You’ve got this! By Tracy Becker, Licensed Counselor

Roseanne Asks: How do I stop myself from having so many negative thoughts?

What a great question, Roseanne. This is something that plagues many people as it is a difficult task. Research says that we have approximately 65-85 thousand thoughts a day, thus making the it nearly impossible to assess what you’re thinking.

Knowing this, one of the best ways to stop the negative thought pattern, and create new thought patterns. There are a multitude of ways to do this, but I would suggest by starting simple by finding ways to relax – through laying down listening to relaxing music, specifically binaural tones (found on YouTube), with your earbuds so that you aren’t disturbed. You can also practice deep breathing exercises, meditation or listening to an inspiring and uplifting lecture.

Get out in nature away from your typical noises. Allow yourself to simply listening to the wind, the trees, water flowing you can clear your mind from the clutter. After a big rain you can go and scoop up a mason jar full of water out of the creek and attempt to look through the jar.

It will be difficult because the water has been stirred up by the rain it will be cloudy. But if you let it sit on the counter for some time the sediment will sink to the bottom and the water will be clear. This is what you want for your mind on a regular basis.

Engage in a hobby. When you put your brain power toward learning something new you get distracted from the things that bug you. We are thinking new thoughts and creating new patterns of thinking and creativity. Creativity and eager learning always soothes the mind.

Recommending reading
The Biology of Belief by Dr. Bruce Lipton; Words Can Change Your Brain by Dr Andrew Newberg

Please submit questions to tracy@tracybecker.com

You’ve got this! Mark Asks: I seriously lack motivation, what can I do to get back on track?

By Tracy Becker

Licensed Counselor

Hey Mark, it sounds like your get-up-and-go got-up-and-went. We all go through spells like this, but it doesn’t make it any easier. There are several ways to look at this.

One is that motivation can be associated with things you are supposed to do, ought to do, need to do or someone wants me to do.

Causing feel bad about ourselves, maybe get depression. In this regard, I invite you to switch motivation to inspiration. Inspiration meaning to be inspired, lifted up and excited by. If you allow inspiration to be your guide this will bring a whole new approach to what you take action on without shirking your responsibilities.

Another approach is to take a good hard look at your life and see what is weighting you down. List 100 things in your life that you are tolerating.

From the condition of your vehicle or home, your health, your job, your finances, or maybe even a close relationship that isn’t working too well for you. Take a couple of days to do this as it will bring about a lot of clarity on what’s bugging you that you haven’t been dealing with.

Next, circle all the things on your list you have no control over – things that are what they are. These are the things you will need to accept and let go of.

Lastly, you are left with the things you do have control over. With these create a plan. Start with the easy (so you’ll feel some success) and work your way to the more difficult. Chip away at this list the best you can.By following these two steps you can be well on your way.

Sheriff’s K9 Rico receives body armor

Johnson County’s bullet and stab protective vest recipient, Rico and his Handler, T.J. Brown pose for a photo in Mountain City. Rico received the protective gear from Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. a 501c(3) charity organization located in East Taunton, MA. The vest was donated to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office in memory of K9 Josey of the Union County Sheriff’s Office, TN.” Submitted photo.

Plant trees on annual Tree Day

By Tamas Mondovics

Tennessee residents are invited to beautify their properties and their communities by planting trees on 250K Tree Day, scheduled for March 23, 2019.
According to officials, trees are now available to order for a $1 donation per tree, while supplies last through March 17, by visiting the event website at www.tectn.org/250KTreeDay.
This year’s event is organized by Tennessee Environmental Council (TEC) in its effort to maintain a healthy tree canopy in communities across Tennessee. Tree species include Red Oak, Red Bud, Pine and Plum or similar fruit variety.
TEC has planted over 540,000 trees since 2007 fulfilling the mission to educate and advocate for the conservation and improvement of Tennessee’s environment, communities, and public health.
“We are thrilled each year to be able to offer low-cost trees for the people of Tennessee to beautify their properties and participate in the largest community-tree-planting event in America,” said Jeffrey Barrie, Interim CEO for Tennessee Environmental Council, and one of the event organizers.
The event is sponsored by numerous funders and agencies, including the Memorial Foundation, the Lyndhurst Foundation, Cumberland River Compact, MTEMC’s Sharing Change, Bridgestone, Bass Pro Shops & TVA.
“This event typically draws tens of thousands of volunteers who plant their trees at their homes, farms, businesses, neighborhoods, and other locations of their choosing,” Barrie said.
Residents are urged to be sure to pick up their trees as ordered on the dates and locations published on the event website.

