Love is in the Doing | Blog | Glen Alex | Clinical Social Work Therapist LCSW | Author | Glen Alex Show Host | Las Vegas, Nevada

Love is in the Doing

If you think love is just a feeling, think again. Stephen Covey nailed it when he said, “Love is a verb.” Most humans are so deeply confused about this truth. When I posted his quote on my social media wall, a friend immediately disagreed. She replied to correct me with an official dictionary definition stating that love is a noun—a person, place, or thing. Imagine her surprise when I explained what Mr. Covey meant, that love is action.

Love is action.

Love is Feeling in Motion

Going beyond the basic interpretation of love as a feeling his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey describes love as feeling in motion. Too many people need to experience warm fuzzies, excitement, or even sexual impulses toward another person in order to believe they are “in love” romantically. However, the opposite is the true. It is acts of love that produce the sensations associated with love. This is true in romance and other types of relationships too.

Think of why you love someone. Is your love for them based upon what they do for you? …because they are giving, because they do certain things for you, because they listen to you. You love them because of their actions, what they do in your relationship.

Now think of a complaint you have about a loved one. Is it about something they no longer do for or with you? Perhaps they don’t call to say hi anymore. It could be that they stopped cooking or cleaning. Or maybe they no longer spend quality time with you.

Caring Behaviors

These acts of love are called caring behaviors, small acts of kindness. They are easy to perform when that ‘loving feeling’ is present. When it is not, caring behaviors tend to become less frequent or stop altogether.

You may believe that you have to feel love in order to execute a caring behavior. You don’t. It’s actually the other way around. The feeling of love is kindled by caring behaviors, the actions that make love a verb.

“…maybe the feelings are dwindling precisely because you’re not doing all the little things [you] used to do to nurture your partner and the relationship.”

–Barbara Markway Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist

If you want to feel excitement and warm fuzzies about your relationship, then do something you know your partner enjoys. Because they enjoy it. Your actions will trigger your love connection and show your partner that they are important to you.

Your actions will trigger your love connection.

How to get that ‘loving feeling’ back with LCD

Follow these 3 simple LCD steps to get back to love:

List:

Make a list of acts you know your partner likes. List everything you can think of, no
matter how small or silly they seem. Remember that caring behaviors are small acts of
kindness so your gestures need not be grand.

Commit:

Commit to performing your caring behaviors consistently—daily, weekly, special occasions, etc.

Do:

Act. Perform the caring behaviors even if you don’t ‘feel it’.

Want to feel love again? Then take action with LCD. Love is in the doing.

Create Your Best Health 2021

Tap into your innate ability to love authentically with Living In Total Health, Your Total Wellness Guide.

Timeless, Comprehensive Health Information and Insights

Living In Total Health discusses healthy relationships, a vital element in total health. Living In Total Health provides timeless information and insights for you to develop and maintain healthy relationships. Living In total Health is a great gift for self and loved ones.

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Your total wellness guide, Living In Total Health, covers essentials for Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual health. Presented in an easy, quick-read style it is packed with valuable, practical health wisdom that can be immediately applied to help make 2021 your best, most healthy year ever!

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2021: Your Year of Resilience | Blog | Glen Alex | Clinical Social Work Therapist LCSW | Author | Glen Alex Show Host | Las Vegas, Nevada

2021: Your Year of Resilience

YIPPEE! 2020, the most horrific year the world has experienced, is over. Many of us are breathing a sigh of relief from the repeated traumas inflicted by the virus, by deaths due to abuses of power, by the creation and exacerbation of mental health issues, by increased domestic violence and suicides, and by the economic devastation of the shutdowns.

How were you affected in 2020?

2020: Let’s Not Repeat This History

Although we are happy that 2020 is history, it is a history we must be mindful to not repeat. It’s so easy to wish for something negative to go away or to get out of a painful situation like a bully boss or troubling neighbor or living with overbearing parents. When you wish, hope, and long for the absence of some problem without consciously intending or visualizing a more loving, more joyful, more meaningful experience, you actually invite in more of what you wish away. And that is how history is repeated.

Resilience Creates New Beginnings

The best way to create a new beginning instead of repeating the past is with resilience. It is so much more than getting away from unpleasantness. Simply wishing for 2020 to go away is not effective in moving toward a more positive, loving, and joyous experience of life. More than wishful thinking is required from each of us to move forward.

“[Resilience] is bouncing back and rising to a level higher than that prior to the issue. This malleability is about thriving, not just surviving.”

–Living In Total Health by Glen Alex

You Are Resilient

You have the capability to be resilient. It’s innate. And when you tap into it, you transcend your pain and trauma to move toward thrive. Even in response to the depression, anxiety, and stress evoked by 2020 events. Your resilience enables you to engage in life more fully, to experience successes and challenges and joys and love.

