Articles — Self Improvement

Common Sense - Important for Health and Life

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Common Sense - Important for Health and Life

Over the years people have told me that they appreciate the fact I have common sense as though it is some kind of a rare attribute. Unfortunately, common sense isn't very common, and it certainly doesn't make sense to everyone. Common sense:   Focusses on the reality of everyday matters and not on wishful thinking or unrealistic dreams. It sees life as it is but knows that it can improve with good choices. Requires time for research and a clear understanding of the everything involved. There is an old adage that states "If it seems too good to be true,...

Read more →

Delayed Gratification - Waiting for the Reward

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Delayed Gratification - Waiting for the Reward

We live in a world where everything is designed to give instant results. Drive-throughs, pre-packaged food and microwaves allow us to eat in minutes without having to invest time and energy into preparation or to wait for regular cooking times. The internet provides us with information that we might otherwise have had to research in a library or gain from interviewing an expert. We don't even have to dial full telephone numbers to reach friends or family because of speed dial. Everything is designed so that we get what we want instantly, and credit cards challenge us to "buy now...

Read more →

One Step At a Time - Making Change

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

One Step At a Time - Making Change

Years ago, I attended a seminar where Zig Ziglar was the main speaker. I remember his session on goal setting when he talked about how his doctor told him that he had to lose weight. Zig stated that the first day he was only able to run to the mailbox. The next day he ran past the mailbox to the nearest telephone pole. And so, his program continued until he was actually running five miles a day. His weight was dropping significantly, and his health was improving. Many people make the mistake of going to a gym or over-exercising to...

Read more →

Ideas That Don't Work Well

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Ideas That Don't Work Well

Sometimes we delude ourselves into thinking that our ideas will lead to happiness and success. There is a popular expression that states, "Insanity is when you do the same things over and over again expecting a different result". If you want different results, you need to do things differently and that begins with thinking differently. Here are some of the concepts that might be holding you back from feeling and doing better:   People will change because they love me - The sad news is that people do not change until life doesn't work for them anymore. It is not...

Read more →

Retreat, Regroup, Ready

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Retreat, Regroup, Ready

Do you ever get tired of hearing people tell you how busy they are? Often, they declare this along with the idea that they are feeling overwhelmed. Well, busyness and overwhelm can be altered. I know that I won't be at my best unless I make and follow through with specific plans. When I am feeling too busy, I need to step back and put in boundaries. When I feel overwhelmed, I need to examine my situation and make deliberate changes. Here are three ways that you can improve your life and enjoy peace rather than chaos: 1. RETREAT -...

Read more →

Quest for Connection

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Quest for Connection

It was 1969! Prime Minister Trudeau was our leader. Singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot was topping the charts and Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon. Free spirits gathered at Woodstock where they smoked marijuana. A White Paper was written to try to correct wrongs done in the past to First Nations people. It was a busy year even in southern Saskatchewan where sixty-six individuals, one of the largest classes ever, graduated from Indian Head High School. The graduating class consisted of a varied group of individuals, ranging from sixteen years to twenty-one years of age. Some had...

Read more →

Getting Stuck in Life

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Getting Stuck in Life

Corb Lund is a western and country singer/songwriter from Alberta. In 2005 he released an album with his song "Truck Got Stuck". Can't help it, I just smile every time I hear it. There are so many lessons in the song lyrics which are apparently based on a true story. 1. People view things differently and perspectives change. Farmers and ranchers who live in southern Alberta usually welcome rain especially after a dry spell. Timing is important, however, and if you are planning an outdoor event, you might not like the timing. Too much rain also can alter attitudes from...

Read more →

Establishing Financial Wellbeing

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Establishing Financial Wellbeing

Credit and debit cards can be deceptive. So many people are upset when the bank and credit card statements arrive, and they have to face reality involving how much they have spent and what they owe. In contrast, if you are paying cash for things, it is easier to understand how you are doing financially than if you use plastic Your financial well-being can be simplified into two parts. It is based on how much you earn and how much you spend. With a few adjustments you will begin noticing improvements rather quickly. Earn More1. Adding more hours - One...

