Stress Eating

I realized (not for the first time) how easy it is to over eat and choose poor food options due to some external stress you are experiencing. 

Today was an extremely busy day at work with a few different people out of the office, the phone ringing every minute it seemed like. I had gotten to work early to try and finish a few patient notes and did not accomplish anything I had planned before my first patient for the day arrived. By the time lunch rolled around I knew exactly what I would get.

Chipotle. Duh!

And when I got to the cash register I even opted for a large soda, and I actually thought to myself that the soda would make me feel better for the afternoon. The food and soda did make me feel like I had a little more energy but also brought with it guilt since I knew I probably shouldn't be eating it. 

One problem was that I hadn't brought good options with me to work, or pre-selected something to eat. It made the barriers to making a poor (and very tasty) choice disappear. When I have to make decisions it is a lot easier to do the simple thing and choose the burrito bowl and soda. The best thing is to make it easier to choose healthily. By prepping good things or knowing exactly what I should get at a restaurant means I don't have to think about it. It just becomes something that I will do. Then when a stressful day hits I don't have to worry about trying to make good choices. I have already made the choices a head of time.

 

Being Opinionated

Have you ever heard the phrase, "Strong opinions, loosely held"?

It means that you should have thought and educated yourself on a topic such that you can have a good and valid opinion. Yet, at the same time, if you are challenged on your opinion you can still realize that you could be wrong. You have the ability to be a rational human and change your mind when presented with the right facts.

The opposite of this is called the 'backfire effect'. It is when someone is presented with facts that directly contradict their opinion yet they become even more firmly entrenched in their previous thinking.

This comic by Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal will challenge you about the backfire effect.

This is happening a lot in the physical therapy world currently.

I see it mostly with the arguments over dry needling and whether there is actually any benefit.

The dry needling proponents have used needling and seen some amazing results. But there are plenty of dry needling opponents who look at the research and see that nothing has really been shown to be conclusively good about dry needling.

I have a few issues with the way everyone is going about this. 

The opponents. They constantly cite the research saying that it doesn't show that dry needling works but then they also talk about all of the things done wrong in the studies. There do not seem to be enough studies right now that are actually well done, have standardized interventions, assessments, outcomes. The systematic reviews have to decide whether to include something similar like acupuncture (which they shouldn't) but iff they don't then they only have like 3 total studies to go off of. That is just not enough studies.

The dry needling opponents are right to some extent that the studies so far are very inconclusive. But that doesn't mean they are right either. The studies have also not shown that dry needling does not work at this point. You cannot argue that all of the studies are poorly done and then say that you are right that dry needling does not work. You just admitted that the studies cannot really tell you anything at this point.

Instead of pointless arguing on twitter there should be a concerted effort to really study the hot new trend in physical therapy.

The proponents also aren't very good at what they are doing either. They cite research that is pretty terrible. They argue from anectotal evidence.

The back and forth arguments on twitter are basically the perfect place for the bacfire effect to occur. There is just enough characters to inflame someone with an opposite opiion and not enough room to change your opinions that should be "loosely held".

Being Intentional

Leaving school (finally) and joining the working world was great in many ways. Especially because you get paid for your time and I am able to actually apply exactly what I went to school for.

But now that I'm in the 'real world' I've noticed something very different than when I was in school.

People are not intentional anymore.

During school my fellow classmates would be working really hard towards a variety of goals. They were always figuring out what to do next and we were all wondering what the world would bring. They were concretely acting on their dreams by going to extra courses that didn't even count since they weren't licensed physical therapists yet. They were applying to different residency programs, something not required in physical therapy. 

But, now to the present.

Between a variety of people I have seen working there are many people that seem to be floating through life. I see a whole lot of people in my profession who are on disability by age 30 and they are not the one's I'm talking about. 

I'm talking about the professionals who worked hard to get to where they are and are satisfied without trying to push any harder. They do not seem to want to grow either professionally or personally. They are just floating through life reacting to whatever happens.

This is causing me to focus on what I'm doing intentionally vs just being reactive to each day. I have decided to be more intentional with all aspects of my life, whether learning, with relationships, and even with this blog.

I'm choosing to remain on the side of intentionality instead of joining the side who reacts and feels victimized by their life. I don't believe you can be 'happy' all of the time but I do believe there is such a thing as a 'pursuit of happiness' and it starts with being intentionally with your decisions and actions.