“Resilient people turn the tragic into a learning experience. They collect valuable information from their suffering so they may live better, be better, and move on and upward.”

–Living In Total Health by Glen Alex

In order to transform tragedy to triumph, being present to make decisions based on real-time information is an essential requirement of resilience.

Use ACASH to be Present and to Tap into Your Innate Resilience

You are naturally resilient. Here are a few tips for tapping into this innate skill set.

Acceptance

Instead of denying or avoiding the reality of your situation, acknowledge it. Ignoring the physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual pain imposed by 2020, or any tragedy for that matter, only amplifies it rather than make it go away. Avoidance does not work longterm and is not healthy. Admitting to yourself that you are in debt, are struggling to provide for your or your family’s basic needs, or have to close the business that you worked hard to establish is a crucial step in achieving mental and emotional stability enough to move forward.

Acceptance is not failure nor is it an indictment of your character. Rather, you simply see what is as it is.

Control

Many depression and anxiety issues arise from lack of control. Depression involves looking backward in a way that either glorifies or laments the past while anxiety is about fear of what’s to come, which is gloomy and scary. Both depression and anxiety are about being out of control. However, you can’t control the past or the future. Your only power and control is in the here and now. So it is imperative to recognize that your control is in the present moment and focus each day on what you do control.

Though this may seem elementary, focusing on these elements of control are empowering and will enhance your mental and emotional health:

Make a list of what you do control

o What you eat and consume

o What activities you engage in

o What TV programs and movies you watch

o Who and what you listen to

o What you read

o The organization of your living space

Be Present

  • Engage in a mindfulness practice like meditation or Glen’s Gratitude Gaze (see November 2020 Gratitude blog)

Activity

You can still be active even though gyms may be closed and group activities cancelled. Available choices for moving your body to increase circulation, to expend nervous/anxious energy, and to retard depression include:

    • Mask up and walk/jog/hike a trail where permitted
    • Walk/run up and down the stairs in your home or building
    • Engage in free workouts on YouTube or other online sources
    • Dance to your favorite music
    • Sing along to your favorite songs
    • Work out in a park within safety protocols

Seek Help

Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. There is no shame in needing assistance, we all do from time to time. More than that, you cannot use the same mindset and behaviors that created your distress to resolve it. Keeping to yourself maintains or intensifies the negative patterns that led to your anguish. Therefore, getting input from someone who cares about your wellbeing can improve your outlook and open you up to a new and constructive mindset. And there are many virtual platforms available to receive therapy as well as free hotlines to speak with someone anonymously.

Help Others

Even during times of economic upheaval, you still can help those less fortunate. Sadly, there is always someone struggling more than you…foster children, displaced abused women and children, veterans with mental health issues, those homeless. Donating goods and clothing in good condition is very helpful to those in need. So find a 501(c)(3) charity that speaks to you or connect with someone you know personally and give away what you no longer need.

Resolve to Thrive

You have the natural ability to recover from the traumas of 2020. So set yourself up to thrive in 2021 by tapping into your propensity for resilience with ACASH—Acceptance, Control, Activity, Seek Help, Help Others. Doing so reconnects you to the present moment which empowers you to make real-time, conscious choices to restore your control and lead you to thrive in 2021.

“…to transform tragedy to triumph, being present to make decisions based on real-time information is an essential requirement of resilience.”

Create Your Best Health in 2021

Tap into your innate capability to be resilient with Living In Total Health, Your Total Wellness Guide

Timeless, Comprehensive Health Information and Insights

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2021 Special Limited Offer

Buy a copy of Living In Total Health and Get a free Health & Wellness coaching session with Glen.

Included:

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How to Give Realistically | Blog | Glen Alex | Clinical Social Work Therapist LCSW | Author | Glen Alex Show Host | Las Vegas, Nevada

How to Give Realistically and Authentically

Well, it’s here…the season of giving. This time of year, the fall holiday season, the collective focus is on buying gifts for others and expecting gifts in return, a retail fest for sure. And much to my chagrin, the act of sharing our blessings is relegated to one month and materialistic exchanges. Giving, as with gratitude, is a daily/regular/ongoing activity that connects you to your higher self, to your Creator, and to humanity.

My plea is that we reframe the typical gift-giving approach to giving gifts from the heart, that we be the reason for someone else to have hope of a better existence in this season.

How can I give when I’ve lost so much?

