10 Aug

How Positive Thinking Affects Your Health

Some days, bad news seems to be everywhere we look – from our phone and TV screens to our social media feeds. And other times, the “bad news” starts with the thoughts in our heads. No matter the source, all that negativity can feel unavoidable, like living in an endless “ring of uncertainty.”

But look to us, because we have some tips to start looking up.

“Outlook”, the seventh pillar of our CREATION Life model, refers to how we approach the world and our lives. Optimistic thinking often used interchangeably with positive thinking, is vital to complete overall health.

At times, difficulties may arrive in our life, but when we ground ourselves in positive thinking and our own sense of spirituality, we are given the strength and tools necessary to face tough situations and see the brighter side with resilience.

Take Advantage of Positive Thinking Day

Positive Thinking Day gifts us with a designated, 24-hours to recognize and turnaround our negative thoughts. Thinking positively does not mean that you ignore life’s less pleasant situations, it just means that you approach unpleasantness or strife in a more positive and productive way.

For example, if you are running late to work because you ran into traffic due to a car accident, stop to be thankful that you are safe and extend positive thoughts to those involved in the misfortune. Then, you might be less apt to huff and puff your way into your meeting a few minutes behind.

You Hold The Power

Turning negative thoughts into positive ones is not easy, because negative thoughts can bring strong emotions with them. Once more, negative thinking may also become a “habit” of sorts. But through time and practice, you can recognize when you are in a negative thinking pattern and form healthier habits of thinking positively, even under stress and during trying circumstances.

Our brain is our most powerful asset, and we must nurture it with positive, wholesome thoughts. This takes acknowledging that negativity is a choice and we hold the power to our thoughts. We can actively choose to look on the bright side, and replace pessimism with optimism. Actively and intentionally strengthening our positivity ‘muscle’ means it will become increasingly easier over time to naturally look at challenges or negative situations with a fresh perspective.

The Health Benefits of Positive Thinking

Research shows that our attitude toward life can impact our health. For example, prolonged stress can speed up the progression of certain diseases. The positive thinking that frequently comes with optimism is a key part of effective stress management. And effective stress management is associated with many health benefits. If you tend to be pessimistic, don’t despair – you can develop positive thinking skills.

Researchers continue to explore the effects that positive thinking and optimism have on our health. According to research, here are some of the many health benefits that stem from positive thinking:

  • Increased life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Lower levels of distress
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Better psychological and physical well-being
  • Better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

Interested in boosting your positive thinking brain power? Take Positive Thinking Day to learn more about your outlook and our CREATION Life philosophy.

***This article was originally published on the AdventHealth website

10 Aug

Helping Kids Snack Smart

As every mom knows, shopping for snacks is a constant tug-of-war between what their kids want and what they need, nutritionally speaking. Oftentimes, unhealthy favorites can end up in the cart to save time and money. However, that can mean that kids are eating heaping doses of added sugars, or sugars and syrups that are added to processed foods.

A report by the American Heart Association states that American children should eat or drink no more than 25 grams of added sugars daily, which equals about 100 calories. This is in stark contrast to the fact that American children usually consume much more than that every day.

The bottom line is that added sugar is probably sneaking its way into your child’s diet, and it may be time to take a closer look at which snacks your child eats.

Added Sugar Is Everywhere

Eating too many sugary snacks can cause tooth decay, obesity, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes — not to mention poor dietary habits that can last a lifetime.

Finding sugar in kids’ snacks can be tricky. Some snacks — such as candy and chocolate, soft drinks, ice cream and packaged sweets — are easy to spot.

Unfortunately, seemingly healthy snacks can be just as loaded with sugar. Common culprits include packaged protein or snack bars, breakfast cereals, bottled smoothie drinks and pre-packaged oatmeal. Many of the yogurts marketed toward kids contain as much sugar as a candy bar.

Incorporating healthier snack options will not only help your kids get the nutrients they need to grow up strong, it’ll set them up for nutritional success for years to come.

Healthy Snacks Your Kids Will Love

Snacking healthy doesn’t have to mean eating like a bird or blowing your budget. Here are some delicious and affordable snacks that your kids (and you, too) will crave.


