Overcoming Impulse Through Relaxation and the Prayer

In a previous post, I wrote about our innate double-mindedness and how those two minds are often at war with each other when it comes to addictive attractions. At the time of temptation, the rational mind finds itself hijacked by a hyperactive impulsive system that grabs our inner steering wheel driving us down the road of impulsive behavior. For the impulsive, there are certain triggers that are experienced through anyone of their five senses (or even memories of those sense impressions) that excite them and propel them toward the impulsive behavior. Focusing on those triggers or even … [Read more...]

The Vicious Cycle of Insomnia and Anxiety

As discussed in previous posts, anxiety is a multi-faceted issue that deeply affects among other aspects of life, insomnia. According to a dissertation concerning the treatment of insomnia, author Alfonso Marino notes, “Anxiety holds a significant bearing on the onset of insomnia.  Anxiety is usually accompanied by numerous physical and physiological symptoms including autonomic hyperactivity (tachycardia and palpitations, urinary frequency, diarrhea, dry mouth, sweating, flushing, cold hands) back ache, shortness of breath. . .these symptoms may be present through the day and increase just … [Read more...]

Learning to Sit at Christ’s Feet and to Hear His Words

For those whose lives are characterized by Type A behavior, there is perhaps nothing so abhorrent as inactivity or a hiatus between projects or sets of goals. Since their self-image is dependent on their activity and accomplishments, moments for reflection, contemplation, or stillness are perceived at best as idleness and at worst as a dangerous loss of self. Impatience with delays and a sense of time urgency are simply symptoms of overly identifying self-worth with accomplishments and viewing life as nothing more than a series of goal-oriented tasks. Unfortunately, this stance results in a … [Read more...]

Acceptance or Cynicism in Type A Behavior: A Matter of Life or Death

In previous posts, we have spoken about how free-floating hostility, materialistic values, and time-urgency are manifested in the Type A-behavioral pattern. Studies have show how hostility in particular involves an attack not only directed outwards, but also directed inwards on one’s entire body. In his doctoral dissertation entitled, “Cognitive Behavioral Treatment of Type A Behavior Pattern”, Tony John Sorensen notes, “Hostile people have greater elevations in blood pressure, heart rate, and stress-related hormones following the introduction of an emotional stressor relative to other … [Read more...]

Time Urgency and the Virtue of Patience

We’ve all heard the expression “times a wastin.” Songs have been written with that very same title. For those who don’t demonstrate Type A behavior, the saying is just that, a saying. For the Type A person such a phrase is a mantra by which life is lived. Wasting time is the cardinal sin for which there is no forgiveness and can be no tolerance. Time is the enemy in the sense that time imposes a limit upon what can be accomplished. Essentially, for the Type A person, time is that constraint which cheats you out of more success and more accomplishments. This sense of time urgency may lead to … [Read more...]

“Translation” of Ancient Christian Wisdom into Greek

Although the overwhelming majority of readers of this blog are English speakers or have acquired reading proficiency in English, I still thought that I would let all of you know that Ancient Christian Wisdom and Aaron Beck’s Cognitive Therapy has just become available in Greek with the title Θεραπεία τῆς Ψυχῆς: Πατέρες καὶ Ψυχολόγοι σὲ Διάλογο, which could be backtranslated into English as Healing of the Soul: Fathers and Psychologists in Dialogue. The Greek version is about one hundred and fifty pages more lengthy than the English counterpart, primarily because the footnotes with patristic … [Read more...]

Introducing a New Blog Series: Type A Personality

At some point in our lives we’ve all encountered aggressive, hard-charging, ambitious people who are driven to professional success at all costs. In most instances, we’ve experienced such individuals as indefatigable with a steely-eyed focus on the task at hand. Often such people are highly successful professionally and are known to do whatever it takes to get the job done or reach the pinnacle of their profession. In some societies, such a personality type is lauded and even upheld as something to be imitated. However, the pattern of behavior associated with such a personality profile takes a … [Read more...]

Thoughts, Feelings, and Chronic Pain

Have you ever noticed that when someone has done or said something unkind to you, that if you brood on it, the words or actions start to seem a lot worse? But not only do the words and actions begin to seem much worse than when you were first encountered them, you also start to feel a whole lot worse as well. Your initial injury or sting from the insult is now compounded by your own feelings of anger or sadness. This is all part of the mystery and gift of being human, we think, we feel, and we create our own inner worlds out of our thoughts and feelings. Saints create flexible, beautiful inner … [Read more...]

A Holistic Approach to Chronic Pain

Disclaimer:  Acute pain may be defined as intense pain of recent onset that usually diminishes and disappears when healing has taken place.  Acute pain is a symptom of some underlying disease or injury.  Chronic pain is that which is ongoing and defies simple causal analysis.  It may be diagnosed in general terms and defies mere biological factors or pharmaceutical therapies.  Chronic pain will be the subject of this blog series. Medicine concentrates on the physiochemical causes of illness in which a given complaint is explained within a theoretical framework that has room for pathways of … [Read more...]

Slowing Down and Being Still

One of the characteristic trademarks of compulsive behavior is the rapidity with which the behavior is performed.  In the case of compulsive buying, a voracious urge to buy overwhelms the calmer, rational mind and overpowers the higher, wiser will.  In my last post on this subject, I mentioned the important role of mindfulness in counteracting the powerful desires that arise from past engagement in compulsive behavior.  Equally important in dealing with the compulsion is physically slowing down and mentally thinking about the consequences of one’s present actions. Saint Ireaneus of Lyons notes … [Read more...]