Anxiety and Stress – How to tell the difference

2021-10-02T15:56:30+00:00Anxiety, Stress|

It's no secret that we all experience a riot of emotions when we face difficult or trying circumstances in life. Perhaps it's a big job interview that you're worried about, a loved one's illness, or marital struggles at home. Whatever the event or situation, we all experience them — and with that comes a heaping plate full of anxiety and stress. But wait, Mike! Aren't Anxiety and Stress the same thing? The quick answer is no. There is a fine line between the two. "Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength." — Charles Spurgeon According to the American Psychological Association, stress is [...]

How Could My Expectations set my Spouse up for Failure?

2020-11-23T22:37:26+00:00Communication, Expectations|

One thing I see with couples, regardless of whether they’re recently married or have been together for years, is that they build up quite a few expectations and assumptions about each other. While some of that is okay, the majority of those assumptions are unrealistic and lead to a greater chance of disappointment and frustration that will hurt the marriage. A perfect example is a story I like to tell about a newlywed couple who both come from very different backgrounds. The wife grew up in a family where her father was Mr. Fit It. It didn’t matter if a door latch was broken or the lawnmower wouldn’t start. He [...]

3 Habits that may be Stressing out your Spouse

2019-06-21T20:00:28+00:00Emotion, Stress|

Dana thought that her husband Phil was much more generous with his ex-wife than he’d ever been with her.  Although Dana and Phil had been married for several years, Dana worried that Phil just didn’t love her and she felt like a second-class-citizen.  In her mind, she’d just never been treated as well as Phil’s ex.  Dana felt angry.  But instead of bringing this worry up to Phil in a calm and non-threatening way or even just blasting him with her feelings of being less than, she kept her mouth shut, to avoid making the situation worse. Dana believed that she knew exactly what Phil was thinking and had made [...]

Change your Relationship Stress and Distress Levels on the Fly

2019-01-18T19:53:05+00:00Stress|

Last time we said our stress really comes in levels.  And, understanding our stress is important because when we are NOT aware of the levels of our distress, we can feel powerless over it. But we can influence some control over our mental and emotional state when we can subjectively measure it. Using a SUDS can help us keep distress levels in perspective. It is useful to have a way of measuring your level of distress or anxiety. You can then become more in touch with your feelings, and can control them more effectively.   100 Highest anxiety/distress that you have ever felt 90 Extremely anxious/distressed 80 Very anxious/distressed, unable [...]

6 Simple Exercises to Lower Stress Successfully

2019-01-11T15:31:50+00:00Stress|

How awareness of stress and distress can help you live and love more successfully- Part I  How well do you understand your own stress? Most people don’t consciously differentiate levels in their stress. It’s usually a clean dichotomy of “I’m really stressed,” or “I am totally calm.” But our stress really comes in levels and there are many shades of gray. So what’s the problem with a “black and white” understanding of our stress? When we are NOT aware of the levels of our stress, we tend to feel powerless over our stress; and We aren't aware we can influence some control over our own mental and emotional state. The reality [...]

What Crucial Opportunities are we Losing by Being Overwhelmed?

2018-03-09T21:44:53+00:00Change, Stress|

When was the last time you just sat, alone, in the quiet? No phone, no tv, no tech of any kind. No one but just you. I’m waiting, so you can think… I can’t remember the last time that I really did nothing. Wasn’t reading or praying or trying to work something out in my mind. It’s hard to just let everything go and not have stress. That’s just how we Americans usually function. There’s research and some hard evidence that the harried, frenzied, frazzled and worn-out lives many of us lead are costing us more than we can imagine. The price is withdrawn from our bank accounts, relationships, and [...]

Imagine Your Happy Family Holiday

2017-12-22T14:24:43+00:00Expectations, Family|

“If you knew my family you would understand”!! Recently I heard from a young woman who was sad and rather depressed about the holiday season. Her parents had passed away unexpectedly around Christmas when she young. The following years had not been happy experiences during the holidays. Her current husband’s family had some “real issues” including anger and alcohol. But family is family and she had to participate. “How can I enjoy the holidays rather than dreading them and making myself depressed”? Separation at the holidays from loved ones, a history of negative experiences and difficult people can make an otherwise joyful and celebratory holiday a real downer. But you [...]

Make Holiday Hopes and Expectations into Realities

2017-12-02T13:48:22+00:00Expectations, Stress|

“I hate the holidays!” It absolutely hurt my heart to hear a man say this to me not too long ago. The holidays were around the corner and every year it became a fight with his wife on where they would go, who they would see, what they were going to do and other expectations. Someone in the family was going to get their feelings hurt. And so, they would take it out on each other. Disappointment. Hurt feelings. Fights. Holiday hopes and realities can seem to be utterly opposed to each other. Our general expectations for the holiday season are excitement, a time of peace and celebration. It’s a [...]

IS STRESS KILLING YOU AND YOUR RELATIONSHIPS?

2017-05-15T16:14:46+00:00Relationships|

We had another fight. There is no way I am going to meet this deadline. We are just waiting on the lab results. My boss has no idea what he’s doing. I missed another soccer game. I guess we can just put it on the credit card. Any of these statements catch your attention? Any one of these things could be the cause of significant stress. And most of us are probably dealing with multiple things like this, not to mention the day to day “insignificant” stuff like where we put our keys, and traffic, and kids who forget their lunch boxes. We all experience stress. When our life’s events [...]

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