Cheese is loaded with protein and calcium and no added sugar. Fun-to-eat string cheese or cheese slices served alongside apple slices, carrot sticks or grapes is a healthy and satisfying snack that kids will love.


Nature’s candy — fresh peaches, plums, apples, grapes, bananas and just about any other fruit — makes for a great snack that’s naturally sweet.

Natural Peanut Butter

For most kids, protein-packed peanut butter is a welcome menu staple. Choose natural peanut butter, which comes without added sugars and other unhealthy ingredients. Try it with apple slices, bananas, celery or whole-wheat toast.

Hummus and Other Dips

These days, hummus comes in a variety of flavors that are equally appealing to kids and adults. Serve it with sliced veggies, pita chips or toasted pita bread. If hummus is a no-go in your house, try salsa or black bean dip instead.


This whole-grain snack isn’t just a crowd-pleaser at the movie theater. For at-home popcorn, avoid the microwave bags and go for the stovetop kernels; they’re healthier and more cost-effective, too. Once it’s popped, dress it up with all kinds of tasty toppings, from cinnamon to grated cheese to a light sprinkling of dry ranch dressing mix.

Trail Mix

This snack requires a little detective work, too, as some store-bought trail mixes are loaded with added sugar and sodium. Look for bags with only whole ingredients, like unsalted nuts, dried fruit, yogurt chips or even dark chocolate. Or, buy the ingredients in bulk and make your own mix.

100% Fruit Juice

What kid doesn’t love fruit juice? However, not all juices are created equal. Read labels closely to make sure you’re buying 100% fruit juice with no added sugar, rather than a fruit beverage that’s loaded with corn syrup and only a fraction of actual juice.

Supporting Healthy Kids and Moms, Too

Getting your kids to eat healthfully is just one part of helping them build a healthy lifestyle. At AdventHealth, we’re dedicated to caring for kids and supporting moms in as many little ways as we can. Learn more about our children’s care services near you.

***This article was originally published on AdventHealth website.

10 Aug

Why Gratitude Is Important During the Coronavirus Pandemic

We’re living through unusual and trying times. The COVID-19 pandemic has people feeling stressed and frightened.

That’s why it’s perhaps more important than ever to focus on gratitude — the practice of noticing and being thankful for what is valuable and meaningful to you. It’s good for your mental and physical health, it can help you relax and its effects can help you stay well through the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.

Yes, We Said Gratitude Is Good for Your Health
Focusing on silver linings. Counting your blessings. Stopping to smell the roses.

These aren’t just cliches; they’re activities that research shows may enhance your quality of life. The health benefits of practicing gratitude are wide-ranging — and maybe even a bit surprising.

  • Improving your immune system. The practice of gratitude can improve immune function, according to the American Heart Association. This is especially important during the COVID-19 crisis, since people with compromised immune systems face a high risk of becoming severely ill from coronavirus.
  • Lowering your risk for mental health issues. Studies have shown that people who practiced gratitude showed a significantly lower risk for major depression, generalized anxiety disorder and substance dependence and abuse, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
  • Getting a handle on stress. Focusing on positive emotions can help improve your ability to cope with stress, according to the National Institutes of Health.
  • Setting yourself up for success. In clinical trials, grateful people have been shown to exercise more and eat healthier diets.

Practicing Gratitude Can Be Easy, Rewarding — And Fun
Cultivating thankfulness isn’t homework, and it doesn’t require much time or energy. You can start small by taking a few moments to notice things that are going well in your life.

To help make this a regular habit, set aside a short time each day to intentionally practice gratitude. Try one or more of these activities to start.

Jot Down Your Joys
Make a habit of writing down the things you’re grateful for. It doesn’t have to be a long list, but if you regularly challenge yourself to identify and name your gratitude, you may begin to notice improvement in your emotional well-being.

Try sitting down and listing out:

  • One place that is safe and relaxes you
  • One thing that’s going well in your life
  • Three things you enjoy
  • Three things you’re looking forward to
  • Two people whom you love and who love you

Or try an easy-to-remember acronym, HEART, as suggested by the American Heart Association:

  • Health: Think of what your body allowed you to do today. Maybe your feet enabled you to walk around the house or your arms allowed you to hold a pet you love.
  • Eat: What nourishment did you provide your body today? What was your favorite meal?
  • Activity: Did you do something today that you really enjoyed? Take a moment to reflect on and savor it.
  • Relationship: Did you see or talk to someone today who brings you joy? Or are you planning to see someone on a video chat who fits that description? (Remember: The person in the mirror counts.)
  • Time: There’s no time like the present. Allow yourself to be grateful for the fact that you’re here.

