Food For Thought

Martin W. Scripp, Ph. D. Clinical Psychologist

Bio-Psycho-Social Beings

By nature, we are all bio-psycho-social beings. These three components of our makeup need to be understood and appreciated. Their integration within us creates one unit. If one part is hurting, the unit as a whole is dysfunctional. If a person can’t find a job, be productive, pay bills and survive on the planet, the other elements of psycho-social good feeling and biological care of one’s health and physical well-being are affected. Ask anyone who doesn’t have health insurance how they struggle in being able to purchase medication!

On the other hand, if one does not have good health, we can see the difficulty in personal welfare and the ability to work or to be meaningfully productive to take care of oneself adequately. In a sense, the psychological component pulls these parts together in taking care of oneself, handling the stresses and challenges of life, and fully participating in life socially.

Do we enable total human functioning by addressing these questions in our lives?:

• Do we eat a proper diet?
• Do we live an active life?
• Do we know how to handle stress in our lives?
• How do we treat ourselves?
• What do we require of ourselves?
• Do we have to be first?
• Are we always competitive?
• Do we try to keep up with the Jones’s?
• How do we handle the ups and downs of life?
• Do we put conditions on how life should be for us to be happy?
• Do we eat to live or live to eat?
• Do we self-medicate with alcohol or drugs?
• Do we nurture our minds and expand our thinking capacities with
education and other learning experiences?
• Do we have a social network and participate with others (family, friends, co-workers, church, community, etc.)?
• Do we know we have a commonality with others on the planet?
• Do we appreciate the different stages that many people go through (i.e. young adulthood, young married life, empty nesters, and seniors) and the connections we all need?
• Do we know how to have fun, and do we plan it in our lives?

The Exceptions to Life’s Rules

Too often these ideas and attitudes creep into our patterns of thought regarding what we want or to what we are entitled…

I want to speed, but I don’t want to get a ticket from a policeman. I don’t want to wait in line like everyone else. I don’t want to be mandated to have good credit for my car loan or mortgage.

I want to take off weight, but I don’t want to diet or exercise. I want to drink alcohol, but I don’t want to have a hangover. I want to spend money, but I don’t want the headache of paying bills on time. I want to take a tranquilizer for anxiety or an anti-depressant for sadness without doing anything else.

I want the symptoms of pain or discomfort to go away without making any changes in my behavior. I want to be given special privileges. I want things the easiest way possible.

Life can be hard, and life can be hard work. No one is the exception to life’s rules. Changing your life takes real effort and commitment.