Our world is in the midst of an emotional meltdown. As a psychiatrist, I've seen that many people are addicted to the adrenaline rush of anxiety, known as the "fight or flight" response, and they don't know how to defuse it. An example of this is obsessively watching the news about natural disasters, trauma, economic stress and violence, and then not being able to turn bad news off. Also, people are prone to "techno-despair"
If you want to see people flip their lids fast, try invading their personal space. These intrusions cause our stress hormones to skyrocket and can affect our physical and mental health. Blood pressure, heart rate, and muscle tension are all affected.
As a psychiatrist, I believe that dreams provide extraordinary insights into improving your health, relationships and career. I consult my dreams for all important decisions using a technique that I describe in "Emotional Freedom" and below. You'd be surprised by the invaluable advice that your dreams give, either spontaneously or on request.
Generosity is an expansive energy. As Norman Lear told me in an interview for the book, “You receive as you give. But you have to expend energy to get energy. Electricity happens from rubbing two wires together. That’s what giving does for me.” Stinginess is constrictive. If you’re on the cheap side, don’t worry. But wake up! Realize it’s a huge drawback; take contrary action. How?
"Déjà Vu" is a common intuitive experience that has happened to many of us. The expression is derived from the French, meaning "already seen." When it occurs, it seems to spark our memory of a place we have already been, a person we have already seen, or an act we have already done. It is a signal to pay special attention to what is taking place, perhaps to receive a specific lesson in a certain area or complete what is not yet finished.
A resentment is a grudge that you harbor after you've felt mistreated. It's easy to hold on to all the incidents that angered you, from a gossiping hairdresser to a two-timing ex-husband. And, if you took a poll, you'd probably get a lot of people on your side about your right to stay resentful. According to such logic, as time passes, you have "the right" to get angrier, becoming a broken record of complaints. But is that the sour person you want to be?
For over twenty years as physician, I’ve witnessed, time and again, the healing power of tears. Tears are your body’s release valve for stress, sadness, grief, anxiety, and frustration. Also, you can have tears of joy, say when a child is born or tears of relief when a difficulty has passed. In my own life, I am grateful when I can cry. It feels cleansing, a way to purge pent up emotions so they don’t lodge in my body as stress symptoms such as fatigue or pain. To stay healthy and release stress, I encourage my patients to cry. For both men and women, tears are a sign of courage, strength, and authenticity.
As a psychiatrist, I realize that comparing is a natural tendency we all have. It can be absolutely neutral, as when you merely evaluate similarities and differences. Such comparison is essential for astute reasoning. It’s also productive if you’re inspired to emulate another’s impressive traits.
Loneliness gets to some more than others. But why it hangs on isn't always apparent when read by traditional medical eyes. In my practice and workshops I've been struck by how many sensitive, empathic people who I call "emotional empaths" come to me, lonely, wanting a romantic partner, yet remaining single for years.
People we love can sometimes drain us the most. Our mates may not be trying to do this, but life's demands add up. For instance, at the end of a long day, he or she might come home in a negative mood or is needy and overbearing. Sometimes the draining behavior may go beyond this, when they become argumentative or hurtful. As a psychiatrist, I help my patients address these behaviors with their mates in a tactful, loving way to find positive solutions. Learning this skill is a wonderful Valentine's Day resolution to make in February, the month of love, and throughout the year.