Archive for July, 2014

“What Women Want Men To Know”!

Friday, July 25th, 2014

“We want men to understand us, to truly grasp why we are the way we are, and why we need the things we do.”  This is the reason stated by Dr. Barbara DeAngelis, “love, sex, and relationship” author, on why she has written this book.  She has written many books and is usually on the best seller lists.  I would like to share some of her observations for your edification and/or debate.

One of the first observations Dr. DeAngelis makes is “that for most women love is a non stop reality – a consistent awareness while for men the experience of love is much more compartmentalized.” The “needs” that flow from this reality are such that women need to continually feel safe – connected- valued. It is incumbent for a man to understand the particular ways that his woman wants him to deliver.  If these needs are met she will move into a more intimate connection with him.

Men, here’s how to make your woman feel SAFE.  You are to be: 1) Consistent. 2) Reliable.                   3) Inclusive. 4) Compassionate. 5) Reach out. 6) Communicate. 7) Confront issues. 8) Schedule time and plan. 9) Reassure.

Men, here’s how to make your woman feel CONNECTED. You are to offer: 1) Physical affection.                   2) Communicate. 3) Share information. 4) Harmony. 5) Inclusion. 6) Reaching out. 7) Compliments.               8) Reassurance. 9) Schedule time and plans.

Men, here’s how to make your woman feel VALUED.  You are to: 1) Pay attention to what’s going on with her. 2) Verbal appreciation. 3) Acting like a team. 4) Showing her you need her. 5) Asking her for input. 6) Making her a priority. 7) Respecting her time and concerns. 8) Showing interest in her life.

Dr. DeAngelis goes on to offer what she says are the “Seven Myths Men Believe About Women”. They are: 1) Women are never satisfied. 2) Women are high maintenance. 3) Women want to control men.          4) Women are jealous and possessive. 5) Women are too emotional.6) Women who appear to be strong and competent don’t’ need to be taken care of. 7) Women want to rob men of their freedom. I think Dr. DeAngelis has gone off the deep end on these “myths”.  Every day I meet up with women, as well as men,  who possess some, or many, of these very real characteristics.

Another interesting chapter in this book is Dr. DeAngelis describing symptoms of women who may be “love starved”. Her signs of women who are “love starved” are: 1) Irritable. 2) High strung and nervous.    3) Needy.  4) Chronically tired. 5) Eating poorly or too much. 6) Depressed. 7) Fanatically busy.                 8) Sexually turned off and disinterested. 9) Emotionally distant. 10) Numbing herself with drugs or alcohol.  I guess Dr. DeAngelis is saying love conquers/heals most all of women’s problems. May be some debate issues here!

Dr. DeAngelis does encourage women to do these things for men: 1) Be in a better mood. 2) Be calmer and less anxious. 3) Don’t nag or complain. 4) Be more fun. 5) Think your man is the best there is.      6) Have sex more than before.

There is much more about relationships, communication, and sexual enhancement in this book but that’s enough for now.  I’ll conclude this article with Dr.DeAngelis’ comments on how to feed your partner’s heart.

ATTENTION                                     AFFECTION                                           APPRECIATION

“The unexamined life is not worth living”    Socrates

Breakthrough! Psychotherapy Can Change The Biology Of Your Brain

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Here I go again with another brain article!  Forgive me or welcome this insight depending on your openness to new learning of how your brain functions.

Recent research findings have confirmed the neuroplasticity of the brain.  This is important.  What this means is that the brain can be changed it its essence – biologically.  This involves changing and uniting the two main brain systems – the proactive (left) and the experiential (right) sides of the total brain.

Psychology has often been portrayed as a “soft” science – and some aspects of it are.  However, certain practices of psychology are a part of the biological science of learning and memory and, thus, psychotherapy is a biological intervention.

Some of you already are applying brain neuroplasticity practices.  Crossword puzzles, learning a new language, brushing your teeth with a different hand, etc… are examples of doing things to create new brain cells and slow down various forms of dementia.

Drs. Steve Rogers and Carrell Dammann have researched and written well on this subject. It is not the intent of this article to go into the scientific processes involved but rather to offer enlightenment and hope for people having certain types of psychological or relationship issues.

