Monday, December 23, 2013

Acknowledge Empty Chair at Holiday Dinners

Although celebratory, our upcoming holidays can also be a painful, annual reminder of personal loss. It is now 40 years since my older brother and dad died. Even though I was just a young boy at that time, the memory of the hurt of their untimely deaths continues to afflict my family and me. Over the years, however, the hurt has transformed into more of a benign acceptance of death as a part of life. Much of the healing has been facilitated by simply acknowledging the grief, rather than attempting to avoid or forget it. One can never truly forget.
Too often, in a misguided effort to spare self and others from the hurt of their grief, many grieving families may attempt to avoid acknowledging the empty chair at the holiday dinner table. Unfortunately, this tactic only tends to allow for the grief to be experienced silently to oneself, while family members remain disconnected and filled with a heightened, vague sense of sadness which can linger throughout the remainder of the holiday.
On the contrary, I often encourage my patients to acknowledge the empty chair. Although this approach will undoubtedly elicit feelings of tearful grief, crying is generally a normal and healthy part of the grieving process. In this way, the grief is now an open and shared experience which has the potential to lead to a more positive holiday dinner, despite the loss. Many families may now find themselves even sharing memorable, positive times with respect to the deceased loved one.
Most grief resolves itself, over time. If you or a family member feels the need for assistance in dealing with your loss, your physician can make referrals to local grief support groups and other invaluable resources that can help.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Spring Graduation and Empty Nest

With local graduations now commencing, many parents may be struck with the new and unfamiliar feelings associated with the “Empty Nest Syndrome.” Adjusting to the “new normal” of children becoming adults often entails a certain degree of a type of mourning on the part of parents.  It is not uncommon for loving parents to essentially grieve the loss over a child's departure into their career or school. What is the alternative? Naturally, since loving parents want the best for their children, resolution of this temporary “grief” involves the momentary hurt over the proverbial "short-term pain for the long-term gain." It will ease. The child/parent relationship still remains, it is simply forever different. It has transformed into a deeper relationship with an adult child, whom one has worked so hard to raise. Eventually, parents can certainly learn to more fully enjoy the fruits of their efforts while also learning new ways to now re-discover their relationships with others, including one's spouse.
I believe that Erma Bombeck best summed up “empty nest,” when she said: "When mothers talk about the depression of the empty nest, they're not mourning the passing of all those wet towels on the floor, or the music that numbs your teeth, or even the bottle of capless shampoo dribbling down the shower drain. They're upset because they've gone from supervisor of a child's life to a spectator. It's like being the vice president of the United States."

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Are you are more beautiful than you think?

Gill Zamora, FBI-trained forensic composite artist, blindly sketches women based upon their own descriptions of themselves versus the descriptions of strangers with whom they were recently interacting. You'll be pleasantly surprised by the differences!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Oprah & Deepak 21-Day Meditation Challenge

"We will be your guides each day as together we discover how to recognize our body’s natural perfection and leverage its inherent wisdom. In our interactive online program, we invite you to meditate and journal with us to embrace the vision of your best self, expand your understanding of your miraculous body, and achieve greater balance and wellbeing."
-- Quote from the Deepak Chopra website (below)
FREE Oprah & Deepak 21-Day Meditation challenge
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Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Smoking Cessation through Hypnosis

Smoking is not just a habit. It is an addiction, and like any addiction, it is very hard to break. If you are a smoker, you need to understand that very few people are able to break the addiction without any help whatsoever. To ensure that you are able to break your smoking habit for good, you need to learn options that have high success rates. One of those options would be hypnosis. In fact, the success rate for using hypnosis for smoking cessation is more than 80%. Are you ready to quit smoking? If you are not, there are some things that you need to know. Consider the following:

The Effects of Smoking

You have most likely heard all of the speeches about the danger of smoking. It can lead to heart disease, lung cancer, emphysema, and more health problems that can actually be fatal. You most likely know all of that, but there are some other things you need to consider. Perhaps, when you hear it all, you will understand the full impact that smoking is having on you.

