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Optimism: An Awesome Antidote to Stress

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms: to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. Victor Frankl Have you noticed those upbeat people in your environment who never seem to let anything get them down? They seem to manage life’s stresses and challenges with a smile on their face and a skip in their step. No matter what lemons life seems to throw at them, they are still able to make lemonade. What is the quality that these people have and how can you start to cultivate it in your own life? The quality you are noticing is called optimism. Optimism is defined as a general inclination to anticipate positive outcomes in any given situation. An optimistic person expects things to turn out for the best. You can imagine how this kind of attitude…

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How My Brother’s Mental Illness Affected Me

My brother Paul was diagnosed with schizophrenia, like myself. Yet because Paul was 10 years older than me, the illness was viewed quite differently when his symptoms first appeared. That was back in the early 1960’s. In those days, some psychiatrists believed that the disease was caused by the individual having a weak will. For instance, when my parents took me to Paul’s psychiatrist at 9-years-old, a time during which I was struggling emotionally, they asked the doctor in front of me “Will Jeff get sick like Paul?” The doctor replied by saying, “Jeff is too strong to get sick.” Nevertheless, I did develop schizophrenia and was diagnosed with the serious mental illness at the age of 17. At the onset of Paul’s disorder there was no knowledge that schizophrenia was linked to a specific gene and that it could materialize through a heredity component. Furthermore, there was little hope…

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The Road to Recovery, a Journey of Hope

April 9, 1983.
This was the day Dickie Noles’ life changed. A Major League Baseball player with a nasty 95 mph fastball, Noles was a beast on the mound. But an addiction to drugs and alcohol was spiraling his life out of control as fast as his pitches. Multiple arrests for disorderly conduct were the norm for Noles, leading to far too many nights in jail and away from the baseball field.

And on that day – April 9, 1983 – Noles decided enough was enough. He hasn’t used drugs or had an alcoholic drink since then and life, Noles said, has never been better or more under control.

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