“Awaken Your Brain”

Is Extreme Wellbeing on Your “Must Have” List?

Then Play the Brain-Centered Integration Game Published on October 4, 2012 by Jeff Skolnick, M.D., P.h.D. in Awaken Your Brain 
In the year 2000, having studied the issue exhaustively, the White Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine declared that a “biopsychosocial–spiritual” approach to healthcare was optimal.When I read that, I could hear the collective ‘forehead smack’ as people thought, “Really? An exhaustive study to say something as obvious as that?”

It’s commonsensical. If you want peak wellbeing, you improve every area of your life. The thing is that although we may know that, we forget. We focus on one or two, maybe three areas at the expense of all the areas let alone the key strategies within each one.

Here’s a list. Just scan it. It’s got the six life wellness areas and some key examples of strategies within each one. Before you finish it and begin to freak out because it seems like so much, by the very end of this post you’ll learn that there is more to it than meets the eye:

1.  Physical

  • Exercise — both aerobic and strengthening
  • Nutrition — including optimal food, fluid and fasting
  • Sleep, rest and relaxation
  • Self-health, supplementation and partnering with professionals

2.  Mental

  • Learn about your personality and how you uniquely experience things
  • Understand the story of your family and childhood
  • Discover how to change your behavior and thinking
  • Laugh; have fun

3.  Social Read More

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com

5 Tips for Mindfulness

Mindful living is a happy way to live.  By practicing Mindfulness, you are able to savor the taste of your food, the laughs of your loved ones, and the peace of staying in the moment.  Here are 5 easy tips for you to live a Mindful life full of happiness, joy, & appreciation.

1.       Breath.  Take long breaths in, and long breaths out.  Listen to the sound of your breaths; focus on each and every breath. The present moment makes you feel whole and calm.  You begin to be grateful for the moment in time and the more you practice; the easier it gets to stay aware.

2.       Listen to your body. Wiggle your toes, feel them on the ground, plant your feet steadily on the floor, and pay attention to what you body is trying to tell you.  Stay silent and communicate with all the particles in your body by listening quietly.  Maybe your body is saying, let’s take a rest, or maybe we should go for a fun.  Sometimes, by listening to what your physical body needs, you can gain more energy to get other things done in your life.

3.       Say yes to uni-tasking.  Do one thing at a time.  See how the quality of your actions drastically improves by just focusing on each task at one time.  It’s a beautiful feeling to complete an action fully to the best of your abilities.  The best part is that people around you will notice your new-found talents of finishing projects with amazing quality and it’s all thanks to your uni-tasking focus.

4.       Allow yourself to day dream.  Sit there on your bed, couch, or chair, and allow yourself to enjoy the temperature of the room, the texture of your seat, your clothing, and the sound of your breathing.  Next thing you know, you’ll be daydreaming and wandering in your mind.  It’s a sweet feeling to experience, and somehow it ends up cheering your up and noticeably lightening your mood.

5.       Know how to meditate.  Meditating doesn’t mean chanting and asking and talking to yourself with your eyes closed.  It means that you stay calm, listen to your breath, close your eyes, and listen.  The best thing is to let your mind go blank and see what kind of wisdom comes to you.  You’ll see, it’s a powerful feeling once you get the hang of it.

Remember, Mindfulness helps you refocus and appreciate the moment, but it’s important not to want immediate results, the more your practice, the more Mindfulness will work for you.  Please post comments below and let others know how mindfulness has worked for you.

“The Will and Ways of Hope”

Talent, skill, ability—whatever you want to call it—will not get you there. Sure, it helps. But a wealth of psychological research over the past few decades show loud and clear that it’s the psychological vehicles that really get you there. You can have the best engine in the world, but if you can’t be bothered to drive it, you won’t get anywhere.

Psychologists have proposed lots of different vehicles over the years. Grit, Conscientiousness, self-efficacy, optimism, passion, inspiration, etc. They are all important. One vehicle, however, is particularly undervalued and under appreciated in psychology and society. That’s hope.

Hope often gets a bad rap. For some, it conjures up images of a blissfully naïve chump pushing up against a wall with a big smile. That’s a shame. Cutting-edge science shows that hope, at least as defined by psychologists, matters a lot.

Hope is not a brand new concept in psychology. In 1991, the eminent positive psychologist Charles R. Snyder and his colleagues came up with Hope Theory. According to their theory, hope consists ofagency and pathways.  The person who has hope has the will and determination that goals will be achieved, and a set of different strategies at their disposal to reach their goals. Put simply: hope involves the will to get there, and different ways to get there.

Why is hope important? Read More

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com

“Take a Picture, Improve Your Life”

What do good photos have in common with good organizations?
Published on July 10, 2012 by Nancy K. Napier, Ph.D. in Creativity Without Borders

Feeling overwhelmed? Does your life have too many “dimensions” to it? Stop. Pick up your camera and go take a photo. Or, at least look at some great ones. The principles of “great photos” might also just help you in your organization or even your life!

I always look for lessons beyond the borders of one discipline, whether art or science or business, for how they may be useful in another one. And I’ve always loved photographs – the homemade ones and the professional ones. But I’d never really thought about the principles of good photography could help organizational leaders. After spending a week at Santa Fe Photography Workshops, my thoughts on how to view organizations has changed, a lot.

We’ll get there, but first, let’s talk photography.

If you’ve ever looked at good photos (or a piece of art or dance, or heard a good piece of music), you might react by saying, “I like it.” But why do you like it?