Consider this. If you smoke a pack a day, do you realize how much money you are spending a year on your habit? For the average pack of cigarettes smoked one a day, you are spending about $2,500  a year. That is a lot of money, and chances are, you did not realize how much you were spending on smoking.

You are causing problems to your health and to your budget by choosing to smoke. However, you can immediately eliminate the cost and slowly improve your health once you choose to quit. If you have tried to quit before and you just have not had much luck, then you may be thinking that quitting is impossible. This is why you will want to consider smoking cessation through hypnosis.

How Quickly Does Hypnosis Work?

You may be wondering just how often you will have to go through hypnosis sessions. After all, you have to take time out of your day and pay for those sessions, and that can become difficult. Here is some good news. On average, a person is able to give up smoking with just one hypnosis session.

In this session, you will spend about 2.5 hours with the hypnotherapist. During these hours, you will be put under hypnosis and you will learn an aversion to smoking. In other words, the hypnotherapist will implant in your mind that smoking tastes or feels horrible. Once this has been placed into your subconscious, you will find cigarettes disgusting even if you crave one. This makes it all the easier to put them down for good.

For the vast majority of smokers, only one of the sessions is needed. However, if you have never been hypnotized before, it can take some work from the hypnotherapist, and that means you may be asked to come back for one more session. However, hypnosis sessions are not like counseling. You do not have to continue going just to beat your smoking addiction. Once you are able to put the cigarettes down, you will most likely not ever touch them again.

Smoking is a difficult addiction. Like any other addiction, it can be very hard to beat on your own. You cannot expect to be able to put down those cigarettes and have any success. However, you can get the help you need in order to break the habit. Hypnosis has proven to be extremely successful at ending a smoking addiction. If you have discovered that your smoking habit is affecting your health as well as your budget, consider the option to quit with the help of a hypnotherapist.

Valerie Johnston is a health and fitness writer located in East Texas. With ambitions of one day running a marathon, writing for ensures she keeps up-to-date on all of the latest health and fitness news.

Editor's note: Please understand that although the success rate for hypnosis for smoking cessation can be as high as over 80%, it can also vary depending upon a participant's hypnotic susceptibility and motivation to be smoke-free. You can also find additional information on hypnosis for smoking cessation (in addition to psychologist's FREE hypnosis for smoking cessation MP3 audio download) at

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Solutions to Your 2013 Resolutions!

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), the most popular New Year's resolutions are losing weight, quitting smoking, and exercising more regularly. Unfortunately, almost sixty percent of those who make resolutions give up, within the first six months. Nevertheless, chances are that if you do make a resolution, you will be ten times more likely to prevail over those without the resolve.

Our feelings actually dictate our actions. In that regard, if you are like most people (including myself), you probably have brand name toothpaste in your bathroom. Although we both intellectually know that generic toothpaste is basically the same as (and often less expensive than) the brand name, we pay more for the brand name, because we feel that it will provide us with "fresher breath and whiter teeth."

Advertisers tend to trick our emotional selves into feeling good about their product over their competitor's or generic, often causing us to change our behavior to spend more for their product. Using this same basic "Psych 101" principle to one's advantage, can help empower oneself to create positive change, especially as it applies to resolutions.

To succeed with your resolutions, therefore, it is vital to pair enough emotional pain to the old behaviors, and enough emotional pleasure with the new behaviors. A smoker, for example, might imagine how good it will feel to breathe easier as well as to have more energy, freedom and pride in the accomplishment..

Having a plan is also key to any behavioral change. Fortunately, the Internet affords an amazing array of self-help tools. My online collection of "Solutions to your 2013 Resolutions" offers free software and meditation downloads for managing stress; additional APA information on New Year's Resolutions; free ebooks on weight-loss, exercise and smoking cessation; and links to other select online tools for behavioral change.

Access a FREE Audio Hypnosis Quit Smoking Download, Request FREE Nicotine Gum, and view a list of FREE Ebooks for Quitting Smoking, Weight Loss, Exercise, and more: