anxiety

WHY YOU CAN’T IGNORE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

(October 31, 2022) America’s Mercy Health releases good info each month as part of their concern for everyone in showing the compassion of Jesus, such as the following…

Healthy living? People often de-prioritise their mental health, and it can have serious consequences.

Mental health is just as important as physical health, and really the two go hand in hand. Finding ways to prioritise your mental health is part of a healthy lifestyle.

Why is good mental health important?
The term ‘mental health’ is often linked to specific disorders such as depression. However, mental health covers so much more…

Stress, anxiety, anger and frustration are emotions everyone experiences and are directly tied to their mental well-being. Also, stress and depression have been shown to tax the immune system.  

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LEVELLING MOUNTAINS – NOT BY MIGHT, NOT BY POWER BUT BY MY SPIRIT! (Part 1)

(August 28, 2022) Dr Jim McClure, noted theologian, shares encouragement…

Facing mountains in these dark times?

I’ve been reflecting on a character in the Bible who faced a big mountain and discovered God had gone before him in an amazing way. His name was Zerubbabel – not the easiest name to say, nor would it be likely that you would give your new born child that name.

Most Christians know little about this man, but I find him to be inspirational and also encouraging as we cope with the ‘highs and lows’ in living in these days.

Contemporary scene
We are living in disturbing times. In my lifetime I have never known such worldwide hostility, political instability, social confusion and moral corruption. And according to medical researchers the global rates of anxiety and depression are soaring. News articles and television reports can often be quite troubling as they confront us with a stream of disturbing incidents.

Of course ours is not the only generation that has been confronted by tragedy and emotional stress. Historical records reveal many periods when war, oppression and disease have had a crushing effect on people.

God does not provide a protective wall around His people to prevent their experiencing the pain and struggles of life, but His presence in our lives gives us hope.

In the Bible, living in hope doesn’t mean that we whistle in the dark to keep our spirits up. No, biblical hope means looking to the future with assurance because we know that, regardless of conditions and circumstances, when it seems that everything is spiralling out of control, God has never lost His control! Jeremiah succinctly declared, Our hope is in you’(Jeremiah 14:22).

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FIVE BURDENS YOU DON’T NEED TO CARRY

(May 15, 2022) Richard Winter reminds us that…

It’s often been said that it’s been a hard life and there have been many tough times. Well, l guess most of us can resonate with that… after all, who hasn’t lost a little sleep through worrying?

We’ve all carried burdens real and unreal… and, if we are honest, we have worried most about some things that never materialised. So here is the word of God that applies to our worries –

Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you… and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light’ (Matthew 11:28–30).

A yoke is something Jesus would have made in a carpenter’s shop. It’s a wooden frame joining two animals (usually oxen) at the neck, enabling them to pull a plough or wagon together. The function of the yoke is to make the burden easier to carry.

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CHRISTMAS – PERFECT TIME FOR FORGIVENESS

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(December 23, 2021) Mercy Health’s #MomentsofHealth shares a great Christmastime insight on why forgiveness might just be the best gift you can give yourself this season

The holidays can be stressful. But what can make the holiday season even more stressful? Tiptoeing around family members, harbouring resentment, or picking and choosing holiday gatherings because you’re avoiding someone.

Holding a grudge toward a loved one can be exhausting. The good news? There’s no better time for forgiveness than the holidays.

We get it. You might not be convinced just yet. There was likely a reason you became angry with this person to begin with, and if they had apologised this would already be over. But while there will always be a reason not to extend forgiveness toward someone, there will also always be an even better reason to forgive. Here are our best tips for mending fences this holiday season.

Here’s three reasons to extend forgiveness at Christmastime…

1. Conflict leads to physical stress; forgiveness lessens panic and anxiety
First things first – forgiveness is not about doing a favour for the other person. It’s about doing a favour for you.

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Whether it’s a small argument with your significant other or a decade of not talking to a sibling, conflict is bad for your wellbeing. The stress associated with conflict can increase your risk for a heart attack, raise blood pressure, reduce sleep quality and more. Turns out, forgiveness is one of the best things you can do for your health.

Instead of refusing to forgive because you don’t think someone deserves forgiveness, choose to forgive because you deserve to live with less stress. Quite simply, forgiveness is practical.

