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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Handbook for 2010

1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is
manufactured in plants..
4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
5. Make time to pray.
6. Play more games
7. Read more books than you did in 2009 .
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
9. Sleep for 7 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all
12. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your
energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don't over do. Keep your limits.
14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with His/her mistakes of
the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply
part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the
lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree...

25. Call your family often.
26. Each day give something good to others.
27. Forgive everyone for everything.
28. Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in

32. Do the right thing!
33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
34. GOD heals everything.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change..
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come..
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Back in touch...

Ooops. I've been recouping from trying to get Cooper's holiday costume just right for his big picture... you can see HE WON!!!! Sorry, no posts for a while.

Starting November 25 we will have 5 weeks of great Holiday suggestions on WEEK-TV Live at 5. Remember, I'm on every Wednesday at approximately 5:20p.

Hoping we will have a big surprise announcement for 2010 related to a WEEK television segment. Watch for more information in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Yes it is true

The Women's Lifestyle Show is only 17 days away.. and now for the big announcement! Our celebrity for 2009 is Dancing with the Stars... CHERYL BURKE

Monday, October 5, 2009

Just to make you smile

Did it work???

New findings on depression

An interesting report related to your diet... this may lower your depressive symptoms.


We just went over 10,000 views on our blog and the counter reset itself again.

Let's go for 20,000!

Thanks to all for reading!

Would Betty Freidan Be Happy?

Peoria’s Betty Freidan published the infamous Feminine Mystique, but would she say that women have come a long way baby? Tonight we will explore just how far women have come, or have we?

Have women’s roles really changed since the women’s movement began?

• 59% of all bachelor’s degrees and 61% of all master’s degrees are earned by women
• 4 out of 8 Ivy league schools have female presidents, as well as our own Bradley University
• As of October there are more women in the work force then men for the first time in history
• Women now hold more management and supervisory positions, and women’s pay is actually increasing faster than men’s.

These things are all wonderful, but the topic of tonight is about happiness. So ARE women happier today, than when Betty wrote her infamous book?

• Newest studies of 50,000 show that women’s happiness levels have actually dropped (study by Stevenson & Wolfers)
• This is irregardless of how much money they make, how healthy they are, or if they are married or not, or have children.
• 6 major studies on happiness have shown the exact same results and women are shown to not be as happy as men as they age.
• Women begin their lives happier and more fulfilled than men, and then gradually they become less happy.
• The change over age is somewhere between 41-47 when women decline in happiness vs. men.

So this is a dramatic discovery. What can women do to increase their happiness ratio?

• First you must be aware, and conscious that you have the potential to find yourself in this statistical range. Awareness is the key—without it, you can’t imagine a change.
• Start today to focus on gratitude and see what you have in your life, versus what is not available to you
• Watch your negative thoughts. Our thoughts create our life, and negativity will only lead you to a life of unhappiness
• Make time for yourself. Too many women are unbalanced and make no time to find their own inner joy and don’t allow themselves time for renewal.
• Want to learn more things you can do to increase your happiness ratio? Join me & WEEK at the Women’s Lifestyle show on Saturday October 24 at 11am and come to my seminar on happiness and learn over 100 ways to Come On and Get Happy!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Does Birth Order Effect Your Life Choices?

First born child? The middle child? Perhaps you are the baby of the family? Can you tell a lot about a person just by knowing where they fit into a family due to their birth order? Our 2-part series will investigate if our birth order defines us in our behaviors, our marital and our job selection?

What are the typical family roles defined by birth order?

ü First born. The oldest child who is typically characterized as the “responsible one.”

ü The scapegoat. Typically the second born child who is the one who acts out, or is labeled as the troublemaker

ü The middle child. This child is usually the quiet one or the lost child

ü The mascot. The baby of the family who is the protected one.

What are the typical characteristics of the first born?
ü First child who is over-responsible achiever

ü Type A personality

ü Good student, workaholic who takes on more than assigned

ü Needs to be in control

ü Typically marries someone who they can care for or manage

What are the characteristics of the scapegoat?

ü The second born who acts out and many times is the complete opposite of the first born

ü Cuts classes, gets poor grades, early pregnancy, attains negative, attention

ü Rebellious, prone to use of drugs or alcohol

ü Good with physical activities

What are the characteristics of the middle child

ü Quiet, invisible

ü Avoids conflict, isolates

ü Feels lonely, afraid, emotionally withdrawn

ü Follower

ü Many times depressed and has few friends

What are the characteristics of the mascot

ü The baby of the family who is generally immature and fragile

ü Many times the clown , charms family members and others

ü Can be high strung and hyperactive

ü Not taken seriously

Do these roles fit for all families?

Generally these are guidelines. There are excepts if there is a big gap in ages of the children, or if a family is blended. Exceptions also are found if there is a boy born first, and then a girl… and then the roles tend to change with the girl being the responsible child and the boy becomes the scapegoat.

Gina: So you see your birth order can determine your characteristics and the roles you take in your family and your life. Next week, Dr Joy will continue this subject and you’ll learn how our birth order affects who we marry as well as the careers we seek.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Can Divorce Take A Toll ?

Some current findings about marriage and the effects of divorce might be quite revealing. Tonight we will look at some research conducted in July of this year that relates to the effects of divorce—and it’s not just centered on broken hearts and broken promises.

Tell us a little about the findings.

