Articles

The Month of October

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

The Month of October

Have you ever wondered about the origin of certain words? This weekend I was thinking about the word "October" and decided to look it up. The Roman calendar only had ten months as January and February were not included at that time. Winter had cycles that were divided into eight-day weeks but not into months until later. At that time, the last four months of the year all ended in "ember" which doesn't seem to have a significant meaning. The prefix for the last four months of September, October, November and December, however, were derived from the Old French words...

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Giving Back Because of Thanks

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Giving Back Because of Thanks

When my mom died I "inherited" boxes and boxes of black and white photos. Many of them showed soldiers in uniform with their arms around her. I really don't know who these men were but remember the powerful stories that she told about how many of her friends went off to war and never returned. They were committed to serving our country and seeing other lands but, at the same time, like most youth were naïve about the price they would pay. In fact, many small Saskatchewan towns lost great numbers and cenotaphs with their engraved names were erected in...

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Mentors - Having and Being One

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Mentors - Having and Being One

Dr. Ben Carson rose from humble beginnings as the son of a single parent to become a trailblazing brain surgeon. Many of us remember the time when he separated congenital twins who were not expected to live or have watched his life story in the movie "Gifted Hands". His cutting-edge methods and strong commitment that involved over 15,000 surgeries were recognized with numerous awards as well as respect and gratitude from those who crossed his path. Dr. Carson's whole life was not only dedicated to developing expertise in his field of practice but also to serve others. After retiring from...

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Faith and Politics

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Faith and Politics

Often, I have heard individuals say that the most controversial topics in life involve religion and politics. What they don't probably think about is the fact that most people have faith in something, but it might not fit into a traditional definition - God, a group, freedom, their career or even a pet. And politics is not just the formal system that we recognize through voting and governance. In fact, politics is part of absolutely everything that we do! The two, faith and politics in fact, are very much tied together. We tend to think that the political party that...

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Expectations and Disappointments

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Expectations and Disappointments

A few years ago I met Kate Hammett Vaughan, a wonderful soloist who was nominated for a Juno Award. We arranged for me to travel to her home in Vancouver for some private voice lessons. During our first session, we didn't sing a note. We just sat and talked! I had a little notebook and was diligently writing down everything she said. I will never forget one of the "lessons" that I learned that day. She said, "We are never disappointed unless we have expectations". As a psychologist, I am often working with individuals who are disappointed in their careers,...

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Celebrate Life Regularly

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Celebrate Life Regularly

This past weekend I was at a wedding reception! What a wonderful event! The bride and groom who live in different countries have each travelled extensively. She speaks seven languages! He is a pilot and owns a plane for recreation! They were introduced by a mutual friend and built their romantic foundation through long hours of internet conversations. On Saturday, wedding guests arrived from across Canada, Norway, Holland, Russia and the United States, each brining his/her own language, culture and stories. Everyone was dressed in their finest accessorized by big smiles. Even tiny nieces had lace gloves and nephews wore...

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Making Emotional Choices

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Making Emotional Choices

Have you ever watched those television shows where individuals give up their lives to move to another country to be with a person they met online? They do all this in the name of love. I have been thinking about some of the story lines and the common themes that lead them into bad situations. Many of the choices they make are ones that cause problems even for those who never leave their home country but end up in trouble:   Thinking that the unknown will make all their dreams come true. If you haven't done good research, you really...

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Are You Content or Happy?

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Are You Content or Happy?

Often, I have people tell me that they just want to be happy and think that I can give them a formula! My first response is that first you have to decide to be happy! Sitting and worrying about what you don't have or the problems in your life will not resolve anything. In fact, they will just work you up until you might think that you have a brain tornado going on. There are several things that you can do if you want to improve your lot in life as follows:   Consider your motivation - Are you a person...

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Superman - The Real Christopher Reeves

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Superman - The Real Christopher Reeves

Christopher Reeve was born into a wealthy family in 1952. Reeve excelled academically, athletically, and onstage. His good looks and determination combined with an excellent education led to his 1978 starring role in the big budget film Superman for which he was best known. Besides his many acting roles, his involvement in sports and philanthropy helped him to build relationships with people from many walks of life along the way. In 1985, despite his allergy to horses, he learned how to ride for the film Anna Karenina. Four years later he was involved in eventing activities and subsequently purchased a...

