dr traci stein
It's hard to know what to say when there is so much chaos around us.
In the last 24 hours, I've felt shocked. Angry. Fearful.
Uncertain. In utter disbelief.
Chances are, you have, too, regardless of your political beliefs.
The unpredictability and change we experienced last year threw a lot of things into the air. Some we juggled with aplomb (maybe even surprising ourselves?), some we worked around, some we’re still waiting on to come back down...
But I’ll bet those muscles of flexibility and adaptation we’ve been exercising have resulted in some pretty noteworthy gains, especially when we look back through the lens of self-reflection —how did we handle such-and-such a challenge? What new ways did we find to get to a solution?
Aromatherapy is one of the oldest and most popular integrative therapies, and for good reasons. Aromas are intrinsic to everything from the pleasure of reclining on clean sheets to the relaxation inherent in a hot bath at the end of the day.
Smell is considered the oldest and least understood of our senses; yet, it is generally accepted that scents rapidly and powerfully transport us back in time to beloved people and cherished events. One of my dearest relatives always smelled strongly of either rose oil or strawberries. The memories my aunt’s kindness and warm smile, her fiery red hair, and the way she made me feel loved remain vivid in my mind many decades later and are instantaneously reactivated by roses.
It feels so good to connect with you all once again. I’ve been wondering: how is your self-talk these days?
I’m asking because as you probably already know, we engage in self-talk countless times a day, usually with little to no awareness that we’re doing this. Our self-talk creates an endless stream of affirmations that can either help or hinder us.
It’s that time of the year, when by some estimates, more than three-quarters of us have given up on our New Year’s Resolutions. Some of the most common changes we aim to make are to quit smoking, eat better and exercise more. Other goals may involve starting (or completing) an important personal project, making more of an effort to get together with friends, and perhaps vowing to set healthier limits with people who take more from us than they give.
We set these goals for ourselves because we believe that they will make us better in some way – happier, healthier, more productive, and so forth. And yet, most of us quickly get discouraged and slip back into familiar patterns that feel easier in the short term but prevent us from getting to where we really want to go.
I first met Traci Stein in the late nineties when she was Mehmet Oz’s point person for mind-body research & evaluation at Columbia Presbyterian.
In those pre-TV show days, Mehmet was trying out various techniques like guided imagery, when not inventing valves out of esoteric pig parts or doing CABG surgeries on beloved NY luminaries like Joe Torre, manager of the Yankees.
Traci was amazing to work with from the very start – smart, diligent, accommodating, responsible, considerate, and insanely productive.
As Thanksgiving approaches, it’s natural for me to reflect on 1.) the dishes I’m responsible for making (this year it’s salad and a pumpkin pie), and, of course, 2.) what I’m thankful for.
It’s hard to believe, but summer is winding down, and before you know it, it will be time to exchange beach chairs for backpacks and get back to work, school, or any personal goals that await you. Yet, an old nemesis, procrastination, is always lurking in the shadows.