• University of Chicago study reveals that those who divorce are at risk for long-lasting effects on mental and physical health
• Johns Hopkins study found that divorced or widowed people have 20% more chronic health issues (diabetes, cancer, heart disease), than married people
• Divorced people have 23% more mobility limitations such as climbing stairs or walking down the block
• People who are divorced have a poorer rate of health than those of the same age

Recent statistics suggest that over half of all marriages end in divorce, so it seems this could be a dramatic effect on most of the American population?
• We know divorce is extremely stressful and can be emotionally, physically and financially devastating
• But we also know some important trends that may explain some things. People who are married tend to check on each other’s needs and go to the doctor, dentist or deal with medical issues more quickly (colonoscopy, flu shots, etc)
• Divorce may effect financial status which may effect access to health care and stress related illnesses

You’ve mentioned some dramatic effects of divorce, are there some things we can do for ourselves if we ARE facing a divorce?

• Seek professional counseling to deal with divorce adjustment issues (loss, grief, adjustment financially, self esteem etc)
• Reach out and stay connected. Relationships are key to good mental and physical health. This is not the time to isolate
• Focus on the basics: Eat healthful foods, get plenty of sleep, exercise, make time for leisure
• Make a commitment to see this as a time to care and nurture yourself. Take time to discover a new path and a healthy lifestyle plan

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Letting Go of Your College Freshman

Walking a fine line between interest and intrusion? The last two weeks have marked the transition of college students leaving their homes and moving to college campuses across the country. For many parents this is the first exposure to “letting go” not only psychologically but also physically. It is the time for many of us to learn to guide and support our sons and daughters from a distance.

Recently journalists have focused on some of the concerns parents of college students--and most specifically freshmen. Are there are notable trends?

· Parents frustration about their inability to gain access to information from colleges. (Note the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of l974)

· Colleges are keeping parents in touch with newsletters, sending newspapers to parent’s residences, trying to get them involved in college events, setting up web sites for commonly asked questions and answers.

We have talked about tips of getting ready for sending your son or daughter to college-- now that they are on campus any suggestions for parents?

· Help your child with problem solving (now is the time to use key phrases like “it sounds like you have some concerns, what are you going to do about it” “What ideas do you have to address this problem?” “Perhaps you should try working on it for a few days and if you can’t find a solution we could talk about it in a couple of days”
· State your concerns (it is important that you be honest and tell your child your concerns, whether it is about their lack of studying, or concerns with them drinking or partying. It is important to make a point without lecturing and state your concerns openly.
· Don’t overburden with your emotions (the transition is difficult for them also-- it is important to find someone to discuss your feelings with and let them know you care, but not that you can’t survive without them
· Take advantage of e-mail (what a wonderful way to dialogue with your child. You can both connect when you find free time and it is much cheaper than phone service, and of course, much faster than snail-mail)
· Find a time to connect (but for those of us who love hearing our child’s voice it is great to find a mutually agreeable night for calls. Many parents typically use Sunday nights as check-in nights)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Can the way you put paper tell you something about relationships?

Here’s our self-discovery question. You have a single sheet of paper and a pair of scissors. You are asked to cut the paper… which way would you cut the paper?
1. A clean cut straight down the middle

2. A line curving back and forth several times

3. A jagged-edged cut

4. A single gently rounded curve.

Cutting of a relationship is somewhat like cutting a piece of paper. Some cut things off and some people choose to be creative and don’t choose the clean cut.

1. A clean cut:
When you end things in a relationship, you really end it. You believe this is the best way to handle endings and you apply this strategic precision to all parts of your life

2. Line curving back and forth.
You have a hard time with decisions and worry about people getting hurt or angry. Putting off the decisions makes it more difficult for you.

3. A jagged edge.
When you end a relationship you tend to tear it to shreads. You don’t burn bridges… you blow them up.

4. A single gently rounded curve.
You are a romantic and an optimist. It’s hard for you to end the relationships.

How accurate are these projective self-discovery inventories?

· These self-discovery tests are a way to learn a little bit about yourself and some are more accurate than others.
· Generally, those of us in the mental health professions use projective inventories that have been tested by great numbers of people to insure their accuracy.
· Therapists view these inventories combined with other information or other to ensure their accuracy.
· But, these projective self discovery inventories are an interesting beginning point for discussion and insights.

Could a Pet Help Your Health?

Techniques such as play, art, and music therapy have been recently added to therapist’s toolbox to work with clients facing depression. But now, four-legged friends have been added to many therapy offices, nursing homes, and hospitals in an effort to aid patients and clients.

Research shows that pets are great for seniors. One study looked at blood pressure related to pet owners—explain.
· A study of health patients showed that people over 40 who own pets had lower blood pressure than people who did not have pets.

· Another study showed that talking to pets decreases blood pressure.

What are some of the benefits of pets for seniors?
In a study of over 1000 Medicare patients, even the most highly stressed dog owners in the study had 21 % fewer physician contacts than non-dog owners

What are 6 major reasons for seniors to have pets?

· Pets give us unconditional support, undivided loyalty and devotion, acceptance

· Sense of security (trust someone is always around)

· Pets are friends (helps with loneliness)

· Pets ease loss ( people with pets are less likely to experience deterioration in health following stressful events)

· Seniors become more active (seniors go for more walks and generally more action than those without pets

· Take better care of themselves (generally seniors take better care of their pet and themselves when they have something to care for) Additionally, those seniors who have pets, tend to have higher self esteem than those who do not own pets.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Can Your Mental Health Be Effected By Lack Of Vacations?

American employees are working longer and taking fewer days of vacation, especially compared to our European counterparts. Recent statistics suggest that we are taking fewer vacations and working harder because many of us fear we might be laid off or that the workload will be too over-whelming when we return. Tonight we will look at how our mental health might be effected and some tips for survival.

How do American's vacation days compare to European workers?

*American's as a whole have 16 days of vacation, but generally only take 14 of those days each year.
*Italians average 42 days of vacation
* The French 37 days
* The Germans 35 days
*The industrious Japanese get 25 paid days vacations and work 100 hours per year less than Americans.

