Sunday, July 5, 2020

Is emotional pain important for us to thrive and survive?

Emotional pain is like physical pain and of course, it's uncomfortable. We don't like it and at the same time, it does serve a very important feedback mechanism for us to process in order to help us thrive and survive. Emotional pain can be an indication for us that our needs are not being met. This is one of a few frameworks with which we can use to process our emotional pain. It is an important framework to assist us in regulating our emotions. We can summarise it into 3 human needs: 1 The need for stability, security and control 2 The need for love and connection with our "tribe" 3 The need for growth, newness, fun, and novelty Knowing which needs are deficient will assist us with addressing those issues more effectively. Reference: Maslow Hierarchy of needs Rogerian Psychotherapy

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

How to live a life true to oneself and why that is important

After many years working in palliative care, Bronnie Ware wrote an internet blog about top regrets of the Dying, and it went viral.  She later on wrote a book about the Top 5 Regrets of the Dying to help inspire people to positively address these issues.

One of those regrets is not being able to live a life that is true to oneself.  So the big question is, how can we do that and start living an authentic life right now.

In order to live a life true to oneself, we need to know what our values are and the priority of those values.  What are the qualities and the type of life that we want to create, and can we get very clear on that? What will that look like?

What are our values around our work and career?
What are our values around our families, romantic relationships, our children, and our friends?
What are our values around the type of community we want to live in and contribute to?
Once we are clear on this, we can then use it as our inner compass to live a life that is true to ourselves and our values.  When one's life is congruent with one's values, then this may result in inner harmony or some may describe as, "happiness".

Part of Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) is to help people live a life that is congruent with their values.

Check out our post on how to work out what your values are and my take on Happiness and check out other posts on this blog about Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT).

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Limiting beliefs... Review and challenge them regularly

Limiting beliefs can be helpful or helped us to be safe at some point in our lives, but they can also limit us in the here and now.

Examples of limiting beliefs are...

  • I am not good enough
  • I am significant only if I achieve
  • I am significant only if I look good
  • I can’t do this 
  • I am not good at this
  • I am useless
  • Nobody loves me
  • People will leave me in the end
  • You can’t trust people
  • Things have to be done perfectly or not at all
  • If you do something wrong, you must be punished 

As Family Doctors, we try and help people review these limiting beliefs regularly, and challenge, defuse or detach from them if it does not serve a good purpose for us anymore.

Friday, February 14, 2020

How to create more inner harmony through Acceptance Commitment Therapy ACT

When we are able to be true to who we are, we have much inner harmony. When we are unable to be who we are and our authentic selves, there is much inner disharmony.

So in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), we help patients to define what their values are and take committed actions congruent with those values in order to create more inner harmony.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Short video.... How fearful should you be about the coronavirus?

I think with anything new, unpredictable, and potentially life threatening like the coronavirus infection, it is normal to feel fearful and scared. Having said that, too much fear can lead to panic, which can lead to unhelpful responses and actions. Too little fear also be a problem too. It can lead to complacency resulting in the problem potentially getting much worse. So in summary, one has to find the balance between having to much fear versus too little fear. Having a healthy level of fear around the coronavirus outbreak is probably a good thing in order to motivate us to take appropriate actions to prevent further spread of the disease.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Tips for New Graduates on the 3 Human Needs

It's the beginning of 2020 and I remember how difficult it was to adjust to my first year of clinical practice. There were a lot of things to learn, many late hours, and we were often faced with many uncertainties. New graduates will find that the first year of their working career quite challenging, and there will be many, many readjustments in order to keep our physical, mental, and social health in good shape. I with my brother Tom(Dentist), a collaboration with HealthProXchange, explore here the 3 human needs and how these are important for new graduates to be aware and try to fulfil them. The 3 human needs are: 1 Need for stability, security, safety and control 2 Need for connection as we are all social beings 3 Need for growth, newness and variety Like water for trees, if one or more needs are not met, stress will be the likely outcome. If a tree gets sunlight, nutrients and water, it will be more likely to thrive. Reference: 1 Maslow hierarchy of needs 2 Rogerian Psychology 3 Humanistic Psychology (If you are a health professional, consider joining our closed Facebook Forum via links on our website

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

What is forgiveness and how to forgive

As a family Doctor, I see many folks who are struggling with the past, and the past has a significant impact on their emotional wellbeing. They can’t seem to let go of the past. It’s is extremely difficult, almost impossible for them. Due to the biopsychosocial model of health, poor mental health then leads to poor relationships and physical health. See my short video on biopsychosocial here. 

Without knowing what forgiveness is, it can be hard to know how to forgive.  So what is forgiveness?

Forgiveness requires full acceptance of what is IS. It’s not simply an intellectual thing, but also an emotional one. If one is in intellectual acceptance, one may have logically accepted it but emotionally, may still feel angry and resentful.  If one is fully in acceptance, one will feel at peace with it. 

Part of learning how to accept is knowing the difference between fusion and defusion. Here is a short video on fusion and defusion ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy). 

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Thought of the day on relationships

“Fight” with anger, frustration, or criticism, and “flight” with sadness or withdrawal, are often very instinctive when we feel disconnected, unloved or uncared for. This often makes things worse but a very human thing to do. There is another way. 

Consider to reconnect when disconnected.

Check out our post on How to connect again in your relationships

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Simple message on vulnerabilities and acceptance

‪Simply no one is perfect. Once we can accept that, we become less vulnerable. When we are faced with criticism for our weaknesses, we may get stressed and go into fight or flight mode. We may want to avoid and run away. We may want to defend, fight or argue back. Sometimes, it maybe best to simply surrender and accept that it is what it is.