Pain at Christmas, Part 2

Teenager with an AttitudeThe topic of painful holidays, with Pain at Christmas, really touched a nerve with our readers/listeners! Therefore, here comes Part 2.

I wish you could see some of our reader’s responses. A number of them did not want to comment publically, and I can understand. Some of their personal messages express such heartache!

Here are some of the situations mentioned:

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5 Steps to Staying Present

Autumn LeafThere’s more than one way to leave. And we do it all the time.

Whether it’s a job, parenting, church, or marriage, being present is a first step to anything good. You’ve got to show up! And that means showing up with more than your physical body.

I’ve seen it in my medical practice. A sixteen-year old girl comes to see me as a gynecologist for some medical care, accompanied by her mother. But during the entire visit her mother is on her cellphone with “a client.” Daughter is anxious, scared, and angry. Can you blame her? Was mother really present?

An employee clocks in at the scheduled start of the workday, but it’s forty-five minutes later before any work gets done – after applying makeup, catching up with a coworker on last night’s movie, and a couple personal phone calls. Did they show up to work on time?

Husband and wife plan to spend the evening together. He

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When You Feel Anything but Grateful

When You Feel Anything but Grateful

Our world is messed up! And for that I’m feeling anything but grateful.

And you shouldn’t be either.

This week we will all see and hear everyone talking about what they are grateful for. Many will gather with family and friends for food and more. For some, as in our household, that “more” will include football. (Oh well: perhaps football does have some redeeming qualities. Feel free to enlighten me!)

For some, the holiday season is only painful. Once in a while it helps to put our gratitude against the backdrop of what is truly dark in our world.

Here’s a short list of a few things I’m NOT grateful for:

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The Benefits of Anxiety

Anxious Young ManAnybody out there want to be anxious? Probably not.

Anxiety is a very unpleasant feeling. Your heart may race. Your stomach may be in knots. You may have trouble sleeping and trouble concentrating.

Medical doctors see a lot of patients with anxiety. About 20% of patients seeing a primary care doctor actually have a diagnosable anxiety disorder! They may have many different symptoms, but anxiety is the underlying issue for many.

Untreated or longstanding anxiety is certainly not good for your health. It’s a marker of stress, and we all know what long-term stress can do.

But there IS something very positive about anxiety.

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A Response to Recent Election Results

BallotAlong with millions of others I was watching the election returns on TV Tuesday night. The last two days have provided somewhat of an emotional roller-coaster for me, and I know I’m not alone. A large group of people were surprised by the election results, and are now struggling to find ways to both understand what happened and to choose how to move forward.

Some possible responses to these events are decidedly unhelpful: becoming angry, running away and hiding, remaining depressed. And moving to some South Pacific island probably won’t work for most of us!

The pundits and TV talking heads have poured over the detailed numbers and there seems to be somewhat of a consensus: the country is changing.

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