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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 26, 2012/ 12 Kislev, 5773

Give yourself the gift of mastering stress

By Arianna Huffington




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The holiday season is upon us -- a time to lovingly connect with family, to relax, recharge and emerge happy, content and revitalized.

Just kidding.

In fact, of course, it's usually the complete opposite. But why is that? What is it about special occasions -- whether it's holidays or weddings or birthdays or even just dinner parties -- that fills us with such stress? Instead of leaving us recharged, the holiday season is more likely to leave us drained. Or "blorft," as Tina Fey calls it. "'Blorft' is an adjective I just made up," she writes in "Bossypants," "that means 'Completely overwhelmed but proceeding as if everything is fine and reacting to the stress with the torpor of a possum.'" Most of us have been there, felt that. And many will be blorft again this week, as the harried prep for Thanksgiving unofficially marks the opening of the Stress Season that will last through New Year's Day, when we can officially start feeling guilty about breaking the resolutions we'll make in response to the stress-induced overindulgence of the holiday season.

So that's why this is the perfect moment to slow down and reflect on why what should be a time of generosity, celebration and coming together so often becomes a time of high anxiety. It's also a moment to focus on the steps we can take to truly enjoy the holiday season. Because it's not just enjoyment that holiday stress can take from us, but our health, as well. In the American Heart Association's journal Circulation, Dr. Robert Kloner coined the maladies the "Merry Christmas Coronary" and the "Happy New Year Heart Attack" to describe the increase in cardiac problems during the holiday season -- so there's a lot more at stake than dealing with your mother-in-law's passive-aggressive compliments ("I didn't know you could do this with a turkey ... so creative!").

So how do we change things? As with most things, we can start by changing ourselves -- how we react to the seasonal madness. And if enough people changed, then the culture itself would change. "If you want to change the world," Alexander Solzhenitsyn asked, "who do you begin with, yourself or others?"

Stress is truly in the eye -- and the psyche and arteries and heart and immune system -- of the beholder. Change the way we deal with it and we change the situation. But how to do that?

Of course, the holidays have a stress-producing capacity all their own. Activities we should ostensibly enjoy become wellsprings of stress. People we love become just more items to check off on the to-do list. Instead of feeling connected to our friends and family, they come to represent obligations that make us feel more distant.

Gratitude can be the greatest antidote to stress during the holidays. And what better time to start practicing it than during Thanksgiving? Robert Emmons of the University of California-Davis and Michael McCullough of the University of Miami have done a lot of research in the field of gratitude. And they have found that people who keep gratitude journals and gratitude lists have more enthusiasm, determination, energy, optimism -- and less stress.

Of course, one of my favorite tips for any season is "Get enough sleep." Adequate sleep is especially needed around the holidays, since too little REM-time will exacerbate every holiday stress point from gift-buying to holiday meals with your in-laws. One of my own gift-giving tips is to find something you really love and give it to everybody on your list! It's not only a great time-saver, it's also a great way to share something you love -- whether it's a book or my favorite Pottery Barn alarm clock, which I gave to all my friends last year so they could stop using the excuse that they needed their iPhone by their bed to wake them up in the morning.

One of the most centered people I know, Joan Witkowski, who does body work and breathing coordination, has a simple practice for herself that we can all use during the holiday shopping insanity: "Monday is my day of errands, so I used to go down my to-do list and then come home at the end of the day exhausted. Now, I introduce moments of being and recovery in between my errands. I find a cafe or a place to sit, not to look at my phone, but to just breathe and be. By the end of the day, I have everything done and so much more energy."

There are many tools. The key is to prioritize not letting stress turn the holidays from a time of renewal to a time of frenzy. "Everything changed the day she figured out there was exactly enough time for the important things in her life," writes the artist Brian Andreas. I love that quote because it reminds me that even though we may think that we can't possibly fit everything we have to do into the time we have, we can fit everything important.

So as we head into the Most Wonderful -- uh, Stressful -- Time of the Year, let's remember to give ourselves the first gift: the gift of mastering our stress and not being slaves to it.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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Arianna Huffington is president and editor-in-chief of Huffington Post Media Group.

© 2012 Arianna Huffington. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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