323.744.0751

“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

Settling In

So I am hitting my 4-month mark of moving my practice to Silver Lake and really feel like I have become part of the neighborhood.  The location is really wonderful. Hollywood, Atwater Village, Glendale and downtown are all right at my fingertips.  On weekends, I love all the activity. Glendale Boulevard, always has lots to see:  people lined up for tacos, others out to catch a yoga class or yet others gathering for their morning coffee at the unique LAMILL Coffee Boutique.  Another cool spot on this side of town with a great vibe, I have discovered, is Tacos Delta.

 

Silver Lake’s wide range of demographics and creative minds makes the perfect blend of environment that compliments my beliefs and values.  It’s great being surrounded by the fun, and relaxed energy.  The focus of my Practice has always been solution based. I found myself wanting more from my own career, wanting to make a difference in people’s lives.  That is why I mix life coaching with therapy so we can look at staying positive, focusing on the present and looking forward to the future.

 

I love all my existing clients and I am enjoying all the new people I am getting to work with now that I have moved. Working with people on a daily basis who are wonderful, strong and resourceful, who also want more, who want to realize a vision or desire that has yet been achieved, is the reason why I do what I do. I want to work with clients who find themselves in that place where they know there is more to life than they are reaping. I want to be able to work with them and together find a set of solutions that help bring them closer to what they want. I am so glad to be continuing this journey with people in my new office.

So there you have it. I am enjoying all that my new surroundings have to offer. I am settled in, but still looking forward to discovering all the new experiences I have yet to uncover.  As Helen Keller once said “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”

Service Areas:

I am located in the Atwater-Silverlake-Los Feliz area of Los Angeles, specializing in counseling (therapy) & life coaching for individuals and couples.

Seeing Change:

It makes me happy to see my clients come in with challenges (some that seem insurmountable) and over time gain the strength to meet these challenges and begin to look toward a brighter future. 

“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

“The Best Kept Secret to Happiness”

How compassion is the best kept secret to being happy, healthy, wealthy and wise
Published on November 5, 2012 by Emma M. Seppala, Ph.D. in Feeling It
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Marketing executives want us to believe that happiness lies in a product that will taste delicious, magically fill our bank accounts, or transform us into a supermodel that looks not a day past 20. Our social norms promise that happiness will lie in status, accomplishments, relationships, and possessions. We are always on the lookout for the next thing: once we have the perfect mate, we look for the perfect home; once we’ve found the perfect home, we look for a bigger one, or a new car or a bigger bank account; once the perfect job is attained, we look for the next promotion or look forward to retirement or a new job.  We seem to be on a constant and futile chase after the promised land of lasting happiness. Dan Gilbert of Harvard University has shown that we are, in fact, terrible at predicting what will lead to happiness. Our norms, for example, would suggest that a winning lottery ticket would make our happiness scores skyrocket while paralysis would make them plummet. Research shows, however, that winning the lottery ticket, though it creates an initial rise in well-being, does not lead to lasting happiness over time nor does becoming paraplegic lead to lasting unhappiness.

A closer look at our own experiences as well as research data suggests that the secret to lasting happiness does not lie in any goods, relationships or achievements, but rather in what we can give: not just material gifts, but gifts of time, gifts of love, gifts of ourselves. Compassion and service don’t just make us happy but they also have a host of other associated benefits and may even contribute to a longer life. Here’s how:

Compassion Makes You Happy

brain-imaging study headed by neuroscientist Jordan Grafman from the National Institute of Health showed that the “pleasures centers” in the brain, i.e. the parts of our brains that are active when we experience pleasure (like dessert, money, sex) are equally active when we observe someone giving money to charity as when we receive money ourselves! Giving to others even increases well-being above and beyond spending money on ourselves. In a revealing experiment published in Science by Harvard Business School professor Michael Norton, participants received a sum of money. Half of the participants were instructed to spend the money on themselves and the other half were told to spend the money on others. At the end of the study, participants that had spent money on others felt significantly happier than those that had spent money on themselves. This is true even for infants! A recent study by Elizabeth Dunn and colleagues at the University of British Columbia shows that, even in children as young as 2, giving treats to others increases their happiness more than receiving treats themselves.

Compassion Makes You Wise

One reason compassion makes us happy is by broadening our perspective beyond ourselves. We know from research on anxiety and depression that these tense and unhappy states are highly self-focused. During stress or sadness, we are usually focused on the things that are going wrong in our lives. Research shows that depression and anxiety are linked to a state of self-focus, a preoccupation with “me, myself, and I.” When you do something for someone else, however, that state of self-focus immediately dissolves. Now think of a time you were feeling blue and suddenly a close friend or relative called you for urgent help with a problem. All of a sudden your attention was on helping them. Rather than feeling blue, you began to feel energized and before you knew it, you may even have felt better and had gained some perspective on your own situation as well.

Compassion Makes You Attractive  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

“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