Looking for Love in All the Right Places: The 75-Year Study That Found The Secrets To A Fulfilling Life

Harvard Grant StudyI recently got together with the guys in my men’s group. We’ve been meeting regularly for more than 35 years and have shared deeply with each other about our marriages, our births, our divorces, our triumphs and failure, and our journeys in search of a meaningful life.  Love has been an important topic for discussion—the love we have for each other and the love we feel towards our mates, our children, our friends, our community, our country, and the earth we all share.

Since I’m a writer I often share books of interest. Triumphs of Experience: The Men of the Harvard Grant Study by George E. Vaillant offers a rare, in-depth look into the lives of 268 men and their families who were studied from their sophomore year at Harvard University beginning in 1938 and continuing to the present. Martin Seligman, Ph.D., author of Authentic Happiness says, “This is arguably, the most important study of the life course ever done. But it is, inarguably, the one most brimming with wisdom. If you are preparing for the last quarter of your life, this is a MUST read.” I haven’t finished this wonderful book, but here are a few impressions thus far:

  1. There are multiple elements that make up a successful life as we age.

For a study like this, there needs to be some clear and measurable elements that can be used rate people on the degree to which they led a successful life. Vaillant chose the following, which he called his “Decathlon of Flourishing from Age 60 to 80+”:

  • Included in Who’s Who in America.
  • Earned income in the Study’s top 25%.
  • Low in psychological distress.
  • Success and enjoyment in work, love, and play since age 65.
  • Good subjective health at age 75 (physically active).
  • Good subjective and objective physical and mental health at age 80.
  • Mastery of Eriksonian task of Generativity (empathic nurturing of others beyond family).
  • Availability of social supports other than wife and kids between ages 60 and 75.
  • In a good marriage between age 60 and 85.
  • Close to kids between 60 and 75.

[Read more…]

Secrets for Keeping Passion Alive in Your Relationship Even After 20, 30, or even 40 Years – Part 1

Most of us remember what it was like to fall in love.  We are energized, fully alive, passionate, and ecstatic.  We wake up thinking about our loved one and fall asleep with a smile on our face, if we can fall asleep at all.  We are consumed with love and want it to last forever.  But, for most of us it doesn’t.  The honey-moon phase of our relationship comes to an end.  We fall into our normal routines of work, family, and the stresses of living.   Even after the ecstasy and joy of those early years wears off, many of us find contentment and happiness in a long-term, committed, relationship.  Others lose that loving feeling and move on.  But we never lose the desire to be head-over heels in love.

If you thought that a passionate, knock-your-socks-off, marriage was only for the young or only for the first few years of marriage, think again.  My wife, Carlin, and I have been married 33 years and we’re as passionately in love now as we were in those early days, months, and years of our marriage.  We’ve both been married twice before and have worked hard to learn the lessons of what didn’t work in the past and what we could do differently this time around.  We have told friends that “the third time is the charm.”  But I never fully understood how we’ve managed to keep love alive and well after being together for more than 30 years until [Read more…]

Jekyll and Hyde, Irritable Males, and Attachment Love: What Men, and the Women Who Love Them, Need to Know


Before I wrote my book, The Irritable Male Syndrome, I thought I might call it The Jekyll and Hyde Syndrome, since men often seem to change rapidly from “Mr. Nice to Mr. Mean.”  The book Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was written by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1886 and has become a mainstay of stage and screen throughout the world.  It seems to speak to something in the human psyche, particularly the male mind.  The story is about Dr. Henry Jekyll who is pursuing his life-long quest to separate the two natures of man to get at the essence of good and evil.

Refused help by his peers and superiors, he begins experiments on himself with his formula. He meets with success, and shocking results.  The evil nature of Dr. Jekyll surfaces as a separate identity: Edward Hyde. Hyde begins murdering the members of the Board of Governors who previously refused assistance to Jekyll’s cause. Throughout the story Jekyll fights in vain to keep his darker half under control.