2. Choosing to forgive sets the right example for your kids
Modelling behaviour is one of the best ways to teach our children how to behave.

Forgiveness helps us better respect and understand others. While it doesn’t always mean forgetting, it does mean letting go.

We all want our kids to grow up and be successful, which is a lot harder when we’re holding on to feelings of negativity. Teaching our kids to let go helps them excel in the areas of their lives that matter most.

3. Forgiveness is what the holiday season is all about
Many of us have heard the adage ‘Jesus is the reason for the season.’ Jesus may have been born on ‘Christmas’, but he died for the forgiveness of our sins.

Jesus died on a cross so that we could all experience forgiveness from God. God wants us to live a life of forgiveness, and he gave us that gift through Jesus. By choosing to forgive, we are embracing a gift greater than anything that could be put under the tree this season.

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Forgiveness might not always be easy, and it might not always go as planned. The lesson in forgiveness isn’t the reaction from the person forgiven, it’s the change that takes place in you.

When we learned the definition of mercy earlier in this series, we learned that it’s all about showing compassion toward those whom within it’s our power to punish. Forgiveness is one of the best ways to show mercy. How will you show your moment of mercy this week?

Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to share with the hashtag #MomentsofMercy on social media. We promise – this is one thing that can truly put you in the holiday spirit!

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Mercy Health is an extensive caring American organisation that states ‘Our Mission drives us to provide the highest quality health care possible to our patients and communities. Our exceptional team of doctors, nurses and caregivers whose expertise and talent help make a difference in our patients’ lives every day. We extend the compassionate ministry of Jesus by improving the health and well-being of our communities and brings good help to those in need, especially people who are poor, dying and underserved.’ Link: https://www.mercy.com/

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DARK NIGHTS OF THE SOUL

(March 10, 2021) Robert and Maureen McQuillan touch on something not many are open about…

The poem Dark Night of the Soul begins with ‘In an obscure night…’ and the third line mentions ‘a hapless plight.’

Written by the 16th-century Spanish mystic and poet St John of the Cross (although he didn’t actually title it himself), it has been regarded by many as some deep spiritual, painful depression.

Depression, as Geraldine Brandt points out (The-Too-Hard-Basket) indicates, among other things that a person is low in their spirit,pressed down.’

In modern terms… hampered by what we term a downer!

Reality
As we’ve ministered to church people at the altar prayer line sometimes someone – wrongly feeling ashamed and not wanting anyone else to hear – would whisper that he (or she) was suffering from depression, experiencing dark nights of the soul.

And, not just what’s badly termed as ‘ordinary Christians’ but as it happens, we’ve had to encourage a number of leaders to look beyond troubling dark nights of the soul experiences that have (are) hindering them in their ministry.

Geraldine Brandt writes about hampered ministers needing our prayers. And theologian Dr Jim McClure points out that Depression – or any aspect of mental illness – is not something of which we should be ashamed. Nor should it be kept hidden’ (Mental-Illness-Realites).

We would add this – If depression were to hit, it’s definitely not something to be quiet about in case someone accuses us of having lost our faith. If they do, that’s their problem, not ours!

The reality is that anyone – church attender or leader – could become afflicted with depression. (more…)

APPROACHING ‘THE BIG TABOO’ – MENTAL ILLNESS

Jessica MorrisJessica Morris shares…
As someone who lives with depression, I’ve heard most of clinical talk that comes with the illness.

Stepping in and out of therapy for over a decade, depression and anxiety are something that I have carried all through my teenage years and into early adulthood. The result is that I have become acutely aware of how the church and religion perceive and react to the illness.
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MENTAL ILLNESS

Question: I’ve been diagnosed with mental illness and am frightened to tell my very ‘religious’ Christian friends. Please help me.

Jim McClureTheologian Dr Jim McClure responds: ‘Interestingly I actually started to write about mental illness just before the sad news of the death of Robin Williams at the age of 63.’

For nearly 40 years Williams’ unique brand of humour brought much joy to millions of people, but he suffered from depression that led him finally to take his own life. This article therefore is timely and will indeed help you – and others with this illness.

Many people in all walks of life suffer from that same debilitating illness of depression which takes from the sufferer the ability freely to live to his and her potential, and, sadly, many respond to the burden of this mental illness by taking the same route as Robin Williams. (more…)