What are the possible effects of not taking vacations?
Vacation starvation, as it is called, can lead to workers who are disgruntled, stress related illnesses such as stomach problems, back aches, etc. Other problems include family tension, and an increase in addictions.

What are some of the reasons for American's taking less vacation time?

1. Overwork ethic- Americans define themselves by their job and our 24/7 technology keeps us tied to our jobs.

2. Guilt and fear-American's tend to fear guilty about leaving their jobs, especially when times are tough in the economy. Other's fear they might lose their job if they take time off, or perhaps lose a promotion.

What are some means of coping with vacation starvation?

1. Take frequent, but shorter vacations ( 4 day weekends)

2. Trade vacation time for pay decreases (29% of American's say they'd trade a pay raise for more vacation time)

3. Use your weekends as time for yourself and family vs. spending the weekend working on things from the office.

4. Learn some stress management techniques from a mental health professional.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The deadliest day for Suicides

Some surprise findings came out this week related to suicide. Tonight we break some of the myths that surround the topic and will bring you some information that might change everything you ever thought about suicide.

You have some interesting information to share related to the “deadiest” day of the week related to suicide. What do new studies reveal?

• Songs always talk about Monday blues and we typically have thought that suicide rates are the highest on Mondays
• A 5-year study done at the University of California points a finger at Wednesdays being the day with the highest rate of suicide.
• 25% of suicides occur on Wednesdays compared to 14% on Mondays and Saturdays, and suicide rates do down dramatically on Thursdays having the lowest rate of 11% of all suicides

Why do they think this might be true?

• The researchers believe that we are not as isolated as we once were during the weekends due to the internet, text messaging and cell phones
• People become more stressed on their jobs and by mid week their “co-workers get on their nerves” or the stress is just too much for them.

Were there any other findings of interest?
• We used to believe that there was a seasonal component to suicide rates and that winters had the highest rates of suicide. Once again, with the increase in connectivity due to technology, people are more connected and suicide rates are now a little higher in the summer than in the winter.

What are some suggestions if you believe someone is suicidal?

• Take all threats seriously. There is a myth that if people talk about it, they aren’t serious. Studies indicate that more than 75% of all completed suicides did say or do something prior to their death to let people know about their suicidal thoughts.
• Remember this is a cry for help. Be willing to tell someone, or take the person to the emergency room, or tell them you will go with them to therapy
• Don’t keep the secret. Make sure you do something to let others know such as calling the Call for Help number at 673-7373
• Call a professional therapist if you or someone you love is depressed. Remember that depression is quite treatable. 75% of people notice relief after 6-8 therapy sessions

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Pottermania-- What Harry Can Teach Us About Ourselves

Perhaps you have noticed that HE is everywhere. You see clips of him on the internet, on television, and the newspaper is filled with information about his adventures. Yes, it is almost time for the much expected new installment of Harry Potter. With the release of film six in a few days, soon everyone will be talking about Harry.

What is the draw that captivates so many?

· Aside for the amazing story line, Harry Potter captivates so many because it is not only the classic story of good vs. evil, but it is a magical story of personal growth & empowerment in the face of adversity. Despite the losses experienced by the young Harry (death of his parents), he is achieves greatness in part due to love, nurturing, the development of his own inner strength.

From a psychological perspective, what does Harry Potter teach us?

· We all hold inner strength: He is the part of us, which is buried deep inside locked deep inside our soul. Harry is the child in us that holds the power…the potential…the purpose…the passion! We just need to look within to find our strength and believe in ourself.

· Fearlessness: Harry is the part of us that doesn’t fear what others will think. He is the one who knows he must face his fear and his demons and moves forward.

· Trust in our abilities: Harry is the part of us that believes we can do anything and trusts we hold the magic to make it happen.

· Self Esteem: Harry sees himself as capable, as trustworthy, as honorable, as dedicated, as intelligent, as athletic, as scholarly, and worthy of being a wizard.

Are there some things WE can learn about self esteem building from Harry Potter?
Here are some suggestions:

1. Write down all your positives on a sheet a paper (and ignore all the chatter in your head that judges what you write down).

2. Make a list of the amazing things you have accomplished

3. Make a list of the “monsters” (the adversity and challenges) you have conquered.

4. Create a list of the magical things you have created in your life… the people you have helped… the ways you have made a difference.

5. Become your own cheerleader. Speak of your accomplishments and

talk yourself “up” instead of tearing yourself down.

6. Investigate your positives, search out your talents, reach for your dreams, trust your heart, believe your brain, and make decisions that make your soul sing.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

More Happiness Tips Come Your Way

Tonight we will look at some common things in our world that affect our happiness quotient, and correlate some interesting studies that might have you look at these things, just a little differently.

You brought us some new studies tonight related to happiness. What are they discovering?
• We’ve talked about how laughter can make us heart healthy by opening blood vessels to allow blood to circulate easier, but now a Maryland study says music can have the same effect.
• Music may be one of our best de-stressors whether you are listening to the music or playing it
• Blood vessels open when people hear music they like, and they actually begin to close when they hear music they don’t particularly like which is EXACTLY what happens with stress or tension (blood vessels stiffen and become rigid constricting blood flow--- hardening of the arteries)
• Hospitals like Mayo Clinic are using music as part of its cardiovascular healing program—so listen to some music and open your heart

You found another interesting study related to something really unusual… gum! Will you explain?
• Some of our viewers may be familiar with past studies by the American Dental Association that states chewing gum following meals can help with tooth decay and it has been shown to lower acid reflex episodes
• Perhaps you know that chewing gum helps lower food cravings and calms our appetite. And that’s an easy way to cut our consumption
• A new study at Baylor College of Medicine showed that chomping on a stick of sugar free gum can increase standardized test scores. Students who chewed gum during finals had better scores than those who didn’t—that gives an academic edge to gum-chewers!
• Gum chewers require fewer breaks, paid better attention and stayed quieter longer

Sounds like you and I should go out and buy some gum and listen to our ipods a little more each day!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What makes us happiest?