If this sounds like too much to tackle, pick and choose what you’d like to focus on, and feel free to change it up depending on your mood or ability.

And if you find yourself saying that you have nothing to be grateful for, try thinking about all the little things you have. You may find that you’re taking for granted certain abilities or privileges you have that others don’t.

Make Mealtimes Mindful
Before and during meals, take time to appreciate the bounty on your table. When eating, slow down and savor every bite. Not only will you feel more thankful, but you’ll also be less likely to overeat.

Count Blessings Instead of Sheep
Before falling asleep, take a moment to think about the positive things that happened during your day. Research shows that gratitude may help you get a better night’s sleep.

Stop and Savor
It might be hard to recognize positive moments while they’re happening, but if you practice enough, you will get the hang of it. When you find yourself enjoying a moment — a sound, a memory, a conversation — try to pause for a bit and bask in the experience.

Create Your Own Moments
Devote time to yourself. You deserve some pampering, and it’ll be one more thing you can be grateful for later on.

Pass It On
The more selfless you are, the more you may get out of it. Research shows that you may feel happier and more satisfied with life when you volunteer. During this COVID-19 pandemic, you can help make an impact on your community while staying safe.

Find ways to give back and be part of the outpouring of support AdventHealth has received from the community on our website.

Why We Need Gratitude Now
In times of crisis, it’s important to stay connected to others, and among its many other benefits, gratitude can help with this, too.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that people who practice gratitude are:

  • More generous and helpful
  • More likely to offer emotional support
  • More likely to share their possessions
  • More willing to forgive others

If ever there was a time when these traits were needed, it’s now.

Helping You Stay Well
AdventHealth will help you navigate your way safely through the coronavirus outbreak.

For more tips on dealing with the pandemic, visit our Coronavirus Resource Hub. We’re continually updating the Hub with important news about COVID-19 that can help you stay informed, healthy and safe.

***This article was originally published on AdventHealth website.

20 May


Lonnie Hetterle, RMC director of education, in conversation on “Relational Intelligence” with Ron Price, author, trainer, and mediator. They will bring to you a series of video conversations dealing with relationships in a variety aspects of our daily life – at home, in the church and society at large.

As we strive to address the continuing results of this pandemic, we are faced with many new challenges, both professionally and personally.  Perhaps you have felt the strain on your home relationship or on your work relationships.  I know I have missed the personal contact of extended family, friends, and co-workers.  Ron Price MA is a member of the Rocky Mountain Conference and sits on the RMC Executive Committee.  He is a relationship expert and has spent over 30 years mediating and coaching couples, families, businesses, and for the court system.  He has amassed a diverse education and broad knowledge of resources which can help people of all ages in all relationships.  He is a published author, a former newspaper columnist, and has hosted his own weekly radio program.  Ron Price is the owner and operator of Productive Outcomes, Inc.  He has agreed to talk with us about some of his “gems of wisdom” that he has gleaned over his career and to make those available to us.  I want to share with you these very short (10 minutes) gems and have found them personally enriching and often times challenging.  Every week there will be a couple more that will be added to this list.   I invite you to take a look at them and Ron and I pray that perhaps they will be useful to you in these unprecedented times of stress and uncertainty.

You can contact Lonnie Hetterle at [email protected] and Ron Price at [email protected]

        1. 5 Germs that Infect, Sicken, and Destroy Relationships
        2. Germ Antidote
        3.  Be Disruptive / LUV Talk
        4. Laughter and Fun
        5. To God Be The Glory
        6. Push the Pause Button 
        7. Love Yourself as You Love Your Neighbor 
        8. Relational Needs
        9. Hidden Issues (keys why some conflicts continue to be ongoing)
        10. A.G.I. (Assume Good Intent)
        11.  Look for the Good
        12. Change for the Good
        13. Emotional Hijacking
        14. Worst Day Ever
        15. Love Yourself – Racism
        16. Misapplied Bible Verse                                                                                                                                                                                                 
27 Apr

Greater Summit-Conversations Virtual Young Adult Event

The Rocky Mountain Conference Youth Department presents a virtual conversation on “Mental Health in Isolation”.

