You are probably aware that the United States leads the world in consumption of antidepressant drugs—one in five adults gets prescription medication of one kind or another for mental health reasons. In the decade from 2000 to 2010, usage leaped 29 percent. Wow! Abuse of prescription opiates has also skyrocketed.
Although some people have serious mental health issues that require antidepressant medication, for the rest of us God has another way to get dopamine into our heads, and it does not involve drugs. It is the daily attitude you choose: “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22). You can’t control what comes at you each day, but you can indeed take control of your attitude.
It’s easy to complain, feel cheated, feel bitter, feel helpless and hopeless. That mental negativity, however, just shrivels up the human spirit. Here’s the path to a cheerful heart: Reflect on the great love the Father has for you, great enough to sacrifice his Son on the cross for you. Take inventory of the wonderful people in your life. Remember things people have said or done that build you up. Choose to remember your achievements, and refuse to dwell on your failures. Reread Scripture passages that promise God’s attention, protection, and providing, and call to mind the times you know you received help from above.
And remember that you are immortal. Heaven awaits.