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A Purpose and a Plan

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

A Purpose and a Plan

My friend's husband, who is a Christian believed that his purpose was to use his gift of giving in order to donated one million dollars to charity. His purpose was to give, and his plan was to give a little bit regularly over time. Now this man did not have a lot of money or a high income because he was in a blue-collar job, He had a family of three children and a wife who had some sporadic part-time jobs but no consistent career. I watched this man who would sit at the table with a little book and...

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Movie Ideas That Make Sense

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Movie Ideas That Make Sense

Last week we talked about movie quotes that are not realistic. Following are some that might make more sense: 1. I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore (The Wizard of Oz 1939) - Dorothy had been safe living with her aunt and uncle but being in Oz changed everything for her. There are times in life when we need to face the reality of new adventures and develop character to navigate them successfully. 2. What we've got here is a failure to communicate (Cool Hand Luke 1967) - Almost every one of the 8,000 clients I have seen...

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Movie Ideas Lacking Realism

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Movie Ideas Lacking Realism

Movies can have a powerful influence and I frequently hear individuals who quote favourite lines from them. Unfortunately, however, not all of the things that we see or hear in the movies apply in everyday life. Following are some of the messages from decades ago that we have heard, memorized and continue to quote:   If you built it, he will come (Field of Dreams 1989) - Many businesses expand, renovate and expect that their efforts are going to not only attract customers but also increase profits. Unfortunately, they haven't studied the competition, made a good business plan and built...

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Beliefs Drive Our Actions

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Beliefs Drive Our Actions

Sometimes people tell me how much they dislike Medicine Hat. They criticize the way the streets ae laid out and find them confusing. They describe the river as "muddy" and the people as unfriendly. Others sing praises about our city. They like the unique layout, the fact that we have a river running through the middle of the community and describe the people as being kind and welcoming. Perceptions form beliefs and beliefs drive our actions. Recently I have been making another attempt at fluency in the French language. I took classes in high school and again a few years...

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Making Choices - How to Choose

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Making Choices - How to Choose

Often, people tell me "I don't have a choice". They continue doing things that are unhealthy or unsatisfying even though they are miserable while doing them. I think it is important to consider the types of choices that we face in life:   Too many choices - There is an interesting video on YouTube that describes the psychology adopted by Costco. Their inventory is based on research that suggests people with too many choices tend not to buy. When you shop there, you might only find a 180-tablet bottle of pain reliever rather than a range of sizes. You likely will...

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We Are All Babies!

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

We Are All Babies!

When we don't sleep and don't eat, we become just like babies - we cry! We all know this and yet we are living in a world where both sleeping and eating are neglected. A 2011 article published by CBC news entitled "Lack of sleep called global epidemic" stated that a majority of Canadians are sleep deprived. But Canadians aren't the only ones suffering. In fact, 45% of the world's population have sleep problems including insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome. Even though this report is almost a decade old, there isn't any evidence to suggest that the...

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Making Excuses - Not Helpful!

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Making Excuses - Not Helpful!

Sometimes people think that their behaviours are justified. Many believe that they shouldn't have to "fess up" unless they are "caught" doing something that they know deep down is not a good choice. Well, nothing surprises me anymore as I have seen over 8,000 clients and have heard probably every scenario possible as well as dozens of excuses for each. Alcohol and marijuana are now both legal. This has caused some confusion in society especially for those who are in safety sensitive positions. They signed "zero tolerance" contracts with their employers and know the consequences that they will face if...

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Your Reputation

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Your Reputation

Have you ever wondered what another person did to earn the respect of others? Building a good reputation is one thing but keeping it is another. I once heard a lawyer state "You can spend a whole lifetime building a reputation and then lose it in one minute". Following are some of the habits that will reward you over time:   Tell the truth - Liars cannot be trusted. They spin tales that they think will serve them but, it doesn't take long until they are "found out". Telling the truth is not only easier than lying because you don't...