At least three key components come into play. First, a good photo has an intent or a reason for being, beyond the “I was there” aspect. It moves us, tells a story, helps us see something in a new way, or raises questions. read more

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com

“Creativity as a Way of Life”

Stress free therapy and life coaching in your pajamas,phone or text therapy

Published on May 23, 2011 by Jean  Pollack, Ph.D. in Creativity as a Way of Life

Is it necessary to see your therapist in person? Why not have a therapy or life coachingsession in the comfort of your home? We are so accustomed to seeing a therapist in their office for 50-60 minutes but is it necessary to see your therapist in person?

In the Scientific American May, June, 2011 issue Distance Therapy Comes of Age ‘ by Robert Epstein states that with distant therapy you can see your progress in black and white referring to people who text with their therapist. The sessions are visible and can be reviewed for progress. He also mentions that research demonstrates that remote email Chat voice or text can effectively treat cognitive, behavioral and emotional disorders.

College age students that I work with find it very convenient to text me about their anxiety, relationships, school stress before class or even during class but they enjoy the quick effective interaction which is more convenient for them. Most of them are away from home, unable to come into my office and are busy and distracted by projects and socializing. They may not reach out for help if phone sessions or texting were not available.

These creative alternative therapy sessions are becoming more popular. Emailing is another preferred option for some people who like to update their therapist during the week, so that they don’t forget important topics to discuss during the week. They can also ask for help during the week or bring their therapist up to date before their next session. Emailing, texting, Skyping and phone sessions are a quick and easy confidential way to solve problems with a professional. People are busy. Mothers find the convenience of Skyping , texting ,chat and phone sessions an easy alternative when their child is sick at home, when the weather is inclement or when they want to stay in the comfort of their home in their lounging clothes and have a therapy or life coaching session. read more

Schedule a session with me today. click here for pricing & scheduling

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com

“10 Creative Block Breakers That Actually Work”

You CAN overcome the frustration of feeling blocked.

Published on September 14, 2012 by Susan K. Perry, Ph.D. in Creating in Flow

Doesn’t matter what you call it: writer’s block or creative block or simply “Where is my inspiration when I need it?!” All creative individuals find their work coming less easily at some times than others. That’s when you need strategies, and plenty of them.

There are at least 90 such tips, tools, and techniques in Breakthrough! 90 Proven Strategies to Overcome Creative Block & Spark Your Imagination, edited by Alex Cornell, with a foreword by Erik Spiekermann.

Breakthrough! is a fresh compilation of practical, real world solutions offered by a range of creative individuals, including graphic designers, artists, writers, and photographers. These are people who are employed in jobs where they are required to be creative, regularly (brief bios are in the back of the book).

The insights in this perkily designed, light-hearted, and useful little volume are sometimes amusing, often unexpected. It’s worthy of being read straight through and marked and stickied and personalized by any reader who has ever felt not lazy but gooey in the brain in regards to a particular project.

10 Favorite Block Breakers:

1. Redefine the problem to find it more compelling. Ask yourself something like “What if Winston Churchill was designing this packaging?” That will provide an unfamiliar angle and perhaps a new perspective. (Christian Helms, Graphic Designer)

2. Dirty your canvas. Place an ink-stained handprint on its blankness so you have something to fix. (Deru, Musician)

3. Draw blindly for half a minute. You can’t criticize the results. Give yourself a theme (this works for freewriting, too, and let loose. Without expectation, you can break through to being able to work on your blocked project. (Paul Madonna, Illustrator and Cartoonist)

4. “Look at creative block as growth.” Consider this: “I’m not running out of ideas, just trying to push myself into better ones.” (Mike McQuade, Graphic Designer and Illustrator)

5. Fill your head with your view of the problem, review your notes, then go do something else, something mindless and mundane. ( Daniel Dennett, Professor of Philosophy)

6. Look for patterns in your episodes of creative block. Take notes when it happens and you may notice a trend (maybe it happens mainly on Mondays). (Simon C. Page, Graphic Designer)

7. Choose a better way to conceive of your blocks. For instance, rather than having to root through a blocked drain to achieve flow, consider temperature. “I try to find out what’s hot and start there, even if it may be unrelated to what I need to be working on.” (Michael Erard, Writer and Journalist) [Also see this post about famous poet Philip Levine, who “fires,” rather than flows.]

8. Induce a feeling of panic by giving yourself a deadline and stating your committment to other people. (Ben Barry, Graphic Designer at Facebook) [If the very word “deadline” causes you psychic pain, consider making friends with the concept; see this post.

9. Come up with many solutions, not just one. Urged to list 20 possible next moves, your mind will stop fretting over finding the one perfect one. (Marc Johns, Illustrator)

10. Don’t browbeat yourself when you’re in the necessary in-between times when most creativity gets its start. A lot of thinking time is crucial, and it happens where you can’t see it. (Douglas Rushkoff, Writer)

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com

“Why Weird Experiences Boost Creativity”

Creative people think differently. But why? There is no magic bullet or single pill. We all have the potential for creativity, but there are so many different triggers that can broaden our minds, inspire, and motivate. Of course, there are just as many triggers that can shut down our minds. Since creativity is so important for individual well-being and societal innovation, it’s important that we systematically pull the right triggers.

A crucial trigger is the experience of unusual and unexpected events. These events can take many different forms, ranging from the loss a parent to living abroad. But one need not experience any of these specific events to think more creatively. In a recent paper in Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Simone Ritter and colleagues propose that any life experience, from the traumatic to the joyful, can lead to flexibility and creativity as long as it diversifies your experiences and pushes you outside your normal thought patterns. Read more

 Schedule an appointment with David Vendig,

Los Angeles Life Coach | Therapist | 323.744.0751