Archive for tag: psychology

Welcome Back

Welcome back, everyone! How has your week been going? I hope everyone is staying warm -- or cool -- depending on where you are.

Actually, "Spring" has sprung around here and the weather went from cold-ish, to hot -- overnight. The temperature the last couple of days has been over 80ยบ. What? It's true. That's what happens. Typically around the end of February it turns to Summer and stays that way until December when it gets chilly again. It's as if a switch was thrown and everything is different overnight.

Before I lurch into the lamentations of what's going on in my life right now, I want to congratulate my classmates that just returned from NCLC (National Chiropractic Leadership Conference). Each year, members of our faculty and students go to Washington, D.C. and talk with members of Congress about the future of chiropractic and health care in America.

2015-03-06_nclc

Now, to my lamentations. I'm feverishly working on a paper. Writing is a pretty bizarre process for me. We all have our methods. I'll randomly collect research for a while, think about the topic, try to formulate some semblance of sanity within the information, and then sit with it for way too long. The temptation for me is always to collect more and more information. Maybe I should read one more article? Maybe I should review a few more journals just in case I find THE article that poses some new idea that brings it all together. And at some point I realize when the deadline is.

Then the frantic insanity sets in. I'm now faced with the prospect of taking 10-20 journal articles and whatever notes and thoughts I've taken from them and putting it into just a few pages. (OK, we all know that I can't write just a few pages -- but you get my drift). It's a grueling process that drives me crazy, and I love it. I learn SO much from this. I hate the procrastination and I hate the deadlines, but I love what comes out of it.

Right now I'm working on a paper about vitamin D and metabolic syndrome -- with an aside on the psychology of eating. I've learned that there are 4 variations in receptor genes that mediate how the body handles vitamin D, that there's a huge controversy in what the dosage of vitamin D should be, and that there's a HUGE link between metabolic syndrome, autoimmune diseases, and vitamin D. No one seems to fully know how all of it works together -- but it does, and therapies with vitamin D show great promise at preventing and treating all kinds of problems.

So, I'm going to get back to my forced lack of procrastination and self-loathing and feverish typing, and leave you all with good wishes for the week.

Have a great one, everybody!

Hierarchy of Needs

I'm back from the mountains of North Carolina, where I spent from last Thursday through Sunday. It was, as it always is, a life-changing event. I learned so much from everything I experienced there, and everyone that I met. My life is forever changed. Coming back from such a life-altering experience is always really hard. I find myself struggling with motivation, coping with what we call the "default world," and dealing with daily obligations. It's funny how being apart from civilization gives a completely different perspective on what civilization actually is.

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On the way up the mountain

I may have mentioned Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs before. Maslow postulated that in order for humans to function, they must have certain needs met. The fields of psychology, sociology and anthropology have embraced Maslow's theory, on some level, and run with it--proposing that everything from the basis of emotional well-being, to the likelihood of success, stems from these needs being met.

2014-07-28_maslow
Image source: www.21stcentech.com

When out, away from civilization and the comforts of "home," people tend to do one of two things: they think about how much they miss the comforts of home; or they realize how little those comforts actually comfort them. I tend to be the latter, rather than the former. Don't get me wrong, I would have loved a warm, dry place to sleep, but for the most part, I didn't miss the Internet, television, my cell phone, or even electricity.

Being apart from society and civilization would imply that we're apart from each other. But that's not the case. I've found that when I'm out in the woods, with other people, that that is when society actually begins. We form a tribe, a family. I often wonder why we don't do that, when we're among each other in the default world.

As students, we've been through several years of schooling together. We're nearing the end. Stress is running VERY high among our group. We're finding ourselves more anxious, more short-tempered, more ready to judge, bicker, harass, and goad each other. For those of us that have become close, we're finding it easier to support, empathize, listen, and care for each other. Perhaps some of this is because we know we won't be together for much longer. Perhaps the rest of it is that we're so unsure of what comes next. Perhaps some of us view each other as the member of the family that we really don't want to associate with (because we didn't get to pick this family).

In just under 9 months, we'll all go our separate ways. Some of us will be friends for the rest of our lives. Some of us will never hear from or see each other again. Just like my past weekend, some of us will be friends for the remainder of our lives, and others I'll never see again.

We have the opportunity every day to contribute to someone's hierarchy of needs. We can build each other up, nurture each other, be family (the good kind), and contribute to each other's well-being, not just our patients.

Last, I want to plug some of the upper trimester classmates who've been doing some good community outreach work. My hat's off to you guys. You're making it happen.

Until next week, my friends, I challenge you to think about how your needs are being met, what you really need and want in your lives, and who and how you view "family."

Happy adventures!