We often see this kind of transformation in how men are in their love relations.  In a blog post “Should I Stay or Should I Go Now,” Helena Madsen reports a woman’s experience with the man in her life:

“I had a revelation today. During my son’s graduation ceremony at his high school, my husband came up to me and squatted down to share a story with me. Without thinking I ran my hand over his hair and down his arm. I’m still in love with this guy. He can be very nice. He can be very sweet. I married him because of this. This is why I find his behavior so baffling. I’ve known this guy just shy of 25 years. That is a long time. The meanness, the temper tantrums, the spitefulness is all new. I’ve never seen this in him before. Living with someone for 25 years means this isn’t behavior that has been hidden away. It is brand spanking new. It is why I’ve been blindsided with it. I so didn’t see this coming. It also makes the whole idea of divorce so messy. If he was always nasty this would be a no-brainer. I would up and leave in a heartbeat. But he swings hot and cold. One day he is super nice to me; takes good care of me and even gives me hugs. The next day he is slamming doors and telling me he wants out. I am so very confused.”

In The Irritable Male Syndrome:  Understanding and Managing the 4 Key Causes of Aggression and Depression, I describe a number of key symptoms of IMS, including hypersensitivity.

The women who live with these men say things like the following:

  • I feel like I have to walk on eggshells when I’m around him.
  • I never know when I’m going to say something that will set him off.
  • He’s like a time bomb ready to explode but I never know when.
  • Nothing I do pleases him.

The men don’t often recognize their own hypersensitivity.  Rather, their perception is that they are fine but everyone else is going out of their way to irritate them.  The guys say things like:

  • Quit bothering me.
  • Leave me alone.
  • No, nothing’s wrong.  I’m fine. 
  • Or they don’t say anything.  They increasingly withdraw into a numbing silence.

One concept I have found helpful is the notion that many of us are “emotionally sunburned,” but our partners don’t know it.  We might think of a man who is extremely sunburned and gets a loving hug from his wife.  He cries out in anger and pain.  He assumes she knows he’s sunburned so if she “grabs” him she must be trying to hurt him.  She has no idea he is sunburned and can’t understand why he reacts angrily to her loving touch.  You can see how this can lead a couple down a road of escalating confusion.

Why Do Men Suddenly Become Hypersensitive and Irritable?  Could It Be We Don’t Feel Attached?

Here’s a letter I received recently:  “Last month a man came home from work with my husband’s face but he did not act at all like the man I married.  I’ve known this man for 30 years, married 22 of them and have never met this guy before.  Angry, nasty, and cruel are just a few words to describe him.  He used to be the most upbeat, happy person I knew.  Now he’s gone from Mr. Nice to Mr. Mean.  In spite of how he treats me I still love my husband and want to save our marriage.  Please, can you help me?

Both the man and the woman are baffled.  What’s going on here?  The answer may lie in ways in which we feel a loss of connection with our partner.  We all struggle with vulnerable feelings in love whether we want to admit it or not. It’s inevitable that we will hurt each other with careless words or selfish actions. While these occasions sting, the pain is often fleeting and we get over it quickly.

But according to Dr. Sue Johnson, founder of Emotionally Focused Therapy, “Countless studies on infant and adult attachment suggest that our close encounters with loved ones are where most of us attain and learn to hold on to our emotional balance.”  We are all sensitive to being rejected or abandoned by a loved one.  And almost all of us have at least one hypersensitivity – a raw spot in our emotional skin- that is tender to the touch, easily rubbed, and deeply painful.  When this spot gets rubbed often enough, it can bleed all over our relationship.

When our need for attachment and connection is repeatedly neglected, ignored or dismissed, it results in two potential raw spots: feeling emotionally deprived or deserted/abandoned.  It may not be obvious to us, but when a man becomes irritable and angry or hostile and blaming or withdrawn and cold-hearted, it is often because he feels a disconnection from his partner.  He feels rejected or not cared for.  Of course, his hostile reaction often drives his partner farther away, which makes him even more fearful of loss.  It’s easy to get caught up in the blame game.  He blames her and she blames him.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.

So how do you identify your raw spot?  Here’s what psychotherapist Helena Madsen recommends:

Think about a time in your marriage when you got suddenly thrown off balance, when a small response or lack of response suddenly seemed to change your sense of safety or connection with your spouse, or when you got totally caught up in reacting in a way that you knew would spiral you into your usual dysfunctional pattern of relating. Maybe you are aware of a moment when you found yourself reacting very angrily or numbing out.

Let’s unpack the “Jekyll and Hyde, Irritable Male” sensitivity:

What was happening in the relationship?  What was the trigger that created a sense of emotional disconnection for you?  What was your general feeling in the split second before you reacted and got mad or numb?  What did your spouse specifically do or say that sparked this response?  As you think of a moment when your own raw spot is rubbed, what happens to your body?  You might feel spacey, detached, hot, breathless, tight in the chest, very small, empty, shaky, tearful, cold, on fire.

