Sunday, February 14, 2021

For good health, we must look at biopsychosocial

As a Family Doctor, I often like to get my patients to rate their current bio-psycho-social health out of 10.

1 Bio/physical health out of 10

2 Psycho/emotional health out of 10

3 Social/connection with their tribe out of 10

Then we can get them to reflect on a great time in their life, and rate the bio-psycho-social out of 10 during that time.

We then set out to close the gap.

For our health to be optimal, all of our bio-psycho-social health have to be optimal, because each domain impacts one another. 

How do you rate with the above in mind?

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Working on both our external locus of control and our internal locus of control to reduce stress

As Family Doctors, we often see folks whose lives are not in line with their values and expectations.

The bigger the gap, the bigger the stress it seems.

To close the gap, we only have 3 options.

1. We can try and create a life that is congruent with our values and expectations. It’s about making changes to the outside world i.e. the external locus of control OR

2. We can try to defuse/detach, and change our values and expectations to be in line with our life. This is more about changing our internal world and how we perceive things i.e. the internal locus of control OR

3 We can work on both of course. This will give us best chance of “closing the gap”. 

There’s actually a 4th option, and it’s not about closing the gap. It’s more about accepting the gap. 

Whichever way, the first step is have clarity around what those values and expectations actually are.

So the real question is, do we have clarity around those?

Saturday, January 30, 2021

How to live a more value driven life and more true to who we are

Feelings are a reflection of values, so reflect on what you absolute love or hate, and then work backwards from there. I often get my patients to make a list of all the things that they react to, the good and the bad. It can be very revealing about their values.

If we hate unfairness or conflict, and love to be nice and fair, then fairness, justice and beauty might be some of our values.

If we hate routine and often seek new things including new cars, new toys, or new experiences, then fun and novelty might be on our list.

If we really hate incompetence and love effectiveness, then we may include excellence and efficiency. 

If we hate being micromanaged and love autonomy, then we consider freedom and independence. 

If a value is “core” for us, then it will show up in multiple aspects of our lives, and not just one situation.

When we mention or reflect on a particular core value, watch for “resonance”. If it doesn’t resonate, then it’s probably not a strong value of ours. If it resonates deeply, then it probably is.

Once we have more clarity, we can use these values as our “inner compass”, to live a life more congruent with our values and who we are.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Taking value based actions to help with our mood

When counseling our patients with mood disorders regarding behavioral activation/activity scheduling, we may like to encourage more value based actions rather than just “generic” ones.  Generic actions can be like visit the family or friends, going for regular walks, or checking out new activities in the area. 


Value based actions are linked to one’s inner values, feelings, and principles and hence, are more emotive, meaningful, and purposeful for the person. If they are more emotive, meaningful, and purposeful, then they may be more sustainable. 

If we have strong values around family and connection, then we can explore activities around that. If they have strong values around creativity and beauty, then maybe explore some activities around that. For some of us, it might be values around productivity and helpfulness, so explore around that. 

Getting clarity around our values first is a good start.

Having said that, sometimes clarity around values may not be there yet, and therefore “generic” actions first before clarity is not necessarily a bad option.