If you’re asking yourself this question, then you are not alone. Millions of people have suffered massive financial losses due to the effects of the pandemic. Fortune.com estimated that at least 100,000 businesses have closed so far this year. Stimulus packages were underwhelming. Extended unemployment benefits didn’t go very far. Too many have experienced the devastation of personal economics in addition to the mental and emotional anguish of 2020.

That doesn’t leave you with much to manage the necessities of your life—paying bills, buying food, putting gas in the car. Struggling to survive, what do you have left over to give away? “Nothing” may pop into your mind as the answer. A completely valid response. If you consider lost income plus uncertainty plus 2020 angst, any other response seems fantastical or Pollyannaish.

You still can be the Reason someone has Hope

Hold on, please. Even with the turmoil of this year, you still can be the reason in this season by giving realistically and authentically. You don’t have a lot of money or material resources? No worries. Gifts from the heart do not require expensive material things. Your heart has an abundance of love and limitless joy just waiting to be shared. Here is how to tap into your heart to give what you can and with love so you can be the reason for someone to see possibilities and a thriving future.

Gifts from the heart don’t require expensive material things.

It’s the Thought that Counts in Heart-Centered Giving

It really is the thought that counts. Rather, the intent. When you give from your heart, especially something meaningful to the recipient, you expand your consciousness and sphere of energetic influence. The amount of money you spend on a gift is irrelevant in matters of the heart. Your loving intention for giving is invaluable and cannot be measured in dollars and cents. The value of your heart-centered gift is appraised by the Spirit.

Why do you give?

How to Give Realistically and Authentically with Gifts from the Heart

Here are 5 simple, free, and powerful gifts you can give to loved ones this giving season.

1. Prayer

An amazing and effective means of bestowing love upon another human being is to pray for them. Perhaps you know someone suffering physically or someone who has lost more than you. Whatever their situation, praying for them is a gift that transcends materialism and directly touches their soul.

2. Smile

There are very few things in life that warm the heart more than a genuine smile. The gift of a smile is so positively impactful that is can be detected even behind a mask because the eyes smile too.

3. Note – Thinking of You

A simple note to say “I’m thinking about you”, “you’re on my mind” is oh so powerful. Your note communicates that you care, that the recipient is not forgotten, and that they matter. You can send this message via a greeting card, a handwritten note, in a text, or in an email.

4. Positive Regard and Attention

Sometimes all we need is to just experience acceptance of our humanity above anything else. Holding a space of positive regard for another person and seeing the best in them is very loving. Perceiving the person behind the facade of personality can open the door for that person to step into their own Truth.

5. Cash or Material Item

Material items in good condition are demonstrations of love as well. Perhaps your gently used coat is needed by someone who can’t afford to buy one this winter. And by all means, if you can afford to give something material then do so. Money to those struggling to pay bills and gift cards to buy necessities can be very helpful expressions of love.

Every dark cloud contains a silver lining. Every challenge cradles opportunity. So current psychological and economic hardships need not thwart you opening your heart and sharing authentic love. Even with 2020 losses, you still have something of immense value to give. And you need not buy anything because grandiosity is not synonymous with love. You can give the gift of love freely and at no cost.

Give from your heart and be the reason in the season for someone to have hope of a better life.

Give from Your Heart by Living In Total Health, Your Total Wellness Guide

Timeless, Comprehensive Health Information and Insights

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Whether you are starting a health improvement program for the very first time or you have years of personal health improvement experience, Living in Total Health is bound to offer new, valuable help in your quest to attain your optimal health.

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Gratitude is Key to Health | Blog | Glen Alex | Clinical Social Work Therapist LCSW | Author | Glen Alex Show Host | Las Vegas, Nevada

Gratitude is Key to Health

For most people, gratitude is about giving thanks for possessions and blessings. For some other people, gratitude is a deeply spiritual experience in which they feel connected with God. And still others invoke gratefulness when something special happens. No matter how gratitude manifests in your life, know that being in a state of gratefulness can be tapped into at any time, even during difficulties. Even in 2020. And during this most traumatic year, gratitude continues to be key to health. There are significant physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health benefits attained from being grateful. When in the state of gratefulness, your total health is enhanced.

How do you manifest gratitude in your life?

Gratitude Brings Better Health

Mentally, being thankful repels negative thinking, depression, and anxiety. It is impossible to be sad or fearful or gloomy and grateful at the same time. Emotionally, gratitude is a natural high. The brain releases oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin during the state of gratefulness. These feel good chemicals may also be responsible for improved physical symptoms. “Benefits associated with gratitude include better sleep, more exercise, reduced symptoms of physical pain, lower levels of inflammation, lower blood pressure and a host of other things we associate with better health,” said Glenn Fox.

