Dr Gayle-1-6-15 column
Q: I’m very angry because I gave my power and lots of money to a guru for 15 years, even followed her advice not to see my daughters. My anger is affecting my health. What can I do?
A: Move to gratitude that you learned a very difficult but invaluable lesson to maintain your own center and to listen to your inner guidance rather than to external powers. Anger issues harm the heart, so release your anger by journaling and kicking boxes, hitting pillows, walking—whatever physical release works for you. With your daughters, keep reaching out, apologizing, and telling them you learned your lesson the hard way. Try the Hawaiian Hooponopono meditation while thinking of your daughters: “I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.”
Q: My wife feels unsupported by me, second fiddle to my work or hobbies. What can I do to make our marriage more fulfilling for both of us?
A: Together read Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages to understand what is affirming for each of you: words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, or physical touch. Then frequently take action. I would talk with her, with the help of a counselor, about who she felt second to in her childhood. This is an opportunity for her to deal with her lifelong pattern of feeling neglected and for you to be more demonstrative.
Q: My workplace is undergoing a long stressful transition. How can I cope with the frustration?
A: Humor is a powerful tool. Imagine work as a cartoon, a soap opera or reality show, or a chess match, and try to predict the day’s moves. Read Chimpanzee Politics by primatologist Frans de Waal to be amused at how much human power struggles are like those of other primates.
Q: I’ve been overweight since I had my first baby as a teenager. How can I get a handle on my binge eating?
A: Focus on getting healthier rather than losing weight, because the idea of loss scares some bodies and weight gain is associated with defeat. Notice what triggers wanting to binge, and EFT (emotional freedom technique) tap on “Even though I’m bored, I deeply and completely accept myself … Even though I’m craving candy. …” Instead of eating, do something interesting. When you want food, eat popcorn, apple slices, rice cakes, or other filling foods and do not have candy available in your home.
You might be self-medicating with sweets for low dopamine levels in your brain, reduced by sugar, alcohol, stress, and so on. Research precursors such as tyrosine and vitamins such as B, C, and E as well as iron, folic acid, and niacin to trigger dopamine release. In your case, it feels as if part of your weight issue is shame about past sexuality and a desire to not stand out as special. I’d try the affirmation, “I give myself permission to be healthy and look great.”
Q: My only relative is a rude, impolite control-freak jerk who expects everyone to walk on eggshells around her or she will fly off the handle. It saves me a lot of money to stay with her when I’m working near her home. How can I cope with her drama- queen temper tantrums?
A: I would approach her as the child she is, with clear consequences for bad behavior and timeouts. In this case I’d give yourself a timeout, either in a bedroom, bathroom, or taking a walk outside. Also, praise her when she acts like a convivial adult. Observe what triggers her outbursts and try to avoid them and her.
Q: How can I prevent Alzheimer’s, which runs in my family?
A: The “People’s Pharmacy” radio show aired a very informative interview with Dr. Dale Bredesen, who has successfully used a multifaceted approach to restore memory in his patients by reducing inflammation and balancing other body processes. He recommends checking your body chemistry with blood work, and then correcting deficiencies in vitamins B12 and D, insulin resistance and blood sugar, avoiding sugar, fasting for 12 hours after dinner, eight hours of sleep (he says melatonin, 5HTP, and trypthophan can help), reducing stress, regular exercise, and ayurvedic herbs that improve cognitive function such as ashwagandha, curcumin, bacopa, rhodiola, gotu kola, and the mushroom lion’s mane. This approach will of course help prevent other illnesses caused by inflammation and other imbalances that interfere with the immune system. For more information visit http://tinyurl.com/reversing-alzheimers.
Q: My young son is wiggly and has trouble concentrating in groups. How can I get him to settle down?
A: Look up “brain gym” exercises—have him cross-crawl and draw horizontal eights before class. Dr. Andrew Weil suggests fish oil for any brain imbalance and avoiding sugar. Consider enrolling him in a martial arts or other class that teaches focus. Make sure you give him time between transitions to adjust gradually so he’s calmer.
Q: I use marijuana as a daily coping mechanism. It keeps me mellow, but I’m going to be a parent soon and probably should rethink my habit. Suggestions?
A: Daily use is addiction so try out an NA group. It doesn’t work to just say no, so experiment with other calming techniques. I list some suggestions on my blog https://gaylekimball.wordpress.com/2010/12/25/cope-with-stress. Practice grounding because herb is so spacy. Be prepared for unresolved issues to surface as you no longer numb them and embrace the opportunity to get clear.
Q: I manage my medical office and have a husband and children. My problem is that work consumes a lot of energy, with my feeling pressured to hurry and managing staff problems. How can I save energy for my family?
A: Ask yourself how much perfection a job really requires, so you’re not wasting energy on unnecessary effort. Deal with staff problems one-on-one, starting with praise if possible, and then suggest changes with consequences if change doesn’t occur. When you feel frazzled, do cross-crawl and other “brain gym” exercises to get balanced so you can think clearly, drink water, and do long, slow exhalations to calm the parasympathetic nervous system.