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Anxiety

Second-hand Stress

Coping with Second-hand Stress Here is some assertiveness training for dealing with emotional bullies or master manipulators. The key is to see the invisible force they hit you with–stress. When somebody “stresses” you, according to the dictionary, they are subjecting you to pressure or strain. The verb “subject” literally means to throw somebody under something, like the proverbial bus, or in this case, a busload of stress. Only if you …Read More

Recovering from Trauma and Abuse

Can People Recover from Trauma and Abuse?             It is with both pride and embarrassment that America has become known as a victims’ society. We can be proud that we prosecute perpetrators of rape, domestic violence, and child abuse at least as severely as most developed nations. But we should be ashamed that these punishments have not deterred perpetrators as effectively as they have been stimulated by the violence they …Read More

Is Your Faith Healthy?

What is healthy faith, anyway, and who am I to judge it? As a psychologist, I can tell when people’s religious beliefs and lifestyles are enabling them to enjoy life, be enjoyable to others, and leave the world a better place each day. No matter what a person’s religious faith or denomination, most would agree this is healthy. For defining sick and healthy religious or spiritual faith, an excellent book …Read More

The News: Use It, or Refuse It?

Think about your exposure to the news of the day—TV, newspapers, websites, radio, gossip and hearsay. What is it doing for you, or perhaps, TO you? Just as with the food and medicine we take in, we need to examine the nutritional value and side effects of the news we get. To live the good life, we have to set healthy boundaries for ourselves, to guide what news we put into ourselves. So what …Read More

For Holiday Love, Joy, & Peace: Ten Tips for Avoiding Holiday Distress

1. Have realistic expectations. Don’t sentimentalize old memories too much. And don’t go the other way either, replaying empty, depressing memories of the past. Content yourself with reality. 2. Give to others, without expecting anything in return—especially appreciation. Let that be a pleasant surprise, and give just for the pure joy it. 3. Dust off two or three good holiday memories as annual keepers, and make at least one good new one this year. 4. …Read More

Saying Yes to Saying No

I believe that America here at the turn of the millennium is going to be remembered in history as a nation of gluttons. Whether it is with our calendars, our budgets, our relationships, or our palates, we can’t get enough. Just about every celebrity I can think of is known for being or doing the most something. Who is known for being the most well-rounded? Most of us try to grow our …Read More

Hurting Other People’s Feelings

For most people, and especially I believe most Southerners, “Thou shalt not hurt thy neighbor’s feelings” is right up there with the Ten Commandments, except higher. They would much more freely admit to lying, coveting and idolizing than to saying or doing something they knew would hurt someone’s feelings. The problem is that the truth hurts, especially the truth that sets us free from illusions and bad habits. So who …Read More

Work, Rest, and Play: Balance and Transitions

Work, rest and play all affect each other. They are a spiraling interdependent cycle: doing well at one makes it easier to do the others, and doing poorly at any of them makes the others go harder. (Diet, exercise, sex and sleeping work the same way, as do praying, forgiving, and acts of kindness.) Work includes the job you do for a living, but also child care, helping friends and family, …Read More

Stress: Who Needs It? Somebody Does!

Reader: My pastor says I’m a peacemaker, a good thing. My friends and doctor say I’m a sponge for stress, a bad thing. How could making life easier for others be wrong? Is physical pain a good thing? It doesn’t feel good, but it does good. It draws our attention to the problem that’s causing it, and motivates us to get it fixed. Without pain, we’d all die of infection. Stress works the …Read More

How Healthy Are Your Fears?

We all have our fears. It’s what we do with them that makes our lives work out for the better or the worse. A big key to success in life is deciding what to believe we are afraid of. But you may ask, do we really have a choice about what we fear in life? Yes we do. In any given situation, we have a choice to decide what force or possible …Read More