“As gratitude grows, negativity goes.”
–Glen Alex

Gratitude and Spirit

Let me interject here that gratitude is much more profound than just saying “thank you”. It is a deep level of appreciation that puts you directly in touch with something greater than self. This is the spiritual aspect of gratitude. Spirituality for me is all about connection to God, to The Creator, to all there is. The state of gratefulness deepens your connection to self, to loved ones, to community, and ultimately to humanity. Gratefulness resonates at your core and is connective tissue to all there is.

It is impossible to be sad or fearful or gloomy and grateful at the same time.

3 Quick Tips to Gratitude

  1. Gratitude Gaze: Look around the room you are in. Select three objects you like. While gazing at them, think of how they add to your world and say “thank you”. For example, I am grateful for my sofa because it provides comfort for my refreshing naps.
  2. Gratitude journal: daily record what you are grateful for—family, lessons, finances, work, etc. For example, I am grateful for my health, my income, specific loved ones.
  3. Reframe Game
    • List the 3 negative terms you use the most.
      –For example, I don’t have…, My life sucks, I can’t.
    • Reframe them to express gratitude (generally the opposite).
      –For example: I have enough, I am happy to be alive, I am thankful for my abilities.
    • Rehearse (practice)

The state of gratefulness deepens your connection to self, to loved ones, to community, and ultimately to humanity.

Living In Total Health with Gratitude

Humans are blessed with the ability to choose. Each of us has the power to control our own thoughts and attention. I encourage you to exercise your ability to redirect your focus toward the beneficial. Even in 2020. Though society is still unsettled and uncertainty still on the horizon, you can experience and express gratitude. Your life, your family, your health, your ability to walk and talk, your ability to think, your breath are worthy of gratitude. Your overall health will be enhanced when you are in a state of gratefulness. And the more you express gratitude, the more you will have to be grateful for and have more experiences in which you are joyful, connected, confident, and complete.

Your Total Wellness Guide

Living In Total Health can help you live in gratitude and achieve total health. Living In Total Health provides timeless information and insights for you to pave your way to total health and gratitude. Living In total Health is a great gift for self and loved ones.

Whether you are starting a health improvement program for the very first time or you have years of personal health improvement experience, Living in Total Health is bound to offer new, valuable help in your quest to attain your optimal health.

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People in Pain | Blog | Glen Alex | Clinical Social Work Therapist LCSW | Author | Glen Alex Show Host | Las Vegas, Nevada

People In Pain

“People in pain hurt other people.” Susan L. Taylor’s words resonated with me when I watched her voice them years ago. It is true. Those who are suffering and unable or unwilling to cope hurt others. Many abusers were themselves abused. People who carry anger lash out. Those who are fearful can be controlling. So yes, it is wise to identify who they are and distance yourself. Susan also nailed it when she said, “Not everyone deserves a front row seat in your life.”

You see, you can love and have compassion for someone at arm’s length. They do not need to be in your home or in your head for you to respect their humanity.

The energy of your intention for them spans time and space and transcends the ego. So there is no need to put yourself in harm’s way to prove you care about someone.

Even in pain, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy people do not seek to harm. Imagine Mother Teresa flying a plane into a World Trade Center tower. Can you see Mahatma Gandhi opening fire on concert-goers from a Vegas strip hotel? How about Martin Luther King, Jr. as a serial killer? You can’t connect these individuals to such horrors, can you? I submit to you that while Mother Teresa, Gandhi, and MLK had their human flaws, they had enough balance in their lives to spread hope rather than usurp it like the actual perpetrators of human depravity have.

Balance is the key. You know that. This knowing is not new. Yet this eternal truth needs to be reiterated with regularity in our world that is currently experiencing frequently intense waves of fear, hatred, division, and mass terror. Balance is the key. Balance.

Living In Total Health is about integrating all aspects of you, a whole being, to achieve the highest level of health and to achieve the strongest base of balance possible. It is not about being perfectly healthy nor is it about weight or body shape. Being human entails fluctuations in health, happiness, harmony, strength, relationships, focus, etc. It is the integration of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, however, that creates equanimity and provides us the strength to weather and persevere through the storms of life, and endure with a functional level of equilibrium.

Stuff happens. Life throws curve balls. So tap in to your True self, your whole self, to utilize your innate ability to balance pain with joy, darkness with the light, the good with the bad. Then you will intuitively discern who to give your precious time and attention to and who to love from afar.

The total wellness guide, Living In Total Health, is your ticket to get off the popular myopic rollercoasters which propose that health is only about diet and exercise. True health is about the whole person and the balance between the physical, the mental, the emotional, and the spiritual aspects of self. Pursue total health and you will gain peace and calm that leads to better self-awareness, self-confidence, relationships, fitness, connection, and balance. You will reconnect with your True self and reach a higher level of existence that no one can affect with baseness.

