Dr. Rossman discusses why he decided to write a book about worrying and how to replace a "bad worry habit" with "good worry".

American Health Journal

February 23, 2011  |  anxiety, stress, worry  |  No Comments

Imagery Gives Voice to Your Emotions

February 4, 2011  |  Uncategorized  |  No Comments

Imagery is the language of the arts, the emotions, your deeper self, and the brain regions in which that ancient wisdom abides. It is the neurological “royal road” to reconnecting with the deep emotional and intuitive wisdom that has guided us to thrive, or at least survive, for hundreds of millions of years. When we aren’t sure what to do, when we have a problem that we can’t figure out, or when we have physical symptoms that defy medical understanding or treatment, imagery makes room for the silent, emotional, intuitive areas of our brains to express themselves and add their wisdom to our perspective.

Continue reading on The Huffington Post.

Using Mental Imagery to Manage Stress

January 26, 2011  |  Uncategorized  |  No Comments

Mental imagery helped our ancestors survive for millions of years before people developed language. As animals developed the ability to move, they needed a way to take a mental map of their environment along with them. A tiger roaming his territory must have some kind of internal map of the area, in which his prey, their hiding places, water and potential dangers are all represented. A house cat running downstairs when she hears the electric can opener must have a mental image in her brain that helps her navigate the shortest path to her dinner.

Continue reading about the importance of imagery in my new Huffington Post article, Using Mental Imagery to Manage Stress.

A Good Worry Habit Can Help You Lose Weight and Keep It Off!

December 27, 2010  |  worry  |  No Comments
You've done it all: appetite suppressant pills, obsessive calorie-counting, punitive exercise regimens and seemingly every diet on the face of the planet. You still yo-yo up and down the scale, frustrated with yourself for not being able to keep the weight off. Take comfort: You are just one of millions of Americans who spend $40 billion a year on weight-loss programs and products that typically fail.
The good news is that a good worry habit can help you lose weight: Research indicates that by using relaxation and guided imagery (sometimes called hypnosis) as part of a weight-loss program, you can lose double the weight and keep it off twice as long. For tips on how to develop a good worry habit that will keep your weight under control, visit my new Huffington Post article, Weight Management through Cognitive Emotional Techniques.
Worry is a type of thinking that can help us solve problems and avoid danger... or it can drive us crazy if we let it.

VIDEO: What is Worry?

December 10, 2010  |  anxiety, problem solving, stress, worry  |  2 Comments

Manage Holiday Stress: 6 Tips to Stay Happy and Healthy this Season

Ever wonder why so many people get colds or flus in January and February? As the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer, there is literally less energy available for life. That's why the trees have dropped their leaves and many animals have started hibernating. With shopping, social gatherings and end-of-year obligations, however, we humans go against nature — increasing our activity and stress levels at exactly the time that the body wants us to be decreasing them.

For the top 6 six tops on how to manage stress this holiday season, see my Huffington Post blog: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/martin-rossman-md/holiday-stress-tips_b_790222.html

Different areas of the brain developed at different times but they all address issues of survival. How to Use All the Parts of Your Brain: http://bit.ly/cVMhJS

VIDEO: Thinking, Feeling, & Reflexive Brains

December 3, 2010  |  brain, neuroscience, thinking, thinking brain  |  2 Comments

