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“Change Your Nature”

Reinvention: How To Be Perfect

Changing your behavior is possible. Start by taking small steps and using positive reinforcement.  By Hara Estroff Marano, published on January 01, 2004 – last reviewed on December 04, 2012

It’s the new year. You’ve probably got lots of ambitious plans for change. This time, you want to make them stick. The first thing you need to know is, it’s not easy to change. The second thing is, you probably have no idea how to do it.

Here are some principles of change from the pros.

  • Break down the behavior into its component parts. Say you want to get more exercise, and you want to do it by running two miles every day before work. So you need to get up an hour earlier than usual (more if you’re slow to start), throw on your running clothes, drink a couple of glasses of water, take your portable music player, do some warm-up exercises, go out and run, do a few minutes of cool-down exercises, shower, dress, prepare breakfast, eat, leave for work.
  • Examine the consequences of both changing your behavior and maintaining the status quo. Change is frightening, and fears of the unknown make us cling to old behaviors despite our best intentions.
  • Build in as much positive reinforcement as you can. For example, plot the most attractive running route you can, one that takes you by some scenic spots. And when you’re done, be sure to take time to enjoy the exhilarating feeling you get after a run.
  • Take small steps of change, simplify the process and prepare for problems. Don’t, for example, start out expecting to run two miles. Give yourself time to work up to that distance. Also, remember that it’s easiest to get out the door if you put your running clothes out the night before. Or line up a friend to run with you so you’ll have a reason to go running even on the days you’d rather sleep longer.
  • Learn more about the process to keep surprises from derailing you. Monitor how long it takes you to run half a mile, then a mile, then two miles.
  • Provide structure so that you are not sabotaged by spontaneous impulses. Classify all your activities as to whether they are helpful or not in achieving your goal.  READ MORE

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

“Wired to Worry”

Stealth Super-Powers

Deep within you are powers you’ll never know you have—until they’re unlocked by fear. By Jeff Wise, published on November 01, 2010 – last reviewed on November 18, 2012

Before he even knew what he was doing, Tom Boyle Jr. was out of the truck and running. He’d been in the front seat of a pickup with his wife, feeling relaxed after a dinner at a Tucson mall, waiting for the line of cars in front of them to make a right turn out of the parking lot. The Camaro at the front of the queue lurched into the street, wheels squealing, and roared away trailing sparks.”Oh God, do you see that?” his wife said.

Boyle saw it: the crumpled frame of a bike under the car’s bumper, and tangled within it a boy, trapped. That’s when Boyle got out and started running. For an agonizing eternity the Camaro screeched on, dragging the mass under it. As it slowed to a stop he could hear the bicyclist pounding on the car with his free hand, screaming. Without hesitating Boyle bent down, grabbed the bottom of the chassis, and lifted with everything he had. Slowly, the car’s frame rose a few inches. The bicyclist screamed for him to keep lifting. Boyle strained. “It’s off me!” the boy yelled. Someone pulled him free, and Boyle let the car back down.

The young man was bleeding badly. Boyle held him in his arms until the ambulance came. Then he sat on the curb, drained. He felt like he was going to throw up. He asked his wife to drive him home.

Today, looking back on that frightening evening, Boyle is deeply proud of how he helped the injured cyclist. But the one thing he still can’t figure out is how he managed to lift the car. He’s a strong guy, sure. But a Camaro weighs over a ton. “Today, right now,” he says, “There’s no way I could lift that car.”

Boyle suddenly found himself in a zone that he had never before encountered. Thrust into the intensity of a life-or-death crisis, he experienced an ancient and automatic resolve. So strong is this force, so alien to our normal conscious experience, that those who experience it report that it’s like being possessed.