You are unique. As Les Brown says “There is greatness within you.” And all of you matters. So now is the time for you to step into your wholeness to reach your highest level of health because humanity needs you to join the forces of healthy people who don’t inflict pain. Healthy people spread love.

Even during this time of the pandemic, civil unrest, and political iniquity, each of us is still capable of being as healthy as possible. When you take your health physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health to the next level, then you will naturally distance yourself from people in pain.

You can then become a super spreader of love because we need more Mother Teresas. We need more health.

Glen Alex

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World Interrupted | Blog | Glen Alex | Clinical Social Work Therapist LCSW | Author | Glen Alex Show Host | Las Vegas, Nevada

World Interrupted

Never in my lifetime did I think the world would stop. Sure, I’ve experienced moments when time stood still—the deaths of my twins, my mother, my father and two brothers. But that was just my personal world. Then came Rona. And the global shutdown.

Rona imposed death, destruction, and massive uncertainty. Lives were upended. Normalcy dismantled. Couple that with the worldwide social discord over the murder of unarmed and handcuffed George Floyd, captured on video by bystanders. Several earthquakes felt in Las Vegas. “What is happening?”

About four weeks into the shutdown, I had an epiphany. The introvert in me loved being at home when not working as an “essential”. I caught up on rest, reorganized my garage, got creative with The Glen Alex Show, and wrote more. While the accomplishments were time well spent, I still did not like my choices being taken away. Nor did I enjoy the inconsistent mandates based seemingly on political interests rather than science. Plus no tennis!?!?!? Frustration was my quarantine companion.

Then I saw the light. I am a thinker who is always in pursuit of a higher purpose for everything I do. So as I performed those rewarding tasks in my space, it opened my mind to see possibilities. For the past two years or so, I seriously reflected on my life and working 7 days per week knowing I couldn’t keep up that pace. Nor did I want to. In December 2019, my cousin asked on Facebook for a one-word intention for 2020.

Clarity. My intention for this year was to become clear about my goals and choices and results. While I don’t recall the exact moment of my breakthrough, I recognized it immediately. In order to achieve the balance I want in my life, something really important to me had to give. “Yes, this is what I need to do.”

An overwhelming peace settled throughout my being. I won’t say what I chose to give up because that is the most irrelevant part of my epiphany. The importance is the clarity I gained about the opportunity to make a change.

Rona caused so much pain and provided opportunity, as do all challenges. Rona provided the best time to step away because I was already away, for a month at that point. “Now is the time.”

Conditions are favorable for positive, lasting changes for us all. Order is always preceded by chaos. Recession gives rise to upturn. Thus collectively we can create a new world, one full of purpose and camaraderie and mutual respect of each other’s humanity.

Tennis may be the most appropriate blueprint for this shift. It is the love of my life because tennis always shows me what I do well, how good I can be, and what skills I need to develop to be better. Tennis presents challenges along with the provisions to grow through them.

The best results on court come from intention (visualization), practice (preparation), learning (skill development), and most importantly problem solving. Transfer the beauty of tennis to daily life. Set your intention. Prepare to actualize it. Learn coping skills to effectively deal with challenges. And make adjustments as needed.

It is my hope for all of us that we awaken to this opportunity, be ready to act upon it, and have the drive to see it through. Even when life is hard. Even when your world is interrupted.

Crimes Against Humanity | Blog | Glen Alex | Clinical Social Work Therapist LCSW | Author | Glen Alex Show Host | Las Vegas, Nevada

Crimes Against Humanity

I wrote this blog in December 2018 and I am posting it again because it is still relevant. The United States specifically is knee-deep in darkness. Still.

I love crime dramas. The Closer, Criminal Minds, How To Get Away With Murder, The Purge, and every Law and Order Series. These shows delve into the human psyche, which I am passionate about, and demonstrate the depths of depravity unique to our species in an entertaining way. Macabre, I know.

Yet the acts performed on my favorite shows are not real. Those stories are made up and easy to walk away from. Besides being entertaining, crime dramas serve the purpose of allowing viewers to tap into their dark side and sublimate the accompanying impulses.

And while I dig exploration of the mind because I’ve always gravitated toward psychological underpinnings, I shudder at the reality of the harm we humans are capable of inflicting on each other. I am haunted by the brutality of rape, child abuse, domestic violence, killing of innocents, discrimination, and isms. They evoke pain. There is no entertainment value in such actions.

