Once you or a loved one has received a diagnosis for a life threatening illness life is never the same. You find yourself measuring time by “before the diagnosis” and “after the diagnosis.” Is it possible to make choices that can improve the quality of your life? Today we have a guest post by Faith Franz of The Mesothemlioma Center, who shares some tips on making the most of life after the diagnosis.
Contrary to what some might believe, depression is an illness just like any other. It has causes and symptoms just like any other illness. The symptoms of depression enable the diagnosis of the condition since the brain can’t be cut open to find the cause of a “disease.” Recovery begins first with the diagnosis made by discussing the symptoms, then with the treatment. You are not “crazy” if you are diagnosed with depression. You have an illness, just like any other illness – treatable and not something you can wish away.
When we experience an injury that potentially limits or ends our ability to perform physical activities, there is a loss of something important that is created. Whether athlete, weekend warrior, or parent chasing after little ones, there is often a sense of longing for what was once but will no longer be. Well-meaning friends and family may say that we need to just get over it or find something else to take its place, but that beloved activity was more than just a past-time; it represented, in some ways, the personal power and control over our own bodies that has been taken away.
Do you have an injury or illness that causes pain? Does that pain keep you from getting enough quality sleep? What can you do to ensure you have the best chance to sleep well when you’re dealing with unrelenting pain? If you can’t sleep, how do you need to adapt the following day? This article from the website Invisible Illness Week shares the story of one woman who frequently has this experience, so maybe you won’t feel quite as alone. Your comments for healthy ways that have helped you cope are invited.
How to Get Some Sleep When the Pain Won’t Go Away!
by Shari Smith
If you have experienced a significant trauma in your life you may be suffering from the lingering effects of Posttraumatic Stress. If the following guest article reminds you of your own feelings, or of a loved one, know that there are natural methods available to help…
Things You Need to Know about PTSD
by Ryan Rivera, www.CalmClinic.com
To feel terrified, dejected, restless, and disconnected are but natural for people who have witnessed a very traumatic event. The emotions that make us human are sure to be shaken up as we try to internalize and make sense of the disconcerting experience. With time, the feelings will soon fade. The once happy and carefree “us” will soon be back. We will regain our normal life.
It’s perfectly natural and normal to feel some anxiety about an upcoming surgery. After all, you will be experiencing a period of time that you have very little control over, and the outcome may be uncertain. The fear of the unknown – the what if’s – run around in our minds before any procedure that has risks. Many scientific studies have shown that our emotions can impact our immune system’s ability to function optimally. Using medication to calm one’s anxiety is standard procedure in hospital settings, but that takes the control of anxiety symptoms out of the hands of the patient.
Curious about how guided imagery can be used for pain relief, stress reduction, and healing? Below is a short interview with Leslie Davenport, licensed therapist, clinical faculty at the integrative medicine center of a major hospital in San Francisco, and one of my psychology continuing education instructors, who gives a great example of how guided imagery works:
We have many roles in life. Many of those roles require that we give of ourselves, often with nothing in return to refresh and regenerate our energy levels. Some days it feels like we have nothing left to give. Those are the days when self-care is critical. Taking time to recharge by intentionally planning down time may be just the thing required (that to-do list can wait a few hours) whether or not anyone else steps in to help us. We really can’t be as effective for others when we aren’t taking care of our own needs.
What do you think of yourself? Are you typically Positive Polly, or are you more of a Negative Nelly? The way you see yourself has been shown to make a difference in overall wellness. The good news is that you can do something to improve your wellness just by intentionally imagining yourself in a better light. You’ve heard about how “being your best self” can change an outcome from many of the experts on success psychology and athletic performance. Here’s a glimpse of how imagining your best possible self can impact your overall well-being:
Something has happened to change your life. It may be an injury, illness, surgery, or other loss of health. It may be a change in lifestyle, career, or the role you play in the family. Or maybe it was the death of a loved one, end of a relationship, or loss of a dream that kept you going. Now what?
