Psychopathology is Not Always Criminal

Psychopathology Is Not All Bad

Charming & intelligent is just the tip of the iceberg. Try fearless, calm, cool and collected. They are the people you want around you in chaotic environments. They don’t get caught up in emotional states. They aren’t governed by fear; they just look at risk vs. benefit.

They are action takers. They are decision makers. They are present and not concerned with the past or future. Traits common in the movers and shakers of our world — not just criminals behind bars. There is a downside, however…for the criminally psychopathic.

Criminal psychopaths, however, cannot just turn off their psychopathology. They always follow their psychopathic tendencies.

Yet, functional psychopaths are successful.  They are not bound by male of female. They are sometimes lawyers,  politicians, CEOs, and high level executives. They activate their charm, their recklessness and their inclination to act — in certain moments where they’re useful, but also withhold them in certain situations where they might do more harm than good. In this way, they don’t end up in prison…because they aren’t criminally psychopathic.

Take successful lawyers as an example: in the courtroom, they are known for crushing their adversaries, but then can assume a completely different role outside of the courtroom.They  know when to turn it ‘off’ and when to turn it ‘on.’

They have a huge repertoire of behavioral patterns they can leverage to sculpt the most varied and difficult of situations to their benefit. This is a valued commodity, given that leadership positions are best suited to people who act recklessly and fearlessly at the right moment — and who can play the part of the conventional family man and philanthropist in the next.

~Lisa Schiro, M.S., LPC

Owner/Operator K-Counseling & Anxiety Treatment, LLC

Go To Bed

Sawing Zzzzzzzzzzzzs

Sleep is an essential element of self care. In fact, if you aren’t spending 1/3 of your life in a state of high-quality sleep, you’re doing it wrong. This article will address ways that you can increase your chances of getting a better night’s sleep.

The benefits of sleep are numerous. Ideally, the average adult should be getting 7–9 hours of quality sleep. 7-9 hours of quality sleep is associated with:

>Higher creativity
>Increased performance
>Lower stress
>Increased longevity
>Improved memory consolidation
>Decreased inflammation
>Fewer heart attacks (a 2010 study revealed that for adults that get less than 6 hours of sleep, it affects the C-reactive protein function, which is associated with heart attacks)
>Higher grades
>Increased attention (for children who do not get 8 hours of sleep, there is an increase in maladaptive behaviors that mimic unmedicated ADHD)
>Healthy weight (sleep and metabolism are regulated in the same region of the brain)
>Lower cortisol (stress hormone)

The aforementioned is not exhaustive of the total benefits a quality night of sleep can improve, but it may be just the incentive you need to get to sleep. Below is a list of some pointers that may help improve the chances of you getting the required 7–9 hours sleep that an average adult needs to function at his/her highest potential:

· Don’t spend too much time in bed.

· Get up at the same time each day.

· Daily exercise can help deepen sleep. (Humans are diurnal; we are biologically designed to be active during the day and asleep at night).

· Make your bedroom comfortable and free of disturbing noise and light. (Eliminate any unfinished projects in your room; move the projects to a different room)

· Keep room temperature on the cooler side. Cool head; warm body.

· Eat regular meals and do not go to sleep hungry.

· Try to avoid drinking a lot of liquids after 8p.

· Avoid alcohol in the evening; it elicits adrenaline release in the wee hours.

· Try not to smoke when you are having trouble sleeping.

· Don’t take your problems to bed (journal them on paper; get them out of your head; you don’t have any problems to solve in bed except going to sleep)

· Reduce or eliminate caffeinated beverages in the evening, especially after 8p

· Only use the bedroom for sleep and sexual activity. Do not read, eat, or watch TV in bed.

· Don’t watch the clock; turn clocks away from you.

· Avoid daytime naps.

· Don’t “try” to fall asleep.

· Eliminate exposure to backlit devices (TV, Tablets, Mobile Phones, Laptops) 45 minutes before you intend on being asleep. (The blue light frequencies turn on the part of your brain that responds to daylight).

Author, Lisa Schiro, M.S., LPC

End the Self-Sabotage

 

End Self-Sabotage

 
Ever wonder why every time you commit that ONE THING that you want to accomplish, that one dream just out of your reach, that you begin to self-sabotage before you get there?
 
Well, we have all been there. You are not alone.
 
Self sabotage is so frustrating and is a frequent reason why so many goals are never realized. Since your brain likes what is familiar, it stands to reason that you must approach your goal in a different way – a way that is unfamiliar.
 