Good psychotherapy builds on the neuroscience principle established by Dr. Hebb: “neurons that fire together, wire together”.  Certain types of psychotherapy create conditions where neurological connections can “wire together” more effectively the cognitive and emotional portions of the brain.  Thus the patient/client is able to think-feel-behave in a more effective integrated manner.

I have practiced a form of this brain change for many years and have found it to be very effective for most of my patients/clients who chose to diligently practice the recommendations offered.  The therapy form is similar to creating a new habit; in fact that is exactly what it does. At first a person is uncomfortable with this new direction for the brain is used to the “familiar”) way – neurological pathway.  To be effective the old habit (neurological pathway) needs to be replaced by a new evolving habit (neurological pathway).  This may sound confusing and challenging – but, bottom line, it can be done!

If you are a person afflicted with thoughts and feelings that are disturbing and destructive, I strongly encourage you to learn more about this practical psychological tool.  Just as certain medications change the biology of your brain so, too, can certain psychotherapy techniques.

“The unexamined life is not worth living”     Socrates

These “ANTS” Are Destroying Your Brain! Extinguish Them!!

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Are “ANTS” invading your being?  You’ve probably heard the expression “ants in your pants”.  This is about “ANTS” in your head.  These “ANTS” (Automatic Negative Thoughts) are destructive. Dr. Daniel Amen says these “ANTS” need to be exterminated or they will ruin your relationships, your self esteem, and your personal power.  These are some kind of powerful “ANTS”! Amen states that “your overall state of mind has a certain tone … based largely on the type of thoughts you think.  When you have  thoughts  your brain releases chemicals depending on whether they are positive or negative in nature. They can make your mind and your body  feel good or bad.  Every cell in your body is affected by every thought you have.”

So, what are these vicious “ANTS”?  Amen lists nine of them.  I will list them so that you can see whether you have been” invaded” by any of them.

  1. ALWAYS/NEVER THINKING:  This happens when you think something that happened will “always” repeat itself or that you’ll “never” get what you want. Or, perhaps, you use this language when describing behavior of another.
  2. FOCUSING ON THE NEGATIVE: This occurs when your thoughts reflect only the bad in a situation and ignore all the good.
  3. FORTUNE TELLING: This is when you predict the worst possible outcome to a situation. Pessimists have mastered this “ANT”!
  4. MIND READING: This happens when you believe you know what other people are thinking even when they haven’t told you.
  5. THINKING WITH YOU FEELINGS: This occurs when you believe your negative feelings without ever questioning them.
  6. GUILT BEATING: This happens when you think with words like should, must, ought, have to… Or, perhaps you cannot get over feelings of guilt from mistakes you have made in the past.
  7. LABELING: When you attach a negative label to yourself or to someone else. You stop your ability to take a clear look at the situation.
  8. PERSONALIZING: It occurs when you invest innocuous events with personal meaning.
  9. BLAMING: (“the most poisonous ANT!): You blame someone or something else for the problems in your life. You become a passive victim.

Do you have any of these ANTS? Might you ask someone who knows you well to assess whether you have and ANTS in you?

 

Your brain evolution and health depend on what you focus on. Killing off your various “ANTS” and developing a more optimistic perspective, thinking positive thoughts, will make your brain and overall health, as well as your relationships significantly better.

 

DEATH TO THE ANTS!

 

“The unexamined life is not worth living”   Socrates

 

This Mental Health “Test” Can Help You Better Understand Yourself!

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

 

Do you ever wonder if you have some form of mental illness?  If you said “no”, keep reading because surely you need a reality check.  If you said “yes”, keep reading and find out what your troublesome areas are.  Mental health, like any normative measurement, should be seen on a continuum – a matter of degree.  For example, everyone has moments of sadness and depression.  How deep does the depression go?  What are the “triggers” that cause the depression? How long does it last? Etc…

Scientists are continually looking at ways to evaluate mental illness and the severity of it. What evaluation tool should be used?  Who should do the evaluating?  Recently a measure of mental health has been getting a lot of recognition.  It is called WhatsMyM3. Who does the measuring?  You do.  Psychiatrist Steven Davis says this instrument can help individuals “monitor their own symptoms and have a view of what’s going on” in terms of mood and anxiety. This three minutes “test” measures depression, anxiety, bipolar, and PTSD. You can find it on the web at WhatsMyM3.com. You fill in the answers, submit them, and you will get back a determination of your mental health based on your score.