Transitions in life are often difficult and energy draining. Our brain can get stuck on what has happened even though life continues to move on all around us. How can we take care of our need for processing all the emotions and still prepare to recharge our batteries and re-enter “real life” as it is now? Coaching can help.
Believe it or not, it is within your power to create positive thoughts allowing you to accomplish anything you set out to do. Can you really think yourself happy? The answer is a qualified yes. Research proves that how we think can directly affect how we feel. Here are the ways in which positive thoughts can help you accomplish many things in life.
If you or someone you care about is going through cancer treatment, it’s possible that between doctor visits and treatment appointments there will be times when having someone with a fresh perspective to talk to might help. Life and wellness coaches as support system members are, perhaps, a choice that hasn’t been considered by most folks. Guest blogger Emily Walsh tells us more…
Life Coaching Helps Cancer Patients Keep Their Eyes On The Prize
Learn to hear the whispers of the body and mind before they have to shout.”
Dr. JoAnn Dahlkoetter*
Our bodies are wise. They know when they are not being treated well and they try to let us know by giving us signals. Are we listening? Or do we wait until it is in so much discomfort that it has to scream for attention?
Sometimes we are so impatient to get on with life that we forget to just be still and listen to what our body is trying to tell us. Those sensations we try to ignore are messages from our body – tension, nagging aches and pains, stiffness, headaches, tummy troubles – its only method of communication.
Whether you’re newly injured, preparing for, or recovering from surgery, you need tips and tools to make the healing process easier and less stressful. HealYourBest Certified Wellness Coaching provides the right tools for you at just the right time. From the moment you decide to invest in this program you will benefit from having an experienced and highly trained guide along during your journey of recovery. I’ll personalize a program starting with where you are currently, will encourage you as you look at your old story in order to know what to change, and will “walk beside you” as you create your new story of wellness.
Empowering people who have been sidelined by injury or illness to create a new story of wellness.”
It’s time to create a New Wellness Story® for your life
Do you want:
- Healthier habits, but don’t know how to maintain them?
- Less stress?
- Whole person health?
- Lasting improvements in your mind and body?
Most strategies for changing wellness fail because they are contrary to how the mind and brain work.
Stress is part of life, we simply can’t avoid it. There are some folks who seem to bend and bounce back no matter what life throws their way, while others tend to bend and break. Let’s face it, life can be just plain hard at times. And yet, how well we hold up under stress may be more in our own control than we realize. In fact, stress can make us stronger.
The following article, written by Dr. Neil Neimark (reprinted with permission), talks about some things we can do to help us withstand day to day stress, as well as some of the more difficult things that come our way…
Sad events can cause sad feelings. But what if a happy event causes sad feelings, is there something wrong with me?
Even events that might seem like positives can cause stress in our lives. An example would be a promotion. Of course there are benefits, but there might also be a loss of free time, loss of anonymity at work, loss of being able to make your own schedule if you are responsible for more projects or more people, etc. The following is a list of events that have been shown to cause stress, and which may provoke feelings of grief and/or loss. If any of these have happened to you, recently or in the past, perhaps it would help to take some time to explore how they may be affecting your ability to be happy today.
Are the Holidays a Difficult Time for You?
Many people have lost loved ones, relationships, or health throughout the year. Often the first holiday season that comes along without the loved one, or without the ability to do the things you usually enjoy creates a deeper sense of loss than other days. The following article helps many of us realize that it is normal to want to skip the holiday season.
Uh-0h, It’s That Time Again!
By Russell Friedman, Co-founder Grief Recovery Institute
Many Grievers Wish They Could Skip The Holidays And Jump From Late October To Mid-January
Research in the field of mind/body medicine tells us that all our thoughts and feelings are chemical. In fact, every thought and feeling we have is translated in the body into neuropeptides, which are the chemical messengers of thought and feeling.
