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Tuesday, 28 July 2009 19:19 - Health Tips Newsletter January 2009

Posted Nov 17 2009 10:01pm
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January 2009
Monthly Health Tips Newsletter

Accessing Resources for Empowerment(tm)

This issue contains:
   Too Many 'Shoulds' on Your Shoulders?
   New Year's Resolutions - Resolved!


Well it's the New Year - 2009.  I woke up one morning just before the end of 2008, realizing that it was time to write and publish this newsletter.  I groaned to myself.  What was I going to write about?  I had just had a few weeks off from having to think about anything to do with work, writing, or anything that requires obligation.  It was truly a pleasant relief from some of the daily mundane obligatory activities that we all have.  I certainly didn't have any topics in mind, and as I laid there in the early hours of the morning wondering about it, it suddenly hit me... why not write about the obligation I have to do a newsletter?

It's always fascinated me that the word 'should' -- a word that implies obligation and responsibility -- can dominate our lives in ways that can create a great deal of misery.  'I should do this', or 'I should do that' are frequently things that I hear patients say, when they don't enjoy doing something.  Should implies obligation, although it is actually only the past tense of the word shall, that does not have obligation attached to it.  Although completely unrelated in terms of derivation -- the phrase to "shoulder something" also implies responsibility and obligation.  Which brings me to my title -- do you have too many 'shoulds' in your 'should-ers'?

Is your life run by things that you should do, as opposed to things that you enjoy doing, and can you actually enjoy something that you should do?  Human beings I believe are ultimately driven and motivated by pleasure, and away from pain.  Getting away from pain and moving towards pleasure are great motivators.  Of course, we all have obligation - things that we should do so that we can actually survive and get pleasure at some point.  Personally, I prefer to find ways of doing things, even though they might be obligatory, that help me to feel good about doing them.

So in writing this piece I am in fact actually enjoying it, whereas I thought when I woke up that morning that I wouldn't because it was an obligation.  How did that change?  It changed because writing about something like "shoulds" caused me to feel a little bit excited and interested.  What if people, like you and me, could find ways of enjoying things that are sometimes mundane, sometimes just necessary, and sometimes could actually be done almost automatically without really thinking about them?

Let's take something as simple as doing the dishes.  We would all probably agree that at some point they have to be done and 'should' be.  Now, if you enjoy the process of doing dishes -- your hands in the sink, the feel of the soapsuds, the look of the pots and pans as they sparkle as you do them then great -- you have succeeded in enjoying an obligation and turned it into something pleasant.  If you don't actually enjoy doing dishes you could learn -- it could become a kind of meditation where you focus on the moment to moment experience and enjoy the sensations!  If that seems too much for you and a little off-the-wall consider this -- what if you imagine that the dishes are actually done and the kitchen is really clean and sparkling the way like it?  How does that feel when you think about it as a future event?  I would bet that you will probably feel pretty good.

Now if you had 3 ways to do the dishes which one would you choose?

  1. Being driven by obligation and feeling miserable.
  2. Enjoying the process.
  3. Looking forward to having them done and enjoying the outcome as you do them.

Life is always about choice - your choice.  We make hundreds of choices every day.  So your New Year's resolution might be to take pleasure in the every day mundane activities either by focusing on the sensory experience of the moment, or looking forward to the experience that you will have when they are complete.  Why feel miserable when you can have fun?

Well, I have written 700 words in 15 minutes.  I actually enjoyed it, even though it was something that I felt obliged to do so that you could receive this newsletter in early January.  Have a wonderful year!


So, your bags are packed and you've got all your liquids in their small plastic containers for carry on.  It's five in the morning and you're headed for the airport.  That glorious trip that you have been planning is finally in sight. But you arrive at that airport and it's hell!  There is a morass of people.  Line-ups all over the place.  You start to feel tense, perhaps a headache is coming on -- now your bags are overweight, somebody stepped on your foot and your kids are cranky.  Somehow that great vacation that you had in sight is quickly losing its allure.
But wait.  Help is on the way!  I call it the Optimal Travel State or OTS for short.  It's a state of relaxed alertness helpful for negotiating today's tough travel environment.
Interested in learning how to get into an OTS?  It's easy.
Go to Optimal Travel State to get your 15 min. mp3 download.
Answers to Reader's Questions

 K.C. from Seattle, WA writes:
I'm curious to know what the product 'Beano' does and how it works?

Dr. Leyton: 
Beano is an enzyme known as carboxypeptidase that is produced in tablet and liquid form.  It works in the digestive tract to break down the complex sugars found patricularly in foods such as legumes (beans and peanuts) and cruciferous vegetables (e.g. cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts). The enzyme breaks those complex sugars into simple sugars, making these foods more digestible, and reducing flatulence and bloating. Flatulence and bloating occur because, once in the large intestine, those undigested sugars may be broken down by intestinal bacteria that produce the gases that cause discomfort. Two randomized controlled trials show reduction in gas by subjects taking Beano. If you don't have gas or bloating you don't need Beano.  If you do have gas or bloating Beano will only help if it is due to your inability to breakdown those foods. There are many other reasons for gas and bloating, most often food intolerance such as dairy and wheat.  Beano will not help this.

