Healthy View - What is Your Families Stress Level?

By Kathy Radina, M.Ed. | March 25, 2009

kathyLots of us are worried. The economy is scary, the employment outlook is scary, losing health insurance is scary, our bank and retirement accounts look scary, and even the banks guarding our money look scary. I haven’t even mentioned war, anger, poor communication, teens or… well, you get the idea. In spite of all of this, many of us are doing just fine, and we actually find time to laugh and enjoy each other despite the frightening world we share.
How about you? How are you and your family doing in these uncertain times? To assess the stress in your house, grab your family and take the Family Stress Test, a tool provided by The Link Community Resource Center in Negaunee, Michigan.

Answer 0 if the statement is never true for your family, 1 if it is rarely true, 2 if it is sometimes true and 3 if it is always true.

1)___We often talk about our feelings.
2)___It seems we argue a lot.
3)___I know what is important to my kids.
4)___(For couples) Sometimes marriage is disappointing.
5)___(For single parents) I’m comfortable being single.
6)___The kids get upset that we argue.
7)___We have enough money for the important things.
8)___We have conflicts about how much to spend and on what.
9)___Work is important, but family is our top priority.
10)___We don’t listen enough.
11)___(For couples) Our relationship is strong.
12)___(For single parents) My kids are upset when I date.
13)___(For couples) We both feel good about our roles as parents.
14)___It seems as if someone is always mad at someone else.
15)___(For single parents) The kids like my choice of dates.
16)___Too much work is getting to me.
17)___Tension in our house is rare.
18)___(For single parents) Being single has been very hard for me.
19)___The kids are doing well in school.
20)___There is never enough time.
21)___Everyone in the family has a job and does it without being nagged.
22)___(For couples) We argue about who should do what with the kids.
23)___We eat together daily.
24)___It is impossible to get the kids to do anything around here.
25)___Vacations together turn out well.
26)___I’ve been called in to school to discuss my child’s behavior.

Total the odd and even numbered questions separately.

What Your Score Means

Odd numbered questions with a total of 33 and above, or even numbered questions with a total of 17 or less: Congratulations. Your family has good skills and attitudes, which help you handle life’s stresses. This makes your home life rich and satisfying.

For odd numbered questions with a total of 25-32 or even numbered questions with a total of 18-24:
You have a strong start. Try practicing your good skills and positive attitudes more to create even more harmony at home.

For odd numbered questions with a total of 18-24 or even numbered questions with a total of 26-32:
You are probably under a lot of stress. Look carefully at these questions and think about ways to improve your score. Remember: It is not a sign of weakness to ask for help.

For odd numbered questions with a total of 17 or less, and even numbered questions with a total of 33 and above: Taking action now is very important for your family’s health and happiness. Reach out to friends, family or professionals in these tough times to help your family deal with its stress. Like Anthony Brandt said,

“Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family.”

Kathy Radina, M.Ed. is a counselor in Carefree.
She can be reached at 480-488-6096 or visit

Tulka Lama Lobsang announces first U.S. retreat in
Sedona, April 10 – 1

March 25, 2009

Tulka Lama LobsangSEDONA – Tulku Lama Lobsang is a man that bridges worlds. As a Tulku – that is a recognized reincarnated lama currently in his 8th incarnation – he is firmly rooted in the ancient culture of Tibet, yet keenly aware of the needs of modern society. He has chosen to offer Tummo, the inner fire practice, for his much anticipated first U.S. retreat. This practice opens the blockages that cause physical disease and mental suffering by working with the subtle body. The retreat will be held April 10 – 14 at the Sedona Mago Retreat Center.

Despite the fact that Tummo is one of the highest teachings in the Tibetan Buddhist Tantrayana tradition, it works with innate human attributes and is not culture specific. Regardless of one’s background or spiritual beliefs, generating this fire will completely change your body systems and your mind. This natural inner warmth is also the source of love, compassion, and happiness, which we could all use more of. The practice is a combination of breathing exercises, movement and visualization. No prior knowledge of Buddhism is necessary for participants. In fact, coming with an ‘empty cup’ can make it easier to absorb the true meaning of the practice.

Tulku Lama Lobsang’s appeal stems from the universality of his teachings. He shares methods to transform the self in order to achieve a healthy physical body, emotional happiness and development of the mind. He is a doctor of Tibetan Medicine, and in this system the body, mind and spirit are interdependent so change on one level affects the others. Therefore by focusing on opening the body and removing physical blockages, one also opens the heart and mind. His teachings include Lu Jong, which is a series of simple movements that initiate healing by creating balance on a deep inner level, as well as Tog Chod, the Wisdom Sword Practice, which looks like a martial art but the only enemy to be overcome is one’s own fear and expectation.

He describes his approach, “Change one; change all. The body is the vehicle for change.”

For more information contact Julie at Tuwanasavi 480 205-8679

Courtesy photo: Tulku Lama Lobsang