Join us on Friday, May 1 at 7pm for our first ever, Greater Summit–Conversations, as mental health expert, Dr. Tiffany Llewellyn from Johns Hopkins University presents on the mental health challenges facing young people today. The statistics are staggering! 1 in 5 young adults suffer from anxiety and more than 50% of young adults will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime according to cdc.gov and childtrends.org. The percentage of young Americans experiencing mental health disorders has risen significantly over the past decade, with no corresponding increase in older adults, according to research published by the American Psychological Association. Following her presentation, there will be a Q and A session where Dr. Tiffany Llewellyn will answer selected audience questions about mental health. Lastly, there will be a Zoom “social space” where attendees will have the opportunity to hang out together and engage in some fun small group interaction.

Dr. Tiffany Llewellyn is a migrant of Trinidad & Tobago. She is a Certified Licensed Clinical Social Worker employed at Johns Hopkins University & Sheppard Pratt Psychiatric Hospital. Tiffany has extensive experience working within the mental health field, and is passionate about de-stigmatizing mental health in communities of color and teaching on racialized trauma. She loves the church and believes in living in Godly purpose. In addition to external community work, Tiffany is active in her faith denomination where she regularly conducts seminars on mental health, family dynamics, social justice, and youth development. Additionally, she has served as the Young Adult Coordinator for the Northeastern Conference, youth leader for 10+ years at the local church, & the young adult member of the Atlantic Union Executive Committee.

Her favorite quote is “I am human, let nothing human be alien to me.”

Although Greater Summit–Conversations is designed for our young adult community, we recognize that mental health is a journey that we are all living and everyone is welcome to join this Conversation. We’ve been working with our Front Range youth pastors and high schoolers are encouraged to attend. A Zoom social space for both youth and young adults will be provided following the presentation.

23 Apr


These videos were shown on April 23 during the Executive Committee of Mid-America Union Conference.

In the words of Gary Thurber, “One is an advertisement AdventHealth created to honor all of their employees on the front lines. The other is a beautiful arrangement of the song ”We Shall Overcome” sung by Oakwood University’s work famous Aeolians choir. Both of these will warm your heart greatly and I hope you will take the time to watch them.”

AdventHealth Tribute Commercial

The Aeolians Oakwood University Alumni 2020 “We Shall Overcome”


photo by Unsplash

22 Apr

Help your people survive this crisis and beyond – relationships

It’s not a news flash that people are hurting these days, even more than in “normal” times.  Ron Price, author, trainer, and mediator recorded short videos to equip couples and families to come out of this crisis with their families and their sanity intact.

Faith based #1 Five Germs video – These five “germs” help to explain why so many families fall apart.

Faith based #2 – Time out signal

Faith based #3 – LUV Talk

Faith based #4  – AGI

This will not cure Coronavirus, but it will ease some aspects of it

21 Apr

Psychological First Aid: Addressing Mental Health Distress During Disasters

The following information appeared on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.

When people are faced with disaster, intense emotions are often present and appropriate. Psychological First Aid (PFA) can help responders promote an environment of safety, calm, connectedness, self-efficacy, empowerment, and hope. PFA was developed by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and the National Center for PTSD, with contributions from individuals involved in disaster research and response. This webinar will provide a brief overview of PFA and connect viewers with both online and in-person training resources. This webinar will be broadcast on Wednesday, April 22, at 1 p.m. ET. Closed captioning will be available. Learn more about the webinar, including continuing education options here.

More information on this webinar, previous EPIC webinars, and continuing education can be found on the EPIC Webinar website.

Webinar Information: Wednesday April 22, 2020 at 11 am MDT.  To join click here.

21 Apr

Relational Intelligence

Ed Barnett, RMC president, in conversation on “Relational Intelligence” with Ron Price, author, trainer, and mediator. They will bring to you a series of video conversations dealing with relationships in a variety aspects of our daily life – at home, in the church and society at large.

Watch this space!

You can contact Ed Barnett at [email protected] and Ron Price at [email protected]

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11