July 18th, 2024

All Psyched Up: In and Out

By Linda Hancock on June 22, 2024.

Many years ago, when I was an employee at Alberta Mental Health, I attended a seminar by speaker David Irvine. His background as a therapist and great insight challenged registrants to think about our lives from a unique perspective.

David showed a slide of the Dead Sea and then one of the Jordan River. What a difference! The Dead Sea was just that. Dead! No vegetation or animals whereas the Jordan River was lush with life of all kinds. David explained that this was the case because the Jordan had input and outflow whereas the Dead Sea was just an isolated hole with saline water.

Which of these situations best represents your life? Are you isolated, toxic and non-productive or do you have a vibrant and rich life like the Jordan River?

Here are some ways that you might change the situation:

1. Study and learn a new skill – All of us have, in the past, made statements like: “I wish I could speak Spanish” or “I would like to learn how to make stained glass items”. Why not start now? We not only have a world that is full of educators but also the internet that brings them right into our environment. Oh, and don’t forget to check out the books you own but haven’t read yet or play the CDs that are still in cellophane wrapping.

2. Build a new friendship – If you don’t know how or where to begin, try finding a volunteer opportunity. People who have similar values and interests tend to show up at the same places. Even though we have apps that invite you to be a friend of someone, I have found that we actually live in a very lonely world. Someone is hoping to meet you!

3. Move your body – Going for a walk will not only improve your health but also allow you to interact with nature and other people. Recently I started yoga classes on the recommendation of my doctor. This is a very deceptive activity. It looks relaxing and effortless, but it isn’t, and I am really benefiting from this new experience – body and mind.

Adding fresh output:

1. Donating to worthy causes – My guess is that we all have things that we don’t use which other people would enjoy. Take a look around and go through your possessions to cull the items that you can share. This will bless others but also reduce the clutter in your life which subconsciously might be promoting overwhelm and stress for you.

2. Sharing a skill – Could you help teach a child to read or an adolescent to cook? Maybe you have some unique talents that would benefit others such as showing a neighbour how to grow a garden or paint a room? Committees in the community always need people with leadership and financial skills. Last week I contacted a Veterans group that is building a wonderful retreat centre for first responders and those who served under NATO to ask if they needed my help. That contact has been mutually beneficial.

3. Making contact – I am always so encouraged when I hear from readers so try to follow their example by encouraging others. Even a brief text, short phone call or email can brighten the day of a friend, family member or other contact. Words are very, very powerful and, when given with love and kindness can not only improve the life of another person, but also have a ripple effect as they impact those around the receiver.

So, it’s all about giving and receiving. In and out. We know it but do we do it?

Are you a Dead Sea or a River Jordan. The choice is yours!

Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email office@drlindahancock.com

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