There are twenty seven questions and you are to answer each one by checking one of these:                                              NOT AT ALL            RARELY          SOMETIMES         OFTEN      MOST OF THE TIME

Over the last two weeks or more, have you noticed the following:

  1. I feel sad, down in the dumps or unhappy.
  2. I can’t concentrate or focus.
  3. Nothing seems to give me much pleasure.
  4. I feel tired, have no energy.
  5. I have had thoughts of suicide.
  6. Changes in sleeping patterns: a) I have difficulty sleeping. b) I have been sleeping too much.
  7. Changes in appetite: a) I have lost some appetite.  b) I have been eating more.
  8. I feel anxious or can’t sit still.
  9. I feel worried or fearful.
  10. I have attacks of anxiety or panic.
  11. I worry about dying or losing control.
  12. I am nervous or shaky in social situations.
  13. I have nightmares or flashbacks.
  14. I am jumpy or feel startled easily.
  15. I avoid places that strongly remind me of a bad experience.
  16. I feel dull, numb, or detached.
  17. I can’t get certain thoughts out of my mind.
  18. I feel I must repeat certain acts or rituals.
  19. I feel the need to check and recheck things.

At any time in your life have you:

  1. Had more energy than usual.
  2. Felt unusually irritable or angry.
  3. Felt unusually excited, revved up or high.
  4. Needed less sleep than usual.

Indicate whether any of the above symptoms:

  1. Interfere with work or school.
  2. Affects my relationships with friends or family.
  3. Had led to my using alcohol to get by.
  4. Had led to my using drugs.

In my opinion this instrument serves a valid purpose in raising your awareness of certain mental health issues.  Just asking these pertinent questions helps you to examine these psychological components of your being. It is a self report “test”, however, and thus quite subjective.  Your defenses may well block the necessary objectivity that would be desired.  You may want to get another opinion from someone else who knows you well and can be honest and objective. Should the results of this “test” be of concern to you, please see a competent mental health provider.

“The unexamined life is not worth living”    Socrates

Answers To The Question, “Do You Love Yourself?” Yours?

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Do you love yourself?  What kind of reaction do you have when I ask you that question?  Your answer?  Possible responses to choose from, but not limited to, follow.

  1. Of course I do. I think I’m pretty amazing. (A narcissist perhaps?)
  2. One should not love oneself. I must remain humble. (Self degradation sometimes is an interpretation of humility).
  3. I’ve done some bad things and am carrying a lot of guilt. Therefore, I cannot love myself. (Doesn’t understand forgiveness and letting go of the bad stuff)
  4. I have not been successful therefore I cannot love myself. Success is necessary to love myself. (Financial or other personal “successes” are unrelated to loving yourself as a person)
  5. God made me.  God is Love.  I am created in his image, so I love myself. God didn’t create junk. (This person didn’t get the Adam and Eve memo of “Original Sin” – that babies are born sinful until baptized)
  6. I’ve added up my good points and think I am loveable. (A true left brained rationalist at work).
  7. My wife and kids love me so I must be loveable. (Pretty good for openers!)

Any of these answers fit? Do you have any others?

I believe that any valid spirituality and psychology invites, and helps make happen, the capacity for a person to love oneself.  I wish there would be a simple answer to help people find in themselves, and believe in, a healthy self love. People that love themselves take care of themselves.  They do not need various addictive and self destructive elements into their life. They are responsible and loving toward those entrusted into their care – whether it be family or other opportunities.

A healthy self love comes mostly from the emotional part of one’s brain, the right brain.  How you FEEL about yourself. It is the apex positive emotion that overcomes the negative emotions of fear, depression, anger and guilt.  I have tried over the years to help self loathing people find self love by examining and enumerating various positive qualities of that person.  Rarely did such knowledge in the left brain cross over and integrate with the right brain to create a self loving person. Embracing self love and receiving well the love of significant others is a worthwhile option while hiking through the occasional rough spots along the trail of life. Give it your best shot for the reward is worth the effort put forth!

Remember: “You can’t give what you don’t have”, and that includes Love!

“The unexamined life is not worth living”    Socrates