I cannot shake off beatings of anyone because of their race, gender, age, or sexual orientation. A mother killing her children and one lover ending the life of another weigh heavy on my heart. A man forcing himself on a woman with fists and genitalia provokes an emotional stew made of sadness and fear topped with rage.

I am equally impacted by the suffering of those victimized. Their traumatic experiences and untimely deaths seem so unnecessary to me. And painful, emotionally and spiritually. Please know that I am not naïve. I do understand the duality of human existence—good-bad, light-dark, right-wrong, black-white. However, my very human response to human-on-human violence is sadness because I empathize with those victimized. I have the ability put myself into another person’s shoes and experience what they experience…why I can’t stomach the true crime stories. Empathy…“It’s a blessing and a curse.” Adrian Monk

I am also disappointed and outraged that we have not done better. History, technology, heightened awareness are underutilized in improving our individual and collective experiences. What is the hold up?

We have been here before. Many times in human existence factions and fundamentalists and fascists and narcissists imposed their will on others violently. The internet, Youtube, and Facebook give us instant access to useful information. And all things spiritual are more mainstream.

So why haven’t we learned to treat each other better from history? Why haven’t we used technology to right wrongs? Why haven’t we lived the tenets of major religions and wisdom traditions and behave like we are all created equated and of the same Source?

What on earth is taking so long to end crimes against humanity?

Glen Alex, LCSW, Author of Living In Total Health, Health Skills Coach, Speaker

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Living Mindfully | Blog | Glen Alex | Clinical Social Work Therapist LCSW | Author | Glen Alex Show Host | Las Vegas, Nevada

Living Mindfully

If the word “mindfulness” conjures up thoughts of sitting in silence with mind empty, then you’re on the right track. Meditation can quiet the mind’s chatter, relegate the mind’s stream of consciousness to an attachment-free film strip, and deepen insight. Whether you use breathing techniques, mantras, movements, or guides in your practice, meditation brings about a profound sense of peace, relaxation, and the gift of connection. Yes, mindfulness is closely related with meditation.

“Mindfulness and meditation embody many similarities and can overlap, but the terms are not exactly interchangeable.”
–chopra.com

There is, however, another type of mindfulness of which I write. Self-awareness. Not to be confused with self-absorption or egocentrism nor any form of negative selfishness, self-awareness is being attuned to your thoughts, feelings, and actions–knowing what you experience internally and do at any given moment. This is not a trick! Every human being has the innate ability to tune in introspectively. Yet, not all do.

Many people are not self-aware, not present to their own experiences. Mindlessness is pervasive. It is attending to every little thing or nothing with a blank mind or being overwhelmed with mental prattling. If you have ever driven somewhere and could not remember the drive, then you were mindless. This has happened with me and I am thankful that I didn’t hurt myself or anyone else. If you have ever been told that you said or did something yet did not recall doing so, then you were mindless at that time too. Andy Bernay-Roman called mindlessness a trance state in The Mind/Body Connection.

“…in the trance state, “vegging” out and living unconsciously, the brain disengages from the senses and tunes into its own archive, the past. So today’s reactions are fueled by yesterday’s experiences. Which can be problematic, obviously. As with “choosing well,” the past need not control today’s decisions.”
–Glen Alex, Living In Total Health

Let me share my personal experience. My life’s work is about health because I believe healthy people—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually—are more loving, more genuine, and less likely to intentionally harm self or others. It all began in childhood with boundaries. I was so enthralled by the nuance of interaction and took keen mental notes of when people smiled, when they cringed, and when emotional pain consumed their faces.

Boundaries came more into play as a teenager. The youngest of 10, I realized that healthy boundaries are crucial for personal health, wellbeing, and relationships, and learned to say “no” after experiencing mounting frustration from being taken advantage of by elders. I moved from watching to learning to experiencing to teaching matters of health.

During my health journey, I made conscious decisions about how I want to be treated and how I would treat others. Just saying so wasn’t enough, however. We all have said we would do something and it never materialized. Affirmative action required to meet the stated goal was missing. In order to live up to my personal commandments, I programmed myself to be aware of when I fell off my behavioral wagon.

It was a bit rough in the beginning, as I had to walk on awareness eggshells until the habit formed. When it did, by my late teens, I could pretty much recall words and phrases and actions that I delivered, in pretty much any situation. The level of self-awareness I carry daily is high, which requires a lot of energy. And totally worth the personal cost because being authentic and responsible and positively impacting humanity are external manifestations of my Personal Truth, my purpose.

Side note – my self-imposed self-awareness elevated my kinesthetic awareness as well. Not only am I aware of what my body is doing in space, I’m also attuned to what it is doing internally. During the initial visit with my new dentist at the time, I told him about my symptoms and treatments and responses and timelines in such a way that he called me a “genius” because of my connectedness to my existence.

