Archive for category Anxiety
All of us realize that stress is just a natural part of our lives. But some of the effects that ongoing stress can have on us can be debilitating to our health and thus only causing further chaos. One of the big ones is that there are just not enough hours in our day. But if we could each find a few minutes in our days or even make that adjustment to make time for the things that relax us, all of us would be a lot more efficient in what we attempt to accomplish. It could be just taking a few minutes in the morning after you wake up to stretch and breath or rearranging your normal schedule to fit in a yoga class here and there.
The first step is coming to terms with our stresses and then making the conscious decision to adjust and transform them to something beneficial. Here is an article on Stress Management from the Mayo Clinic to help you discover your reactions to stress and learn how to manage it.
~The HealthPsych Team
As the snow falls on the Colorado Rockies, my wife and I get excited for the upcoming ski season. MINES and Associates is headquartered in the foothills of Denver, Colorado which provides those of us who are skiers and snowboarders a 60-90 minute drive to some of the best skiing in the world. We are heading up for opening day and look forward to a fun and exciting season.
For many people the coming of winter is very depressing. It is cold, gloomy, and snowy, which creates hardship for many people. Heating costs go up and many people can’t afford to keep the house temperature as comfortable as they’d like. Driving to work is challenging and practically impossible on heavy snow days, leading to anxiety and frustration.
Winter comes down to whether you are mentally prepared for the change from warm to cold. If winter typically gets you down, try something new this year. Talk to your Human Resources Department at work and ask about your EAP (Employee Assistance Program). Assuming your company has such a program for employees, make the confidential call to one of the counselors and ask for some advice and ideas on how to make it through the winter with more ease than in the past.
Best wishes for a good winter and happy holiday season!
Senior Sales Executive
Posted by minesblog in Anxiety, BizPsych, business psychology, C Level, Centering, CEO, education, Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), Leadership, Managed Behavioral Health Care, Management, Meditation, Mines and Associates, Parenting, Psychology of Performance, Stress management, substance abuse, Supervisor, The MINES Team, Tips, Work Performance on October 21, 2010
Gina Kolata wrote an outstanding article in the New York Times on the psychological and behavioral aspects of the psychology of performance that I want to pass on to you. She has a number of points that are useful in business as well as personally.
Have a day filled with equanimity
Robert A. Mines, Ph.D.
CEO and Psychologist
Posted by minesblog in Alcoholism, Anxiety, BizPsych, business psychology, C Level, Centering, CEO, depression, Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), Leadership, Managed Behavioral Health Care, Management, Mines and Associates, Psychology of Performance, Stress management, substance abuse, Supervisor, The MINES Team, Tips, Work Performance on September 20, 2010
In his book The Mindful Therapist, Dr. Dan Siegel discusses the role of mirror neurons in actions that have a perceived intention behind them. He stated that the mirror neurons function as a bridge between sensory input and motor output that allows us to mirror the behavior we see someone else enact (p.36). Practically this means that when we see someone drinking from a glass, the mirror neurons become activated (firing off electrical currents called an action potential). If we were to drink from the same glass, the same specific neurons that fired when we saw someone else drinking also become activated. Dr. Siegel said “We see a behavior and get ready to imitate it,” (p.36).
The implications of this line of research are significant for performance. For example, if you watch a movie with alcohol being consumed and you are in recovery, now you have internal neuronal firing similar to drinking the alcohol yourself. Now you have to override the neuronal firing with “white-knuckling it,” or better yet with mindful awareness, or you will increase your probabilities of a relapse.
The upside of this research is that seeing others perform a behavior successfully – mentally rehearsing the image – would theoretically strengthen the neuronal firing and increase the probabilities that you will execute the behavior successfully. This concept is foundational to performance coaching. As coaches, therapists, and bosses we need to think about our current training techniques and how they incorporate watching, rehearsing, and doing as part of the sequence.
Have a day filled with Mindfulness,
Robert A. Mines, Ph.D.
CEO & Psychologist
MINES and Associates
Posted by minesblog in Alcoholism, Anxiety, BizPsych, business psychology, C Level, CEO, education, Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), Leadership, Management, Mines and Associates, Psychology of Performance, Stress management, substance abuse, Supervisor, The MINES Team, Tips, Work Performance on July 22, 2010
How effective are your various business units?
What are your performance indicators?
Do each of your employees get held accountable for the results or just the managers?
All businesses and organizations get to address these questions and do their best to implement solutions depending on the answers. Elliot Jacques and Stephen Clement wrote an especially helpful book, Executive Leadership, which addresses these questions and many more. This posting will address a few of the many nuggets in their book.
One of the recurring BizPsych questions we get to answer and intervene on relates to individual differences in performance. Jacques and Clement argue that role theory accounts for performance more than individual differences such as personality. They add that people perform to their role in very predictable ways. There is a significant amount of social psychology research to support this. Yet in many businesses, individual personality characteristics are looked at for explanatory hypotheses related to performance over clarity of role. Role clarity for a manager – from Jacques and Clements point of view – would include an adequate organizational design, an assumption that the manager has the knowledge, skills, commitment, values of the organization, and cognitive complexity to do the functions of the role. In the role of manager they would have formal accountability for results and authority to allocate resources including staff, budget, and decision capability related to the complexity of the tasks in their role. In addition, they have the interpersonal skills to develop a team of people who think they add value as a manager and are enthusiastic about accomplishing the goals of the business unit. The role clarity for a manager includes organizational support to veto an appointment (their manager has the authority to fire the employee if no other suitable position can be found), decide task assignment, decide personal effectiveness and merit awards, and decide to initiate removal from a role.