What does your brain decide about the meaning of all this?  What do you say to yourself when this happens?  What did you do then?  How do you move into action?

See if you can tie in all these elements together by filling in the blanks below:

In this incident, the trigger for my raw feeling was _________.  On the surface, I probably showed _____________.  But deep down, I just felt (pick one of the basic negative emotions, sadness, anger, shame, fear).  What I longed for was ___________.  The main message I got about our bond, about me or my love was _________________.

I’ve found in my own work that recognizing our need for emotional support does not mean we’re acting like children.  In fact, these needs for emotional support are important throughout our lives, not just when we are children.

I’d like to hear from you.  Have you noticed yourself or someone you love going from “nice” to “mean?”  Can you slow down and recognize the feelings of fear and how you react to them?  When we can share these universal emotions rather than blaming ourselves or our partners we can once again become friends and allies and sort things out together.

Photo Credit: maxREM Creative Commons

 

MenAlive Updates

Friends,

I’m excited to be sharing my recent book, MenAlive:  Stop Killer Stress with Simple Energy Healing Tools, with you.

In the book I describe the ways in which stress contributes to many problems men, and the women who love them, face today including:  Depression, chronic pain, male menopause, and irritable male syndrome.  I describe four energy healing tools that you can learn to use to heal these and other problems.  The four tools I have found most effective are Earthing, Heart Coherence, Attachment Love, and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT).

The field is changing rapidly and I want to keep you updated on the latest information.  Here I’ll be posting new findings that you can put into practice.  Its also where you can share your own experiences.

A comprehensive review of the health implications of Earthing has been published in The Journal of Environmental and Public Health.  You can read it here:

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jeph/2012/291541/

I’ll be posting other information on this emerging field of Energy Healing.  Stay tuned.

Jed

 

 

Energy Healing Tool – Attachment Love

I wrote MenAlive to offer specific tools that were easy to learn and use, scientifically sound, and effective in preventing and treating stress that harms us all.  The emerging field of Energy Healing offers many different approaches.  After reviewing the field, I chose to offer four:  Earthing, Heart Coherence, Attachment Love, and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT).  If you’d like to learn about the other tools described in the book, send me an e-mail:  Jed@MenAlive.com and put “Energy Tools” in the subject line.

When I first met Sue Johnson she had just completed a tremendous amount of research on Attachment Love and was releasing her new book, Hold Me Tight:  Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love to the public.  The conference was held in Los Angeles and triggered old memories of growing up there.  Like Johnson, my early experiences were colored by the pain and suffering I saw in my family.   My parents rarely fought, but I can still picture my father’s angry eyes and my mother’s shaming whispers to her friends about my father’s inability to make a good living.  Many therapists go into the field to try and understand their own parents, what happened to them, and what is happening to so many families today.

As I developed my therapy skills, it became evident to me that a lot of the problems people come to therapy to address have to do with their relationships with loved ones—a spouse, a parent, a child.  It is clear that couples work is helpful, but working with them had been difficult and not always successful.  Dealing with two people, two sets of hot emotions, and escalating fights, is not for the faint of heart.

Sue Johnson had similar experience, but has found answers that are changing the way we see ourselves, our relationships, and how we can help ourselves and others.  Couples therapy is in the midst of a revolution.  The key element in this revolution is the development of a new science of love and love relationships. As baseball legend Yogi Berra told us, “If you don’t know where you are going, you wind up somewhere else.” Without a clear model of love and the process of connection and disconnection, it is difficult to know how we can heal our past and have the kinds of loving relationships we want in the present.

The most recent scientific studies on love offer surprising understandings.  They tell us that the nature of our emotional attachment with our partner is the foundation for the kind of love we truly long to have—a love that is secure, intimate, and gets better as time goes on.

In their book, Attached:  The New Science of Adult Attachment and How it Can Help you Find—and Keep—Love, Dr. Amir Levine and Rachel Heller tell us that “dependency is not a bad word.”   They go on describe the key findings from the new science of love:

  •     Your attachment needs are legitimate.
  •     You shouldn’t feel bad for depending on the person you are closest to—it is part of your genetic makeup.
  •     A relationship, from an attachment perspective, should make you feel more self-confident and give you peace of mind.  If it doesn’t, this is a wake-up call!