Otherwise, if you continue doing what you are doing, (i.e., self-sabotage), you’ll continue getting what you are getting (i.e., not reaching your goal).
 
Here are 3 simple tips to begin eliminating self-sabotaging behaviors.
 
1. Identify your goal.
2. Identify the self-sabotage events (i.e., how you have failed in the past) that keep you from reaching that goal.
3. Commit to 10% (measurable) weekly improvement, cumulative, actions that will help reduce the self-sabotage events.
Over time, with the small new changes, you will watch your self-sabotaging behaviors diminish and you will be more likely to achieve your goals over time.
 
Small steps are always easier to establish and maintain than large sweeping actions.
 
Every journey begins from the beginning….one foot in front of the other.
 
~You got this.

How To Get Past Your Fear of Commitment

Fear of Commitment

Most people never arrive at the goal of living their dream life. So few actually achieve their dream life goal.

Why is that? Isn’t a desire to change enough to get there?

Your fear of commitment will prevent you from living the life you want. Perhaps you have failed in the past or you don’t think you can handle failing again. Perhaps people have told you that you don’t finish what you start. Or, maybe, you have watched others commit to a goal and then fail. Or, did you listen to the naysayers last time you committed toward a goal and then fell victim to their sarcasm or criticism. Have you ever felt like you desperately wanted to commit to something, but your inner critic was giving you gentle reminders of past failures? Do you find yourself, once again, second guessing your ability to fully commit to a goal? Are there people in your life that are not supportive of your ambitious desire for a needed change?

 

If there is a strong desire to make a commitment and you find yourself frustrated and falling back into the past habits of being afraid to commit…there are three strategies that can help you overcome your fear:

  1. Perfection is the enemy with fear of commitment because as soon as it stops being perfect, it stops being fun and when it stops being fun, you may just throw in the towel. When you make a commitment to and idea, business or person, you are making a commitment to imperfection as you work your way to success. Imperfection is inevitable.
  2. No more comparing. When you see the person, who has accomplished the very goal that you want to achieve, remember it was a rocky road for them to. They didn’t just arrive at the pinnacle by accident. There were bumps, imperfections, failures, bruises, rejections, sarcasm, disappointment, frustration, insomnia, unmet expectations on the way there. You, too, can expect this path. You are committing to an uncomfortable ride once the high of the decision subsides.
  3. Once you have made your commitment based on facts, create a timeline to allow yourself to reach your goal. Get a crystal-clear vision of what you want that five-year goal to include. Write down what it looks like (where you will live, how big your home is, what color your home is, how your home is furnished, where you will travel, what a typical day will look like, who will be in your life, what you will have in your bank account, how much you will give away in the form of contributions, what city you live in, what kind of car you drive, how old you are, how old your children are, where they will work or go to college, etc.). Then, work backwards toward the 4-year mark and complete a full description of what that will look like with detailed information as previously described. Once that is complete, describe what your life will look like at 3 years, 2 years, 1 year…. This is a powerful exercise to get into your subconscious right away so that you can make reasonable expectations and stay excited on your journey.

You aren’t afraid of commitment; you are afraid of failure and/or rejection. So, to reduce the chances of giving into failures and/or rejections, approach your next goal with the 3 aforementioned steps.

Hope can change everything.

Lisa Schiro, M.S., LPC-5494

Author

Coach

EMDR Therapist

Speaker

Mediocre to Meaningful: 3 Steps

K-Counseling & Anxiety Treatment, LLC | Anxiety Counselor | Performance Anxiety
Human motivation has fascinated me since I began my academic career and it is the compelling reason I became a mental health therapist. There are some golden nuggets I have learned along the way.
 
Most people can talk themselves into just about anything. Most people can get excited about an idea. However, very few are able to actualize their ideas. And, even fewer are living the life of their dreams. In fact, the vast majority of people are living a life of mediocrity. My research reflects that well over 90% fail to accomplish the dreams they set out to achieve. Why?
 
What sets the successful apart from the rest?
 
Do they have a special gift to accomplish their dreams?
 
Are they smarter, healthier, younger, magical, etc?
 
Nope. Not even close. The great divide is comprised of two simple words: “MIND SET.”
 
Print this out and refer to it often:
 
1) Stop making excuses. Act now. Stop waiting for things to be perfect.
 
