Establish and practice self-talk that is accurate about us and our ability to influence or control actions that empower us to live importance things in life efficiently and with less anxiety.
As a part of my series about the things we can do to develop serenity and support each other during anxious times, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Sam Mayhugh.
Dr. Sam is a clinical psychologist who practiced in outpatient and hospital programs, then designed and operated behavioral health companies. During that time, he also served as a special contractor of the Department of Homeland Security. He has a Ph.D. in psychological services and participated in credential Programs at Harvard and University of Oxford. Post-healthcare leadership published the first non-healthcare book in October 2019. He began writing a second book Covid-19 Resources for Coping with the Pandemic and Beyond, He writes with clinical understanding of the impact of crises like the Covid-19 pandemic and with warm and personal concern for others.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
During my master’s program at Purdue, I had a psychology class from Dr. Walter Hartman and came to understand the opportunities of working with people rather than things and changed my focus from medicine to psychology.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
During a group therapy session, a male with brain damage believed that he was Jesus Christ. When another patient asked him how long it took him to get to the hospital, he said a day and an eighth; this created laughter for many patients. And negative emotional reaction from a few very conservative Christian patients.
What advice would you suggest to your colleagues in your industry to thrive and avoid burnout?
Develop pleasant rewarding and relaxing personal and family time. While also maintaining the ability to provide caring intense expert therapy for patients.
What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture?
Be authentic and transparent, while providing support and mentoring for valued associates.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
The book, “We Really Do Need Each Other”, by Professor Ruben Welch. I taught at the University with Prof. Welch and saw the positive impact on students and faculty.
Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Many people have become anxious just from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have only heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?
1. Help them obtain reliable information about the sources of stress that are resulting in anxiety.
2. Recognize that some elements in our environment can be controlled and some cannot be controlled.
3. Consider our thoughts that are driving feelings of anxiety or sense of being overwhelmed. Determine the automatic and self-generated thoughts that may not be accurate or valid relative to the situation or to our own condition, abilities, or values.
4. Establish and practice self-talk that is accurate about us and our ability to influence or control actions that empower us to live importance things in life efficiently and with less anxiety.
5. Consciously, mentally release those things which we cannot control.
What are the best resources you would suggest to a person who is feeling anxious?
a) Dare by Barry Mc Donagh
b) The Anxiety and Worry Workbook by David Clark, Ph. D. And Aaron Beck, MD.
c) Rewire Your Anxious Brain, by Catherine Pittman and Elizabeth Karle
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
Nothing so strong as gentleness. Nothing so gentle as real strength. -Unknown.
A patient gave this to me on a plaque, at a time that I was exerting more power than necessary for a problem. It continues to be relevant in my life.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would love to establish a support and learning program that; a) brings together a wide diversity of persons. b) Presents a goal of understanding and acceptance of self and others. c)provides information and experiences that support healthy and valuing connections with others. d) educates and confronts leaders with social position that peace and love cannot be legislated.
What is the best way our readers can follow you online?
I can be found on Instagram @drsammayhugh and at drsammayhugh.com
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!