“Holiday Stress”

by Dr. Susan Nettleton

Holiday excitement carries us through the bleak beginnings of winter with anticipated intensity, bright colors, lights, sparkle, traditional sounds and smells. Our senses are heightened by the activity, making us feel alive, awake, with energetic joy. But the very stimulation that brings the festive spirit can also overload us. “Stress” is often just sensory overload. We fail to realize how much our senses affect our emotions. Both anger and anxiety can quickly get the better of us when we are under constant sensory demand. What is the antidote? Silence. Not the mere absence of noise, but time spent with the Infinite Invisible beyond all perception. Silent communication with God puts our holiday in balance, and brings us Peace.