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Gearing Advantage

Doctors Sylvia and Milton Gearing have been serving the Dallas-Fort Worth area since 1985 with compassion and professionalism.

The Gearings implement the latest in psychological research to stay at the cutting edge of their field and bring the most effective and life changing techniques to their clients.

Their methods and strategies have been sharpened over the years, and are now built upon Gearing Up’s Three Gears of Change.

Coping with Economic Angst - Sept 25, 2008

Coping with Economic Angst

September 25, 2008

Dr. Sylvia Gearing, TXA 21 News

With Congress debating the merits of the impending $700 billion dollar bailout, millions of Americans are losing confidence in the economy. But psychologists report that while some people may panic over the economy, many people will experience little or no stress. The secrets to surviving the economy will be explained by our TXA 21 Contributing Psychologist, Dr. Sylvia Gearing.

Q: Every day we hear more bad news--banks failing, layoffs, and a rollercoaster stock market. Isn't this enough to make us all panic?

Dr. Sylvia: According to the latest Gallup Poll, eighty six percent of Americans believe that the economy is getting worse. Fear is a natural reaction to an event that is unexpected, unexplained and seemingly uncontrollable. These recent news "blasts" of corporate buyouts and failures of some of our top national companies have evoked a sense of instability and unrest. Many people have thought if this can happen to Merrill Lynch or Lehman Brothers, what does this mean for me?

Q: Isn't it natural then to panic to such dire news?

Dr. Sylvia: I believe that it is natural but it is not effective self management to dwell excessively on such matters. Adversity has to be met head on with a studied determination. Great challenges require great resolve combined with calm . Studies show that anxiety and depression literally inhibit the brain's ability to solve the problem. Adrenalin coursing through your body doesn't improve your thinking skills and Americans need to be clear and decisive about pulling together. We also know that just imagining a catastrophe causes your body and mind to experience the disaster incurring about ninety percent of the same physiological and psychological reactions you would have had if such events actually unfolded.

Q: What are the secrets to surviving in such challenging economic times?

Dr. Sylvia: Resilient people employ four life strategies that work to prevent anxiety and overreaction.

Control: The belief that you can cushion the harmful effects of a situation by the way you look at the situation and by how you react to the situation. This is an antidote against helplessness which is the key ingredient in any kind of depression or anxiety.

Challenge: Change is viewed as an opportunity for growth and excitement. Excitement is crucial, because research teaches us that boredom and hopelessness increase your risk of disease. Being constructively challenged keeps you healthy.

Commitment: Believing in something larger than yourself--values, our country, spiritual values, etc. is instrumental in withstanding adversity. Committed people find a rare sense of will and discipline that sets them apart during the rough times.

Coherence: This is a pervasive, enduring though dynamic feeling that one's internal and external environments are predictable and that there is a high probability that things will work out as can be reasonably expected.

Q: Are our relationships with others stabilizing?

Dr. Sylvia: Social ties are the cheapest form of medicine, especially for women. Isolated have twice the rates of death and the highest levels of depression.

Q: What are your tips for our viewers in weathering the economic times we are enduring?

Dr. Sylvia:

Avoid negative people. Negativity is contagious and during crises it is advisable to avoid the doomsayers. No solution has even been achieved through pessimistic thinking.

Remember that pessimistic prophecies are disruptive and unproductive. They rob us of opportunity and creativity.

Focus on what you can do to change your immediate situation while remaining hopeful and optimistic about America. We are a great and noble people skilled in facing adversity. We have faced far more lethal challenges in the past and achieved excellence against seemingly insurmountable odds. There is no doubt that America will rebound.