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   Greetings friends. After a brief break from writing this column, I am glad to be back. I’ve essentially been on a sabbatical, during which I heard the stories of many folks suffering from PTSD, anxiety, depression and other factors directly affecting their physical health. With your indulgence, I’d like to share what I’ve learned. I’ve missed you!

 Participating in other wellness pursuits, I’ve learned that there are common factors for those struggling with these issues. Stress, particularly in this day and age is everywhere! And very often, folks suffering with the emotional and physical effects of stress, are not even aware of their stressors. That is not until they participate in a thoughtful conversation, where honest open questions are asked. This type of “interview” leads to an openness between the interviewer and the subject that fosters honest self examination. Self knowledge results.

This process does not involve hypnosis, deep freudian psychoanalysis, or neuropsychological testing. An open, engaging, sincere, nonthreatening conversation is all that’s necessary for folks to achieve a better understanding of the source of their stress,  a well recognized cause of  poor health.

I find many folks are struggling in a zone somewhere between fear and regret. Fear comes from obsessing about the future and what “might” happen, and regret stems from being stuck in the past, reliving a traumatic event over and over, hoping for a different outcome.

Let’s take an example. Many folks are involved in emotionally abusive relationships without even realizing it. Some of this is due to gaslighting. Stress results, sometimes even after the relationship is over, as folks get mired in self-blame and over-analysis, irrationally wondering if they could have behaved differently to maintain the relationship. Fear of the future stems from fear of rejection or fear of being alone forever. Interestingly, there may be little fear of future abuse, as these individuals may not yet realize they were abused in the first place. It takes time.

The treatment? We try to encourage folks going through experiences like this to live more in the present. This has come to be known as “mindfulness” in the current vernacular. There are tools to accomplish this. Meditation, guided breathing, yoga, long walks, artistic endeavors and travel are all activities which promote mindfulness.

Living in the present moment is a gift. It removes us from fearing the future or dwelling on the past, reducing stress and restoring health almost immediately. I welcome your comments or questions.

Dr. John Monaco

MONACO Wellness


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