A February study focused on happiness as it relates to what gives us greater happiness- new possessions or experiences. What won out?
• People may like those new toys but research indicated that in the long run experiences make people happier than acquiring new possessions
• They discovered that the joy of the acquired possession such as a new car or computer fades over time where experiences seem to last longer on the happiness scale

Most of us think that getting new things, especially in this recession would make us happy, but what were some of the reasons for this surprise finding?

• Experiences tend to somehow get us more connected with people. We do the experience with others, or share pictures or talk about our experiences more than our possessions.
• People feel greater vitality and “aliveness” when they have experiences that add to their life, versus possessions
• Happiness from a new thing lasts 8-12 weeks, but experiences create memories that can last for a lifetime.
• Most people say they wouldn’t trade anything in the world after experiencing a great adventure

We’ve discussed the fact that the quality of our friendships enhances our happiness levels, but how can we make our selves more likeable to increase our potential for happiness?
• Smile more. No surprise, studies show that the more you smile during a conversation, the more you are perceived as happy. If you smile more, others mimic that behavior
• Have an open, friendly disposition. Lean in towards people, touch others, turn your body towards theirs, and nod and say yes as they speak. This means focusing on the other person, versus checking your emails or twitter account while you are talking to someone.
• Laugh at yourself. Showing vulnerability and humor makes you more approachable and likeable. That doesn’t mean putting yourself down—it means just keeping it light. Remember laughter is contagious.
• Show you like the other person. We want to get closer to those who act like they like us—it’s no surprise. Look for ways to show that you enjoy spending time with the other person…. It will pay off in raising your happiness quotient as well as theirs

Saturday, June 13, 2009

It is launched!

Check out our brand new website with instant links to twitter & WEEK, and a focus on our new therapy staff, wellness consultants, and more :-)

Check out

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

School's Out...Surviving Summer :-)

Some parents believe that June, July, and August are the longest months of the year. Kids are bored after just three days of freedom from school… teens want to be out doing something each and every night… and constantly someone is in the kitchen complaining there is nothing to do around here. So how can parents survive the hot, lazy days of summer and still maintain their sanity?

Here are some hints to keep your mental health intact:
1. Try to create some daily structure in your children's lives. Make a specific time for chores, television viewing, computer usage, and activities with friends. Sometimes it is helpful to have a family meeting and create a formal schedule for summer activities
2. Establish a time each day for reading. Join a summer reading program through the library, or set up a reward system for books read during the summer months. Each of us needs to keep our brain well exercised and skills quickly diminish when we don't keep our mind active.
3. Set a specific time each day to talk to your kids. Establish a consistent routine for discussion of the day's activities and plans for the following day. Use this time to explore feelings, and perhaps ask your child what was the “best part of their day.” Many parents have found it useful to ask their children what new thing they learned today in an effort to facilitate introspective thought.
4. Plan fun activities on a regular basis. Try summer camp, a weekly trip to the library or museum, or one of the unique summer programs that are available through Lakeview or the Park District.
5. If you have a teenager, check out classes that can be transferred as college credit. Look into volunteer opportunities, or a part time job. Some community agencies are looking for teens willing to help other teens. Call the Mental Health Association and ask about volunteering for the Teen Crisis Line, or call one of the local hospitals about volunteer opportunities.
6. Put together a list of fun activities that can be shared as family nights. Activities could include movies, miniature golf, baseball games, indoor football, concerts, the zoo, or riverfront activities.

Any other tips for parents and ways to "survive the summer?"

~Don't forget to make time for yourself. Make time for taking a walk on the Rock Island Trail, read a book, take a summer class, or just relax in your back yard.
~ Make plans to “have a date” with your significant other. Make sure you don't lose connection with your partner during the hectic summer months.
~Make time to be with your friends
~Remember if you are not taking care of yourself, it is impossible to care for anyone else!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Kokology can tell you something....

In the past we have shared little projective tests to learn a little something about yourself. Tonight we will do something from the Japanese Kokology self discovery books. So back by popular demand, we will try one of these projective inventories and see how closely they target your inner thoughts and beliefs.

A winding river is the source and the symbol of life. I’m going to give you a few options related to a river and your home. Don’t over think the four choices I will offer you, but which one seems like the best option that you imagine when you close your eyes?

1. A home on a small island in the middle of a river?

2. A wide stream flowing past your house with a small bridge to cross to get to your home?

3. A babbling brook running through the corner of your property?

4. A home where streams crisscross like a maze around your property?

Here’s the analysis, and let’s see if it tells a little about you.
If you choose the..
1. Home on an island: You are an introvert and like a quiet place to call your own. You like to have a place to just be away from the pressures and be with your thoughts.

2. A wide stream with bridge:
You have an intimate circle of personal friends and hold the rest of the world at a distance. You may be a little difficult to get to know, but when you are someone’s friend, it is forever.

3. A babbling brook by the corner of your property:
Your personal and social live is intermixed. You maintain an open door policy with people and are open to relationships and all they bring to your life. You think of strangers as friends you haven’t met yet.

4. A home crisscrossed with streams:
You have a large labyrinth of social networks and you are always thinking about the relationship between you and others in your life. At times you feel on the outside and that the world might bring difficult things your way, and so you are always on the watch.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Check out our new twitter account and get up to the minute information!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How a Bad Marriage Can Effect You

A March survey looked at how bad marriages affect the health of men and women. The study, which was done at the University of Utah, has some interesting findings.

A recent study reported that women have a different reaction to a “bad marriage” compared to men. Can you explain?

