Category Archives: Work-life balance

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?

Planning: a tool that’s right for you

Planning is an extraordinary tool.

Yet it often takes a lot of effort in the initial phase since you are basically starting to “initialize,” “reprogram” or “reboot” your brain to respond with behaviors that move you closer to your goals.

Imagine if every self-help, motivational and diet book came with an easy goal plan to do whatever’s recommended in the book, you would be a better manager, employee, people-person, entrepreneur, leader, leaner, thinner, healthier and better dressed, groomed, grounded and balanced.

Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson, author of Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals and “Nine Things Successful People Do Differently,” the most popular and commented on Harvard Business Review blog post in 2011, suggests contingency or if/then planning – is a successful way to reach your goals.

Connecting the if – situation you’re going to act on – and the then – specific action you’re going to take – duplicate the language of the brain, “if z, then y.”

When added to SMARTER goals, contingency planning contributes to succeeding in short-term goals and establishing a foundation for other successes.

How do you define success?

Why are you pursuing the goals you are pursuing?

How are your goals really satisfying your basic human needs for belonging (relatedness), competence and autonomy?

Let Joe the Life Coach help you with transitions, important life aspirations and goal planning! One step at a time. Call 202.328.7414, Skype to sandpdc or tweet @aprayerdc.

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What’s stressing you?

Let’s talk about stress!

What do you remember about how your parents or other important people in your life dealt with stress?

What were some of their strategies or ways of dealing with stress?

Why are you putting yourself into stressful situations?

How do you feel about your focus or focusing on a goal? And the quality of life during that experience of reaching the goal?

What is causing distractions and set-backs that prevent you from maintaining focus?

How and why does reshifting on a moments notice making you feel? Can you describe your feelings?

How do you think you can improve balancing or managing stress?

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Are you getting it together?

Being organized, at work and home, add to your work-life balance.

But what happens when you’re disorganized? Or worse, when co-worker, manager or family member is? It can be stress-enducing!

List some questions that come to mind about what is means to you to be disorganized or when others are disorganized.

You’ll get additional help in next update.

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Photo courtesy of @boy_indian.

How are you testing your new attitudes?

Experimenting and then testing your new knowledge, skills or attitudes will make positive change part of life.

In the process, learn to ASK: accept sharing knowledge.

Find a professional coach who can help you learn how to ask.

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