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DHoytTherapist's Corner...
A Few Things To Help Change Your Life

We are constantly faced with regrets, failures and the like that plague our minds and control our actions. We might be overwhelmed by situations we cannot change and things we wish we could take back. We experience heartbreak, loss and fear, along with betrayal, jealousy and bad memories.

However, life doesn’t have to be so hard. There’s an art to learning to let things go and leaving the worries of the past to yesterday. Those who go through life with a seemingly unaffected attitude are the people who understand the angles of life and the differences between what can be changed and what cannot. In understanding those differences, they are able to move on and enjoy life as it’s presented. It’s the people who don’t get worked up when they are stuck behind every stop light in town or when they didn’t get the job they wanted. It’s the people who can move on with relative ease from one disappointment to the next. They don’t freak out about the inevitable and move on to bigger and better things before they have time to cry about the past.

You shouldn’t be choking on life. All you need is new perspective and understanding between the things that can be changed, the things that must be accepted and the wisdom to know the difference.

Accept your imperfections, change your idea of beauty. There’s nothing you can do about your long arms or your knobby knees, but you can change how you feel about them. Your imperfections are only imperfections as long as you make them that way and it’s up to you to accept yourself, flaws and all. Beauty is something that is in the eye of the beholder and no one can define it objectively. Celebrate what is right with you instead of changing the things that aren’t quite right. Your body is your temple, and though you can’t always change it, you should take care of it. Do not destroy it, respect it the same way you take care of a prized possession.

Accept your family, change your friends. You can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends. Whether you have a great family or not, it’s important to maintain a friend group that’s like a family in that they can be called on in times of need. Sometimes we all could use someone in our corner to help us deal with the hardships of life. So choose your friends wisely because they often become like a family to you.

Accept your situation, change your outlook. What’s happening to you here and now is not something you can change, but you can change how you respond to it because there’s nothing worse than someone who doesn’t know how to “go with the flow.” Life is too short to fret over things that cannot be changed. Learn to adjust your expectations and change your outlook so you don’t waste moments that could have been great ones.

Accept your fate, change your journey. Whatever happens, happens. It’s a simple saying, but it’s a simple concept. The things that happen in life cannot always be explained or changed, but you can change the path you take to them. Memories of events and people from the past have no room in your present and will only haunt you as long as you let them. Don’t let the memory of these things occupy yourself to where you aren’t paying attention to what is taking place right now in front of you. Fate has a weird way of showing us that we aren’t always in control over what happens to us, but it does tell us that we can make our own paths, even if we can’t see where it will lead.

Accept where you are now, change where you’re going. You may not like where you are now, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have the power to change where you’re going. Don’t let fear rule the day, take charge of your future and don’t let what has happened to you stop you from getting where you want to go.

Accept the choices you’ve made, change your next ones. Holding on to regrets is like bringing a jar full of bees into your house. There’s no need for them and they will only end up stinging you. Accept your regrets as moments passed that have nothing to do with you now except to teach you what you can do differently next time a similar situation presents itself. You can’t change your past mistakes, but you can change what you do next time to make sure they don’t happen again. Pain is supposed to teach us a lesson, learn from your mistakes.

Accept the things you can’t change, change the things you can’t accept. There are some things, like the weather that you cannot change. However, there’s always something you can do. If you hate the cold, move to Hawaii. If you absolutely can’t accept something, then you must make bold moves to change it. However, the sooner you start accepting the things you cannot change, the happier you will be. The more you change the things you refuse to accept, the greater person you will become.

~ Dave Hoyt, Therapist

TCarlson From Our Psychologist...
Change is Inevitable

As a clinical health psychologist, one of the most common concerns I hear from patients is difficulty adjusting to the physical changes that occur as we get older. A common complaint is that tasks take much longer to complete and many activities one used to do with ease, now may cause significant pain or discomfort.

It's true, if we are lucky enough to live to old age our bodies will undergo numerous changes and our physical abilities, strength, and endurance will all change over time. However, that does not mean our bodies will deteriorate each year until we reach the point of being incapable of doing even basic tasks. At least it does not have to mean that! This weekend I was reminded our bodies can also change in positive ways as I watched a 62-year-old finish a triathlon.

The truth is, we can choose to nurture and strengthen our bodies over time. If we treat them well and give them the food, nourishment, rest, and activities they need, in the right doses they need, it is possible for our bodies to become stronger each year. It's not uncommon for someone in their 40s or 50s to say they're in much better health than they were in their 20s or 30s.

The trick is doing what we can to improve ourselves, while at the same time embracing things as they are and appreciating them in the moment, without constantly wishing they were different. There are no easy answers on exactly how to do this, but many find guidance in the teachings of Buddhism. One of the most famous quotes from Buddhism is, “Attachment is the root of all suffering.” This means we become fixated on how things are and we don't want them to change. Whether that's a youthful appearance, physical abilities such as strength or endurance, material possessions, or relationships with others, it is easy to become attached to all of these things. When they change, especially when they become somehow weak or defective in our eyes, this can cause tremendous pain and suffering. We may desperately want to hold on to the way things once were, and it can be hard to let these images and memories go. However, with the spirit of transition and adaptability, we will find less emotional pain and turmoil if we embrace things not as we might want them to be, but as they truly are.

That doesn't mean that we shouldn't take steps to improve ourselves, our relationships with others, or move forward with personal goals. It simply means it’s important to accept change is inevitable. It is the one thing that we can count on. Our body will age. And still there are things you can do to alter the pace and time of many impacts of aging. That shiny new car will get scratches. Yet, there are ways to protect it. That new exciting relationship will change in time. However, it may grow and develop into something more than you ever thought it would be. The trick is finding balance in doing what you can to protect what it is important to you, while at the same time not becoming too attached to things as they are; maintaining awareness that they won’t stay that way for long. In this way we become fluid; constantly growing, changing, and adapting to the world around us. This may very well be the secret to happiness. If not, it must surely be one big step in the journey….

~ Dr. Tabitha Carlson, Licensed Clinical Psychologist

HainATips from Our EAP…
Coping with Crisis

How do I cope with my crisis?
The most important action that you can take when experiencing a crisis is reaching out for support from friends or family. A crisis not only creates the need to talk through your feelings, it also has a way of making everyday tasks difficult to accomplish alone.  When loved ones offer their time and support, take it. A heartfelt thank you is all that is necessary in return. Do not allow guilt or pride to prevent you from receiving the help you need.

Consider whether informing your employer of your circumstances and asking for needed time off or other accommodation is necessary to help you cope and recover. Refusal to look for, or accept, support is a mistake and can make it more difficult to gain the advantage resulting from a crisis. 

Because of the disruptive nature of the types of events that trigger crises, adhering to your existing daily schedule will help you to maintain a sense of normalcy and calm. Structure is key. Sticking to your regular routine helps combat the physical and psychological effects of a crisis. Sitting down to eat for every meal, even if you are not hungry, will help to keep your food intake at healthy levels.

Going to bed at the same time every night will help to combat insomnia.

Stay away from mood altering use of substances during this period, as they can delay the healing process or even compound your problems, regardless of whether abuse or addiction is an issue for you.

Big decisions often accompany a crisis. The rule: Delay important life decisions like changing jobs or selling your home in the face of crisis.

When a crisis remains ongoing, it signals a need to consult with a mental health professional. An objective source of such help will provide relief and enable you to make effective decisions as you go forward.

~ Anna Hain, EAP Program Director

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