• Middle-age women have more health problems such as high blood pressure, excess belly fat, and factors that boost risk for diabetes and heart attack
• Toxic relationships affect your whole health
• Women in a bad relationship were twice as likely to be depressed than other

What did the study say about men in bad relationships?

• They experience depression but not at the level of women
• Men typically have emotional effects from a poor marriage, but not physical health concerns

What can couples do if they find themselves in a bad marriage?

• Increase your communication and try to discuss problem issues.
• Make sure you address emotional and physical symptoms as quickly as possible.
• Access marriage counseling as soon as things begin to hit problems
• Don’t wait until the marriage is at crisis level (by that I mean ready to look into legal separation or divorce)

Are Our Kids In Activity Overload?

Experts believe that we are pushing our children too hard by filling their every moment with activities. Many of our kids are going from soccer practice to music lessons, and then on to accelerated language classes. But, are we pushing them into activity overload?

What do experts say children need as it relates to playtime?
*The American Academy of Pediatrics states that what children need is more unstructured, good, old-fashioned playtime.
• Aids children with creativity
• Helps them discover their own passions and likes
• Helps children learn problem solving strategies
• Teaches them now to relate to other children/socialization skills
• Builds healthy development

How do we know if our children are experiencing activity overload?

• Physical symptoms such as stomach aches or headaches
• Child may be tired, restless or agitated
• Child may seem less interested in activities that were once important to them such as dance, piano, etc
• Grades may fall, or antisocial behaviors may appear such as lying, stealing, refusal to do chores
• Most importantly—children may experience BURNOUT if they don’t eat properly, get enough rest, and time to just “be a kid”

What are some important recommendations for parents?

• Are your children really enjoying what they are doing… watch to see if they are really happy vs. doing activities because they are meeting your expectations or as a means of impression management (to impress others—my child does this & that, etc)
• Narrow down extracurricular activities (what works for kids and parents). Create a manageable, reasonable schedule. Remember that kids need together time with parents for family dinners, family outings, etc.
• Make unstructured time a priority—unstructured does not mean unproductive
• Is this your expectation or something your child really wants to do? Remember the focus should be on your child’s healthy development.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

TV and Pregnancy... are they related?

A November article in Pediatrics Journal has some startling findings as it relates to watching TV and teen pregnancy. The headline in USA Today reads, “more tube time increases the likelihood” of unwanted pregnancies.

Can you tell us a little about the results of this study?

• The survey was conducted with 2000 teens and it found a direct link between sexual content on TV and the likelihood those teens that watched it would become pregnant.
• 23 popular shows were picked and teens were asked how much they view these shows which had everything from inferences of sex to full blown sexual intercourse on steamy cable shows.
• By age 16 teens who watched sexually charged sexual shows were twice as likely to be pregnant or father an out of wedlock baby that those who watched little television
• The statistics held true for those 16-20 with no effects due to income, race, and education.

How does this relate to previous studies?
• Previously studies linked watching sex on TV to earlier initiation of sexual behavior, but this was the first study as it related to pregnancy.
• Most teens watch 3 hours of TV a day, and the likelihood that they would be exposed to sexually charged TV is high.
• It’s not just one exposure, but also an accumulation in which teens might see this behavior as appropriate.
• Studies indicate that teens may believe sexual activity is the norm with few consequences implied in TV such as pregnancy or sexual transmitted diseases.

What can we do?
• Monitor the shows that are watched by our children and remember you are giving a message to your child if you allow them to watch sexually charged shows.
• Talk to your teens about sexually charged shows and discuss the reality of consequences for early sexual activity
• Be consistent about what we tell our children and what we condone in their own behaviors within our homes.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Dr. Joy Has a New Segment

Thursdays at 12:40, Dr. Joy hosts her own segment interviewing women who empower, inspire and transform your life on WEEK-25. Watch guests such as Lori Russell Chapin, PhD, Joanne Glasser, Patricia Benessi, Yvonne Greer and more in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Pig Test-- try it just for fun!!!!

Can a drawing be a key to your personality?

Can a simple drawing be used to interpret something about your personality? Is it possible that a drawing can reveal valuable information, which helps you understand how you view yourself, others, and the world?

Many mental health practitioners use “Projective tests” as a framework for discussion of personality characteristics with clients. Drawings have the potential of predicting specific traits of the artist. Therapists look for commonly drawn elements as a means of predicting behaviors or beliefs. For instance, a sun in the sky may symbolize a strong connection with your father or mother, depending on which side the paper it is located. Flowers drawn near a house might indicate that the artist enjoys structuring their environment. In fact, a trained therapist and the person who draws the picture can use drawings as a means of discovering a wealth of information and as a forum for further discussion.

Want to try a small projective test for yourself? This is not a psychologically tested projective drawing, but a little fun drawing that might tell a little bit about you. Remember this is just for fun, not something that has a scientific basis. Here goes…take out a piece of clean paper and draw a pig. Yes, I said a pig. Don’t get caught up in the issue of being a perfectionist, just draw a pig…don’t worry…no one will see your drawing so you don’t have to be an award winning pig artist.

Now look at your picture and see if any of these things fit for you…

• If the pig is drawn toward the top of the paper you are an optimist.
• If the pig is toward the middle of the page, you are a realist
• If the pig is drawn toward the bottom of the page you are a pessimist

• If the pig’s face is facing left you are friendly and remember dates
• If the pig’s face is facing forward (Looking at you) you are direct and either fear nor avoid discussions
• If the pig’s face is facing right, you are innovative and active and have a strong sense of family

• Few details in your picture? You care little for details and are a risk-taker
• Four legs showing means you are secure, stubborn and stick to your ideals
• Missing some legs? You are insecure or living through a period of major change.
• The size of the ears says something about the quality of your listening skills. The bigger the ears, the better the listening skills.

