So what would it be like to be really present today with a family member or friend whom you really love? To fully give your attention to that person without checking your phone (not even once)? The long-term benefits of spending some time each day fully tuning in to the present moment without phone distractions may just surprise you.
We have one day of the year dedicated to giving thanks. What would it look like if we practiced gratitude for even the smallest things 365 days? A recent study by Paul Mills of the University of California San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine looked at the effects of gratitude on physical health and emotional well being. “It turned out the more grateful people were, the healthier they were. ‘They had less depressed mood, slept better and had more energy,’ says Mills.” For more details, check out the NPR story Gratitude Is Good For The Soul And Helps The Heart, Too.
There’s more to March Madness than just the game. March is also Problem Gambling Awareness month. Through the state-funded CalGETS program, Modern Counseling San Diego offers free, confidential counseling (8 – 16 sessions) for problem gamblers as well as family members, friends, and co-workers who have been affected by problem gambling.
If you think that gambling may have gotten out of control, take the gamblers self-assessment quiz. Are you a family member, friend or co-worker of a problem gambler? Find out if you are affected by taking this quiz on the California Department of Public Health’s website. To make an appointment for free, confidential counseling, call 619-549-3994.
Problem gambling happens when gambling is no longer a game. Like other addictions, betting begins to impact relationships, quality of life and/or finances. Gambling takes many forms including card games like poker and black jack, mahjong, roulette, slots, sporting events, stocks/financial markets, lottery, horse racing and bingo. Betting can be done on-line, in a casino, card room, or at the track. For more information, visit California’s Office of Problem Gambling Website.
It’s the New Year and we’ve all been asked about our New Year’s resolutions. Whether you’ve made a resolution or not, the new year can be a good time to pause and reflect on the changes you want to create in your life. Happier, healthier relationships? Greater career/work satisfaction? Getting more physically active? Creating more balance in an often stress-filled modern world? Here are some things to remember as you step into change.
1) Change begins with you. Waiting for other people or circumstances to change is putting your life on hold.
2) Long lasting change happens slowly. Breaking down a big goal into smaller steps generally leads to longer lasting change than trying to do it all at once. For example if your goal is to exercise more this year, start off slowly. Better to take one workout class a week than plan to be at the gym for an hour 5 days a week. Change takes getting used to and often abrupt changes aren’t sustainable.
3) Change your environment, change your behavior. Research shows that our habits (good and bad) are often associated with a cue. When we change our environment or daily routine we have a better chance of breaking a bad habit.
Go out there and make a small change each day!