Frequently Asked Questions about our CDs
Can you use the 'Learn Unwind & Enjoy Your Life' CD work for panic disorder?
Dr. Leyton says:
There are varying degrees of panic disorder.  In any form of panic disorder there is a trigger - usually unconscious - for the panic.  You can use the CD to train your unconscious mind to react with relaxation and comfort, so that when the trigger occurs that relaxation response will kick in instead of the panic response.  Track 3 contains specific instructions to your unconscious mind to create the outcome that you want.  Use that to your advantage.  The only problem can be that once the panic has started it is hard to get it stopped.  In that regard you may need the help of a therapist to aid in getting the unconscious trigger to be conscious so that you can work with the CD more effectively.

Did you receive this newsletter forwarded or sent from a friend or colleague by email?  If you would like your very own monthly issue
click here
Have Bright Idea for a Health Topic?
I'd like to hear about it! Just reply any time and let me know what topics you'd like to know more about.

Email Dr. Leyton

Thanks for reading this month's newsletter.
See you next month!

Healthy Tips Short and Simple~News to Use
There are four basic principles to health:
1. Good nutrition
2. Good exercise
3. Good thinking and emotional states
4. Good self-care
These embrace the mind, body and spirit of good health and well-being. Each monthly tip(s) will address one or more or more of these principles. These health tips are short and simple.  All tips, where applicable, are based on quality research that is being done in the medical field. You will see links throughout the newsletter to take you to more detail if you wish...or you can simply read what's here.

By now, you may be feeling a little more stuffed than the turkey was, or perhaps you are just regretting how much you ate over the holiday.  You aren't the only one.  For many people this is the time of New Year's resolutions -- the time when we make stronger commitments to do something better than we did last year, or perhaps to just stop doing something from last year that was bad for us.

Although New Year's Day represents for many people "a new beginning", it may not be the best time to actually make change.  The best time to make change is when you are ready, not necessarily at a certain time of the year.  We are usually motivated to change our behaviour by feeling bad about something that we are doing - the proverbial 'stick'.  However, we also need something to  look forward to - the proverbial carrot - or the original motivation will likely disappear as time goes on.  Think about it this way - say you want to "get more exercise to lose weight".  If  you are doing this because you feel bad about being overweight, as you begin to exercise,feel better, and lose weight, you will also lose motivation because the bad feeling of being overweight will often disappear! So you simply become a statistic - one of the four-out-of-five people who give up on their New Year's resolution.

So here are some tips for improving the possibility that you might be one of those people that actually keeps moving  towards their New Year's resolution, or whatever resolution you make down the road.

  1. If you are not ready to change now, then choose a date in the future when you will be ready.  January is not necessarily the best time.  Choose the best time for you personally.
  2. Make your goal very specific -- for example, "losing weight" is too general.  Make it a specific number of pounds, and make it realistic and attainable.  If you are 50 pounds overweight, make your goal to lose 1/10 of that.  You can always continue to change the goal as you move towards it.
  3. As you set a date in your mind - ask yourself what is motivating you?  Are you being motivated by negative intention?  If so, make sure that you have some positive intention to move towards in the future.  For example, if losing weight is something you would like to do because you feel unhealthy at your present weight, then form a positive image of yourself in the future being the weigh that you will be.  Actually visualize in your mind's eye, the person you will look like when you are at your goal.  Make this internal picture very compelling, bright and close to you, but not so close that you feel overwhelmed by it. (You can even draw it on paper, using colours to help you imagine it in your mind more easily). Make it so compelling that you just want to rush towards it!
  4. Once you set this image in your mind, notice how are you feel when you are at this goal.  Think of all the positive feelings that you can experience actually being there nowDo you feel healthier, more energetic? What are other people saying about you? Imagine that you can actually 'become the part of you that has changed' and actually feel these emotions now.
  5. What are some of the encouraging things that you are saying to yourself?  Remember, very soon you will no longer be motivated by that bad feeling, so you will need to continue to see a different you in the future in order to keep you moving in that positive direction.
  6. Take the first step. Some people like to take small steps and others make big steps.  Choose the step that works for you.
Typically, when people set themselves a goal to change their behaviour, and something happens in their lives that is stressful, the new goal is often the first thing to go.  You have to consider that possibility -- that you will make a mis-take.  But let that mis-take be a sign that you can simply take that first step again. Don't fall into the trap of saying to yourself "it's no good I can't do it" or some such phrase.  Think of a movie -- when you watch a movie,each scene is the result of many mis-takes. You get to see the final product as a result of many steps that the actors, director, and technical staff made that were mis-takes.  When they made a mis-take, they didn't just pack up and go home, they did it again until they got a right, and you get to see the final product.  Be the creator of your own real-life home movie.
Here is a picture summarizing these ideas:
Remember -- this is a journey.  It's like opening a gift, sometimes the best part is unwrapping it.  Enjoy your change-- and keep the change!


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