Monthly Archives: August 2018

.In a Divided Era, One Thing Seems to Unite: Political Anger


Ken Storey was in a pique, the kind that often seizes and overwhelms the better judgment of people who follow politics closely these days.

Hurricane Harvey was about to douse Texas with deadly flooding, and Mr. Storey had identified the culprit: Republicans. “I don’t believe in instant Karma but this kind of feels like it for Texas,” he tapped out on Twitter, between bites of a taco over lunch. “Hopefully this will make them realize the GOP doesn’t care about them.”

Those 145 characters, which soon bounced around among conservative activists online and became the subject of several Fox News segments, would cost him his job as an adjunct sociology professor at the University of Tampa, incite death threats, strain his relationship with his parents and, nearly a year later, leave him living on two part-time jobs that pay less than a third of what he used to earn. His rent, car payments and electric bills are all past due, he said in a recent interview.

(Excerpt from Jeremy Peters’ article in the New York Times- read more)

Sweating the Small Stuff


Okay, sweating is technically something the body does. Although your mind does not perspire, I’ll bet it feels like it does sometimes. First the big stuff. At its extreme, worry takes the form of a psychological disorder such as generalized anxiety disorder where your life is filled with anxiety about everything.

Another is obsessive-compulsive disorder which is based on fear that you have done or might do something wrong. You feel overcome by worry about what you did and what you are about to do. You keep doing the same things over and over hoping to get it right this time. Being consumed by this disorder allows little time for anything else and leaves you constantly exhausted.

Fortunately most people do not worry to this extent. Even if small matters look large at the moment, in the long run they turn out not to matter very much at all. For those with either of the disorders I just mentioned, self doubt comes close to paralyzing them and makes it difficult for them to quickly decide what to do in almost any situation.

Where does this feeling come from? For many people, it dates back to early childhood when they were given the impression that they were not competent to do much of anything. True, most people are not born prodigies but gradually learn survival skills and go on to develop special talents. Encouragement along the way helps them take their first faltering steps.

Have you ever watched babies learning to walk? The first awkward attempts lead nowhere except landing back on their seats. But with encouragement and support, babies are off and running before you know it.

Some parents are critical of everything their children do. Children naturally want to please their parents. But if nothing they do is acceptable, over a period of time they tend to start worrying about whether they are worthwhile or just give up trying to please their parents.

Such children grow into adults with no confidence in themselves and can start second guessing everything they do. They are not likely to take very many chances. They don’t trust themselves and seldom try to develop new skills. They might also go to the other extreme and strive for perfection in everything they do. In case you haven’t discovered this yet, perfection is an impossible goal to reach.

So what’s the alternative? Having given up on perfection, what’s left? You can do your best. Your best depends on your energy, health, mood and skills at any given time. All of these might well vary from day to day. You might not be satisfied with your best, but you can’t do any better at the moment. You have given it all you’ve got. Perhaps you can do better at another time. But that doesn’t matter. You did your best right now.

Doing your best also means being kind and gentle with yourself and being comfortable with your best efforts. It doesn’t matter what others think about you. You know you did your best. Also, learn to accept others as doing their best under their current circumstances. This approach will save you the trouble of worrying or fretting about things over which you have no control.

(Excerpt from my book, Release Your Stress and Reclaim Your Life)

Coping With Stress When You’re in the Sandwich Generation

Presence of family is the biggest support

YOU’RE WORKING A full-time job, managing your home and raising your kids. And if you’re like millions of middle-aged adults in U.S., you’re also taking care of your aging parents. Without much warning, you’ve become part of the sandwich generation, squeezed between the needs of your kids and your older mom and dad.

“You’re balancing the demands of raising and supporting children and worrying about your parents’ independence and well-being. It’s tough,” says psychologist Jonathon Sikorski, director of wellness education at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

(Excerpt from Heidi Godman’s post in US News and World Report- read more)