Learn to Worry Well

November 30, 2010  |  brain, problem solving, thinking, worry  |  No Comments

 By Emmett Miller, MD

The human brain is a problem-solving device. That’s really what it’s here for. When we perceive a challenge, demand, or an obstacle that stands between us and something we want — whether it’s an ice cream cone or peace and relaxation — the brain is called in, to resolve the matter.
The prefrontal cortex of the brain is the executive part of the brain. When the prefrontal cortex functions well, we choose wise goals to move toward. We ignore distractions; we create a strategy for reaching our goals; we organize ourselves to follow that strategy; and we stay on course. When the prefrontal cortex does not function well, however, we may have a condition known as “attention deficit disorder” or “ADD.”
Here’s how this physiology pertains to worry: When we perceive there’s a problem that we want to overcome, the brain goes to work on the issue. Ideally, we do our problem-solving with the prefrontal cortex: We keep the dilemma in perspective with the rest of our life, and we put the right amount of energy into thinking about the situation. If we have the tools we need to accomplish the problem, we go into action applying those tools.
If we don’t immediately see a solution, however, we may ruminate on the situation. “Ruminate” stems from the word “rumen,” the name for a cow’s extra stomach. Cows spit their food back up and chew their cud. Humans do something similar with our minds: We ruminate. We cycle through the same thoughts repeatedly.
There are effective and ineffective ways to think about things. To this end, it is important to learn how to worry well.
Here’s an example of bad worry: The person next door got a bigger car than the one we have, and it’s all we can think about: That person has a bigger car then me. She shouldn’t have a bigger car than me. Or we see a wrinkle in the corner of our eye and obsess about it. In this case, we’re thinking and thinking and thinking but going nowhere.
Good worry, to the contrary, is where we make a wise decision with the executive part of our brain, then take action. One of our children is doing poorly in school, for example, so we decide to hire a tutor to help our child improve. We then figure out who would be the best tutor for him and go about hiring that individual.
In my practice, I recently saw a seven year old who obsesses about how someday he is going to die, which he doesn’t want to happen. He unproductively worries about this issue all the time.
The difference between good worry and bad worry comes down to the Serenity Prayer concept: Recognize what we do and do not have power over. Then get busy changing what we can.


Dr. Miller is often acknowledged as one of the fathers of Mind/Body Medicine, he is a physician, poet, musician, and master storyteller, whose multicultural heritage has given him a unique social, medical, and spiritual perspective. His commitment to helping us to reclaim our inborn personal wisdom, integrated with the scientific knowledge and techniques of modern medicine, has allowed him to unite seemingly disparate fields of knowledge and experience. For over 30 years, it has been his inspiration and his challenge to help people—individuals, families, and organizations discover this truth for themselves. Millions have been touched by his message of hope, his vision of a brighter future, and his spirit of wellbeing. As a physician, health educator, and a pioneer in a field that is now on the cutting edge of modern medicine, Dr. Miller brings us a deeper understanding of how the mind and body can work in harmony to produce healing, balance and wellness.Dr. Miller, a graduate of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, has been a lecturer and preceptor at Stanford University and The University of California, as well as other universities and medical schools. In 1977, he gained international prominence as a founder and Medical Director of the Cancer Support and Education Center, (Now the Center for Healing and Wellness), and, in 1987, as a co-convener of the groundbreaking California State Task Force on Self-Esteem. A pioneer in the development of mind-body medicine, he is has been widely acclaimed for his invention and development of the first deep relaxation/guided imagery intro audiocassettes. His tapes and CDs are widely used by such medical facilities as Kaiser Permanente, the Mayo Clinic, and by health professionals, business people, performers, and athletes, including members of the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team.

Dr. Miller is the author of numerous books, beginning with the seminal Selective Awareness for Self-Healing, in 1973, and including his latest contribution, Deep Healing: The Essence of Mind/Body Medicine. Deep Healing is a bold step forward in the theory, philosophy, and practice of self-healing and peak performance. In the book, Dr. Miller shows clearly how beliefs and images become actual physical events in the body, and includes detailed instructions and training in how you can learn to use images and emotions to change your mind and change your life. His tapes and CDs do more than just talk about how it can be done; they take you by the hand and guide you through the experience of doing it, in a most enjoyable way.

Track the Outcomes of Your Worries

November 26, 2010  |  worry  |  No Comments

Make a list of everything you are worrying about and then divide the list into 2 categories: worries you can do something about, and worries you have no control over. Take the worries you listed as ones you can’t do anything about and keep track of them over time. See how many of them come true and how many of them don’t. Tracking them over a period as brief as two to three weeks will give you interesting information about how often your worries come true. The longer you track them, the more you will learn about the nature of your worrying.

Research by psychologist Robert Leahy, Ph.D., of Weill Cornell Medical School and author of The Worry Cure, shows that 85 percent of worries don’t have the bad outcome the worrier anticipates, and even when the worries do come true, 79 percent of people say they handled the outcome better than they thought they would.

Leahy recommends writing your worries down on a regular basis and noticing whether they come and go or stay relatively consistent. Many habitual worriers find that while they are always worried, the content is always shifting, which indicates that the worry is a habit, or serves one of the psychological functions I described, and is not really tied to external reality. This awareness in itself is a critical step toward being able to take control over your worry habit.


VIDEO: The Power of Imagery

Imagery is a special way of thinking that brings the creativity of your feeling and intuitive brains into play.

Learn how to use imagery here: http://bit.ly/bLpxwE