Archive for March, 2015

The Power of Self-Talk

March 30, 2015

Our thoughts have the power to turn the ordinary into extraordinary, for it is our thoughts that fuel our words and behavior. Thinking well makes life less stressful, motivates our behaviors, and can improve our physical health with less risk of depression, heart disease, and even the common cold. Thinking well does not mean we need to ignore reality when life is hard; rather, we must simply reframe what’s happening to stay positive in the situation.

The best way to think well is to evaluate our self-talk. Self-talk is what we tell ourselves about the events that happen to us and around us, being comprised of facts and our interpretation of those facts. Herein lies the power. We can evaluate facts and stay positive, or we might walk into one of these four negative self-talk snares.

Black and white thinking. This is the “all-or-nothing” thought process. Life is either awesome or awful. There’s no in-between.

Personalizing. This thinking assumes everything is about you. (Ex: If you don’t get the job, the employer didn’t like you. A friend cancels plans? They don’t want to hang out with you.)

Generalizing. When you generalize, you presume you will always fail based on one mistake. (Ex: if you ask someone on a date, and they refuse, you will die all alone.) These thoughts leap to failure.

Catastrophizing. Here you expect the worst-case scenario always. (Ex: Forget your umbrella on a rainy day? It’s the start of something awful.) Catastrophizing always assumes the worst.

Self-talk can alter the outcome of many situations in our lives. Consider making small changes in your self-talk and watch your behavior follow suit.

Bad Bets

March 23, 2015

The Signs of Compulsive Gambling

The number of gaming establishments has climbed in recent years, and so have the number of people with gambling problems.

An estimated 85% of all people gamble in some form or another, whether it’s visiting a casino or race track or playing a lottery. Five percent of these people develop a type of addiction referred to as an “impulse control disorder,” according to the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

The question that follow were developed by the self-help group Gamblers Anonymous to help determine whether someone should seek help for a gambling problem. The more “yes” answers, the more likely that help is needed. (Remember, be honest with your answers. To be anything but honest on a self-test is a form of denial, and denial is another sign that gambling has become a problem.)

Do You Have A Gambling Problem?

  • Have you ever lost time from work or school due to gambling?
  • Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
  • Has gambling ever affected your reputation?
  • Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
  • Have you ever gambled to get money with which to pay debts or to solve financial difficulties?
  • Has gambling caused a decrease to your ambition or efficiency?
  • After losing, have you ever felt that you had to gamble as soon as possible to recover your losses?
  • After a win, have you had a strong urge to return and win more?
  • Do you often gamble until your last dollar is gone?
  • Have you ever borrowed money to finance your gambling?
  • Have you ever sold anything to finance your gambling?
  • Have you ever felt reluctant to use “gambling money” for the things you need?
  • Have you ever gambled longer than you planned?
  • Have you ever gambled to escape worry or trouble?
  • Has gambling ever caused you to have difficulty sleeping?
  • Have you ever considered suicide as a result of your gambling?

If this self-test has offered you insight into the negative effects of gambling on your life, get help. Gambling’s influence can be destructive.