Showing posts from May 8, 2016

Watch This Toddler With Autism Fall in Love With Snow White

This toddler may be too shy to interact with anyone, but who wouldn’t go starry-eyed for Snow White?

While at Disney World with his family, two-year-old Jack-Jack refused to look at Mary Poppins and declined a friendship with Buzz Lightyear, but when he saw the fairest of them all, it was love at first sight.

Two weeks after going on the vacation, Jack-Jack was diagnosed with nonverbal autism, meaning he’s usually as mute as Ariel – but that doesn’t stop him from re-watching this special moment with the raven-haired Disney princess over and over again.

Walgreens Now Provides Free Online Mental Illness Tests

Susan Scutti

A sense of community beats in most hearts, no matter whether we work for ourselves, for a mom-and-pop company, or for some behemoth organization… like Walgreens. One of the nation's largest drugstore chains, Walgreens operates a total of 8,173 drugstores as well as an additional 400 healthcare clinics throughout the 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Each day, more than 8 million customers interact with Walgreens, giving this chain store a unique opportunity to influence countless lives in a positive way.

Walgreens made a step toward fulfilling grander dreams by launching a new mental health platform on Wednesday. Collaborating with partners, the drugstore chain intends to help meet the need for access to care though online services. The company website connects customers to free online screenings for a number of conditions, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and PTSD, and facilitates follow-up treatment through local providers and spec…

New York City Businesses Cutting Trash by Half in ‘Zero Waste’ Plan

Led by more than 30 corporations and the mayor’s office, New York City is making progress on its goal to reduce the city’s waste output by 90 percent in the next decade and a half.

Already this year, Whole Foods, the ABC network, and Anheuser-Busch, have pledged to cut in half the trash they send to landfills by June, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office said.

The ambitious “Zero Waste Challenge” is focusing on increased recycling, reduced packaging and composting to meet its goal by 2030.

Businesses joining the challenge include huge sports arenas those used by the New York Mets baseball team and the Brooklyn Nets basketball team, as well as luxury hotels and high-end restaurants like The Waldorf Astoria and Le Bernardin, according to a Reuters report.

The amount of waste produced by the city has fallen 14 percent since 2005 due to recycling habits strengthened during former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s term.

Participants in the challenge, which began in February, have already slashed 60 percent of…

German Shepherd Rescues Troops Pinned Down by ISIS Fighters

When British special forces troops and an American K-9 team were pinned down by ISIS fighters, a heroic German shepherd came to the rescue.

It’s believed to be the first time a military working dog has directly saved British lives in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The British troops and an American soldier with his dog were returning to base after a 10-day training session for Kurdish Peshmerga fighters. The small band of soldiers were ambushed by about 50 ISIS fighters.

The troops say the shepherd could sense their tension and was growing increasingly protective of its “pack.” As the dog became more and more restless, the handler finally set him loose.

“When the dog was unleashed it went after the greatest threat without consideration for its own safety,” an unnamed military source told The Sun.

The dog immediately raced toward two different ISIS fighters, frightening them so much, they turned and ran, leaving the German shepherd unharmed and trotting back to his handler, tail wagging.


How to Talk with Teens about Purpose

ByJill Suttie

A Q&A with Kendall Bronk about instilling purpose in teens—and the emerging research showing why it's so important.

Many psychologists are worried that kids today are falling through the cracks at their schools. Unmotivated to learn or bored with their classes or both, many are simply going through the motions or dropping out of school altogether. Some suffer from debilitating depression and anxiety, or act out their frustrations in unhealthy ways—like using drugs and alcohol, or turning to criminal behavior. But there may be a way to help address this problem: encouraging kids to search for a purpose in life. According toKendall Bronk, a researcher at Claremont Graduate University who studies how purpose impacts wellbeing throughout the lifespan, young people are hungry for purpose—and without it, they tend to be uninterested in school and more prone to psychological issues down the road. Contrarily, those with purpose look forward to greater wellbeing. Bronk define…

Daily Inspirational Quote - May 14, 2016

“Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart.”

There’s certainly a lot out there to catch our eye isn’t there? Whether it’s on TV, bill posters, social media, etc. etc., it’s impossible not to be constantly noticing what’s around us. Indeed we live in a consumer obsessed world surrounded by hype urging us to buy things we don’t really need, sign up to deals that profit other people, or promoting ways we can be more or look more like so called “celebrities”. These things are transient, they have no substance, and they’re unrealistic…… Try to look past all this and then you’ll see the true beauty that’s out there, within your grasp. The love of family, true friendships, the beauty to be found by just looking around and being aware of the miracle of nature and the animals inhabiting this wonderful world of ours. All we need to enrich our hearts and souls for the taking with no price tag attached.