Remember this is just a light-hearted look at projective drawings. Sometimes the characteristics fit, and other times they don’t. Hopefully, either way, your pig drawing brought a smile to your face. Now grab a friend and give them the unofficial pig test and then paste that pretty pig on your refrigerator for all to see! Or how about sharing your results with members of the blog and let us know if it was "right-on" for you

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Did you know that your emotional health mimics the economic ebbs and flows

As the economy declines, researchers are learning more about the spiraling effects it has on Americans. A recent March poll to discover how the economy is affecting our mental health, and some tips for anyone you know who may have just lost their job.

There was a huge Gallup Poll that came out in mid-March. What did researchers discover?

• Stress went up in the fall and winter of 2008 and is continuing at a high rate.
• Emotional health was directly correlated to the dips in the market.
• American’s moods are directly related to sensitive economic news.
• States with the lowest emotional health ratio are the ones hardest hit by the economic crisis such as Michigan, Louisiana, Arkansas, Indiana, Mississippi, Ohio and Kentucky.
• States with the highest emotional health ratios such as Hawaii, Alaska, and Wyoming (the places with open spaces and sunshine) tend to have less heart disease and less physical ailments.

Are there any other findings from the study?
• Americans from 30-55 are suffering most from the economy
• Hispanics are dramatically effected by the economy and their mental health is nose-diving
• Mental health services are harder to access for lower-income families

What are some things people can do for those who are suffering with economic crisis or loss of jobs?
• Be supportive and reach out to help.
• Reach out by being a cheerleader and help the person stay focused on the positives
• Help them brainstorm about options regarding jobs, budget, additional training, community resources
• Give them coupons for a night out to a movie, or coupons for a dinner, or maybe even a gift certificate for ice cream or a special treat.
• Call and email often. Research indicates that most people lose friends when they hit economic hardship—like the Beatles song… people discover “they can get by with a little help from your friends.”

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Are you in stress overload?

Some researchers suggest that between 75-90% of all primary care physician visits are related to STRESS- RELATED complaints! Tonight we will investigate some of the signs and symptoms of stress overload, as well as some suggestions for stress management.

First of all… tell us a little bit about stress and stress overload.
Stress is nothing more than an internal or external "load" on our human system. But, the way we react to that load is what determines if the stress or stress reaction is positive or negative. Stress overload occurs when a person does not adequately deal with the dis-stress and they experience some form of symptoms that affect their daily life in a negative way.

What are some of the symptoms of stress overload?

There are symptoms, which affect us physically, mentally, or emotionally. Symptoms include lack of concentration, forgetfulness, low self-esteem, elevated heart rate, headaches, backaches, insomnia, depression, anxiety.

Is stress-overload more prevalent to one sex or the other?
Many researchers believe that women are more prone to stress-overload due to the fact that they take on too much and don't speak out and say 'no' of set limits. Additionally, many women don't ask for help or have to skills to let go of stressors.

What are some useful ways of coping with stress overload?

1. Talk and share! Learn to ask for help, delegate or negotiate tasks at home and at work.
2. Plan regular leisure time. Plan down time to go out with friends, enjoy a movie, a hobby, or just kick back and watch television or a warm bath.
3. Say no. Give yourself permission to be assertive with those around you and set boundaries. If you have trouble saying 'no' try saying, 'I’ll think about it' so you have time to consider if you really want to do something or not.
4. Set realistic goals for each day. Try not to over-commit and know your limitations.
5. Change your mind. Remember you do have the ability to change your thinking and put a positive spin on many negative stressors.
6. Watch out for multitasking—it can become over-tasking! Slow down, and do one thing at a time.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Is your mind keeping you awake all night?

The economy is in a downhill recession, our 401s are decreasing, people are losing their jobs, anxiety is rising and Americans are having difficulty focusing on anything positive. When we are worried, a common symptom is the loss of sleep. Sleep may be as food, air and water, but more and more of us are having trouble calming our minds and getting a good night’s rest.

What typically keeps us from sleeping?

• Body noise. Side effects of medications, stimulants, caffeine, alcohol
• Mind noise. Anxiety, worry or repressed emotions from the day
• Bed noise. Enviornmental noise from outside, feeling hot, uncomfortable.

What are the five basic strategies for preventing insomnia?
1. Never oversleep. Get up at the same time every day even after you have lost sleep. Sleeping late just resets your body clock to a different cycle.
2. Set your body clock. Light helps restart your body clock to its daytime phase. When you get up get some sunlight or turn on all the lights in your room. Make sure you walk around to get oxygen to your brain.
3. Exercise. Keep active during the day—especially after a bad night’s sleep. When you sleep less you should be more active the next day. Try strenuous excise in late afternoon.
4. Don’t nap. When you feel sleepy go take a walk or do errands.
5. Set a bedtime schedule. Try to go to bed at the same time each night. If you have lost sleep the night before, go to bed a little later not earlier and then move it back to its original time.

Are there any other tips that might help us get a good night’s rest?
1. Some little all natural basics :
o Take a warm bath and never a shower before bed
o Dim the lights an hour before bedtime to stimulate dusk. And keep that room as dark as possible.
o Try to stretch and relax—read a boring book or watch a boring show.
o Make sure you don’t eat right before you sleep—try to eat 4 hours before you go to sleep
o Try warm milk at bedtime, which stimulates the serotonin in your body. Try a piece of whole-wheat bread or other carbohydrates. Avoid coffee, colas, tea, chocolate and fermented cheese cheddar cheese, avocados and red wines
2. Calm your mind by making sure you journal, talk to a friend about any concerns, and use prayers, meditation or other techniques to calm your mind so you can get a good night’s rest.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What makes up a lasting relationship?

