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Little House on the Freeway

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STRESS

Help for a Hurried Home

Veritas Communications

CBN.comScottsdale, Arizona – The average American family is moving at warp speed in multiple directions. The pace of life has changed dramatically in recent decades, families are feeling the impact, and it’s not all good.

A recent study at Rockfeller University in New York indicates that stress causes neurons (brain cells) to shrink. Long-term stress affects our ability to learn or remember. In children, stress can adversely affect the amygdala – or the emotion center of the brain.

According to therapist Tim Kimmel, “The family that makes it through life without bearing the marks of a hurried home is the rare exception, not the rule.” At least one of the marks that’s most recognized is exhaustion, but there are others . . .

Dr. Kimmel points to seven marks of a hurried family – They can’t relax, they can’t enjoy quiet, they are never satisfied, there are few absolutes, there is a storm beneath the calm exterior, and they are often suffering servants.

“As their hearts cry out for rest, they answer back with entertainment. By keeping their brains occupied with external sights and sounds, they don’t have to face the emptiness within. Noise is the Prozac that helps them cope with inner restlessness,” Kimmel observes. But long-term stress can affect us in other physical ways too – impairing cardiovascular development, asthma, ulcers, headaches and other tension related consequences.

In his best-selling book, Little House on the Freeway: Help for the Hurried Home (Multnomah). Kimmel says there are four common threads that run deeper through hurried households: an inability to believe, general discontent, a lack of genuine intimacy, and a tendency to control. “Most unhappy people suffer from a simple syndrome: they are poor stewards of their lives. They have developed a bad habit of ignoring the important and prioritizing the nonessential,” says Kimmel.

At least part of our problem is that we have a love affair with haste. We call it convenience. We have grown accustomed to having everything now. We are an instant generation. “There is no end to the way we attempt to justify our love affairs with things. But the fact is, we are designed to find completion in relationships, not material possessions,” explains Kimmel. The frustration of a hurried life, he says, is that it has a way of trivializing our commitments. We become a drain on people if we use relationships rather than contribute to them.

In Little House on the Freeway, Kimmel gives answers for how to get off the treadmill and return to a healthier lifestyle. But, he warns, it will take courage to make the crucial changes.


Courtesy of Veritas Communications.

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