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mental health

PositiveTip for

Bonus Benefits to Quitting Smoking

Quitting smoking can improve mood and reduce risk of other addictive behaviours.

New research has found that smokers who quit may have greater success in addressing mental health or addiction issues. Based on surveys from 35,000 people, researchers found that people who quit smoking were 33% less likely to have mood disorders, 36% less likely to have alcohol problems and 69% less likely have drug problems than those who continue smoking.

Positive Tip: Let the "snowball effect" work for you. Quitting smoking may give you greater success in addressing core health issues.

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Why A Peaceful Life May Be a Longer Life

Chronic anxiety is linked to increased risk of stroke

Anxiety is the most common mental illness and is now linked to a common cause of death. American Heart Association research reviewed 22 years of data from 6000 people aged 25-74. They found the most anxious people were 33% more likely to have a stroke later in life. Anxiety induced inactivity, smoking, higher stress hormone levels, heart rate or blood pressure are all possible causes.

Positive Tip: If you have anxiety, seek professional support and learn the truth found in Phil 4:6,7

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We're Missing the Boat with Teen Mental Health

One in 5 teens will have a mental disorder: Most won't get treatment

Over half of adolescents with a mental health issue won't get treated. If they do it's often not by a mental health professional. Researchers at Duke University found that the most commonly untreated mental illnesses were anxiety disorders and phobias. Lack of child psychiatrists and stigma surrounding mental health issues are the primary contributors to the problem.

PositiveTip: A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Include a mental health professional in your teen's regular health checkup.

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Diet and Depression

A healthy diet shown to help prevent depression.

A recent study from Finland has shown that a healthy diet can prevent severe depression. The study followed 2000 men for 13-20 years and found that those who ate a diet of vegetables, fruits, berries, whole-grains, poultry, fish and low-fat cheese exhibited less symptoms of depression and were at lower risk of becoming depressed later than those who ate more processed meats, manufactured food and sugary desserts and drinks.

PositiveTip: You are what you eat! Eat the best food to feel your best physically and emotionally.

Sick and Tired

Bobby! How’s it going, dude?” Josh leaned over the cubicle wall. “Great Super Bowl, huh?”

“Yeah. Great game.” Robert did not look up from his computer key board.

“Whoa, man, what happened?” Josh came around the cubicle wall to get a closer look at his friend. “Did your team lose you a lot of money?”

“Nah. The game was fine. It’s the commercials. They make me sick and tired.” Josh banged his “enter” key with a flourish and looked up.

“What!? You didn’t like the polar bears?” Josh said half-jokingly. He knew his friend didn’t get upset easily over trivial matters. “What gives, man?” He could see the fire in Robert’s eyes.

Beware of Excessive Computer Use by Your Chrildren

Over the past year I have been conducting statistical analysis on many different items that are related to the health of youth. One area of interest to me has been whether excessive internet use might be associated with the mental health of young people.

I obtained a database from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey of Idaho, 2009. In that questionnaire there were several different items that interested me such as how much high school students use the internet for three hours or more on school days for activities other than school use. We found that when students use the internet in such excessive amounts they are 1.5 times more likely to feel sad or hopeless, 1.6 times more likely to consider suicide, 1.8 times more likely to attempt suicide, twice as likely to purposefully hurt themselves by cutting or otherwise injuring themselves, and half as likely to talk to a parent or teacher when they are feeling low or having problem.

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Is A Bad Job Worse Than Not Working?

Can you simply "whistle while you work" and ignore poor circumstances?

Researchers at the Australian National University have revealed that people working a demanding job without having job security or fair pay got significantly (p<0.05) lower mental health scores than people who just stayed unemployed. However, those who traded unemployment for a high-quality job increased their mental health scores. 

PositiveTip: Circumstances certainly influence our mental health, but attitudes do too. We can always find people in the worst circumstances with wonderfully positive attitudes. How is your outlook?

Outer vs. Inner Health

A few years ago I was in the market for another car. The family finances dictated it be a used one. I began combing the ads in the local paper for the model I was interested in getting. Eventually, my search narrowed to two possibilities and I set up appointments to look at them both.


When I drove to the first address, I was overjoyed to see an almost showroom condition vehicle in the driveway. Surely this was the one--and in mint condition, too! After kicking the tires, talking to the owner, ascertaining the selling price and taking it for a test drive, I asked the owner for the service records. He stunned me by responding, "Service records? This car has been so trouble-free I haven't even changed the oil since it was new!"