What are some of the key elements that researchers have discovered keep a marriage together?
• Humor- lasting relationships use humor as a means of keeping things in perspective and coping with adversity. Enduring relationships know how to laugh at situations, versus laughing at each other.
• Communication. Enduring relationships make time to communicate and share. Just like everything else, marriages need attention and relationships that are strong are ones in which the couple has learned good skills of listening, empathy, and reinforcement.
• Nurturing. Those who know how to nurture and show kindness to their partners are the ones who have relationships that last forever. Partners who encourage, cherish and build up each other have the strongest connections
• Build togetherness. Strong relationships are ones where there are common interests and ones were there are projects were the couple works together on their own connection and activities in their lives
Keep the romance alive. Relationships that last find ways to keep the marriage fresh and alive. Whether it is bringing roses, sending cards, leaving love notes, sending cute text messages, or making phone calls… it’s the dedication to keeping the relationship a priority that is the key to enduring and ever-lasting connections

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ask Dr. Joy on WEEK

Don't forget to watch our own Dr. Joy Miller on Wednesdays on WEEK. You can also go to to watch the segments, submit questions to be answered by Dr. Joy, and enter or website or blogsite.

Please go to the site and submit a question and perhaps YOUR question will be answered during a Wednesday broadcast.

Joyful Living Studio at Joy Miller & Associates

Joy Miller & Associates is proud to announce the opening of the Joyful Living Studio. Offerings for yoga classes are available on Monday-Thursday. Our own Heidi Turcot will be teaching on Wednesday night and Thursday morning. As you may remember from a previous blog entry, Heidi completed her 500 hour certification and is now a Professional Yoga Instructor.

The other exciting news is that Heading OM has joined Joy Miller & Associates and is using our studio as their North location. Heading OM North will be offering classes on four occasions. Additionally, Lisa Nelson Raabe will be teaching at our studio and conducting Individual sessions

The offerings are as follows:
Monday 9am. Heading OM
Monday 6pm. Heading OM
Tuesday 12. Heading OM
Tuesday 6pm. Lisa Nelson
Wednes 9am. Heading OM
Wednes 6pm. Heidi Turcot
Thurs 9am. Heidi Turcot

Our March schedule will include classes in meditation, so check back often to review our schedule.

* Drop In $10 Punch card users $8

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Some Healthy Tips For 2009


1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant. 

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Buy a lock if you have to. 

3. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'My purpose is to __________ today.' 

4. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants. 

5. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, and almonds. 

6. Try to make at least three people smile each day. 

7. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment. 

8. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card. 

9 Life isn't fair, but it's still good. 

10. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. 

11. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does. 

12. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree. 

13. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present. 

14. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about. 

15. No one is in charge of your happiness except you. 

16. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?' 

17. Forgive everyone for everything. 18. What other people think of you is none of your business. 
19. Remember that changing your mind, changes your reality.

20. However good or bad a situation is, it will change. 

21. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.. 

22. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need. 

23. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I am thankful for __________. Today I accomplished _________. 
24. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed. 

25. Remember that happiness is contagious.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Americans Are Experiencing Stress Overload: Here's Some Tips To Keep You Sane

The first week of December the American Psychological Association reported that 80% of Americans report they are stressed about their financial status. Tonight we will investigate the results of the survey and give you some tips to finding some balance in this chaotic world.

Can you tell us a little more about the new study reported by the American Psychological Association?
• 7000 Americans were involved in this study and it is reported that within the past 5 months anxiety about the economy has risen from 68% to 80%.
• 50% of the responders said they are concerned about being able to provide for their family and their basic needs.
• 56% reported they are worried about job stability and fear losing their job without notice.
• Women have a higher anxiety rate than men because they feel the pressure to make finances and budget demands fall on them
• Americans are facing emotional and physical effects related to the economy downturn.

You mentioned Americans are facing emotional and physical effects. What are researchers discovering?

• Anxiety disorders and mood disorders (depression) are at a dramatic increase
• Suicides rates are up and hospitals and help lines are feeling the change
• Americans report being more irritable and angry than ever before
• Responders say they are having difficulty with sleeping and are having experiencing increased fatigue with a lack of concentration

What are some things we can do to manage some of our anxiety?
• Create a budget for 2009. The key is to be as specific as possible and make sure your budget includes weekly and month targets. Dedicate yourself to sticking to your budget and stay away from frivolous spending patterns.
• Talk with your family about ways to save money and try to brainstorm some ways that everyone can chip in and help the family.
• Look at your life in the big picture. Witness the things in your life that make you grateful (health, housing, having your basic needs met, etc).
• Remember that through adversity we have the opportunity to become stronger.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What makes you happy?

We are creating an never-ending list of what makes people happy. Happiness IS contagious, so join us in listing what makes YOU happy. I'll enter what makes me happy under the COMMENTS below (just click it and write), and then you add what makes you happy below.

* BTW you can post a comment under anonymous or you can sign in with your google account name. Either way, just add to the list.

Part 1: Is Happiness Contagious?

Proven Tips To Enhance Your Happiness Ratio in 2009

We know that measles are contagious… the flu can be contagious…but can happiness be contagious? There’s a growing evidence that if you are happy, those around might find themselves happier as well. Tonight we will look at some of the current research related to the chain reaction effects of happiness.

Many people know that if all of your friends are depressed, there is a high likelihood that you will feel down and blue. But, tell us about this new research that states happiness can be “catching.”

• A Harvard Medical School study indicated that sadness spreads in social networks, but not as quickly as happiness.
• Add a happy friend to your life and it enhances your chance of being happy by 9%
• Socialize with an unhappy friend and your happiness level goes down by 7%
• You can control your happiness quotient by bringing happy people into your life and controlling the number of sad people that surround you.
• There is a chain reaction that increases happiness, and our mood can have a dramatic positive effect on those we know and love

Is this study related to “influential contacts” unique?

