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Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

The Warning Signs of Family Stress

posted by Linda Mintle

familyThe Jones family has been under a great deal of stress lately. Dad’s corporation is downsizing and jobs may be eliminated. Mr. Jones could be one of those jobs. Mrs. Jones’ mother passed away suddenly, leaving a deep vacuum of support and help. The children are struggling with finding their places in a new school. Basically, stress levels are high and the parents are asking what the warning signs of undue stress are for both children and parents.

Signs of stress: You know you need to do something about stress when…

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  • eating habits or sleeping patterns change
  • people feel tired and down most of the time and there is no physical explanation
  • significant weight gain or loss is noticed
  • people feel anxious and irritable more often than normal
  • someone complains of consistent headaches and or stomachaches, a signal that the body is in overload
  • a child or parent begins abusing alcohol or using drugs
  • children skip school, have failing grades, or begin to isolate
  • promiscuous or risk behavior begins to emerge

Stress hits us all at different times in our lives. Once we know the signs, then we need to act on reducing that stress. God is your number one stress reducing resource. Scriptures tell us to cry out to God, to cast our cares on Him and He will relieve the burden and bring peace. God promises His presence and that He will walk us through stressful times.Remember, He is an ever present help in times of trouble.

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When stress gets high, deal with it. Once stress is noticed, it is time for families to regroup and plan ways to reduce stress. For the Jones family, dad could get more information on the downsizing, begin to put his resume out there and look for a new job should he need it. Mom could go to a grief group and identify other people in her life who can support and help her. The kids can see a school counselor or a teacher who could help with adjustment and involvement in their new school. Proactive strategies help!  You move forward and respond to the changes stress often brings.

During stress, doing things together and having a little fun goes a long way to reduce stress. Families can watch a funny movie, pray together, play a game, take walks, attend free community activities, etc. When life throws us serious stressors, we can create moments of distraction and relaxation in order to relieve the constant pressure.

So pay attention to signs of stress.  Then have a few strategies to relieve some of the pressure like laughter and mini breaks from stress. Most of all, put your trust and faith in God to walk you through the stressful time, knowing He is with you and will give you what you need to come out the other side.

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A Super Bowl Outcome You May Not Like

posted by Linda Mintle

IMG_4455Super Bowl week! Yes, we are obsessed with the game. And part of that obsession includes our Super Bowl menu. But what if I told you that your menu and eating habits are influenced by the game. Super Bowl  has an eating outcome you may not like!

If  you are a big Denver or Carolina fan, you are about to be more stressed than those of us who don’t care about either team. And that stress just might make you eat more.

Strong identification with a team increases the stress hormone cortisol. When you watch the game, feel passionately about your team, but have no control over the game, you find yourself on the edge of your seat, yelling at the TV, and jumping to your feet! During an interception, you fall back on the couch in disbelief. Your heart is pumping. Come on, let’s win! You are invested!

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But if you lose, you may find yourself arm deep into a bowl of potato chips and dip! A study published in Psychological Science found that the consumption of saturated fat after a beloved NFL team loses, increases. If your team wins, the saturated fat consumption goes down.

Psychologically, the winning team makes you feel good and optimistic for the future. When you feel good, you tend to be more motivated in your eating and exercise. When you feel bad, well, you find comfort in those fried fatty foods!

Personally, I’m looking forward to the game because I really don’t identify with either team. I guess that means I’ll have better control with the snacks this year.

So thank you Chicago Bears for not making me fat!

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Conflict? Who Should Make the First Move?

posted by Linda Mintle

thinking womANHannah hadn’t spoken to her mother for a month and the tension between them could be cut with a knife.

It was Saturday morning and Hannah was contemplating picking up the phone and making a call. She wanted to resolve the problem. But here was the rub. It was her mom who said hurtful things to her. Why should she call her? After all, mom was the one who created the problem.

When you’ve been hurt or upset by another person like Hannah was, the tendency is to want to wait until that person comes to you to apologize or talk it out. After all, why should you make the first move when you’ve been wronged?

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Don’t wait. Make the first move. It is the right thing to do. 

In my book, I Love My Mother But… I say that only children fight about who goes first. Peacemakers make the move towards peace. If there is distance in a relationship and repair needs to be made, the sooner the process begins, the better. It doesn’t matter who puts down their pride and moves towards reconciliation. What matters is that the process begins.