My call to you is to take this one of many opportunities that the global health crisis offers to grow, ignoring all the political agendas. You can become mindful. Allow unhealthy and useless habits to fall away. Touching your face with dirty hands, quick wipe downs, no wipe down, saving time by not washing hands, sneezing and coughing openly are automatic behaviors that need to be laid to rest now and quite frankly should’ve been eons ago. For your own health. For the health of those around you.

Every challenge is married to the opportunity for personal growth. Seize this moment to start living consciously, mindfully. Eliminate automatic thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that endanger your health and that of those you love. Your past is not your present and need not control your choices. Mindful self-awareness puts you in charge of what you think, feel, and do. Reprogram yourself to become more self-aware. The benefits will extend beyond this crisis.

Humanity needs you to be mindful. Now is that time.

Glen Alex, LCSW, Author of Living In Total Health, Health Skills Coach, Speaker

Need assistance coping with boundaries, stress, relationships, or recovering from a setback?

Book your complimentary Discovery Call now: www.glenalex.as.me/schedule.php

Unintended Consequences | Blog | Glen Alex | Clinical Social Work Therapist LCSW | Author | Glen Alex Show Host | Las Vegas, Nevada

Unintended Consequences

I didn’t mean for that to happen. It wasn’t my intention for…

Have you or anyone you know ever utter these words? Probably. Most of us don’t actually weigh the possible outcomes when we make decisions. We only see what we want, which comes at a cost. But alas, what price?

Every choice yields positive, negative, or neutral consequences. Every choice. Oh, and a yes to one thing is a no to another. It’s just a matter of being clear about the potential results and accepting your responsibility in bringing them about. Because if you only focus on what you want or have to have, then you leave the door wide open for yourself and others to be harmed. And I wonder if you took the time to weigh the probabilities, would you make that decision anyway?

This is so true for the current global health crisis. Yes, the pandemic required an immediate and effective response from leaders. Hence the world shutdown with shelter in place (SIP), business closures, and social distancing. Many believe that these measures have reduced exposure, slowing down the rate of new infections and the number of deaths.

After about two months of the shutdown and the declining numbers, many people are still afraid of catching a virus that most will recover from, about 98% of active cases are mild and don’t require hospitalization according to worldometers.info/coronavirus. And many rightfully question the continued social closures, never mind how “essential” businesses are selected. Some governments don’t even have a concrete plan for reopening.

My question is, what about the unintended consequences of the ongoing shutdown?

Domestic Violence

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a big problem. IPV includes physical violence, sexual assault, mental and emotional abuse, and stalking. And according to the CDC, current or former male partners kill nearly half of all women murdered. For the domestic violence survivors, mental health, heart, digestive, muscular, and nervous system disorders can affect them for years.

With SIP, there is no escape. Victims cannot leave home to seek shelter, despite what Nevada’s Governor says, and are more vulnerable. Isolation is a major enabler of domestic violence. Mandatory reporters—medical providers, teachers, therapists are removed with SIP because they cannot see the bruises or get a report from those abused or provide resources for help. Increasing stress, unemployment, and sudden shifts in daily routines are also contributing factors.

Something else to consider. Harvard University Medical School trauma expert, Judith Lewis Herman, found that domestic abusers use similar methods to kidnappers to control hostages and repressive regimes use to break the will of political prisoners to control their partners and children. Andrew Campbell reported that new cases in the United States involve the abusers not allowing their partners wash their hands, using the threat of contracting COVID as another means of control.

Brazil reported a 40-50% increase in reports. France reported a spike of 30%. In the UK, domestic murders of women and children have doubled. In the United States, Houston police received 300 more domestic violence calls, 517 more in Charlotte, and nearly 200 more in Phoenix. Other U.S. cities that reported increased domestic violence calls include Boston, Milwaukee, Seattle, San Antonio, Salt Lake City, Utah County, Fresno County, Montgomery County, East Baton Rouge Parish, Buffalo, Sparks, Portland, Nassau County, Cherokee County, and Charleston, South Carolina.

Child Abuse

Child abuse is unfortunately tied to Intimate Partner Violence. About 30-60% of children who live in IPV homes are abused and/or neglected themselves, according to preventchildabuse.org. DoSomething.org reported that 68% of the abuse is perpetrated by family members and more than 70% of the children who die as a result of abuse and neglect are younger than 3 years of age.

Not only do these children experience violence first-hand, they may also witness one parent, usually mom, be victimized. The long term effects of the IPV environment involves psychological, cognitive, social, emotional, and behavioral issues. And many of those abused as children are linked with future criminal activity.

