Monday, December 2, 2019

When we are stressed, it often represents a "fish out of water scenario". Don't be that fish...

When we are stressed, it can often mean that we are a "fish out of water". When the fish is out of water, it may blame its environment for its problem or worse still, blames itself. Either way, it will probably bring itself grief. What the fish needs to do first is to recognize that it is a fish, self understand, and seek water.  

Knowing oneself, and finding or creating an environment that is the right fit for us is an important life goal. If we are in our right environment for us, we are more likely to thrive, succeed, and with less stress.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

How to use leverage to better your physical, emotional, social and relational health

Everyday we use leverage to assist us with our lives.  We use leverage to help with our finance.  We use leverage to help us with mechanics such as gears in our bikes and cars.  We use leverage in our machineries to build our homes and cities.  But do we use the same leverage to improve our health?  What does leverage look like when we apply it to our healthcare? 

We will explore that in this video.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Self reflection vs self criticism. What is the difference?

To solve a math problem, we need to know numeracy.  To solve an emotional problem, we need to known emotional literacy.  In this episode, we explore the difference between self reflection vs self criticism.  Knowing the difference, will guide us to be more reflective rather than too self critical.  This may help us in improving our self esteem, mental health, and our productivity.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

We did a talk for final year Medical Students on how to survive and thrive in their career

We explore strategies to help final year Medical Students survive and thrive in their career.  How to have a healthier and happier life.  These tips for Medical Students will apply to everybody else too so see what you think.

What is fusion and defusion and how knowing that can help with our mental health and wellbeing

In this video, we explore the concept of fusion vs defusion and how this can help us improve our mental health and wellbeing.  Imagine watching a movie and although it is not real, we are still able to "fuse" or "buy into" that story, and have real emotions.  Fusion enables us to have emotions, and emotions can motivate us to take action.  However, this can be a double edge sword as in our minds, there are often many stories as well.  These stories can be very negative for some of us.  In some ways, these stories are not the real problem.  It's the fusion with these stories that can create the problem.  Hence, we have to learn how to defuse.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

If numeracy is critical for solving maths, then emotional literacy is critical for solving emotional problems

Why is emotional literacy so important explained in less than 45secs?  Watch above and please leave comment.  Love to hear your thoughts.

Health is biopsychosocial but what does that even mean?

Our physical health, mental health, and social/relational health are very much interrelated.  One affects the other.  Poor physical health may lead to poor mental health, which then may lead to poor social/relational health, which then may lead to poor mental and physical health.  Be careful of this vicious cycle.  Watch this video for further tips....

Improving your relationships can improve your emotional health as well as your physical health

Relationships are very important for our emotional wellbeing because we are social beings.  If we have poor relationships, research have shown that this is very unhealthy for us emotionally as well as physically.  The 75yr Harvard Study have shown us that good stable relationships is good for our health!  Watch this video for some tips in this very important area of our life.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Thought challenge versus unhooking or defusing from thought....Which one is better?

To understand this concept better, let us first explore the some terms related to our "emotional world" and what it means.  This is emotional literacy, and it is very important for us to learn in order to solve emotional problems.  Just like learning numbers and numeracy to solve math problems, we need to learn emotional literacy in order to effectively solve emotional problems.

The human mind has a great ability to fuse, hook into, or buy into a story whether that story may be in a form of a movie, story book, or thoughts in one's head.  So when one is feeling sad, upset, happy, or angry, one may have fusion with a story in one's head.

So how can we change this?

We simple have 2 main options.  One is to change our story.  The other option is to unhook, detach, step back, or defuse from that story.  Traditionally, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is more about understanding the story and helping a person to change that story into a more "positive" or helpful one.  Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), is more about coaching a person to defuse or unhook from that story, and once unhooked, the story will natural has less grip on that person.

There are therapists who consider defusion or unhooking from thoughts a better strategy, and at the same time, I personally believe that thought defusion and thought challenge needs to go hand and hand.  Having said that, I do believe that if one is very fused with one's thoughts, it is much harder to do thought challenge effectively.  That is to say that one has to defuse from thought first in order for thought challenge to be more effective.

At a pragmatic level, if one is very fused with thoughts, I would lean towards a more ACT approach.  If one is already defused or detached from thoughts, I may take a more CBT approach.  I personally think that there is a lot of overlap between these two modalities in any case.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Working through the "storm" in relationships

When 2 or more individuals with different personalities, backgrounds, past experiences, and biases are in collaboration or in a relationship with each other, there will be challenges.

With any group dynamics, we will go through 4 stages of group development as described by Psychologist Bruce Tuchman.

1 The forming
2 The storming
3 The norming
4 The performing

The storming is inevitable for us to get to the “norming” and “performing” stages it seems. If we ride through these storms together over time with acceptance, openness, honesty, and a positive regard for one another, then we have hope.

So how do we get through the storm?

1. We need to align our goals. Two or more different individuals with aligned goals equal a great adaptive team. Two or more different individuals without aligned goals equal a war.

2. We need to connect when we are disconnected. When one feels disconnected, the rational thing to do is to reconnect. However, people don’t often do this. They often fall into the trap of withdrawing or criticizing which makes the disconnection worse. Be careful of this trap.

3. We need to resolve our conflicts through a positive regard for one another, accept and appreciate each other’s differences, and move forward together with aligned, value driven goals. Again, be careful not to fall into the usual trap of the fight or flight response with withdrawing or criticizing.

None of this is easy of course, but it is possible.