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Change Your Life In Minutes

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Change Your Life In Minutes

Often, I hear people talk about how busy they are and that often they feel overwhelmed. Their lives are disorganized, their vehicles need attention and their relationships are strained. Rather than piling things up and then feeling like everything is just too large to resolve, try doing things a little bit at a time. Your life can be so much better if you just think about what can be accomplished in five minutes or less. Following are things that take five minutes or less to do but will give you much pleasure.   Manage the dishwasher - It is much...

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You Can Choose

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

You Can Choose

Often, I hear individuals complain about a situation in life that they do not like. It might involve their relationships, career, finances or perhaps events occurring in various places throughout the world. They seem to think that talking about how they are suffering will make things better. It won't! If you are struggling, there are things that you can do. Here are your choices:   Protect yourself from information involving world catastrophes - If you are anxious about weather systems or traumatic events that are happening in other locations you would probably be wise to turn off the television and...

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Conservation - Protecting Our World

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Conservation - Protecting Our World

I read an article the other day that surprised me. Apparently, Meagan Markle has been annoyed by the fact that her husband Prince Harry keeps turning lights off in their royal residence. His father, Prince Charles, apparently raised is two sons to do this as well as to pick up litter. I remember when growing up that there were several things we were taught to do in order to protect our world. Unfortunately, many don't understand the importance of or ignore these simple practices:   Trees - Because the Canadian prairies didn't have windbreaks to prevent topsoil drift and wind...

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Who Are You? Your Identity Is Unique

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Who Are You? Your Identity Is Unique

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines the word "identity" as: "the fact of being who or what a person or thing is". Now that's a little confusing! I have been thinking about identity and exactly what the word really means. You see, identity is complex and can change over time and circumstances. For example, someone with Alzheimer's disease loses their identity. Here are some thoughts about some of the contributors to identity:   Physical - Our gender, size, colouring and features usually allow others to recognize us at first glance. What is not immediately evident, however, is our DNA or fingerprints,...

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Fitting In

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Fitting In

Near the beginning of the popular movie "Sound of Music" there is a song that begins "How do you solve a problem like Maria?". The tune is about a novice nun who has great difficulty following the rules of the convent. Even though she is eager to please God and take her final vows, she often becomes lost in nature and late for her commitments. The nuns obviously love her but are frustrated by the fact that she is always in trouble and doesn't fit in to their way of life. Then Maria is sent to work for Captain Von...

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Creativity - Do You Use It?

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Creativity - Do You Use It?

Many of my clients over the years have expressed concern about finances and wished they could relieve their debt burdens. But compounding interest and late fee penalties make the goal more and more unreachable. Recently I watched some episodes from a British show entitled "How to Live Mortgage Free". I was amazed at what was accomplished by those who were determined to improve their lives by eliminating their mortgage. Some of those who were featured wanted to accomplish this in preparation for their retirement. Others were younger. One couple set and reached their debt-free status before they were thirty years...

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Adjustment Disorder and Adjustment Recovery

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Adjustment Disorder and Adjustment Recovery

I live alone so that means that I can pretty well do whatever I want whenever I want. On the long weekend I had company and, of course, that meant adjustment. I was so excited to have my grandson and his family come for five days but it is really different having a five-year-old in the house! On Sunday we hosted a barbecue inviting my son and his two children ages thirteen and two years. There were toys all over the floor. The guest room was full of suitcases and I was scrounging to ensure that we had enough plates...

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Systems Make Everything Easier

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Systems Make Everything Easier

Recently I wasn't feeling well. My head hurt. I was dizzy and the bathroom was barely close enough. My system was a mess! Our bodies have several different systems. One is for digestion. Another involves lymph nodes. We have a system for blood circulation as well as several others. It is not just the body that has systems. For example, there are transit systems, accounting systems, justice and security systems. At a personal level, we can all benefit from having systems both at home and in the workplace. Here are some of the unique things to consider about systems:  ...

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