Authorities are concerned that the usual modes of reports to the police and child protective services are disrupted. Because schools and social outlets are shutdown, children are not seen by teachers, medical providers, other mandatory reporters, or even extended family. The apprehensive expectation is that when society reopens the number of new reports will be exponentially higher than the norm.

Suicide

There was a loneliness problem in the United States before the pandemic. In the age of massive technological connection via social media, more and more people experience disconnection and are lonely. That issue has worsened because of the forced social isolation from the national shutdown.

“We’ve seen several suicides that we can directly attribute to the isolation from not being able to get out and move about and do the things that they normally do. They get depressed,”

–Bobby Parks Evans, Jr., Greenville, SC County Coroner.

Vikram Thakura and Anu Jain wrote, “The looming economic crisis may create panic, mass unemployment, poverty and homelessness will possibly surge the suicide risk or drive an increase in the attempt to suicide rates in such patients. US already claimed a vast increase in unemployment (4.6 million) during coronavirus emergency and speculated that lockdown will cause more deaths than COVID-19 itself amid the recession. This uncertainty of time for isolation, not only demoralize but also make people feel worthless, hopeless about present and future.”

Increased domestic violence, child abuse, and suicide are just a few of the unintended consequences of the shutdown. Lack of access to health care also comes to mind. Leaders must take them all into consideration. Reopening society will require a conscientious balancing act, weighted by keeping those most vulnerable safe from this viral scourge while allowing the healthiest to live and help those in need.

Glen Alex, LCSW, Author of Living In Total Health, Health Skills Coach, Speaker

Need assistance coping with boundaries, stress, relationships, or recovering from a setback?

Book your complimentary Discovery Call now: www.glenalex.as.me/schedule.php

Quarantine Spring Cleaning | Blog | Glen Alex | Clinical Social Work Therapist LCSW | Author | Glen Alex Show Host | Las Vegas, Nevada

Quarantine Spring Cleaning

This time of year usually brings a plethora of spring cleaning tips, from everywhere. Spring is the season of rebirths and re-awakenings, so it is the perfect time to start over by throwing out the old and the useless. And regular physical, mental, and environmental cleanses are so important for Living In Total Health.

In 2020, however, the current global shutdown provides new spring cleaning opportunities. Even though outdoor activities are restricted, cleansing can still be done. Must be done to brighten in-home experiences and create loving space in our psyches for when the world reopens. Stay Home orders offer a great time to detox and cleanse for better health—mental, physical, emotional, and yes spiritual, for all forces of health are interconnected and interdependent.

Here are three ways to cleanse now for better health.

Clean House

This may sound like a “dah”. Of course, picking up clothes, washing dishes, and cleaning toilets are involved. Go a step further. Rid your home and living space of excess papers. I tend to keep documents long after their usefulness as hardcopies. Part of my 2020 spring cleaning included an afternoon of shredding and recycling documents that I no longer need, magazines that I won’t read, and printouts that I haven’t read in a minute. My home office is now more organized, more open, and more pleasing to the eye, all of which provide mental peace.

Get It Done

“When I have time, I will…” was a recent social media post of mine. How many times have you said that to yourself? Many, I’m sure. And I hope the time is now. Being unable to go shopping, to dine out, or even hang out is a gift of time. Use it. Complete projects left undone. Finish reading that book. Follow up on that conversation. Because every time you think of something you didn’t finish, you add an extra layer of stress to your psyche, which trickles down to your daily life. Now is your time to get that “monkey off your back” and get it done.

Heart Cleanse

”Not everyone deserves a front row seat in your life.” As a firm believer in surrounding myself with people who have my back, who genuinely support my best, I agree wholeheartedly with Susan L. Taylor. Some people are to be kept at appropriate distances. Some removed altogether. Relatives included. Life is far too short for the needless drama and chaos presented by the egocentric, those hurtful, or people who are irresponsible with my heart.

And guess what? The gift of now is that you don’t actually have to confront anyone or even say goodbye. Social distancing is doing that for you. No need to avoid the gym or walk the other way when you see them coming. You are free, for now. So simply take a moment to reflect on who truly nurtures you. Identify those who don’t. And let them go.

Allow social downtime to naturally release your attachment to those relationships that stunt your growth and strengthen those that uplift you.

For better total health, cleanse in quarantine by cleaning house, getting it done, and releasing unhealthy attachments. When the world reopens, you’ll be ready and fortified with cleanliness, esteem, and love to take on the new day.

Glen Alex, LCSW, Author, Health Skills Coach

Need assistance coping with boundaries, stress, relationships, or recovering from a setback? Book your complimentary Discovery Call now: www.glenalex.as.me/schedule.php