Iris Grace & Thula: A Girl & Her Cat

Iris Grace Halmshaw, is an extraordinary 5-year-old British girl who was diagnosed with autism three years ago. In the first few years of her life she barely communicated. Painting proved to be an unexpected outlet, and her ethereal creations stunned not just her family, but the art world at large. "While Iris has been painting for more than 18 months now, a new friend joined her family just before Valentine's Day this year, who has helped make all the difference in her ability and desire to communicate with the outside world." This beautiful story shares more about the unexpected friendship between a gifted child artist and her cat Thula.

Daily Inspirational Quote - May 13, 2016

“Be with someone who brings out the best in you, not the stress in you.”

Most of the people we surround ourselves with are there because we want them to be and, indeed, actively encourage their presence in our lives. However, I know we all have, or have had, people in our lives who, just by picking up the ‘phone and hearing their voices, or anticipating a visit from them or being invited to meet with them, just makes us “antsy” and fills us with stress. Why do it to ourselves? Let’s all strive to surround ourselves with people who do bring out the best in us not the stress in us okay?


7 Lessons About Finding the Work You Were Meant to Do

"Finding your calling -- it's not passive," [StoryCorps founder Dave Isay] says. "When people have found their calling, they've made tough decisions and sacrifices in order to do the work they were meant to do.  "In other words, you don't just "find" your calling -- you have to fight for it. And it's worth the fight. "People who've found their calling have a fire about them," says Isay, the winner of the 2015 TED Prize. "They're the people who are dying to get up in the morning and go do their work." Read on as Isay shares 7 takeaways he has learned by studying people who have succeeded in the hard-won fight to find the work they love.

Spending Money on Others Can Lower Your Blood Pressure

ByElizabeth Hopper

According to a new study, pro-social spending may be as good for your blood pressure as healthy diet and exercise.

Many of us believe that the way to become happier and healthier is by spending money on ourselves. We put in extra hours at work and save up money to be able to buy the things that we believe will bring us happiness. But what if spending money on ourselves isn’t the best way to become happier?  Past researchhas shown that when we spend money on others, we actually experience greater well-being than if we were to spend that money on ourselves. Could something as simple as buying a friend dinner or donating to charity improve ourhealth, too—and if so, how? According to a paper published this February in the journalHealth Psychology, it can—and one way it works is by lowering blood pressure. In an initial study, researchers looked at the relationship between giving money to others (or “prosocial spending”) and blood pressure, a simple measure of cardiovascular …

Daily Inspirational Quote - May 12, 2016

“Today is your day to let go of things that no longer serve you.”

We periodically go through our wardrobes, closets, etc. and have a good clear out of the things that we no longer want to keep because we know we will never find a need for them in the future, or they no longer bring us what they once did. If you take the time to think about it, the same can be said for certain people, places, groups in our lives can’t it? When was the last time that you had a good “clear out?” Perhaps your life would be richer and freer if you were prepared to let go of people or things that serve no useful purpose for you? Think about it.


The Woman Who Rescued Over 200 Sloths

"Monique Pool first fell in love with sloths when she took in an orphan from a rescue centre. Since then many sloths have spent time in her home on their way back to the forest -- but even she found it hard to cope when she had to rescue 200 at once. It all began in 2005 when Pool lost her dog, a mongrel called Sciolo, and called the Suriname Animal Protection Society to see if they'd found it. They hadn't, but they told her about Loesje (or Lucia), a baby three-toed sloth they didn't know how to look after. Pool offered to take it --and was instantly smitten."

How Awe Sharpens Our Brains

ByMichelle Lani Shiota

According to emerging research, we're better thinkers when we're feeling awe.

More than 4.5 million peoplevisitedthe Grand Canyon National Park in 2013; more than 3.5 million visited Yosemite. That same year, worldwide revenues for Cirque du Soleil, the Quebecois theatrical venture emphasizing extreme feats of acrobatics and agility, wereclose to $850 million. Fireworks displays, first developed inseventh-century China, are now featured in celebrations throughout the world at tremendous public expense. The Hubble telescope, which provides our most vivid images of outer space, initially cost$1.5 billion to launch—and accumulated costs of the project have been estimated at over $10 billion.

A behavioral scientist looks at these numbers and asks,Why?Why do people spend huge amounts of time, effort, and money on these apparently pointless activities? An economist might conclude that they are all an appalling waste of resources. Why are fireworks, circuses, and …