Terry Martin Ph.D
Reflections on Life
Why is That?
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April 19, 2019 In a previous column I compared depression to carrying a ‘load of bricks.’ The technique helps therapy patients as they visualize themselves removing the ‘bricks’ one-by-one.
I also use a ’Mind Bus’ approach. Let’s explore it.
Picture yourself as a bus driver. You are at the wheel of the ‘Mind Bus,’ a sleek, modern bus rolling through the countryside. You want to enjoy the ride but several passengers are causing a disturbance. They are loud. They annoy you. They are making the trip a nightmare.
The picture you created has distanced you from your problems.
Deal with the annoying loudmouth behind you yapping away on a cell phone. If that isn’t bad enough there are two children acting up. Their mother is scolding them and their father is arguing with his wife. Now there’s a man at the back door yanking the cord to signal he wants to get off, he missed his stop.
Take a deep breath. This is ‘cognitive diffusion.’
You ditched your problems. You’re not thinking about them. Instead, you have a busload of rowdy passengers to deal with.
Being in the present moment is also called mindfulness.
Therapists use mindfulness-based tools to help patients better manage their thoughts. The process consists of accepting our thoughts while at the same time distancing ourselves from them–not clinging to them.
We often ask patients to “reframe’ an issue. I use that technique when patients need to look at a problem with a different perspective. I like the Mind Bus approach. It can be used successfully with adults, as well as children and even families.
As the driver of the Mind Bus, imagine your negative thoughts as passengers riding with you. For example the passenger who keeps pulling the cord so you will let him get off the bus. Stop the bus. Get rid of him. You are in charge. Open the door so he can leave. Don’t drive to the next stop you will have to put up with him that much longer.
The process makes negative or unproductive thoughts less powerful. You are not identifying with them, but rather you see them as temporary experiences that pass you by. You choose the ‘stop’ where your negative thought gets off the bus.
Try the mind-bus technique, yourself. Identify a current circumstance in your life where you’ve been experiencing unproductive thinking. Write down three negative thoughts about the situation.
Now close your eyes and take three deep breaths.
Imagine you are driving the Mind Bus.” Visualize how the bus looks, how comfortable you are in the driver’s seat looking out the window on a bright, sunny day.
Take each of your negative thoughts and imagine them as passengers. Assign each one a different voice and personality. Make them irritating, for effect.
Start unloading the troublemakers. One-by-one. Imagine how the atmosphere inside the bus keeps improving.
If there is a stubborn passenger who won’t leave no matter how hard you try to convince him to leave…
…pretend he’s sitting in an ejection seat and press the button.
Contact: Dr. Martin:
THE MIND BUS
HOW MUCH DO YOU
KNOW ABOUT YOU?
April 19, 2019 In the dull, commonplace world of primary care physicals, I had an experience worth sharing. I found out more about my body than I’d ever known.
Dr. Joseph Rotella, my primary care physician has developed a state-of-the-art annual physical that includes a Styku 3D-body scanner.
His new wellness exam is comparable to $3,000-$5,000 physicals performed at major hospitals. “I’m looking at primary care,” he said, “to help people. I want patients to know about their bodies so they can make better health choices with better health options. We are doing it at PreveneWellbeing, a modern facility with the latest technology.”
The excitement in his voice was irresistible. I volunteered to be there on opening day.
It worked out nicely. Two medical professionals took me through the process. I stripped down to compression shorts and stood on a round platform with my arms slightly extended. I was told, “don’t move.” I froze. Thirty-five seconds later the scan was complete.
The exam includes the 3D body scan, vital signs, glucose and cholesterol checks, ECG and Spirometer tests, vaccine updates, lifestyle screening and a thorough physical.
Beth, a lifestyle medicine nurse practitioner came in to discuss the test results and take me through motivational counseling–another component that sets the exam apart from others I’ve experienced. The final report contained more information than I could imagine.
I was nervous. My body has 83,000 miles on it. I’m eighteen years into Medicare. I have bulging and herniated discs in my back. when I squat my knees sound like I’m making popcorn. I avoid bathroom mirrors. I could have guessed my body measurements, shape and composition…but not the lumps, blobs and bumps.
Now I know all about them.
I fell about laughing at the computer image of my body. I look like Alfred Hitchcock. There is even a profile image (like I needed a second opinion).
The report lists more measurements than a Saville Row tailor would take. Thirty-one (31) body measurements in pounds and inches. Mass data: lean mass, bone mass, fat mass, etc. There are measurements galore. Fat mass and fat-free mass are ranked for “at risk levels” and compared to men in my age bracket. It was a jarring, medical police APB. Most of all it was rewarding.
All from a 35-second 3-D body scan.
A questionnaire asks patients to rate their health, nutrition, exercise, sleep, relationships and stress management on a scale of 1-10. Beth and I went over my answers. Using scan data we discussed goals for fat-loss and caloric consumption. The scan report alerted me to a likelihood of disease compared with men my age with an ideal waistline.
I’ve seen house inspections with fewer data. But I’ve never felt better about knowing all about me.
And according to Dr. Rrotella, the Prevene Wellness exam is in its infancy. It will evolve in the future. There should be one on every corner.
Visit Prevene Wellbeing
10277 N 92ndSt. Suite 102
Scottsdale AZ 85258
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