'Tis the season - the season for many to struggle financially, emotionally and physically. Christmas brings high expectations of an experience that many of us may never achieve. That “Hallmark moment” we see on television is not the norm for most families. With dysfunctional childhoods, divorce, loss of family members, and difficult financial times, this celebration season brings depression to a large number of people. Rick and I always see an increase in our counseling sessions at this time as marriages are pushed to their limits.
We’ve propelled this once humble holiday into a money-making, commercialized, stress-filled time of pursuing the perfect Christmas. Meanwhile, the true meaning of Christmas has been subtly pushed aside.
Now I know there are naysayers about celebrating Jesus’ birth on this day that started as a pagan holiday. I say if we keep our focus on Jesus, the rest just doesn’t matter. I choose to be thankful for the birth of our Savior and for what He has done in my life. I try to stay out of the “hustle and bustle” of Christmas, the holiday.
Again, I come back to the notion of thankfulness. It works wonders! If I continually look at how God has richly blessed my life, I stay out of the self-pity party for what I don’t have or may not experience over the holidays. We need to stay positive in our thinking. Negativity brings a set of unnecessary problems. It can affect our health.
It has been proven that thankfulness and a positive attitude in your daily living brings health to your body. Stress is a leading cause of illness in our lives and is connected to heart problems, cancer and every other ailment known to man. Thankfulness demolishes stress.
It's no secret that stress can make us sick, particularly when we can't cope with it. It's linked to several leading causes of death, including heart disease and cancer, and claims responsibility for up to 90% of all doctor visits. Gratitude, it turns out, can help us better manage stress. "Gratitude research is beginning to suggest that feelings of thankfulness have tremendous positive value in helping people cope with daily problems, especially stress," Emmons says.
For the complete article, go to: http://www.webmd.com/women/features/gratitute-health-boost
The best de-stressor I know? God’s word.
Matthew 6:25-27 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Philippians 4:4-8 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”
Our minds have the power to make or break our lives. Start thinking about what you have to be thankful for and focus on the positive. Get rid of those negative thoughts. You will find that the stress will melt away. Enjoy this holiday season. May you find peace and joy in spite of your circumstances.