If the above conditions are satisfied, Jacques and Clements would predict a higher performance level from that business unit versus those that have role confusion. In our BizPsych division we encounter organization after organization that are addressing these topics in their design. If it comes to dealing with human performance, we are all in continuous recalibration mode.
Have a day filled with loving kindness,
Robert A. Mines, Ph.D.
CEO & Psychologist
Summer is Here!
Summer means the fun begins for millions of children across America. Swimming, rec centers, movies, amusement parks, concerts, restaurants, and shopping malls are just some of the many areas that will get very busy. Parents have just completed frustrating and time-consuming searches for special daycare arrangements for children who normally are at school. If you are still having challenges finding help, don’t forget that many EAP’s (Employee Assistance Programs) such as MINES’ EAP offer a childcare concierge service. This service provides assistance in finding the help that is needed. EAPs are typically provided as a benefit through your employer.
Summer also means graduations; kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, high school, trade schools, community colleges and universities. All children and young adults are going through transitions in their lives. While one would suspect there is more pressure on the high school student moving out and going to a university in a distant state, don’t forget the 5 yr old who is going off in the BIG Yellow bus to a school outside of Mom’s sight, for the WHOLE day. These children, as well as their Moms, can have some anxiety dealing with these changes. It is not uncommon for a mother and child to speak with a therapist who can talk to them about dealing with the anxiety of these great new opportunities. MINES has a number of workshops and programs that are available through parent’s workplaces that will take the edge off of this anxiety before it becomes depression. MINES counselors, therapists and professionals can help to resolve these issues now before school starts again in the fall.
Summer can also be a challenge financially. The children want to “do something” that costs extra money. Family budgets aren’t prepared for these extra costs. Family vacations are typically taken; and who hasn’t been on a vacation that didn’t cost more than budgeted? And most importantly, many parents are unemployed or under employed due to these challenging economic times. MINES also has financial and legal assistance programs that can help resolve many types of financial challenges.
Posted by minesblog in Alcoholism, Anxiety, BizPsych, business psychology, C Level, CEO, Critical Incident Stress Management/Debriefing, depression, education, Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), Kids Depression, Leadership, Managed Behavioral Health Care, Management, Mines and Associates, Psychology of Performance, Stress management, substance abuse, Supervisor, Uncategorized, Work Performance on June 7, 2010
We’ve begun to see editorials, videos and news stories about the effects of the Gulf Oil Spill on behavioral health. Most recently I watched an expose about the effects of Exxon-Valdez on alcohol and substance abuse, increases in divorce rates and suicide attempts and how experts warned of the same fallout from the Gulf crisis. Additionally, mental health experts are warning that the current crisis could dredge up unresolved feelings from Hurricane Katrina. Here is a link to the story and video:
We wish the best to all those impacted by the gulf oil spill.
Posted by Ian Holtz (Sales @ MINES and Associates)
Posted by minesblog in Alcoholism, Anxiety, BizPsych, business psychology, C Level, CEO, depression, Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), Leadership, Managed Behavioral Health Care, Management, Mines and Associates, Psychology of Performance, Stress management, Supervisor, Uncategorized, Work Performance on May 19, 2010
In BizPsych we often run into CEO’s, VP’s, Managers, and Supervisors who have performance problems related to “wearing too many hats”. Elliot Jacques’ work described a variety of systems and organizational design problems that resulted in inefficiencies, interpersonal problems, bottlenecks, and other performance issues. When a person is “collapsed down” or in the weeds, which means they are below their role in a business, higher-priority strategic thinking, decisions or actions can be neglected or result in outright failure. Wearing multiple hats means that none of the roles assigned to that person will get full-time attention. In smaller businesses this may be a “sweat equity” issue, however, the results are still the same. I encourage you to look at your position, how many roles do you have and what is the performance result?
Have a day filled with Equanimity
Robert A. Mines, Ph.D.
CEO & Psychologist
Posted by minesblog in Anxiety, BizPsych, business psychology, C Level, Centering, CEO, Critical Incident Stress Management/Debriefing, depression, education, Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), Kids Depression, Managed Behavioral Health Care, Management, Meditation, Mines and Associates, Parenting, Psychology of Performance, Stress management, substance abuse, The MINES Team, Tips, Work Performance on May 18, 2010
I am almost as excited as our clients to announce that after the pass of the first quarter we’ve been able to demonstrate to our new self-funded clients a savings of up to 50% from the previous year’s quarter on behavioral health and substance abuse claims.
Providing our clients with cost-containment mechanisms to counter the effects of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act has been, in their words, “a major relief.”
For some groups this isn’t a big deal. But if it is for you – ASK ME HOW?
Posted By Ian H.
Sales, MINES and Associates