Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dealing with mortality

Michael Jackson (50) and Farah Fawcett (62) both died today (6/25/09). Whether you liked them or not, both were fairly young. Deaths like this remind us that life can be short. After I turned 50, my experience is that mortality slaps me increasingly harder every year.

Presently, I have two friends (ages 66 and 36) who are fighting cancer. My parents have been dead for years. My wife has not only lost her parents, but also both her brother and her sister.

What does our mortality try to teach us?

1.That we don't know how much time we have on earth.
2.To be grateful for our health and other blessings.
3.To love and to treat others well.
4.To try to live life to the fullest.
5.To live in moderation and with a healthy lifestyle.
6.For those of us with a spiritual practice, to do just that. PRACTICE it it!

More personally, I think God is trying to remind me to stop my whining about insignificant things.

In the immortal words of Bill and Ted, “Be EXCELLENT to each other!”

Best wishes,

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

15 Tips to Deal with Anxiety During Difficult Economic Times

It has been widely reported that anxieties have greatly increased as the economy has declined. This has sent many to their family doctors for medication and others seeking psychological services. With so many foreclosures, which has yet to bottomed out, many have valid reasons for concerns. Many have lost jobs, through no fault of their own and worry about paying their bills, being employed again, etc.

In an American Psychological Association poll in September, 2008, 80 percent reported the economy's causing significant stress, up from 66 percent last April. Many worry about having lost half or more of the value of their 401K, IRAs, and other investments. The stock market has not lost as much value since the Great Depression. With the economic downturn in the last year and one half, there has been a significant increase in anxiety and depression.

Many have always labeled themselves as worry worts. For these people, the economy has turbo-charged their worries. Others may be seriously worrying for the first time.

With these realities, what can one do to cope?

1.Decide to NOT allow worries to run your life. Accept the reality that you CAN learn to control your worries.
2.The first step is to monitor yourself for worries.
3.One technique is to use Thought Stopping. This is telling yourself to STOP when you notice yourself worrying.
4.Another technique is to schedule a 10 to 20 minute time which is the only time you allow yourself to worry. When the worries come at other times, shut them down immediately and postpone them to your Worry Time.
5.Decatastrophize your thoughts.
a) Refuse to let All/None thoughts rule your thoughts.
b) Don't allow yourself to assume the worst.
c) Refuse to believe that you are powerless.
6.If you HAVE experienced a major loss, remind yourself that worry only zaps your energies that you need to problem solve.
7.Limit your use of caffeine, alcohol, and recreational drugs.
8.Exercise. This is one of the best ways to combat stress.
9.Practice deep breathing, meditation, and/or other relaxation exercises.
10.If you have a spiritual practice, USE it.
11.Limit your exposure to potentially upsetting financial (and possibly other) news.
12.Remind yourself that downturns in the economy have historically been followed by financial upturns. It is just unclear how soon.
13.Remind yourself that over time, the stock market has proven to be the best investment.

14.Whether or not you agree, government interventions appear to have aided in preventing the economy from a total free fall.
15.Read or listen to some cognitive-behavioral readings and/or recordings.

For more information, send an email for a FREE 22 page ebook Anxiety Control. Techniques to get your life back! If you email, an email will automatically be returned giving them a link where they can view and/or download the ebook.

There is also good information at, including FREE relaxation recordings, articles and other resources for worry and anxiety.

If these efforts are insufficient, strongly consider seeing a counselor. Anxiety disorders are both very common and very treatable.

Life is NOT for wimps!

Best wishes,

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