2) Be persistent – even when you don’t want to be.
 
3) Believe that you will make it. Visual prompts around your home will help remind your brain where you are headed (even on the worst days). Your belief is the gatekeeper that will control your motivation.
 
What are you waiting for?
~Lisa Schiro, M.S., LPC-5494
Anxiety Disorder Specialist
Owner of K-Counseling & Anxiety Treatment, LLC

Fear vs. Phobia

Fear is not the same as phobia. A fear is a congruent response to a mildly dangerous situation. Yet, once the feared situation is no longer a threat, the fear symptoms usually subside. A phobia, however, is in a class by itself.

A phobia is a persistent intense and irrational fear. It can range from very annoying to paralyzing. Some synonyms that come to mind are revulsion, panic dread and/or terror. The intensity of the fear in a phobia is so strong, that one will go to great lengths to avoid it. One must have symptoms lasting at least 6 months. A phobia interferes with work, school and/or interpersonal relationships.

If you believe you have a persistent phobia that is getting in the way of you living your best life, it may be time to seek some help. Often, a phobia is treated with exposure response, hypnosis, cognitive behavioral therapy and/or EMDR. For more information, please visit K-Counseling.org.

How Entrepreneurs Fail

An alarmingly high percentage of entrepreneurs fail. With all of the positive information published in personal development books and more access to information/resources than ever before in history, I thought it was prudent to create a non-exhaustive list of things that would likely contribute to failure. As it turns out, personal accountability, daily habits and persistence will likely be the difference between those who succeed and those who fail.

The list below are some specific ways to fail at your business:

  • BE SCATTERED
  • DON’T PURSUE EXPERTISE IN YOUR FIELD
  • DON’T FOLLOW THROUGH WITH CUSTOMERS
  • DON’T APOLOGIZE WHEN WRONG
  • BE UNDEPENDABLE
  • DON’T READ PERSONAL GROWTH BOOKS
  • DON’T BE A VISIONARY
  • INTERNALIZE ALL REJECTION
  • NEVER RISK
  • DON’T BE HUMBLE
  • STAY COMFORTABLE
  • ONLY WORK ON YOUR BUSINESS WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE IT
  • QUIT AFTER SPECIFIC # OF “NO’S”
  • BELIEVE ALL OF YOUR THOUGHTS
  • BELIEVE EVERYONE’S OPINION OF YOU
  • WATCH A LOT OF TELEVISION
  • NEVER CHALLENGE YOUR FEARS
  • TALK A LOT
  • LISTEN VERY LITTLE
  • HANG OUT WITH NEGATIVE PEOPLE
  • HAVE POOR BOUNDARIES
  • EXECUTE POOR SELF CARE
  • BE JUDGMENTAL
  • ALWAYS FEAR REJECTION
  • REMAIN STUCK IN FEARS FROM THE PAST
  • LOOK AT YOUR PHONE FREQUENTLY WHILE TALKING TO A CLIENT
  • TURN ON ALL OF YOUR MOBILE NOTIFICATIONS
  • KEEP A TO DO LIST WITHOUT TIME ALLOCATIONS
  • BE EVERYONE’S PROBLEM SOLVER
  • CONTINUE COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS

Diffusing Anger

Diffusing Anger

Veins popping. Eyes bulging. Heart pounding. Eyes glaring. Vision narrowing. Hands sweating. These are just some of the symptoms felt during anger. The emotional response is often associated with danger. However, it is a normal, and sometimes necessary, response to the environment. Anger helps us in many ways; it:

  • releases adrenaline to numb pain
  • social regulator
  • communicates a message
  • can help a person obtain a goal

When dealing with someone else’s anger, however, you only get to control how you respond. You cannot make a person feel anything. You cannot make a person do anything. Control over anyone else is an illusion. So, what do you do to deal with that angry spouse, customer, boss or child?  Think of a balloon filled with anger. To deflate the balloon, it requires specific steps. Below are 5 sequential tips to respond to an angry customer:

  1. Respond with a genuine apology and a desire to resolve the issue. (“You’re right. Clearly, this has upset you. I am going to make it a priority to get to the bottom of this.”) Historically, the apology can make the difference on whether or not the issue goes to court.
  2. Go into cyborg mode. Remove your emotionally-charged voice pitch and be more automated. (“It is annoying to have to wait so long for a response; any person would be upset, given this situation.”)
  3. Be vulnerable and ask the difficult question. (“Have I done anything to personally offend you?”) It is important that you wait for the response; silence can be powerful at this point. Allow him or her to respond.
  4. Be empathetic. (“I imagine that this has been very difficult for you to wait so long for an answer. I think I would be upset, too.”) This can be a challenge but remember it builds rapport and trust. More importantly, it helps you connect with their pain or frustration. This one tip can make an enormous difference in future potential referrals. It demonstrates that you care and that you truly understand the person and the situation.
  5. Show appreciate for the feedback. (“Thank you for letting me know about your frustration. By bringing this to our attention, we are better able to meet the needs of our customers in the future.”)