This certainly wasn’t what I learned in graduate school when I was studying Freudian theory and being taught t psychotherapy for individuals and couples.  I was taught that maturity means being independent and self-sufficient. If I felt afraid or needed to be held and comforted, I felt I was acting like a baby.  I was sure if I didn’t “act like a man,” I’d have no chance to find a woman who would want me or to hang on to one once I found her.

I now understand that my desire for nurture and connection had been based on science, not sentimentality.  It was one of those life-changing “ah, ha” moments.  My whole life I had been putting myself down whenever I felt I needed love, touch, and nurture.  I told myself, and others told me, that if I acted “needy,” I wasn’t a real man.

  •   “Quit acting like a child.”
  •   “Don’t look so defeated.”
  •   “Man-up!”

These were some of the words that would cut me to the core and enveloped me in shame. I learned early on, as did most men, to keep my feelings locked inside and show the world that I could “take it” like a man without flinching or showing any weakness.       It was truly an experience of emotional freedom to realize there wasn’t something wrong with me.  The real problem isn’t our desire for emotional nurturing and intimacy, it is a culture that denies our real needs and teaches people that to be “normal” is to be distant and independent.

Activating Attachment Love In Your Own Life

In her book, Hold Me Tight:  Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love Johnson tells us how to understand the true nature of love and how we can all express it more fully in our relationships.  In Dr. Johnson’s program the key to a lifetime of good sex and love is “emotional responsiveness.”  The basis of Dr. Johnson’s approach is to teach people the secrets contained in the phrase “How ARE you really?”

  •  A is for Accessibility:  Can I reach you?

This means staying open to your partner even when you have doubts and feel insecure. It often means being willing to struggle to make sense of your emotions so these emotions are not so overwhelming.  You can then step back from disconnection and can tune in to your lover’s attachment cues.

  • R is for Responsiveness:  Can I rely on you to respond to me emotionally?

This means tuning in to your partner and showing that his or her emotions, especially attachment needs and fears, have an impact on you.  It means accepting and placing a priority on the emotional signals your partner conveys and sending clear signals of comfort and caring when your partner needs them.  Sensitive responsiveness always touches us emotionally and calms us on a physical level.

  • E is for Engagement:  Do I know you will value me and stay close?

The dictionary defines engaged as being absorbed, attracted, pulled, captivated, pledged, involved.  Emotional engagement here means the very special kind of attention that we give only to a loved one.  We gaze at them longer, touch them more.  Partners often talk of this as being emotionally present.

True Connection:  Using Your Attachment Love Tool

Thich Nhat Hahn, a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, is an internationally known author, poet, scholar, and peace activist who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King, Jr.  His view of love is not based on scientific study, but he offers simple practices that fit well with what Sue Johnson and other attachment clinicians and researchers have found.

In a wonderful little book, True Love:  A Practice for Awakening the Heart, he offers a simple, yet powerful process for expressing the emotional heart connection that can help us express our true love for our partner.  “In Buddism we talk about mantras,” says Hahn.  “A mantra is a magic formula that, once it is uttered, can entirely change a situation, our mind, our body, or a person.  But this magic formula must be spoken in a state of concentration, that is to say, a state in which body and mind are absolutely in a state of unity.”  He offers three love mantras that we can use every day.

  • Mantra #1:  Being present for your loved one.

When you are thinking about your loved one or when you are in their presence you say this simple phrase:  “Dear one, I am really here for you.”  When say this simple phrase when I think of Carlin, I can feel my heart open to her.  It makes us both feel wonderful.  Even when she’s not physically present this works.  “Dear one, I am really here for you.”  Of course we can say these little mantra’s out loud in our own words.  I’ve often said with deep feeling when I see Carlin is hurting, “Hey, babe, I’m really here for you” and give her a hug.

  • Mantra #2:  Recognizing the presence of the other.

When you are really present for a loved one, you have the ability to recognize and “see” your partner in all their beauty.  One of the greatest gifts we can give another person is to recognize and appreciate who they really are.  As Thich Nhat Hanh says, “To love is to be; to be loved is to be recognized by the other.”

When we are loved, we wish the other to recognize our presence.  You must do whatever is necessary to be able to do this.  Take a deep breath in and release it.  Do this several times.  Then say the second mantra:  “Dear one, I know that you are here, and it makes me very happy.”  Again, we can put this in our own words.  I’ve often looked at Carlin with tears in my eyes and told her, “I’m so glad to be married to you.  Having you in my life makes me feel warm and safe.”

  • Mantra #3:  Being there when someone is suffering. 