Most of us tend to think of fear as a negative, as something to be avoided. But fear can have powerfully positive effects as well. Read More

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

“Quiet: The Power of Introverts”

Are You Shy, Introverted, Both, or Neither (And Why Does It Matter)?
Shyness and introversion are not the same thing. Published on July 6, 2011 by Susan Cain in Quiet: The Power of Introverts
Bill Gates is quiet and bookish, but apparently unfazed by others’ opinions of him: he’s an introvert, but not shy.Barbra Streisand has an outgoing, larger than life personality, but a paralyzing case of stage fright: she’s a shy extrovert.

Shyness and introversion are not the same thing. Shyness is the fear of negative judgment, and introversion is a preference for quiet, minimally stimulating environments. Some psychologists map the two tendencies on vertical and horizontal axes, with the introvert-extrovert spectrum on the horizontal axis, and the anxious-stable spectrum on the vertical. With this model, you end up with four quadrants of personality types: calm extroverts, anxious (or impulsive) extroverts, calm introverts, and anxious introverts.

Interestingly, this view of human nature is echoed all the way back in ancient Greece. The physicians Hippocrates and Galen famously proposed that our temperaments – and destinies – were a function of bodily fluids. Extra blood made people sanguine (calmly extroverted), yellow bile made them choleric (impulsively extroverted), phlegm made them phlegmatic (calmly introverted), and black bile made them melancholic (anxiously introverted.)

But if shyness and introversion are so different, why do we often link them, especially in the popular media? Read More

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

“Dogs, Happiness, and Health”

Which is most likely to make you significantly happier and healthier?
Published on August 29, 2012 by Howard S. Friedman, Ph.D. in Secrets of Longevity

Many, many scientific studies reveal that being actively involved with friends and associates is an excellent predictor of well-being. There is even pretty good evidence that getting yourself more involved in a social network with others, such as by volunteering in the community, is a reliable way to make yourself feel better, both mentally and physically. Or, if you prefer scientific jargon, we could say: Individuals who are well integrated into their communities are much happier and healthier, as compared to the network-less lonely recluse.

Right now, tens of millions of people worldwide are spending time on THE social network, namely Facebook. So why isn’t everyone doing great? Is Facebooking just as good as hanging out in real life? Perhaps it matters what you are doing on Facebook? Browsing around, I’ve noticed that there are more than a few pictures and videos of dogs and cats in cyberspace. Most of us love pets, so does this kind of posting provide a double benefit? All the evidence is not yet here (as studies continue to trickle in), but I doubt that Facebook is the secret to vitality and longevity. read more

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

“The Key to Success is in Taming Your Inner Critic”

Self-Compassion: Foster a positive self image to increase motivation and happiness.

Published on May 8, 2012 by Dan Buettner in Thrive

What is Self-Compassion?

Most people are familiar with self-esteem, but the idea of self-compassion is still in its infancy. This is somewhat surprising given that modern society considers compassion a virtue. If you doubt this, consider the Dalai Lama, who currently has just over 3.2 million Facebook followers! People who exhibit high levels of self-compassion are, in the most basic sense, nice to themselves.

Many believe self-compassion leads to people taking less responsibility for their actions, but according to a study at Duke University, exactly the opposite is true! People who have this quality work hard purely because it makes them feel good, not to meet someone else’s expectations. read more

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

“Feeling It”

Reading Bodies, Touching Minds

How eye contact, facial expressions, and body language are the key to connection
Published on October 1, 2012 by Emma M. Seppala, Ph.D. in Feeling It

Just by looking at someone, you experience them. Ever fallen in love at first sight or had a “gut feeling” about someone? You internally resonated with them. Ever seen someone trip and momentarily felt a twinge of pain for them? Observing them activates the “pain matrix” in your brain,research shows. Ever been moved by the sight of a person helping someone? You vicariously experienced it and thereby felt elevation.

We are wired to read each others’ bodies. Not just in terms of physical appearance but at a subtler and more complex level that lies at the root of lasting love, empathy and social connection. This process is called “resonance” and it is so automatic and rapid that it often happens unconsciously. read more

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