Powerful Antidepressant: “Counting Your Blessings”By AmenClinics

More than 100 million people worldwide suffer from depression, and it is thought an estimated 70-90% either do not receive sufficient medical treatment, do not respond to therapy, or do not have access to quality care. As a result, there is an immense unmet need for alternative, economical, and effective strategies for treating major and minor depression.

New research supports an age-old concept for lifting depression. It is also safe, low-cost, and self-administered. It is called Positive Activity Intervention (PAI) which is a fancy term for doing what many of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers would have advised in year’s past: participating in positive activities like counting your blessings.

The authors of the study found that PAIs, such as counting one’s blessings, practicing optimism, performing acts of kindness, and using one’s unique strengths, “teach patients ways to increase their positive cognitions, emotions, and behaviors without professional help.”

Journal Editor, Kim A Jobst said, “This is ground-breaking work of global significance. It applies in all cultures at all times but especially in our pharmaceutically dominated culture of dependence. Because it is in many ways common sense, it is all the more important to have scientific validation and more low cost highly effective means to help people submerged in the sea of depression.”

Dr. Daniel Amen‘s research on the brain has found that depression comes in a variety of types and there is not a one-size-fits all cure. However almost everyone can receive positive benefits from nourishing the brain with healthy food and exercise, alongside positive thoughts and actions. I encourage everyone to learn how to fight the ANTs (automatic negative thoughts in their brain) and embrace thoughts of gratitude and realistic positivity. Supplements like fish oil and Vitamin D can further boost mood levels.

The Christmas Letdown By Shadow of His Wings Ministry

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)

As January draws to a close, the memories of Christmas begin to fade. For many folks January is a hard month. After all, It follows the most festive time of the year. It’s a time when expectations are high and may or may not have come true. Ironically, sometimes the joy of Christmas leave us feeling the “letdown”. It is a time when the experience of Christmas may remind us of the disappointments of this world. Yes, even at one of the most festive, beautiful , meaningful times of the year. We have such high expectations in the things of this world and recapturing the child-like awe of Christmas is something we all long for. The lights, the packages, and the tinsel most likely will never have the same effect on us as adults as it does when we were young.

I remember as a young child lying under the tree… you know when you first put it up and there are no presents yet? I would look up into the tree (hey and remember this was back in the 70s) and our tree was a white “flocked tree” with green and blue balls and lights. It was beautiful and so “groovy”. I loved the way the lights reflected off of the balls and how peaceful and beautiful it looked up inside the tree. However, no matter how many trees I crawl under these days, I will never see it the same way. I have seen too much pain, known too much disappointment. It is time for me to let go of the things of my childhood and become that person that passes down my hope, my love, and my joy to the younger generations. This world is a fallen world; we will never be as innocent as when we were young. Our hearts know too much now.

Christmas is for children…they deserve happy times, lights and tinsel. Children live in the innocence of the Garden or at least as close to it as possible in this fallen world. Albeit this innocence lasts for only a short time. Therefore, Christmas lights and a new toy can make a child’s Christmas, this changes as we get older. Innocent activities become more difficult because not only do we learn more about the struggles of this world, we are exposed more to the evil of this world. Our hearts start to long for more, to see the broken ways that people relate to one another, the influences of evil on this world and our hearts begin to yearn for something better. We strive to make it better because it can be so disappointing. We end up working 5x harder to get what we think will make everyone, including ourselves happy, only to find out that happiness is fleeting.

Re-read the verse at the top of this writing from John 16:33. It tells us to “TAKE HEART” for He has overcome this world! God offers us so much more than this world; He offers us hope and joy! The hope in knowing that this is not our home and the joy of realizing what is to come…the ultimate gift of all! I am so grateful to God that He gave me the glimpses of the Christmas tree that I had when I was a child. Why? Because, now I know that as a child that Christmas tree caught my gaze, whereas soon, the streets paved with gold, and the Glory of the Lord will shine so brightly that there will be no comparison. I can only imagine that someday I will be staring into the face of Christ, seeing the awesome beauty of Heaven, and remember the lights of the Christmas tree and they will be a distant, sweet memory. Keep your eyes on heaven where your true happiness will be complete!

Stick To Your ResolutionsBy Randy Monroe, LX Print & Marketing

We are just four days from the New Year and with the New Year comes a new batch of resolutions! From losing weight to changing careers, this time of year we tend to make promises to ourselves and hope like heck that we keep them (nearly 9 out of 10 resolutions go unfulfilled). Failed resolutions can lead to depression, self loathing and disappointment, so here are five pieces of advice to help you stick to your resolution this year.

  1. Write Them Down – By writing out your goals, you are making a contract with yourself which usually sparks a personal motivation to achieve them.
  2. Be Specific – Getting in shape can mean a lot of different things. If getting in shape to you means being able to run a ½ marathon by September, then make running a ½ marathon by September your resolution – not getting in shape.
  3. Get Social – Teaming up with others is particularly powerful, given our social natures and reluctance to let other folks down.
  4. Share your Resolutions – The truth is, no one achieves much if they work entirely alone. By allowing others to help, you not only increase your chances of success, you also reinforce your relationship with them.
  5. Expect Missteps – Just because you missed one day at the gym doesn’t mean your hard work has been for naught. Some folks consider such slip-ups tremendously deflating, which leads them to abandon their goal entirely. One way to avoid that is to imagine—before you embark on a resolution—a wide range of ways it may turn out, then ask yourself how you would react to each.

Making a professional New Year’s resolution for your company can be a great way to motivate and engage employees throughout the New Year. Using the tips above, we hope that your resolution can be one of the 10% that actually sticks this year. If it doesn’t, don’t beat yourself up – we love you just the way you are!