We’ve all experienced how good it feels when someone is there for us when we’re in physical or emotional pain.  We also know how awful it is when we’re hurting and our partner is not there for us.  I know I’m not a very good patient.  When I’m sick in body, mind, or spirit, I often get irritable and angry.  It isn’t easy for Carlin to be there for me when I’m like that, but that’s when I need her the most.

“When you are living mindfully,” says Hahn, “you know what is happening in your situation in the present moment.  Therefore it is easy for you to notice when the person you love is suffering.”  At such a time you go to him or her, with your body and mind unified, with concentration, and you offer the third mantra.  “Dear one, I know that you are suffering, that is why I am here for you.”  Recently Carlin found out that she had a small breast tumor that was found early and removed.  During the months of testing, preparing, and having the surgery, I repeated this mantra many times.

I’ve expanded on these mantras and use a simple set of Attachment-Love practices that allows us to connect deeply with our needs for love and support in our intimate relationships.  If you have a love partner you can use it deepen your connection.  If you don’t have one, you can imagine the kind of person you would like to be in love with, or to remember a time when you felt intimate and close to another person.  This tool draws on what I’ve learned in my own love life, as well as what I’ve learned from Sue Johnson, Thich Nhat Hahn, and others.

  • Accept that we are deeply dependent on the love of our partner.  

Close your eyes and take in a number of deep breaths.  Slowly let them out.  Allow yourself to feel your emotional need for your loved one.  Say to yourself, “I know you love me and I need your love and support.”  Remember a time when you were deeply and completely loved.  If you don’t remember ever having felt loved so completely, imagine what it would feel like.

  • Remember that our partner is deeply dependent on our love. 

Take in and release a few deep breaths.  Remember that your partner needs your love and support.  Say to yourself, “I love you deeply and know how much you need my love and support.  Remember a time when you allowed yourself to be totally open and loving with your partner.  If you don’t remember ever having been so completely loving, imagine what it would feel like.

  • Allow your partner to respond to you when you are hurting.

Take in a few deep breaths and release them.  Remember that we often need our partner the most when we are hurting inside.  Recall a time when you were feeling scared, hurt, or wounded and your partner responded with warmth and support.  If you don’t remember ever allowing a partner to see your hurts and offer support, imagine what it would feel like.

  • Allow yourself to respond to your partner when she or he is hurting.

Take a number of deep breaths and let them out.  Remember that your partner may need you the most when they are hurting, but their hurt may come across as irritability, anger, or some other emotion that may cause you to become more distant.  Recall a time when you were totally there for your partner when they were hurting or if you haven’t had that experience, imagine what it would feel like.

The Attachment Love Tool is simple and effective, but it isn’t easy to use.  Many of us don’t have a lot of experience being emotionally supportive to our partner.  We often feel inept and so don’t reach out to them.  We may also have a difficult time allowing ourselves to be vulnerable to our partner.

Photo Credit:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/ngmmemuda/4473916695/in/photostream/lightbox/

The Four Hidden Energy Healing Secrets Your Doctor Hopes You’ll Never Learn

I went to medical school at U.C. San Francisco to fulfill my dream to help people.  When my father tried to commit suicide when I was five years old, it started me on a path to understand the human mind, why we suffer, get sick, and more importantly, how we can heal.  But I found that medical school focused more on body parts than the whole human being and left out a whole lot about how we can prevent illness and cure the many problems facing humans during these stressful times.  I dropped out of medical school and went on to get my master’s degree in social work and PhD in International Health.

I first heard about Energy Medicine from Dr. Mehmet Oz in 2000 when I was writing my book The Whole Man Program: Reinvigorating Your Body, Mind, and Spirit After 40. Dr. Oz was one of the top heart surgeons in the world, working at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia Medical Center. I wanted to find someone with the best scientific credentials to help me better understand heart disease so I could help other men. Dr. Oz was a wonderful resource. He is still one of the best surgeons in the world, but he has since expanded his view of what constitutes good medicine.

Dr. Oz is now advocating a kind of medicine that does not require a scalpel. In 2007, Dr. Oz rocked the health world by proclaiming to a worldwide television audience on the largest stage in the world, The Oprah Show, that we are entering a new era of medicine.