Imagery Through the Senses
Excerpt from the book Your Performing Edge*
Dr. JoAnn Dahlkoetter Best-selling Author
Let’s talk about a variety of imagery categories and see how visualization incorporates the senses. After you become familiar with the various options, you can then select a particular type of imagery that matches your own perception style. Most experts agree that for maximum effectiveness, mental images should be positive and vivid, and evoke as many senses as possible. Why should imagery be a sensory experience?
QUESTION: Sometimes I tell people “I’m fine” and they don’t believe me. Why not?
ANSWER: Approximately 20% of your ability to communicate is verbal, leaving about 80% as non-verbal. Non-verbal communication includes tone of voice as well as facial and body signals. When our verbal and non-verbal signals don’t match, most people will respond to the non-verbal. So when you lie, most people can SEE it.
A common thread running through many of our articles is the mis-information we were all subjected to about processing the normal emotions caused by loss.
QUESTION: I have heard that it takes 2 years to “get over” the death of a loved one; 5 years to “get over” the death of a parent; and you never “get over” the death of a child. Is this true?
ANSWER: Part of the problem is the phrase “get over.” It is more accurate to say that you would never forget a child who had died, anymore than you would ever forget a parent or a loved one. Another part of the problem is one of those killer clichés we talked about, that time, of itself, is a recovery action. Although recovery from loss does take some time, it is the actions within time that lead to successful recovery.
Injury and illness are losses that may need grieving.
There are at least 43 losses which can produce the range of emotions we call grief. The long list includes:
- Death of a loved one
- Divorce or end of a relationships
- Major financial changes
- Loss of health
Grief is normal and natural, but many of the ideas we have been taught about dealing with grief are not helpful, for example:
- Time heals all wounds
- You must grieve alone
- Be strong
- Don’t feel bad
- Replace the loss
- Just keep busy
Asking for help is not always easy, especially when we are not used to doing it. When we are recovering it is sometimes even harder because we want to prove to others (and ourselves) that we can be independent, while secretly wishing others would “just know” what we need. While it is not reasonable to expect all our needs to be met just exactly when and how we want, it is possible to help others help us simply by letting them know what we need. So, what is the best way to communicate to others so that they will understand the things we cannot do for ourselves and be willing to help? The following is a list of ten tips for getting the best response.
The world of integrative and alternative medicine is more popular now that ever. But how do you wade through the vast amounts of information available online without becoming more confused, or falling for scams from unsafe practitioners and their advice? I have spent many years reading books, magazines, peer-reviewed journal articles, and following discussion groups moderated by highly trained naturopathic doctors and herbalists, and yet there are still many times when I am not certain how to choose between two or more conflicting opinions. Oftentimes we ask our physicians for advice on certain modalities or supplements we’ve read about and they may know from personal experience which ones are good and which aren’t. But other times, physicians have not studied these modalities in depth and prefer to stay within the boundaries of what they were taught as generally accepted practices in medical school. That does not mean that many of the alternative therapies are not good, or even bad, it just means that your doctor either may not know enough about it or does not want to recommend it to protect their practice from liability.
No matter what sport you play; golf, tennis, baseball, basketball, football, hockey, soccer, track and field, or any other athletic endeavor there’s one thing for certain:
You would love to reach your full potential in the shortest time frame possible.
What if I told you that sports performance can be enhanced in just minutes a day using a simple technique that has been tested by professional and amateur athletes worldwide, with amazing results.
The technique I’m referring to is called Emotional Freedom Techniques or EFT.
Sue Hasker is recommended by Dr. JoAnn Dahlkoetter, Stanford Medical Center trained psychologist and best selling author of Your Performing Edge:
I had the unique opportunity to coach and work with Sue Hasker in 2009 as an advanced student in my Performing Edge Coaching Certification training program for the past several months.
I am extremely impressed with her work, and I would highly recommend Sue Hasker to any college or to any of my colleagues or clients. Our work together involved education and rigorous training around the Your Performing Edge Coaching method and general coaching techniques for working with a variety of complex client issues.
