Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

May 2, 2013

Buying a Little Love With My Tax Refund

by Dave P.

I fell in love with her the moment I put my hands on her sweet body. Visually, she wasn’t much different than the others, but once I touched her long neck and heard her sweet voice, I knew she was for me. That acoustic guitar – a Taylor 114ce – will soon be mine. She is a bit pricy, but with my tax refund, the expenditure is justifiable.

My wife and I had been hit fairly hard from the recession, but now things are looking up. Being unemployed gave me time to think about life. I used to suffer from severe stage-fright – a byproduct of being overly concerned with what others thought of me. Self-consciousness is a lose-lose proposition. It makes you miserable and can make those around you nervous. Since “all the world is a stage,” stage-fright can severely inhibit your ability to enjoy life.

Read more…

April 14, 2013

Anxiety Help Scam

by Dave P.

Watch out for Rich Presta!

April 4, 2013

Overcome Public Speaking Anxiety with the DISH Method!

by Dave P.

In this video, Dave Pollack talks about the DISH Method for overcoming public speaking anxiety. DISH stands for Develop your skills, Incorporate your personality, Stop the negative thinking, and Have fun!

You can find more information at:

March 26, 2013

The Causes of Public Speaking Anxiety

by Dave P.

In this video, David Pollack discusses the three main causes or “antecedents” of public speaking anxiety. They are: low self-efficacy, low self-esteem, and incongruent attitude.

For more information, visit or email Dave at

February 14, 2013

Show Gratitude For Your Relationships

by Dave P.

LaughingCoupleOur relationships are what make us happy. People who have good, healthy, close, personal relationships are generally happy people. Have you ever met a lonely person who was happy? I don’t think one exists. When you’re lonely, you’re in pain. When you have people in your life you can count on and who provide unconditional love, you feel like you can do anything. Or you’re willing to at least try to accomplish great things.

We can enhance our existing relationships simply by showing gratitude. Focus on the good aspects of the people in your life and discount the negative. Of course, if you’re in an abusive relationship, get the hell away from that person. When we first start dating someone or become friends, we see that person through rose colored glasses. We filter out the bad and show appreciation for the good. But over time, we start taking people for granted. We go through tough times, have fights, and develop a past — sometimes negative and hurtful.

We can be happier by living in the present. We can learn from the past and plan for the future, but our well being depends on our ability to live in the present. That especially applies to our relationships. If you continuously bring up the negative and complain about things that aren’t so perfect, you’re not going to be happy and the person you’re complaining to isn’t going to be happy. Find common interests. Have fun together. Remember why the two of you got together in the first place.

There is a common misconception that healthy relationships are about compromise. While compromise is necessary in politics, it’s not so good in relationships because when you compromise, nobody really wins. Have you ever compromised on a movie? One person wants to see an action-adventure while the other wants to see a romantic comedy, so you settle on a mediocre movie that has both?

Healthy relationships depend on taking turns getting what you want. If you’re lucky, you both want the same things. This time, watch what your wife wants to watch. Enjoy it, simply because she enjoys it. Doing so demonstrates that she is important in your life and that you want her to be happy. Next time, she should watch what you want to watch. Take turns getting your way. That is how everyone wins.

So on this Valentine’s day, show gratitude for the people in your life. Let them know that they are important to you. Have fun together. Let the other person win.

February 11, 2013

Happiness Blog!

by Dave P.

Start your day with a little happiness by reading this blog.

January 30, 2013

Happy New Day!

by Dave P.

Every day should be celebrated as a holiday. It’s a new chance to improve the self, the country, and the world. We have the choice of either being happy, sad, angry, or anxious. It’s an easy choice.

So go up to your neighbor or co-worker and wish them a Happy New Day! Or at least share a smile.

January 5, 2013

Fear of Public Speaking: Develop Your Public Speaking Skills

by Dave P.

The “D” in the DISH method is for developing your public speaking skills. Obviously, you’re not going to give a good talk or presentation if you don’t know how to construct a good speech. Knowing that you don’t have good skills will make almost anyone anxious. You wouldn’t jump out of a plane without knowing how to open your parachute. Likewise, you shouldn’t attempt a talk in front of an audience without knowing how to construct a speech. If you just get up and start rambling, that’s not going to be a good experience for anyone!

When you give any kind of a speech or presentation, you’re telling a story. Stories need to have a distinct introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction should tell the audience what you’re going to say, the body is where you say it, and tell them what you said in the conclusion.

