Archives for posts with tag: self-improvement

If you know me or are following this website, you’ll have noticed by now that advertising myself is not my strong suit. I’m still learning how to do that because I have the habit of enjoying generosity more than making money. So I thought a good post would be things I have helped people achieve or written plans for that they have achieved.

1. Friends and family losing a combined weight of 400lbs healthily (it may be more, but this is from the most noticeable people I’ve helped)

2. Helping strengthen healthy relationships

3. Helping people build the courage to look at and decide on their own if a relationship is abusive and how to get out of that if they ask. Including non-romantic relationships like bosses.

4. Helping people build long-term resilient responses to suicidal ideation and attempts. Especially youth in the LGBT community. Too many to count.

5. Overcoming debilitating anxieties.

6. Teaching people to drive

7. Teaching children to speak English as a Second Language(job)

8. Teaching people to cook nutritious food that is delicious

9. How to alleviate, prevent, and rehab joint and muscles pain without the use of pain killers.

10. How to be ethical yet charismatic when dating.

11. Teaching effective, resilient, and timely ethics in general.

12. How to adapt to change, temptations, and harassment when they can’t be planned for.

13. Dog and Cat training. (Cashew now knows how to “Highfive” as my most recent thing)

14. One time I helped a parent and their preadolescence kid learn how to have real communication and cooperation.

15. How to learn quickly and efficiently.

16. My favorite thing is teaching people how to ask better questions and develop better answers.

This is a quick list of what I can think of in 10-15 minutes. If you read it and think “Harper, you are not a therapist…” I’m not! So I can’t talk to you about your past and how it has influenced you now. I CAN help you with the pain or confusion in the present moment and moving forward though. In the same way you don’t think about your past weakness in order to get stronger in the gym. Instead you focus on how well you are doing your exercise and eating each day to reach those kinds of goals. Almost everything else also gets better if you take action, make the plans, and work on what is immediately in front of you to find what will work. So schedule a session with me, and I’ll help you while you help me add to this list ^_^

I have been in college for a while now and have been studying psychology the whole time. I have never been a partyer, preferring to read a book about how alcohol is made than consuming cheap, terrible alcohol. However, over time I have grown to appreciate things like a finely crafted liqueur or beer, smoking a tobacco pipe, or drinking good espresso. After two negative experiences with alcohol and a college psychology course on Substance Abuse, I began really thinking about how we use perception and mind-altering substances in America.

So I decided on a set of rules based on my knowledge of the addiction process and psychology. It is a short list of questions I ask myself if I am thinking of having coffee, a pipe, or a drink.

The Questions:
Am I sad?
Am I lonely?
Am I angry?
Am I stressed out?
Am I overwhelmed?
Have I exercised today or am sore?
Is my blood glucose above 140?

If I say “Yes” to any of these, then I don’t have the smoke or the drink or the caffeine. If I did, I would not be doing it for fun or an experience. I would be doing it to self-medicate instead of solve my problem.

This sounds all pretty and easy for a guy who doesn’t have much interest in partying or drugs of any sort right? Well, that is ignorant. I have been under MASSIVE amounts of stress from legal, social, interpersonal, physical, and emotional sources. This list of questions has likely saved me from picking up an addiction more times than I could possibly count. No one WANTS to have a smoking habit, but they usually don’t have the training to come up with a cognitive tool or don’t have expressed priorities in order to stop themselves. They see a cigarette and think of stress-relief because of their culture. If they stopped to recognize it as a dangerous gamble with a whole world of negative experiences, they would probably never try it, or never in a time where they have a predisposition towards an addiction.

This is really important because it is so much easier to use than abstinence from these tempting options. There are certain things you should never do, like heroin or pre-rolled cigarettes, but there are more things that are interesting and relatively harmless. The problem isn’t that people have too little willpower to resist an addiction. In my mind the problem is that we never give people the tools to resist a poor decision regarding potentially addictive substances and instead make good decisions regarding them.