Q. I recently attended one of your seminars and heard you talk about the 20:80 Rule. That’s a good theory, but do you really think people actually apply what you share?
Q. I recently read an article you authored providing information about a 'landmark study' related to Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACEs. I went through the list and I have five (5) ACEs. I know they are impacting my life negatively as well as that of my family members and close friends. I never thought early childhood dysfunction and abuse could cause so many problems in adulthood. Now that I have made this connection, I want more information. What do I do now?
Q. In my family it seems that anxiety accompanies hopelessness. How do you describe anxiety and what is its link, if any, with hopelessness?
Q. Can stress impact the blood-brain barrier?
Q. I would like to know some characteristics of individuals whose brains are anxious.
Q. Do you have suggestions on how to practice contemplative meditation; practical, step-by-step ways to achieve it?
Q. My grandson started hitting me when he was about age five. I pick him up from school five days a week until his mother gets home from work. He is now thirteen and much bigger. He threw a glass and hit me in the head last week. A couple days later he put his fist through the wall. Earlier this week he punched me in the chest. It hurt. If anyone else did that I’d call the police, but this is “my grandson!” Yes, he is angry because his father was killed in Pakistan, but it is starting to feel as if he is taking it out on us. I know he hits his mother, but she always says it was an accident and he didn’t really mean it. We don’t want to spank him because he just becomes uncontrollable and goes into a rage, so we have tried reasoning with him and taking away privileges. It may work for a day or two but then something else will happen. He slung a dinner plate at a large mirror in the dining room yesterday and they splintered into smithereens. What is wrong with his brain and what can we do to protect ours?
Q. My family is following the recommendations for prevention amid this global pandemic. The seven of us are reconfiguring our lives. It’s quite novel to eat all our meals together sitting around the same dining room table. Fun. When one of us feels like we are on our “last nerve,” we’ve learned to laugh and be upfront about needing a bit of space. We grew up in the Lutheran religion. I remember hearing something about Martin Luther going through a pandemic but when I called my pastor, he was unfamiliar with the quotation I was looking for. Any chance you have that and can share it with me?
Q: Please give me some tips for dealing with negative comments.
Q: My beloved partner of 40 years died six months ago. I cannot accept that this really happened. Why am I left alone? Why me? I wander around the house looking at pictures and crying. A friend of mine says this behavior is slowly killing me. I don’t want to live anyway. What’s the difference?
Q. Even the word "meditation" scares me. I've read about how monks "stop thinking" and I don’t want to do that. Can you help me understand more about desirable meditation?
Q. My mom had a difficult childhood with a difficult mother (the woman that my mom is now turning into each and every day). Her dad moved away to start a new family when my mom was 2 severing all ties to the family. In turn, my grandma sent my mom away to live with various relatives for sporadic amounts of time up until the age of 11. My mom says that there are big gaps of time in her childhood that she cannot remember. She remembers meeting her mother when she was 11 years old and was brought back to live with her and a new stepdad--that new family proceeded to have three more girls. Guess what? My mom became their built-in babysitter. I am thinking this has to do with why my mom does not seem to “attach to people.” She seems to live in a state of every person for him or herself. Some days she is loving and wants us around and the next day she accuses us of mistreating her and of not meeting her needs and wants nothing to do with us. I swear that it’s like an 80-year-old acting like an angry 2-year-old. Crazy making! I could write pages about her behaviors that are driving all of us nuts trying to deal with her. What do you think is going on?
Q. Sometimes I exhibit behaviors I really don’t like. What is happening with my brain?
Q. What is downshifting?
Q. How early in life can a human experience stress?
Q. Sometimes I feel like I'm about to fall off the edge. What do you do when you feel that way?
Q. Recently I seem to be more fatigued than ever, yet my last physical exam was normal. Any ideas?
Q: According to my doctor-uncle, stress can increase a person’s risk for illnesses and diseases from the constant triggering of Fight-or-Flight and maybe even shorten your life. This is unclear to me. Is the problem the Fight-Flight response? And in terms of pregnancy stress, what does that mean for the baby?
Q. What is heartburn and what does it have to do with stress or the brain?
Q. I’ve heard that it’s possible to reduce stress by switching from one cerebral hemisphere to the other. Is there anything to that and, if so, how does one accomplish that feat?
Q. Holidays were a nightmare this year. I’m the eldest of five. My siblings take advantage of our parents’ generosity and good nature and don’t pitch in to help them. As the only one unmarried, I end up doing everything! What can I do to make them step up to the plate and do what they are supposed to do for their parents? I am so frustrated I am almost ill! My parents recognize the discrepancy but they don’t want to rock the boat or create any conflict among the siblings.
Q. Can you give me any benefits for taking time every day to meditate? I’m a busy person!
Q. What is the relationship between stress and the brain?
Q. Is a mid-life crisis connected to being enmeshed in the SuperPerson Syndrome?
Q. I’ve heard you speak...and the process of completing a personal Loss Line has been very helpful. Is there something like that for anxiety?
Q: My son recently returned from a third tour of duty in Iraq. He had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) during his second tour of duty and was still sent back. Now he's been discharged but I think he has PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder) on top of the TBI and we don't know how to handle his brain or where to go for help. The VA appears to have nothing to help him.
Q: My son recently returned from a third tour of duty in Iraq. He had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) during his second tour of duty and was still sent back. Now he's been discharged but I think he has PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder) on top of the TBI and we don't know how to handle his brain or where to go for help.
Q. What is this Relaxation Response I keep hearing about?
Q. My kindergarten-age child has a classmate who does not talk at school—to anyone. The teacher said the child has been diagnosed with “Selective Mutism,” but that’s all she knew. I never heard of anything like that. Does this mean the child “selects” who to talk to and who not to talk to? And does that “start in the brain,” too?
Q. I cannot imagine what you were thinking when you said, “Spanking a child does more harm than good. In fact, some refer to corporal punishment as the lazy person’s way of discipline.” Are you out of your mind? I was spanked and I intend to keep spanking my six children!
Q. Lately I've been really stressed and even more "forgetful" than usual. My brain seems spinning out of control with all manner of worries. A friend told me to practice mindfulness. What is that, and how could it help?
Q: The 20:80 Rule is a good theory but does anyone actually apply it?
Q. I’ve heard you speak about the difference between “doing it well” and “doing it easily.” If you do it “well” won’t you do it “easily,” and why even try to figure it out?
Q. Every time something stressful happens I ask, “Why me?” But I never get an answer!
Q. My husband and I recently moved across country and finally located a church congregation where we feel comfortable. Well, almost. It’s a busy place and people are gregarious. However, I am often encouraged to engage in activities that are not appealing and that I find exhausting. Serving at the local soup kitchen, for example. I’m happy to donate food or money to purchase supplies but I don’t want to be there in person. I stumbled on your Extroversion-Ambiversion-Introversion Assessment recently and I score at the far extreme of Introversion. That made so much sense! But how do I fit into a 5,000-member church?