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It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Erikson's Autonomy VS. Shame and Doubt

"It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg."– C. S. Lewis
Erik Erikson’s first stage of human development (a sense of trust versus a sense of mistrust) in man’s life cycle was discussed previously. His theory of psychological development differs from Freud’s. Freud’s notion is that the oral stage (issues of dependency) is central in psychoanalytic theory of human growth.
Freud’s second stage of development centers on the anal stage with its focus around eliminative functions that corresponds during the child’s second year. Issues in this second stage can lead to the development of an anal personality. Another theorist Robert W. White adds the issue of mastery as being central during this second year. Most of you can remember the terrible twos and the emergence of “no” by the child during his psychological struggle. Who won or who lost?
Erikson on the other hand, in his psycho social theory, describes growth, crises and the child’s task of developing either a sense of autonomy or developing a sense of shame and doubt. In this stage, Erikson discusses muscular maturation accompanied by two sets of social modalities: holding on and letting go. He states this is observable by others and is expressed in the behavior of the two-year-old. In this  stage psychologically and behaviorally, holding on can be either hostile like in retaining, restraining or it can become a pattern of care like to have and to hold or it can  become relaxed as in ” let it be.”
Issues for the caretaker/ or caretakers  in this stage centers around protecting the child against meaningless or arbitrary  rules, restrictions,  experiences which can result in over or outer control,  possessiveness or assisting the child to stand on his own two  feet. In other words, parental attitudes and behavior around how toilet training should be is important here.  A major danger or consequence, in this critical period, is the development of shame (not wanting to be seen or the sense of being small, insignificant) and doubt (difficulty with self-expression, not being sure, tentative).  So for the child who becomes an adult, the notions of justice grounded in the principle of law and order in our society is paramount. How does the individual deal with individual liberty (self or will) on the one hand within an orderly society, culture, job with its many rules and regulations on the other hand?  Freud said civilization facilitates man‘s becoming neurotic. There can be too many rules, restrictions or too much permissiveness. What were your parents like?  How did your parents rearing influence you with your child during this critical period?
Trusting self and others and being autonomous are both important for well-being. Since well-being is based in part upon healthy nutrition and exercise, therefore taking care of your mental health is paramount. Laughing, playing, being young, productive helps. Stay mentally healthy my friend as it significantly affects your physical health.
This morning Randall, Diane, Secretariat and I ran a short 6 mile trail run. For Randall this was his first trail run since his surgery;  and for me my first” real”  trail run in the last three weeks. Part of why I like to” keep moving “is the enjoyment of running on the trail with friends. Sunday, the plan is for us to run a short 8 mile trail run. Once again, remember to” keep moving. “I practice what I preach. In other words I talk the talk and walk the walk.


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