Talking to my elders about coping with anxiety

When crisis strikes, I instinctively wonder if there are any parallels and guidance I can take from my elders’ lives

Talking to my elders about coping with anxietyThere’s no shortage of anxiety right now. The reasons are ample: little children are aware of the climate change crisis; adolescents are boldly marching with Greta Thunberg to draw attention to the need to decarbonize our world; for months, financial analysts have been speculating on when the great stock market boom would end; the job…

Alberta throws a stick of dynamite into education system

Being tested and labelled at an early age can have a devastating effect on a child’s self-esteem and intellectual potential

Alberta throws a stick of dynamite into education systemIf Steve Bannon isn’t on the Alberta government’s payroll, he certainly is its muse. Bannon is the notorious former strategic adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump. His views on the benefits of disruption might well inform Premier Jason Kenney’s government tactics of mass disruption in many sectors. These include the most vital areas of health…

Child abuse linked to depression, anxiety in later life

Childhood abuse or neglect can permanently alter an individual’s physiology

Child abuse linked to depression, anxiety in later lifeIn a previous column, I pointed out that nature and nurture should not be regarded as enemies or polar opposites. Rather, they are two intertwined realities that work together to make up the human experience. Nature was designed for nurture. Many studies in recent years have documented the effects that early childhood experience can have…

How to turn overwhelmed into overwhelmingly successful

Make a written list, set priorities, breathe and relax, and then focus on one task at a time

How to turn overwhelmed into overwhelmingly successfulI recently woke up sleepless at 2:30 am. If you’re in a leadership role in a business or even in your household, you probably know the drill. My mind was spinning with the long list of tasks I had to complete. The 75-unit project I’m working on for a client; the three people who need…

Facing death with an attitude that’s full of life

Mike Sloan’s positive, upbeat tone and zest for life in the face of adversity has truly been inspiring

Facing death with an attitude that’s full of life“Death is not the opposite of life but an innate part of it,” Haruki Murakami wrote in his acclaimed novel Norwegian Wood. “By living our lives, we nurture death.” This is rational. Nevertheless, death isn’t something we enjoy spending every waking moment thinking about. That’s especially true when we’re still at the point in our…

Psychiatric links at the heart of fibromyalgia’s pain

Psychiatric symptoms commonly associated with fibromyalgia make the condition worse for those who experience pain and depression or anxiety

Psychiatric links at the heart of fibromyalgia’s painFibromyalgia has stumped health-care professionals for years. Patients experience chronic and sometimes excruciating pain with no obvious physical reason. It's long been understood that fibromyalgia is somehow connected with co-existing psychiatric conditions. New research has examined this relationship more closely. Fibromyalgia is the existence of widespread pain throughout the body. In order to be diagnosed…

Healthy body, healthy mind: a double payoff for exercise

The mental health benefits of exercise are well documented, and even moderate sadness and feelings of anxiety can be improved

Healthy body, healthy mind: a double payoff for exerciseNot only is exercise good for our bodies, it’s also good for our minds. Most people with a regular exercise routine will tell you that it makes you feel good physically and is a helpful way of reducing stress, improving confidence and self-esteem, and increasing energy. It adds to a general sense of well-being. Although most fitness…

Anxiety disorder can weigh down your life

But there are strategies — and medications — that will help you control this all-too-common condition

Anxiety disorder can weigh down your lifeDo you worry constantly about your family, money, health or work? Does this uneasiness affect your sleep or your ability to function? These are a few of the common hallmarks of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). We all worry to a certain degree about the well-being of our families, our financial situation or jobs, but it isn’t an anxiety…

How willing are you to stretch your comfort zone?

Fear has the power to hijack our thoughts and behaviours, even when a new path makes sense or is harmless

How willing are you to stretch your comfort zone?I’m often fascinated by how rigidly some folks cling to the familiar, especially when it comes to being asked to do something novel. Not something dangerous – just unfamiliar. In my former career, this came up a lot, with leaders standing up in meetings and asking for “out of the box thinkers.” Then they would point…

Some memory loss as we get older is normal

But memory loss can also be a symptom of treatable disorders such as depression, anxiety or substance abuse

Some memory loss as we get older is normalA very common concern among my patients aged 45 and older is a fear that they are losing their memory and may be on their way to Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. Although these are possibilities, some memory loss is common as we age and not associated with a degenerative dementia. This kind of memory…