Read more…

January 4, 2012

How To Stop The Incessant Ruminations and Worry

by Dave P.

We’ve covered thought stopping techniques in a few of our group talks. The most commonly recommended technique is the issuance of the “stop” imperative when an unwanted thought appears. I prefer a more technical approach, which is performing a cost-benefit analysis on the thought. I ask myself, “What are the costs of thinking that thought and what are the benefits?” For our maladaptive thoughts, the costs are high and benefits are few. So why is it so difficult to stop them from reappearing when we’re just trying to enjoy the day?

The answer lies in our brain structures. Areas of the brain that are used most often grow, and the parts that are used rarely atrophy. Positive and negative thoughts arise out of different areas of the brain. If the region used for positive thinking is used most often, it will grow like a muscle that’s exercised, and positive thinking will take precedence. On the other hand, if we’re consistently thinking negative thoughts and dwelling on bad experiences, maladaptive thoughts are more likely to dominate our thought processes.

People who suffer from anxiety, depression, and other disorders that lead to or result from low self-esteem, spend an inordinate amount of time engaging in negative thinking. The negative thinking part of the brain grows and the positive thinking part of the brain shrinks, which leads to even more negative thinking and less positive thinking.

This explains why it is so difficult to stop the negative thoughts. What’s needed is a combination of engaging in less negative thinking (using thought stopping techniques) and more positive thinking. One way we can do that by showing gratitude for the good things in our lives. We all have things we can be grateful for. By acknowledging those things, we become more positive, and positivity begets more good things in life.

January 2, 2012

Goals and New Year’s Resolutions

by Dave P.

It is our goals that lead us forward, that call on the exercise of our faculties, that energize our existence.
~ Nathaniel Branden

Many people don’t like to make New Year’s resolutions because they’re often unsuccessful in keeping them. But goals are healthy, and this is as good a time as any to set goals that will lead to a happier life.

As we talked about in our last post, happiness activities have three components: pleasure, engagement, and meaning.

We can get pleasure from a lot of sources. When we’re in pain, we look for things that give us pleasure in an effort to relieve that pain. Some people turn to alcohol or drugs; some engage in promiscuous sex. Most people get pleasure out of personal relationships, but for people who suffer from social anxiety, the anxiety makes it difficult to feel close to others. It acts as a barrier and even a people repellent. We can get pleasure out of almost any activity with the practice of mindfulness. It has a calming effect and can actually change your brain chemistry in a way that makes you more calm, relaxed, and content. It can raise your contentment baseline, which in turn, can make it easier to relate to other people.

Engagement can be elusive for people who suffer from social anxiety — at least with other people. We can be fully engaged in our activities through the practice of mindfulness. (There’s a bit of overlap between the components of happiness.) Being fully engaged gives us pleasure. Even something as simple as washing the dishes can give us pleasure when done mindfully, which means being fully engaged. Athletes often describe a feeling of being in the “zone” when fully engaged in their sport. They’ve lost all sense of self and their focus is entirely on the task at hand, whether it’s driving for a layup in basketball, or being able to “see” the 100 MPH fastball in baseball. Things become clearer and time seems to fly by. When you’re fully engaged, time flies; when you’re not fully engaged, you’re probably bored and time is dragging.

Most of our New Year’s resolutions have to do with meaning. People often resolve to quit smoking or lose weight. These goals have great meaning, since they can make you healthier, but people fail to keep these goals because the acts of fulfilling the goals don’t provide any pleasure or engagement. Joining a weight-loss group or one to help you quit smoking can help you maintain your regiment by providing some engagement and support, but the pleasure component may still be lacking.

We can now analyze our goals and forecast the likelihood for success.

My goals
One of my goals is to lose some weight. I’m at about 215lbs and would like to get down to about 195. I’m 6’1′ and that’s a good weight for my height. I’ve been having knee problems and I can’t fit into my jeans any more, so there is quite a bit of meaning associated with this goal. It might also help alleviate my sleep apnea, give me more energy, and improve my tennis game.

As I mentioned above, the act of losing weight doesn’t rate very high on the pleasure or engagement scale. Actually, it eliminates the pleasure of overeating and pigging out on fatty foods. It’s really a cessation of activities that give me pleasure, which is why it’s so difficult. For me to be successful at losing weight, I’ll need to find some way to make it more pleasurable or engaging.

To be continued…