Something Decadently Enticing

Oh rotten orange!  I found one stinking up my pantry.  Little fruit flies netting the air above.  Green fur staining my basket below.  The fruit touching it changing colors for no reason other than proximity.

Stay healthy.  Staying healthy is one of the best things we can do for ourselves and for those we “share space” with, those we love.  It is a gift any way you look at it.

Exercise helps, including with emotional health.  Yet, how many of us do?  About 30%.  Some of us use negative self talk to get ourselves out there.  “I’m fat.”  “I’m going to have a heart attack if I don’t.”  “I won’t qualify for that insurance if I don’t.”  All of which may be true.  However, does it work for us?  Apparently 1/3 of the time.

We use the negative feedback to motivate ourselves.  But just as in children, we know it doesn’t work.

If a child lives with approval, he learns to live with himself

-Dorothy Law Nolte

Positive reinforcement is helpful in any context.  Who knows!  Maybe that rotten orange would have tried harder to stay fresh with emotional perks?!

Each of us needs to find our own positive feedback that works.  Our interests are different so it’s not universal.  However, we can be our own behavioral therapist in this.

I have found for myself that I never exercised consistently until I turned exercise into something decadently enticing.  I load up 3 large glasses of water and take them to my bike.   My bike is in an alone place.  In front of my stationary bike is our only television.  There I watch whatever I want!  I don’t allow myself to watch TV at any other time.  It is special.  Reserved for my exercise.  I can’t wait to get back to my show or movie almost every morning!

When I want to hit the streets with a walk or a jog, I listen to audio books that I only listen to when I’m exercising.

I have to set aside some persuasive treats that are now linked in my mind to exercising.  Now when I think of exercising, I am nothing but happy about it.  It is behavioral modification at it’s best.  Hopefully this is helping me and those I touch in life.

Self Care Tip #42 – Turn exercise into something decadently enticing!  Be a friend to yourself.

Question:  What positive reinforcement works for you?

Choose Your Prophesy

A woman today with a frank quick smile found out I wrote FriendtoYourself.com.  She swung open the door to her story.  People like her never bore me.  In brief, she was sad after many life losses.  Then when she made some changes in her life she got better.  “I didn’t know how bad I felt!”  (And who does?)  Now every day has activity she loves.  She gets tearful just telling me about all the gratitude that took her by surprise.

In psychiatry, the way she felt when she was sad is called an Adjustment Reaction.  An Adjustment Reaction doesn’t last long, it is in response to stress, and it goes away when the stressor is removed.

Stress is dangerous to us.  It can affect us for different amounts of time, like measuring cups.  During that time, it can affect us to different depths within ourselves, like a scuba diver exploring a coral reef.  If the sad time in this woman’s life went longer, and if she had gotten more sick, it might have become a Major Depressive Episode.  In that case, medication therapy would be appropriate.

Stress affects different intersecting paradigms that make us into who we are, like storm water over farmland.  It crosses over our biology, our genes, what is done to us in life, what we do to ourselves, what is put in our bodies, and how we cope.

Stress can pass over us like a Jewish holiday or it can stay, working, changing, reshaping, adding and taking away bits, always active and busy.  Ants in the walls of our house.  Most often we don’t know what it is doing, for how long, or where it is at work in us.  Stress mutates our cells, turns sleeping genes into loud cancer, depression, anxiety, heart attacks, dementia, old and wasted faces.

But what to do?  Do we avoid stress?  Do we end it?  Do we cure it?  All of that, of course.  My dad told me, “Everyone has problems.  The difference between you and somebody else, is what you do with your problems.”  Not the number of them.

No.  This woman’s story didn’t bore me at all.  The opposite does.

In the film directed by Adam Shankman, “Bedtime Stories,” the character played by Adam Sandler thinks choices have little effect on inevitable negative outcomes. “Life has no happy endings.”  He lives consistent with that belief, until love finds him.  A happy life story can be chosen.  His fantasies are freed to cross the boundary from imagination into the material world where love was waiting, in the shape of family and strangers.  Love showed him that his life had been a self-fulfilling prophecy.  He hadn’t even realized how unhappy he was.  (And who does?)

Self Care Tip #38 – Choose to go towards your fantasies.  Be a friend to yourself.

Question:  What do you think?  What is your story?

Calcium as a Supplement – Corrections and Retractions!

Thoracic aorta

Image via Wikipedia

Hello Readers,

My good friend, cardiologist Helme Silvet MD, alerted me to research published 7/29/10 in the British Journal of Medicine stating that Calcium may increase risk of myocardial infarction – i.e. heart attack.

What is already known on this topic

Calcium supplements are commonly taken by older people for skeletal health
A randomised placebo controlled trial suggested calcium supplements might increase the risk of myocardial infarction and cardiovascularevents

What this study adds

A meta-analysis of trials totalling 12 000 participants found that calcium supplements increase the risk of myocardial infarction by about 30%
Given the modest benefits of calcium supplements on bone density and fracture prevention, a reassessment of the role of calcium supplementsin the management of osteoporosis is warranted

BMJ 2010;341:c3691

Pretty big deal so please take that off of our recipe to being a friend to yourself.

Onward and upward my friends!  Be a friend to yourself!