New Year’s Resolutions are always made with the best intentions, but how many are actually kept? Apparently not most, according to experts. The following article gives some great tips on how to make resolutions (or set goals anytime of year) that are realistic and more likely to be successful.
- Set smaller goals with smaller steps
- Frame your goals positively
- Get a resolutions buddy who can help you keep track of what you want to do
- Be patient with yourself and don’t be overanxious
10 ways to get motivated for change in 2010
By Elizabeth Landau, CNN
If you have been injured or seriously ill you will inevitably find yourself sitting in the doctor’s office with a lot of questions. What often happens is we feel rushed or nervous and forget to ask or forget WHAT to ask. Here is a list of reminders that will help during those times when it is important to know all the facts before making any decisions.
How to Talk to Your Doctor
How do you talk to your doctor? Does he or she do all the talking while you do all the listening? Are you afraid to ask questions? Do you leave the office feeling like you just sat through a foreign language class?
- Dr. JoAnn Dahlkoetter http://www.DrJoAnn.com
Coaches need to read their athletes correctly and understand them for who they are.
Unless you’re a competitive athlete, chances are you have not had a “coach” since high school PE class. But you have probably had a boss, a neighbor, or a parent who made a big impression on you. Was that impression positive or negative? What about their interaction with you made it positive or negative? Would you have wanted it to be different? What would you do differently if you were in that position?
Not a competitive athlete? That’s okay!
EVERYONE can benefit from mental training to do your best in any situation. Your “PERFORMING EDGE” is that feeling you get when you are doing your best, when you are “in the zone” mentally and physically. It could be while you’re exercising, while doing your favorite hobby, or even while working on a project around the house or at your job.
What makes the difference between being “pretty good” at something and being “excellent”? It’s just a matter of training your mind to “see yourself doing it right,” focusing on what’s happening now to eliminate distractions, and talking to yourself in a way that brings out your very best.
6 Steps for Managing the Stress in Your Life
We all experience it at one time or another; this trespasser called stress. It is perhaps the number one cause of most health problems today. Let’s explore 6 ways to deal with the stress in your life in a healthy and effective manner.
* Talk about the problems you are experiencing with friends, loved ones or a professional. Keeping everything bottled up will only create more problems later on. Join a support group with people experiencing similar problems.
Do you feel like you are always talking yourself out of success? As soon as you start to set goals for yourself, do you suddenly have nagging thoughts about how you aren’t up to the task or how you simply aren’t qualified to carry it through?
If you have ever experienced either situation, you need to change the way you respond to your inner dialogue. Instead of obeying your negative commands, you can use positive self-talk to counter the negativity and overcome nearly all anxious thoughts.
Sports Psychology Can be Used by “Regular People”
Part of my training as a certified coach has been to read and absorb a book called, Your Performing Edge: The Complete Mind-Body Guide for Excellence in Sports, Health and Life by Dr. JoAnn Dahlkoetter. My goal from the very first chapter was to take the concepts used by athletes and sports coaches, and translate them for use by the “rest of us.”
Below is an article by Dr. JoAnn along with my take on how to use the “3 P’s,” which are the core of the Performing Edge Method, for helping people to heal and recovery from injury, surgery, or both.
People from all walks of life may at some point in their lives experience an accidental injury. Trainers and coaches have been using some powerfully effective mental training tools to help athletes return to their sport, while the rest of us have probably only just heard of them. The mental training tips listed in following article can be used by anyone who is experiencing a season of healing and recovery. Just exchange any references to athletes and sports with activities related to physical therapy and rehabilitation. Welcome to the exciting world of sports psychology!
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Isabel_Kirk
Anxiety can come into your life at any time. It’s normal. When the anxiety becomes frequent you could be at risk for more serious conditions. If you feel your anxiety is starting to take over your life or increasingly causing you problems, seek professional help immediately. There is no need to suffer this terrible condition in silence.
Thank you, and I look forward to working with you!