Glenora Psychology Tip Sheets

RELAX! – Your Life Depends On It

By | Health and Wellness | No Comments

Being able to relax is one of the most important skills you can learn. Most people are familiar with the term “fight or flight” which is a part of the stress response. This is a description of how the body and mind react to imminent danger. The brain triggers the adrenaline system to drive us to take action to deal with a perceived threat. Our breathing increases to take in more oxygen, our heart rate increases, and unnecessary bodily functions shut down. All of our important senses and survival instincts are heightened. The stress response helps us to rise to many challenges. The problem is that the stress response can begin to be provoked by non life-threatening events like day to day conflicts, money problems, relationship issues, time pressures, and work overload. In other words, the trouble starts when the adrenaline system gets switched on and stays switched on. There…

Read More

Psychological Health

By | Health and Wellness | No Comments

PSYCHOLOGICAL WELLNESS IS: · Knowing yourself: knowing what your real needs are and how to get them met · Expressing yourself assertively, and not passively or aggressively · Keeping your body healthy by ensuring adequate nutrition, exercise, rest and physical awareness of when your body is out of balance · Engaging in an ongoing process of exploring and clarifying your values · Having the courage to live with integrity: acting in accordance with you deepest values · Being engaged in projects or work that is meaningful to you and reflects your innermost values · Knowing how to create and cultivate emotionally intimate and satisfying relationships with others · Responding to challenges in life as opportunities to learn and grow in strength and maturity, rather than feeling like a victim who is beset by life’s problems · Actively working to create the life you want, rather than just reacting to what…

Read More

Pandemic: Paranoia or Preparedness?

By | Health and Wellness | No Comments

Fear is part of life and we are lucky that it exists. Fear warns us of dangers and gives us a much needed adrenaline boost to be able to take physical action in a crisis. Fear also tells us when we are in a potentially dangerous situation that we may wish to avoid. Our evolutionary response to fear is “fight, flight, freeze or faint” and we can even see it in nature such as talking about “the deer in the headlights”. However, what about the mass marketing of fear for media ratings? There is a difference between preparedness for a crisis, or potential crisis, and feelings that we have become helpless victims. According to many media sources all teenagers are on drugs, in gangs and have weapons, to only give one ridiculous example of how we tend to emphasize and sensationalize the negative. And of course we all remembered how…

Read More

The Pain and the Power of Trauma

By | Health and Wellness | No Comments

Traumatic events, both on an individual or a global scale are becoming an all too familiar part of our daily lives. Most people will experience a traumatic event in the course of their life and many will experience more than one traumatic event. Trauma and its aftermath extend in an ever-widening circle with varying degrees of impact. Lives can be destroyed by trauma but they can also be positively transformed. With or without help, people can endure, they can prevail, and they can overcome the effects of experiencing trauma. Following a traumatic event, people can even be grateful for their experience and enjoy the benefit of a richer and more rewarding life. Surprisingly, during the traumatic event itself, most people don’t become overwhelmed or paralyzed by intense fear or shock. Many people behave quite adaptively and appropriately. They calculate their avenues of escape, they reach out to help others, they…

Read More

Loneliness After Loss: Coping with loneliness and difficult anniversaries

By | Health and Wellness | No Comments

Loneliness can be a common experience for people after a loss or bereavement. People may feel lonely for many reasons.  They may have lost someone very close to them, and miss all the things they used to do or share with that person. They may find that a few months after their loss, the initial support they received has lessened, as others appear to be moving on with their lives. Sometimes family and friends appear to withdraw or to become involved in their own lives, or they may seem to be less comfortable around the bereaved person.  And sometimes, as part of their own grieving process, people find that they have withdrawn from people or from activities that they used to enjoy. This can lead to feelings of isolation, and they may find it harder to pick up the threads of their old life, or to move on and form…

Read More

A Good Night’s Sleep

By | Health and Wellness | No Comments

For many working people the new motto seems to be “work hard, play hard and sleep hardly”. This is not necessarily a recipe for success. Psychologists have demonstrated again and again that not enough sleep impairs concentration and memory while also increasing levels of stress hormones and disrupting our metabolism. One study found that by getting an extra 60 to 90 minutes of sleep per night memory and concentration are improved, our immune system is strengthened and our risk of being killed in an accident decreases. “Driving while Drowsy” is seen to be responsible for a number of serious car crashes each year. One way of thinking of sleep is by comparing it to your bank account. Those who chronically are not getting enough sleep build up “sleep debt”, which is just like going into overdraft. Like an overdrawn account we have to pay back the sleep we owe our…

Read More

The Gift of Health

By | Health and Wellness | No Comments

Too many people don’t take very good care of themselves until their health becomes an issue. You would think that with all of the efforts of health care professionals, the initiatives of various levels of government, and the increasing medical knowledge in this area, people in this part of the world would be an exceptionally healthy group but this is not necessarily so. One reason why many people overlook self-care is because our bodies are strong and adaptable and we can accommodate unhealthy changes until the problems become acute and chronic. When it comes to health, it seems that the focus of our attention is on crisis intervention, symptom management, and problem resolution. In addition, many people are generally, by nature, caring people who are sensitive to the needs of others. It’s tough to make time to care for yourself when family, friends, colleagues, employers, and the demands of life…

Read More

Fear and Anxiety

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

If you struggle with anxiety, you are not alone. Excessive anxiety and worry is a common problem and one that can be treated. This problem can take the form of panic attacks, generalized anxiety, phobias, posttraumatic stress disorder, social phobia, obsessive-compulsive thoughts and behaviors, and agoraphobia. Excessive anxiety can ruin your life. It can cause you to avoid relationships or destroy the ones you have, disrupt your sleep, make you feel frightened, alone and afraid to leave your home, and restrict your normal activities. Anxiety can interfere with successful career progression, rob you of your peace of mind, and erode your self-confidence. It can lead to depression and make you feel like life is not worth living. At the core of every anxiety problem is a highly sensitive arousal system as well as a fear of the very essence of life itself. Your sensitivity to arousal is an attribute of…

Read More

Coping With Trauma

By | Health and Wellness | No Comments

In experiencing or witnessing a violent or shocking event(s), you may find that the effects of the trauma can take over all aspects of your life. When this happens, it feels as if the experience has reached into the very core of your inner being and has lodged itself there. You no longer feel comfortable or safe in the world. Your relationships become strained and your overall health is compromised. You feel like there is no escape and no end to the painful aftermath. You begin to live in terror of your own symptoms. If you have been traumatized as a result of witnessing or being involved in a violent or shocking event or situation, intrusive memories, flashback episodes, debilitating anxiety, or terrifying nightmares may haunt you. You may experience episodes of uncontrollable crying, explosive anger, and intense periods of depression. You may feel yourself pulling away from loved ones…

Read More

Choosing a Psychologist

By | Health and Wellness | No Comments

Many events and situations in our lives present significant challenges, and sometimes those challenges require professional support. Psychologists are committed to helping people improve their well-being and deal with problems effectively. Psychologists are trained in assessment, consultation, and treatment. They have the expertise required to work with people. They know how to help people deal with their feelings and attitudes and develop healthier and more effective patterns of behavior. Psychologists work with individuals, couples, families and groups and with people of all ages. Qualifications There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a psychologist. The very first one is qualifications. Choose a psychologist who is a licensed, experienced, and ethical professional. In Alberta, psychologists are licensed or “Registered” by the College of Alberta Psychologists. A psychologist must have a minimum of a Masters Degree, have fulfilled the requirements of supervised practice, and passed oral and written exams in…

Read More