“We’re beginning now to understand things that we know in our hearts were true but could not measure. As we get better at understanding how little we know about the body, we begin to realize that the next big frontier in medicine is energy medicine. It’s not the mechanistic parts of the joints moving. It’s not the chemistry of our bodies. It’s understanding, for the first time, how energy influences how we feel.”Dr. Mehmet Oz, November 20, 2007, The Oprah Show

The Encyclopedia of Energy Medicine by Linnie Thomas, with a foreword by James L. Oschman, PhD, author of Energy Medicine:  The Scientific Basis, lists more than 65 different approaches.  I have found four that are simple to learn, easy to practice, and scientifically sound and can help people effectively alleviate stress which is at the root of most of our medical problems.  Most doctors and other health-care practitioners don’t know about these practices.  Since they are easy to learn and inexpensive, they aren’t likely to tell you about them.

Practice #1: Earthing

For millions of years, our ancestors moved across the landscape either barefoot or in moccasins made from the hides of animals. The women walked to gather food. The men walked to find animals for food. We slept connected to the Earth. But in modern times we’ve begun wearing rubber-soled shoes that keep us insulated from the healing energies of the Earth.

According to cardiologist Stephen Sinatra, MD, coauthor of the book Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever?, “Earthing involves coupling your body to the Earth’s eternal and gentle surface energies. It means walking barefoot outside and/or sitting, working, or sleeping inside while connected to a conductive device that delivers the natural healing energy of the Earth into your body.”

In some ways, all the major problems we face today—from global warming to peak oil, from obesity to depression, from joblessness to the increase of divorce—could be helped if we were able to re-establish our connection to the Earth. Social psychologist Sam Keen put it simply: “The radical vision of the future rests on the belief that the logic that determines either our survival or our destruction is simple:

1.         The new human vocation is to heal the Earth.

2.         We can only heal what we love.

3.         We can only love what we know.

4.         We can only know what we touch.”

Practice #2: Heart Coherence 

Heart disease is still the major killer of men and women.  Millions of us are taking medications to treat or prevent heart disease. And once again, there is another choice to consider. According to David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD, author of The Instinct to Heal: Curing Stress, Anxiety, and Depression Without Drugs and Without Talk Therapy, there is an intimate connection between the heart and the emotion centers in the brain, and by learning methods that produce heart coherence, we can not only protect our hearts but the rest of the human body as well.

The Institute of HeartMath, founded in 1991 by stress researcher Doc Childre, has been doing cutting-edge research on heart coherence under the leadership of research director Rollin McCraty, PhD. Researchers found that people could maintain extended periods of physiological coherence by actively generating positive emotions.

Practice #3: Attachment Love 

Attachment love is the energy essence of a successful relationship. Attachment love is based on the latest scientific findings that show we are emotionally attached to and dependent on our partner in much the same way that a child is on a parent for nurturing, soothing, and protection. Most of us understand that children need a secure attachment to their parents in order to grow up be healthy and happy. But many of us believe that we outgrow these dependency needs when we become adults. Men, in particular, are taught that maturity means “standing on our own two feet” and not needing others in order to fulfill our needs

Learning how to develop and maintain a deep attachment to a spouse or partner allows us to overcome our isolation, reduce our levels of stress, and keep our love lives growing more fully as we age.

Even practitioners who are familiar with the field of energy healing may be surprised that I view “attachment love” as an essential tool for keeping stress from killing us. But I’ve found it to be essential. Without love, we are lost, and without being securely attached to our mate, love can easily die.

Practice #4: Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)

EFT is a powerful new discovery that combines two well-established sciences so you can benefit from both at the same time:

1.         Mind/body medicine

2.         Acupuncture (without needles)

I learned about emotional freedom techniques (EFT) when an acupuncturist I had gone to for shoulder pain told me about EFT. I wanted help in the worst way, but I couldn’t tolerate the needles. She assured me they wouldn’t hurt (and in fact, they didn’t hurt), but I still got light-headed and nearly passed out. I faint at the sight of blood and needles. You can fully understand why I dropped out of medical school.

I was immediately drawn to EFT because the founder, Gary Craig, was a hands-on kind of guy. He says, “I am neither a psychologist nor a licensed therapist. Rather, I am a Stanford engineering graduate.” EFT has been found to be effective in treating physical as well as emotional problems.

To learn more about these practices, drop me an e-mail Jed@MenAlive.com and I’ll send you a more detailed description of each of these four practices and how you can learn to use them.  My book on energy medicine for men, MenAlive:  Stop Killer Stress with Simple Energy Healing Tools.

Photo Credit:  Boz Bros Creative Commons