• We now know that our social contacts effect more than we may have once believed in a wide variety of factors
• Statistics indicate that if our partner, friends our spouse is overweight, we tend to increase our weight to match theirs. In fact, we have a 57% higher chance of being obese if our significant other is obese.
• If someone you love quits smoking, studies prove that you might have a 37% higher chance of “quitting the habit” as well.
• Multiple studies indicate that the quality and quantity of our friendships and relationships effect our health and our ability to fight disease, and even survive cancer

What can we do to enhance our happiness ratio?

• Studies show you are 15% happier if your significant other or best friend is happy, so that means it’s important to surround yourself with happy people
• Look for things around you that make you happy. If you can see things that make you happy, or reasons to be grateful, you will be less likely to dwell on unhappiness or negativism
• Create a “pact” with your friends and family to focus on positives versus negatives, and make time to share your positives with each other on a daily basis.
• Remember that happiness is contagious so go out and spread the JOY!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Our Yoga Master!

A special congrads to Joy Miller & Associates' own Heidi Turcot who is attaining the highest level of advanced training for Yoga teachers. She has become Peoria's ONLY teacher at this highest level of achievement. We are all so proud of her accomplishments.

You can join Heidi in one of her offerings of classes on Wednesday nights and Thursday mornings at the Joyful Living Studio at Joy Miller & Associates. We promise you will love her classes and her masterful technique as a teacher.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

WEEK-TV's segments are now here!

Watch each Wednesday's 5pm news on WEEK-25 and you will see our own Dr. Joy in her new segment hosted by Gina Morss. Each week they will be featuring a timely topic and you can watch the video by going to the WEEK website at Click Your Health in the blue banner near the top, and it will bring you to four icons. Click Ask Dr. Joy and you can view the segment, or you can read the segment's main tips on this blogsite.

Don't forget to make a comment below-- we'd like to hear from you.

We're excited about this new partnership and beginning part of the HomeTeam!

Could It Be Post-Holiday Blues?

The decorations are all put away, but the bills are beginning to pile up on your counter top, and you are finding yourself feeling out of sorts and down. You might be one of many Americans who are experiencing Post Holiday Blues.

What are some of the typical symptoms of Post Holiday Blues?
• Overeating or excessive drinking
• Sleeping too much or experiencing insomnia
• Forgetfulness or having difficulty with making decisions (lack of concentration)
• Frequent minor illnesses (colds, sore throat, stomach discomfort)

What are some of the reasons for the “blues”?

• Holiday hype: The holidays are filled with expectations and the illusion that we can all have the perfect “Martha Stuart” holiday, but many people experience unmet dreams and disappointment during the holiday season
• Loss and grief: Perhaps this holiday was difficult and depressing because a family member or friend was has died, or a loved one was unable to join you for the holidays due to significant health problems.
• Financial constraints: More and more Americans are facing economic challenges. Many Americans have found themselves unable to celebrate the holiday without dramatic cuts in purchasing and refocusing on basic needs.
• Physical exhaustion: People tend to overcommit, over-extent themselves, and push themselves past the point of healthy limits during the holidays. Americans tend to not listen to their own body’s warning signs and push themselves to the point of exhaustion.
• Emotional overload: With increased pressure from family and friends and the intensity on interacting in difficult relational circles, many people find themselves emotionally drained and depressed.

What are some suggestions for beating the post-holiday blues?

• Take charge: Go out and do something positive for yourself. Get out and see a movie, go back to the fitness club, or decide to really dedicate time to a new hobby
• Reach out: Focus on increasing your support network. Research indicates that happiness and health is directly related to your relationship with others.
• Get back into a healthy lifestyle: Eat healthier foods in smaller quantities; commit to getting 6-8 hours of sleep per night; replenish your body by drinking more water; increase your exercise because research indicates that walking even 5-10 minutes per day can enhance your life.
• Acknowledge your feelings: It is okay to feel down, but if it persists, it is important to reach out to a licensed professional mental health counselor for help.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Insuring Your Resolutions Are Successful!

The New Year opens the door to a symbolic new beginning. It is estimated that over 100 million Americans make a new year’s resolution, but only 20% are able to stick with that commitment for change. Tonight we will discuss some “down to earth” techniques for enhancing your chances for success.

Are there some general categories of resolutions that are commonly made by Americans?
• Losing weight or eating more healthy
• Increasing our exercise regime
• A commitment to quitting destructive behaviors such as smoking, alcohol use or gambling
• Saving money

Why do 80% of us tend to fail at maintaining our commitment to change?
• Our resolution is not realistic (we say that we want to lose 50 pounds vs saying that we want to lose 1-2 pounds per month)
• Our resolution is not broken down into little steps (if you commit for increase your savings, it is daunting to imagine trying to save $1000s per month. Try to save $10-20 per week by doing things like not running through Starbucks in the morning or going home for lunch one day a week.
• Our resolution is based on something in the future vs something we can achieve each day (perhaps your goal is running the New York marathon which is far into the future… you’d be more successful sticking to your regime if you focus on running 30 minutes each day for the first week, and increasing your time and distance each week after you are successful.
• Our resolution is based on someone else’s desires vs our own. If you are making a resolution for someone else you are probably not going to be successful. The key to enhancing your success is resolving to something you are committed to change, and feeling confident that it is a real priority in your life.

Any other tips you might suggest?
• If you find yourself slipping, don’t give up. Readjust your goal to something that is “do-able”
• Ask for help or support. Perhaps you’d do better if you have a partner in your goal, or feel more motivated to change if a family member or friend urges you on. Research indicates that people do better with their resolutions when they are working together with someone else to achieve their goal.
• Remember it is never to late to try again… a recent survey from the University of Washington found that most people don’t reach their goal on their first try. So remember it is not about will power, it is about your willingness to keep trying.