Read more →

Reputation - How to Keep A Good One

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Reputation - How to Keep A Good One

You can spend a whole lifetime building a good reputation and then lose it in a matter of minutes! And often the things that lead to ruin are things that we never, ever thought others would find out about. Secrets usually don't remain secrets long-term. The dysfunctional things that we think we can hide usually show up in time despite our efforts to conceal them. This is especially true now that technology has allowed everyone with a phone to making video recordings, view your communications and even hack your accounts. Well, if you want to be safe, make sure you...

Read more →

When to Let Go Of Trouble

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

When to Let Go Of Trouble

I have seen over 8,000 clients. That's a lot of people and a lot of different problems. The other day I was wondering what I would tell every single person if I could only give one piece of advice. I decided that the best wisdom that I could offer is to focus on the right things. We only have so much time and energy. When we focus on the wrong things, we end up with negative consequences. It is easy to say "Just forgive that person" or "Don't worry about this" but that isn't always easy to do. It is...

Read more →

Blessings at Thanksgiving

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Blessings at Thanksgiving

It can be very deceiving to think that we need to have a large bank account and fulfillment of all our hopes and dreams in order to be thankful. The greatest blessings usually don't have a price tag. Unfortunately, the things that enrich are lives are often not valued until they we lose them. Alexander Chambers (1759 to 1834) was a Scottish writer who gave up his career in medicine in order to become a journalist. He is credited for a quotation in which he states that there are three grand essentials of happiness: 1. Something to do - We...

Read more →

Good Choices Bring Success

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Good Choices Bring Success

Earlier this month I was thrilled and honoured to witness my oldest grandchild receive a degree at the CalSouthern Commencement in Costa Mesa. Since then I have been thinking about the many good choices that Alexander made which led up to this celebration: 1. Timing - It was only days before that Alexander had his twenty-fourth birthday. He started his post-secondary studies when he was twenty, after having several years of working in the food industry. He had begun a part-time job in the local grocery store when he was in high school and subsequently was hired into a Sales...

Read more →

Transition and Death

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Transition and Death

September means that it is time to say goodbye to the summer and plan for changes. It is something that we do and expect on an annual basis. Harvest in the fields and in the garden offer the rewards that we had hoped for in the spring. But it is also time to put the hoses away and pull out the heavier clothing. There may be moments of sadness for what has passed over the summer months but there are also wonderful memories that can be treasured for years to come. I find it interesting that we accept transition and...

Read more →

Work Smart Rather Than Hard

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Work Smart Rather Than Hard

So many times, I hear individuals tell me that they wished they had done something but didn't, forgot an event or just feel overwhelmed with life! There is good news! With a little effort, you can turn your calendar into a tool that relieves stress and makes you feel organized all year round. Here are some techniques that I use to save time and keep me on track. 1. Enter the name of all birthdays along with their year of birth of the individual. That way you never need to remember how old a person is that year. Just do...

Read more →

Whatever Happened to the Heroes?

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Whatever Happened to the Heroes?

When I grew up, heroes were important! Sometimes the hero would be someone from the movies or television who would protect the vulnerable or accomplish what we thought was the impossible. Sometimes our hero would be a sports figure who broke Olympic records, climbed the highest mountain or won championships. Heroes were people who inspired us with their art, music or dance skills. They were the novelists, composers and playwrights who translated human emotion and experience into works that inspired and challenged us. Inventors and business leaders often faced adversity and failed long before they succeeded. Their stories gave us...

Read more →

Home Sweet Home - Making It Lovely

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Home Sweet Home - Making It Lovely

I remember when my father-in law would say that he kissed the step when he returned home from a holiday. Well I didn't do that this month but after returning from two trips in a matter of weeks I felt good to get back to my condo. Most of us know the expression "There's No Place Like Home" but not everyone thinks that this applies to them. Here are some ideas that might help you to enjoy your home more:1. Keep it Simple - Having too many things in your environment can lead to feelings of overwhelm. Do you really...

Read more →

Travelling Challenges

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Travelling Challenges

I just arrived home from Costa Mesa where my grandson graduated with a degree in marketing. It was quite a crew with Alexander, his parents and his other grandmother attending. No matter how good our plans were or how wonderful the events, there were some problems that just could not be avoided. For example, Alexander threw up on the plane. We think he had just let anxiety build and it culminated in the air because he felt sick again the day that they were to leave. My daughter decided to go to a pharmacy to get some Gravol for him...

