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The Stresses of Language

Written by Ganz Ferrance on . Posted in Blog

Stresses of Language

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The Kindness Diet
Experiencing kindness and acceptance is actually the best and most efficient place to start when making a change. When you can accept yourself the way you currently are (and feel that from others), your whole physiology and nervous system relax. This gives you the emotional and hormone profile that makes any change much easier. It’s basically the anti-stress formula. The opposite is also true.

When you are critical of yourself or around critical people, you go into a state of stress and have the hormone and emotional profile of someone in crisis (fight or flight, to some extent). With cortisol and other stress hormones coursing through your body, it’s almost impossible to lose weight and much more difficult to make any positive changes. Let’s keep in mind that negative comments about body image do not only apply to women, but to men and other categories of people, too, like Dr. Brent Macdonald says. We also need to keep in mind that it is especially important to not send negative messages to kids about body weight and image because it takes such a toll on one’s self-esteem.

The problem for most people is that they are habituated to the negativity and are no longer conscious of it—but it still affects their bodies the same way. But, like Dr. Janet Miller says, it isn’t just about your surroundings; being successful also demands that you have your own sense of goal direction, inner script about acceptance, positivity, optimism and outlook, and (sometimes) even hard work. Miller describes much of this to be about “looking holistically at who you are”, that being holistic in your assessment of yourself will help you achieve your goals. The bottom-line is that if you want to be effective with make any changes in your life, you have to be your own “EPA agent” and protect your personal environment of success.

Sloppy Words and Stigma
Words definitely matter. Not just the words themselves, but attitude that you have with the words. “Making light of [mental health] can be difficult in messaging for the person hearing it,” says Macdonald. For example, someone might say, “I’m just OCD,” or, “Oh, I’m so ADD today,” and others around might laugh thus reinforcing the idea that it is okay to use this type of language. But someone hearing it who has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or Attention Deficit Disorder might not feel comfortable protecting or defending him/herself.

The biggest thing in helping with the stigma around mental health and getting help is continuing to have a discussion about things. Bell’s Let’s Talk day was a great example of this. The emphasis this year on being supportive towards people who are struggling is exactly what is needed. When we choose words that are honouring and respectful, it helps the person who is having a hard time feel more accepted. This reduces his/her stress and helps him/her to cope better and improve faster. It also helps the person speaking to remove the negative associations in his/her own mind. This makes it easier for the person to accept him/herself and ask for help when he/she is struggling with issues of his/her own—and don’t kid yourself: we ALL have issues from time-to-time.

Stresses on Family Caregivers
This can be a huge strain financially, but especially emotionally on families. If someone you know is taking on a full-time role as caregiver for a family member, Miller offers some suggestions on how to look out for signs of stress: difficulty in function, maintaining other relationships, functionality at work, sleep, digestion, humour, and life outside of being a caregiver.

If you are taking on the role as caregiver for someone, spreading the load and pacing yourself helps. Using whatever assistance is available is also important; knowing that you can’t do it alone is essential. Your family and the person in care need you, so you can’t afford to sacrifice yourself and burn out because then no one benefits and everyone suffers. I agree that our system needs to do more—flexible work hours, tax breaks, support groups, and respite/relief care are things that can also help families with this challenge.

Health, Love, Happiness, Success
Dr. Ganz Ferrance
@DrGanzFerrance facebook.com/GanzFerrance

@DrGanzFerrance
facebook.com/GanzFerrance

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Ganz Ferrance

International Speaker, Author, Entrepreneur and Registered Psychologist Dr. Ganz Ferrance is on a mission to help you "Live Bigger so you can Give Bigger". Since 1991, he has helped tens of thousands people "Make More Money, Have Better Sex, and Live Longer Lives". Dr. Ganz prides himself on providing " Tweed-Free" consultation, education, coaching and therapy - giving you cutting-edge information and the "straight goods" without all of the psycho-babble, victim-making, or intellectual double-talk. Dr.Ganz holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology and an M.A. in Developmental and Educational Psychology from Andrews University in Michigan. He is the former Public Education Coordinator as well as the former Vice-President of the Psychologist's Association of Alberta. Dr. Ganz enjoys sharing how people can get more "mileage" from their lives. Whether one-on-one or from the stage, Dr. Ganz's easygoing, friendly and humorous style quickly makes you feel at home, comfortable and safe. This ability has made him a favorite with the media. For the past 5 years, Dr. Ganz has been delivering monthly segments on CTV Edmonton's News at Noon and has been interviewed several times for a variety of other publications, radio and television programs such as CTV's Good Morning Canada, Help! TV, Alberta Prime Time, CBC Radio, The Edmonton Journal .

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