to replace negative thinking with another thought until you gradually change your inner dialogue.

Set up “worry periods.” Dr. Dave Carbonell at Anxiety Treatment Center in New York tells patients to set up two 10-minute worry periods every day where they can isolate themselves. By giving their full attention to the worry, it becomes boring because there’s not that much content to it.

Panic Disorder

Scared of losing control, that you’re dying or fearful that you’re going crazy?

Panic attacks occur in certain settings—a crowded mall, elevators. You can associate a situation with that reaction and start avoiding certain situations. Just because you’ve had a panic attack doesn’t mean you have panic disorder, though, unless you’ve had at least two unexpected panic attacks, followed by at least one month of concern about experiencing another attack.

Getting to understand what’s happening is key to treating the disorder: facing (not avoiding certain situations), accepting (not fighting the panic attack, but welcoming it), floating (relaxing through the anxiety without resistance, like floating through water) and letting time pass (knowing that the attack will pass).

Phobia

Social phobias involve an intense fear of situations – usually social or performance-related settings – for fear of having a panic attack.

Specific phobias involve an excessive fear of an object or situation that causes anxious symptoms similar to a panic attack.

Social phobias are treated the same as panic disorders. For specific phobias, the common treatment is gradual exposure.

The first step is to talk about the fear to begin to understand that you won’t die or go crazy when in contact with object or situation.

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Whereas GAD patients worry about the future, PTSD involves worrying about something that happened.

PTSD is a condition where sufferers have been through some kind of traumatic experience. The symptoms are a heightened degree of arousal, nightmares or recurring thoughts, feelings of detachment, sleep problems, high startle response or jumpiness, flashbacks and depression.

Treatment is learning how to live in the present through relaxation.

Anxiety disorder symptoms can come and go. Yet it makes common sense to ease stress, eat healthier and exercise – lifetime habits that will help in the long run.

Set aside time every day for relaxing – use aPrayer, meditate, go for a mindful walk, enjoy a hot or naked yoga session, listen to music, soak in a hot bath – anything where you’re just being you.

For more information:

Edmund J. Bourne, The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, New Harbinger Publications: 2000.

Anxiety Disorders Association of America
http://www.adaa.org

National Institute of Mental Health
http://www.nimh.nih.gov

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130408133020.htm

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Patience, why now?

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During a recent session with a client working to reconnect with himself, he reminded me of the value of patience when he said, “Eternity is going to be such a long time, I might as well learn to be patient now!”

And René, the Salvadoran house painter who paints apartments in my building and is known for his speedy yet professional work, said to me in the elevator “It’s ok, I can go to the eighth floor. I have time,” as he pushed the button to my floor and waited until I left to push the button to the floor where he was working. I thanked him for being a life saver today by reminding I have time.

20131011-131114.jpg Do you hit the door close button in the elevator to hasten your way up or down?

Do you refresh your email every few minutes to see if you’ve gotten the message for a follow-up interview?

Do you have it within you to wait until the mud settles and the water is clear?

Do you really expect self-help books, lose weight-fast diets and get-rich schemes to really work in one day, two weeks or 30 days?

Do you rush in as the doors open to the subway car or do you hurry by an open door as someone is leaving?

Do you get annoyed when the person in front of you has more items in her cart than the maximum for that checkout?

Do you expect a reply immediately to an email just because you’ve sent it at the speed of light?

What are the small things in your daily life that can help you to be patient?

Do you have the patience of a saint or like watching drying paint?

Do you stop and ponder?

Act today and look toward tomorrow

Tolerance may be a good thing. Complacency may deter you from your goals.

Tolerating something – an aggressive coworker, a runny toilet or a squeaky wheel – continually drains your energy, like filing a cup upon which someone has made little holes.

Does continuous tolerance or complacency keep you from being yourself and evolving quickly as a human being?

How often do you distinguish between your activities that are incomplete, unresolved and require resolution or those that are unfinished, still needing work and require action?

In your life, how many things are unresolved or infinished?

Here are two simple exercises to help you break those negative reinforcing loops of tolerance and complacency.

List five unresolved issues or situations (large or small) that are draining your energy. Circle one that you can complete today.

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List five things (small or large) you’re putting up with or tolerating. Circle the one that you can eliminate TODAY.

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What’s the one big change that would make the most difference in your life?

What’s the first step you will take in the direction of that change?

When will you do this?

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What’s your cultural IQ?

Are you developing the right cultural skills?

Learn and develop cultural skills throughout your life.

Be humble.

Understand that cultural differences can have local and regional variations.

Learn them and encourage people to tell you about these variations.

Get ready to accept sharing knowledge.

Ask questions!

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Photo courtesy of @boys_indian.

Is it time to think about your life?

A few questions to ponder…

Do you have a strong self-concept, a powerful sense of your own worth and potential?

How are you dealing with and solving problems in your life?

How can you improve the quality of your relationships with family, friends, fiduciaries and co-workers?

Do you present your opinions and views and speak assertively or aggressively?

Do you have the information, knowledge, and understanding of larger issues that affect you?

Do you and make healthy lifestyle and life choices?

What’s your ability to respond?

Are you setting and achieving goals?

Do you know and understand that you can have an impact on the world?

Do you create projects that improve the lives others and strengthen communities?

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What’s your cultural IQ?

Consider your answers to this cultural IQ test:

What values does another culture embrace?

How do those values compare with those of your culture?

How do people make decisions, conduct relationships and display emotion?

How does this culture treat time and scheduling?

What are social rules and boundaries surrounding gender?

How does this culture display and respect power?

Which authority figures are revered?

How do individuals relate to their employers?

How do employers relate to their employees?

How do people in this culture communicate?

How direct are they in what they say and mean?

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