~Lisa Schiro, M.S., LPC-5494

Owner/Operator of K-Counseling & Anxiety Treatment, LLC

Minimizing Matters…

America’s storage units are a shocking $22,000,000,000 industry.  Incidentally, that shocking figure does not include the valuation of the items being stored. Minimizing does matter and many are jumping on the bandwagon. We live in a time of information & materialistic overload. And, we are constantly bombarded with retailers trying to separate us from our discretionary money. When is enough going to be enough? How many more pairs of shoes does one need? How many sweaters does one need? How many pairs of jeans does one need? How many pie tins does one need? How many casserole dishes does one need? How many more toys does a child need?

We need so much less than we have. There is a great deal of stress that is attached to materialistic possessions. For example, heirloom items that stay in the home to avoid the guilt of purging it can keep a person stuck in a cycle of conflict. Hanging on to that beautiful dress for 2 years because it cost so much 2 years ago is hardly a reason to allow it to take up space in your closet (or your conscience.) Purging, or minimizing, can free you from that emotion so that you can have less items tethering you to a cycle of guilt and frustration.

Minimizing is easier than one might think. When a person simplifies, he or she has more bandwidth to enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Less nick-knacks means less dusting. Less clothes means less choices. Less dishware means more space and less maintenance. Less toys means less clutter.

The pain of choosing what to purge becomes less significant when one can consider what to keep instead. In fact, there are many pioneers in this movement that claim there is almost an addiction to purging once it becomes a habit. One popular pioneer, Courtney Carver, is best known for her ‘Tiny Wardrobe Tour‘, where she wheels her entire wardrobe of 33 items onto her speaking platforms to demonstrate the aforementioned point.  For more information on the Tiny Wardrobe Tour movement and Courtney’s story, refer to www.BeMoreWithLess.com

~Lisa Schiro, M.S., LPC-5494

Owner, K-Counseling & Anxiety Treatment, LLC

 

Slowing Down

Do you feel exhausted, overwhelmed and fried?

You are not alone. People are beginning to get tired of the proverbial ‘rat race’ and are actively seeking ways to slow down. We have become slaves to schedules. We awaken and immediately look at the clock. We rush from the moment we awaken until we fall exhausted asleep each night.  Shockingly, even the average physician appointments last a mere 6 minutes in America. We have become undernourished, over-medicated and slaves to our belongings. Interestingly, even Great Britain has fallen prey to this fast lifestyle, as it was recently reported that approximately 25% of Brits do not their neighbors’ names. I posit that we have not only fallen into the hands of chaos but we are becoming increasingly isolated and alienated from each other.

Storage units in America are a billion dollar industry.  Americans have become slaves to their items. It should be noted that the billion dollar valuation on storage units does not take into consideration all of the items currently being stored.

People want a change; they desire to slow down. There is a grass roots movement taking shape and more and more people are looking for ways to not only simplify belongings, but to take a departure from the chaos that an over-extended life brings. Did you know there is a “Society for the Deceleration of Time?”

In the movie, “Eat, Pray, Love,” Julia Roberts experiences the joy of doing nothing. This a foreign concept to most Americans. What does all of this mean? It means Americans can slow down by choice. Ask for help. Purposely procrastinate. Step away. Say no. Do something nice for yourself each day. Turn your phone off during mealtime; you aren’t the President of the United States. Include meditation into your morning ritual. A mere 10 minutes/day can have positive health benefits. You’ll begin to find your purpose and take joy in doing nothing. It isn’t a step backward to slow down. You might be surprised how you will begin to prioritize your day and be more efficient – just don’t forget to squeeze in some you time. Your life will improve because your life will be filled with joy and will become your life again. Remember joy? You’re worth it. You matter. You can do this.

~Lisa Schiro, M.S., LPC-5494