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Living Better with LESS - A Look in the Book

Part One: Mind, Mood, and Me

The biopsychosocial basis of mood
Demographics of disorders
Sick, or just life?

How medication helps; non-prescription options
Changing my perspective: CBT, ACT, and setting personal goals
Coping strategies: sleep, distraction, and active relaxation
Pain is a powerful motivator...A ruffled mind is a restless pillow.



Part Two: Stress, Mood Cycles, and the Balance Myth

The mechanics of stress
Mood and memory
Worry with a plan
Problems on purpose; barriers to change
Imperfect perfectionism: when our best is just too good
Energy management; making it all fit
The most difficult part of attaining perfection is finding something to do for an encore.

Part Three: Why We Need Problems

Family matters
Understanding problems; creating solutions
Values based decision making
A matter of forgiveness
If a problem can be solved, there is nothing to worry about. If it can't be solved, worrying will do no good.

Part Four: Dealing with Ourselves and Other Difficult People

Getting the message across when no one understands
We are the world
What symptoms say: use your words
Communications tool kit - shaping behaviours, expressing needs
The power of consequence
Resolving conflict, building relationships

It is wisdom to know others. It is enlightenment to know one's self.

Part Five: Lessons Learned

Worklessness and re-entry issues
Knowing our niche
Planning for success
Reviewing resources; tagging our best practices
Relapse prevention; maintaining our gains

The process of change begins with an ending ...


Living With Chronic Pain - A Look in the Book

What I know about chronic pain. What I want to learn.
The bio-psycho-social basis of chronic pain: What is it ~ and why won’t it go away?
What’s psychology got to do with this? Changing my perspective...
Setting my personal goals
Barriers to change: Understanding what gets me going ~ and what holds me back
Coping strategies: sleep, distraction, and active relaxation.
Goal setting and action plans.

Pain is inevitable...suffering is optional.

Part Two: Mind, Mood, and Managing my Pain

The mind/body relationship: how mood impacts pain; how pain impacts mood.
Evolutionary benefits of being negative: Survival of the bleakest.
Depression, anxiety, and pain demographics.
Physiology of mood. How medication helps; non-prescription options.
Creating a mood: editing our scripts to improve pain coping.
Mechanics of anger: who’s to blame? Recognizing our "hot buttons."
Pain, mood and memory
Where happiness lies...What research tells us; our personal best practices.
Self-esteem: Building Brand Me!

When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change...

Part Three: Pain and Problems

Pain in the family system.
Why we "need" problems.
The myth of life/work balance
Stress and illness; stress and pain. Imperfect perfectionism: when our best is just too good.
Becoming a better worrier.
Solving problems; values-based decisions.
Energy management; making it all fit.

If a problem can be solved, there is nothing to worry about. If it can't be solved, worrying will do no good.

Part Four: Dealing with Ourselves and Other Difficult People

No one understands... Getting your message across using emotional intelligence, style shifting and the communications tool kit.
Selective perception ~ the world as we create it.
Pain as a spokesperson ~ the power of words.
Setting boundaries and priorities.
Resolving conflict, building relationships.

We don’t see the world as it is, we see the world as we are.

Part Five: Lessons Learned ~ Where Do We Go From Here?

Worklessness: how jobs keep us healthy.
The role of work in pain coping.
SWOT analysis ~ my honest appraisal.
Knowing our niche: doing what we do so well.
Returning to work: re-entry issues.
Planning for success: Getting off to a slow start.
Reviewing resources, maintaining our gains
Writing a relapse plan.

The process of change begins with an ending...followed by action, movement, commitment, and "freezing" the new behaviour.