When it comes to conflict, you are responsible for your actions, not what the other person does. Scripture tells us that if we have ought against our brother, we go to him. It doesn’t say, wait until he/she comes to us. Pride is what usually keeps us from moving forward.

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In order to resolve a conflict, make the first move. Go to the person and see if you can work through the hurt or disagreement. You will feel better having taken the step towards repair. This doesn’t guarantee that the other person will be receptive, come around or apologize. But it does provide opportunity for all three of those things to happen. And you will feel better having made an effort.

Hannah picked up her phone and made the call. “Mom, I know we haven’t spoken in awhile. I wonder if we can talk about what happened?” It wasn’t easy to make this move, but when she did, she was relieved. The burden she carried was gone. No matter how her mom responded, she was obedient to the command to go to the person and try to reconcile. She controlled the part of the conflict she could control–her response to the problem. Whatever, the outcome, at least she tried to make amends and be a peacemaker.

 

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Fighting with a Narcissist

posted by Linda Mintle

2573762303_365ac020f8_bRich and Sharon have constant fights, and the fights take on a common pattern. Sharon is dating a narcissist.

The key traits of a narcissist are to be self-centered, need to be admired, be right, not admit fault and feel superior. All of those traits describe Rich, who is becoming more difficult whenever there is a disagreement. Sharon isn’t sure marrying him is a good idea.

Whenever Sharon disagrees with Rich, he becomes very upset. The other night at a party, he accused Sharon of flirting. When Sharon insisted he was overreacting, he continued to accuse her. Rich felt threatened-the usual trigger that starts their conflict. No matter how many times Sharon tried to calm him down, he continued to escalate.

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The escalation led to verbal abuse in which Rich continued to make accusations, accusing Sharon of not loving him, being uncommitted to the relationship, having eyes for other men and so forth. This lasted for hours until Sharon finally gave up! Defending herself goes no where, as Rich is relentless with his accusations when he believes he is right.

When Sharon gave up, Rich became the victim! Sharon’s silence was interpreted as evidence that she was guilty. Rich told Sharon that her inability to defend herself supported his claim of  jealousy. Sharon felt guilty and allowed his twisted logic to make her feel bad. Somehow Rich became the victim of the fight he actually started. But Sharon also felt relief that his relentless accusations stopped.

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Rich felt empowered. In his mind, he justified his accusations and felt superior. However,  the feeling of having the upper hand will only last until he feels threatened by something again.

Sharon has been with Rich a year and feels exhausted by this relationship. She realizes that conflict with a narcissist will be on-going unless he gets help. Since Rich refuses to acknowledge a need for help, she makes the decision to walk away from the relationship. Of course Rich believes it was all Sharon’s fault.

 

Previous Posts

The Warning Signs of Family Stress
The Jones family has been under a great deal of stress lately. Dad's corporation is downsizing and jobs may be eliminated. Mr. Jones could be one of those jobs. Mrs. Jones' mother passed away suddenly, leaving a deep vacuum of support and help. ...

posted 7:00:19am Feb. 08, 2016 | read full post »

A Super Bowl Outcome You May Not Like
Super Bowl week! Yes, we are obsessed with the game. And part of that obsession includes our Super Bowl menu. But what if I told you that your menu and eating habits are influenced by the game. Super Bowl  has an eating outcome you may not ...

posted 7:00:32am Feb. 05, 2016 | read full post »

Conflict? Who Should Make the First Move?
Hannah hadn't spoken to her mother for a month and the tension between them could be cut with a knife. It was Saturday morning and Hannah was contemplating picking up the phone and making a call. She wanted to resolve the problem. But here ...

posted 7:00:31am Feb. 03, 2016 | read full post »

Fighting with a Narcissist
Rich and Sharon have constant fights, and the fights take on a common pattern. Sharon is dating a narcissist. The key traits of a narcissist are to be self-centered, need to be admired, be right, not admit fault and feel superior. All of ...

posted 7:00:58am Feb. 02, 2016 | read full post »

Dad's Anxiety Could Affect His Unborn Child!
Blog Question: My husband is very anxious about the birth of our second child. He is feeling the economic pressure of our expanding family and worries about everything. He is making me anxious because of his state of distress. What can I tell ...

posted 7:00:09am Jan. 29, 2016 | read full post »

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