Health and wellness specialist Tom DeLoughry will lead several workshops beginning this week on dealing with stress, improving health and helping caregivers. Below is a piece he wrote about stress, along with specific information on the workshops, which start today.
By Dr. Tom DeLoughry
We knew it was working when, instead of staying angry for a couple of days, my wife and I would get over it in a couple of minutes.
Back when my hair was still brown, the two of us developed a new way to help teen patients at Buffalo Children’s Hospital to have less stress. We called it the “Satisfaction Skills” – using awareness, affirmations, assertiveness and acceptance. And when we used these four skills in our own relationship, our good marriage got even better.
During the six years I directed Drug Abuse Services and the Adolescent Program in Child Psychiatry, I offered a weekly group teaching the Satisfaction Skills to teens with medical and/or emotional problems. The doctors and nurses reported that the teens that came to my groups requested less pain medications and had fewer complications with illnesses like diabetes. And one of my teen patients, who I met when he was admitted after an overdose, even started teaching it.
Since then, I’ve learned that stress often “blinds” us to the good in ourselves and the loveliness in each other. My teachers were the families I served at Children’s Hospital; and the Independent Health members I assisted during the 10 years I directed managed-care wellness and disease management services; and the seniors and caregivers who worked to solve each piece – the physical, emotional, social and spiritual – of their “Wellness Puzzle” through hundreds of workshops funded by the Niagara County Office for the Aging and local foundations.
I’ve concluded that “stress blindness” affects almost everyone, regardless of gender or generation. But it’s an epidemic that the “Satisfaction Skills,” or dozens of other strategies you already know, can cure.
What do you see about yourself and others when you’re stressed? If you’re like most humans, you’ll mostly see the bad stuff and overlook the good. But if you mostly see what’s bad, what kind of decision are you likely to make? Bad ones!
The Living Well program is offering free Internet and community workshops available for anyone interested in having less stress, more satisfaction and deeper peace. Much of the content is based on well-researched strategies that were honored with AARP’s Social Impact Award as “a simple mind-body-spirit program for grandparents, parents and teens of any faith … or no faith.”
“Success with Stress” workshops, as well as half-day conferences, are being offered this fall in Amherst and Kenmore. To learn more, or register, visit FindingMoreLove.org.
Preregistration is required for the Internet offerings, and encouraged for all workshops, which will run as follows:
Living Well: Less Stress, Deeper Peace and Better Health - A three-part workshop for grandparents, parents and teens, plus professionals providing medical, emotional, spiritual and social services. They will be offered:
East Amherst workshops begin at 7 p.m. today, Trinity Lutheran Church, 8760 Transit Road.
Snyder workshops begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Christ United Methodist Church, 350 Saratoga Road, at Harlem Road.
Internet workshops begin on at 7 p.m. Thursday; these sessions will be co-hosted by the Rev. Brian McCaffrey who chairs the Northeast Forum on Spirituality and Aging.
Caring for the Caregivers - A half-day conference to reduce caregiver stress, learn about respected resources and create a plan to meet physical, emotional, social and/or spiritual needs.
The first runs from 9:30 a.m. to noon Nov. 1, Kenmore United Methodist Church, 32 Landers Road, Kenmore.
The second from noon to 3:30 p.m. Nov. 15, Amherst Center for Senior Services, 370 John James Audubon Parkway, Amherst.
Success with Stress at Work, School and Home – A two-hour weekend workshop for working parents, teens, seniors and professionals.
Snyder workshop runs from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Oct. 18, Christ United Methodist Church.
Niagara Falls workshop runs 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 18, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Center, 9610 Colvin Blvd.
Williamsville workshop runs 9 to 11 a.m. Nov. 9, Congregation Shir Shalom, 4660 Sheridan Drive.
The workshops are sponsored by Living Well, a community and interfaith collaborative, and supported by the upstate divisions of the Methodist and Lutheran Churches, as well the Civic Engagement Institute at Niagara University, in association with the Amherst Center for Senior Services and Hearts and Hands – where neighbors have been helping neighbors since 2002.