Tag Archives: UCLA School of Medicine

That’s the Spirituality!

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Do you long for spirituality? Einstein once famously said, “God doesn’t play dice with the universe.”By this, he was suggesting that there is an order to life, that things don’t happen randomly, but with some purpose. The implication is that the purpose or guiding principles are constructive in some way. At the deepest level, anxiety […]

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Your Responsibility for Good Relationships

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Ultimately, it is your responsibility for good relationships. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou Relationships are a two-way street, just as there are two directions in which energy can flow. Let’s continue with this […]

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Relationships with Others

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Relationships with others begins in the mirror. Many years ago Paul Simon wrote the classic song “I Am a Rock.” “I am a rock; I am an Island. And a rock feels no pain, and an island never cries.” Despite Mr. Simon’s wishful thinking, few of us live on an island. And we certainly aren’t […]

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Setting Boundaries with Yourself

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  Another aspect to developing and maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself is being responsible and setting appropriate boundaries. There needs to be a counterbalancing force to acceptance. If you think of a parent dealing with his or her children (or you, dealing with one of you children), you can’t be only accepting. You know […]

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Self-Sabotage or Self-Love

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Is it self-sabotage or self-love? In over 30 years as a therapist I have marveled at the effort my clients make to change and to grow. These efforts include trying new and difficult behaviors, dealing with their painful emotions and asserting themselves in their relationships. I see people struggle to free them¬selves from the controlling […]

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Neurogenesis and Resilience

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I have defined resilience from many different perspectives thus far: It’s the ability to bounce back; it’s optimal self-regulation and adaptability; it’s being aware or awake for as many moments in your life as possible. Here is another aspect of resilience: It’s the optimal birthing of new nerve cells, or brain cells. Using words such […]

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Ignoring Feelings Makes Us Numb

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If you have found ways of ignoring feelings—and we all do this—then a likely consequence is that, to some extent, you have numbed yourself. You see, you are not able to selectively make yourself unaware of only negative feelings! When you depress or push down your anger, or unconsciously engage in shallow breathing to numb […]

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Uncomfortable Emotions

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Emotions can be uncomfortable, and, well, messy. There is a simple device called a galvanic skin conductance meter. It measures the moisture on the surface of your skin. You may notice at times that when you are anxious, your hands become moist or clammy. It may occur before a test or before a performance. Conversely, […]

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If Our Stress Response is Good, More is Better

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If our stress response is good, then more stress is better. There are many ways that your stress response serves you, mobilizes you to take action, helps you focus and be more motivated. It enhance performance. There is great reluctance, therefore, to set any limit on something you feel is helpful or needed. Thus, the […]

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Why We Crave Stress Like a Drug

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When you start out training to become a psychologist, you take many courses focused on theories about behavior. One of the first lessons is that behavior that is reinforced will be strengthened and continued, while behavior that isn’t reinforced or that is negatively reinforced will be extinguished. In other words, it will be less and […]

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Resistance to Overcoming Old Patterns

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If you are going to get onto The Path and stay on The Path, you have to recognize the invisible obstacles that keep getting in your way. To be on The Path you must learn to have your eyes wide open—to be awake. When you are asleep, metaphorically, you don’t know you are asleep. That’s […]

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Stress is in the Eye of the Beholder

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Stress is all in the eye of the beholder. Anything that creates a sense of danger or even uncertainty will trigger your stress response and the mobilization of your body’s resources and defenses. For this reason, your stress response is open to your particular interpretation of what’s dangerous. In other words, stress is subjective; that […]

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What is Stress Anyway?

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What is stress, anyway? There are many misconceptions about stress. With all the publicity on the subject, one can easily get the message that stress is bad and should be eliminated. At the same time, we seem to look for and even desire stress. How is it possible to reconcile these two positions? The quick […]

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