Read more →

Dealing With Problems - A Formula

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Dealing With Problems - A Formula

One of my clients recently taught me a formula that she learned years ago from a therapist she was seeing at the time. It has been helpful for her when it comes to problem-solving. We don't know its origin so can't give credit to the one who create it, but I thought I would share it with you so that you can also benefit. 1. Naming - Be very clear about the feelings that you have. Are you feeling angry? Sad? Guilty? It can be confusing if you are used to "pretending" that you are happy but feeling something else....

Read more →

What About Your Zone?

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

What About Your Zone?

Often, we hear athletes talk about how important it is for them to be "in the zone". What they mean is that they have prepared for an event and even though they are physically ready for it, they are also able to completely focus in a way that they can reach their potential. Sometimes I hear people explain that they use various ways of "zoning out" when they don't want to deal with the reality that is occurring in their world. They might use shopping, eating, drinking, drugs or gaming to escape into a fantasy bubble where they don't feel...

Read more →

Each of Us Can Make A Difference

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Each of Us Can Make A Difference

Lucy Maud Montgomery was born in Clifton Prince Edward Island (now called New London) in 1874. When she was twenty-one months of age, her mother died of tuberculosis. Her father arranged for her to be raised by her strict maternal grandparents in Cavendish and subsequently moved west where he remarried and had other children. Maud, as she was called, was not a happy child and even though she was surrounded by cousins and other extended family members, she did not seem to "fit in". Her physical needs were met but her unmet emotional needs often led her into a state...

Read more →

Living Without Labels or Roles

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Living Without Labels or Roles

When I moved to Medicine Hat, I didn't know anyone, and people didn't know me. I would watch Community Television and read the local newspaper on a regular basis so had a fair idea about the city and some it citizens. I remember purchasing one ticket for a concert that was being held at the Cultural Center. I dressed up and went on my own. Before and during the intermission there was opportunity for patrons to bid on silent auction items while enjoying a glass of wine. People were chatting while standing or sitting in groups during these times, so...

Read more →

Dealing With Scary Thoughts

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Dealing With Scary Thoughts

In June I was on a holiday in the Maritimes. Part of the trip involved me driving from Charlottetown Prince Edward Island to Halifax Nova Scotia. Suddenly negative thoughts seemed to be coming from nowhere. I found myself thinking "What on earth are you doing, Hancock? You are in a province that you have never been in, driving on a road that you don't know in a rental vehicle. Are you crazy?" Immediately I could feel stress in my body and knew that I had to do something quickly in order to not be at risk. There were some very...

Read more →

Big Dog, Little Dog

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Big Dog, Little Dog

There used to be a television commercial where a woman stood with an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. The whole idea of this advertising campaign was to compare butter to a margarine product. The underlying message was that if you were listening to the angel, you would be making the correct choice. There is a learning theory that is similar. It argues that each of us has a big dog and a little dog inside of us. We are controlled by the one that we feed. The one we feed the most takes over and...

Read more →

Needs or Wants?

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Needs or Wants?

Several weeks ago, I received a telephone call from one of my readers. She told me about a motto that her family had when she was growing up. It consisted of three parts: Use it up. Wear it out. Do without. I was inspired by this and since the conversation have been questioning myself regarding whether this applies in my own life. 1. Use it up - They say that you can tell if a chef is good by the amount of garbage that leaves the kitchen. A cook who is creative and wise will hardly have anything left over...

Read more →

Hurt - How Do You Deal With It?

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Hurt - How Do You Deal With It?

Every single one of us has had a deep hurt within at some time in our life. For some, this involved the loss of a loved one. For others, abuse, bullying or neglect may have occurred. We may have been innocent victims or active participants in the difficult circumstances, Nevertheless, the pain continues, and we may feel like prisoners of the past events and the negative emotions that remain. How we respond to the hurts is a very individual choice. Some people:1. Lash out and rebel - They may try to protect themselves by hurting others before they can be...

Read more →