This ‘n’ That Happenings In The Year 1836

The year 1836 is of particu-lar interest to me because
it was the year Johnson County was carved out of Carter County to become the most northeastern county in Ten-nessee. Citizens of the area that became Johnson County had been plagued for years by the difficulty of traveling to Elizabethton, the county seat of Carter County, to conduct necessary business. In those days, travel was
grueling and time consum-ing. There were rivers to cross
and ridges to traverse. Johnson County was named for Thomas Johnson, a very respected and influential man of the area.
The county seat of Johnson County was laid out and lots were sold. Originally named Taylorsville to honor Carter County’s James P. Taylor. The name was changed from Taylorsville to Mountain City in 1885. Since the town was surrounded by beautiful mountains, it was a very ap-propriate name.
As I was thinking about 1836, I decided to try to find some other happenings in that year. It was in that year that the Battle of the Alamo in what is now San Antonio Texas was fought. After 13 days of fighting the Texas defenders were over-whelmed and the entire gar-rison was killed. Two hun-dred fifty seven Texans were killed including Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett. Crocket, a Tennessee Congressman, had left for Texas following a disappointing loss in his final bid for Congress.
Andrew Jackson was presi-dent in 1836. He had been a popular and successful gen-eral prior to becoming a U.S. president. He served as president from 1829 to 1837. Englishman Charles Dickens, the famous author of the Victorian Era, was born February 7, 1812. Fol-lowing his marriage in 1836, he became a prolific writer with such works as David Copperfield, Great Expecta-tions and other novels. He was also the author of a number of short stories. One famous person who married in 1836 was famous writer Harriet Beecher to Calvin Stowe in Cincinnati, Ohio on January 6. On May 16 Edgar Allan Poe married his cousin Virginia Clemm. Eng-lish novelist William Makepeace Thackeray mar-ried Isabella Gethin Shawe.
Among the deaths in 1836 were Betsy Ross (1752 – 1836), Aaron Burr (1756 – 1836 and as mentioned ear-lier Davy Crockett (1786 – 1836). James Madison, who died in 1836, served as U. S. President from 1809 to1817. The Texas Capital City, Aus-tin, is named for Stephen F. Austin who passed away in 1836. I found a birthday that was quiet interesting. Win-slow Homer, a famous American Painter was born February 24, 1836 in Boston, Massachusetts. He died Sep-tember 29, 1910 at the age of 74. Homer is one of the most famous American painters. His maritime paint-ings are superb.
So, a lot was going on in the United States in 1836. I suppose that in what would become Mountain City there was a lot going on also. It was truly the Horse and Buggy days.

You’ve got this! Alison asks: How can I help my friends and family that have depression or anxiety?

By Tracy Becker

Licensed Counselor

Thank you, Alison, for this question. It is estimated that approximately 16.2 million adults have at least one depressive episode per year.

The numbers for anxiety run as high as 40 million adults per year. Yet know these are not necessarily “real” numbers as a vast percentage of people do not seek help for either disorder.

Having said all this, it is quite “normal” for people to have episodes of anxiety, depression or a combination of the two in a life-time. There are situations that one would only expect this.

Some of these situations are death of a loved one; divorce; loss of income stream; or other life changing events. Your childhood life-experiences also have a great impact on your ability to cope with major life changes.

Some strengths that help us overcome would be having a strong emotional, spiritual and social support system, a positive outlook and mindset, and good physical habits of diet, exercise and a preventive care. If we lack in these areas, the struggle becomes more profound.

The most obvious way to help is to have your loved one get professional help. You can start with a licensed counselor who can easily
assess the level of impact, and determine what actions need to be taken to increase the person’s ability to overcome.

Yet, the main necessary ingredient is WILLINGNESS. If the person is not willing to overcome, change, or follow-up with treatment success will be greatly limited. Willingness isn’t something we can give to another person, they have to pull from deep with in to generate it, and have a great desire to feel better.

In a nutshell, it isn’t easy and may take patience, but keep trying with love and tenderness.

Resources: Insurance companies will help find a counselor. Google can be helpful too.
Books: From Tears to Triumph by Marianne Williamson; Top bestselling books on anxiety and depression

All information, content, and material of this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician,
licensed counselor or
healthcare provider.

You’ve got this! Melissa Asks: How can we add more sunshine to the dreary winter months?

By Tracy Becker

Licensed Counselor

Thank you, Melissa, for this question. One thing for sure is that our natural circadian rhythms (our body clock) is impacted by the amount of sunlight we have in our days. According to sleep studies 7-9 hours a sleep is a healthy amount, yet in the dark cold winter months sometimes this can increase by 1-2 hours.

As a very productive-oriented society, this often causes us to feel as if we aren’t “doing” enough. Thus, an internal conflict brews: wanting to rest, sleep and be less active VS. being productive, getting everything done, and feeling anxious when we don’t.

If you forgive yourself when you aren’t as productive, and may not reach your goals you will feel better about yourself. Allow yourself time to rest, read and be at ease. Taking advantage of the Sun when it is out. Try a sunbath, even if its too cold to go outside, make yourself a spot where this sun is shinning in and let those healing rays wash over you.

Remind yourself of things to do with family and friends that lift your spirits and make you laugh. Get the games out, camp-out in the living room together, watch funny movies, make funny family videos, get creative with new crafts, learn something new, read a book as a family. There are many options to explore.
Eat lighter. If we eat a lot of complex carbohydrates and meats it makes us feel “heavier” in our bodies and more sluggish. Add more green vegetables and fruits. In addition, Get out in the fresh air whenever you can. Even if it is just a short walk. The cool clean air is good for you. Bundle up and have fun.

Resource: 85 Indoor Activities for Everyone

You’ve got this!

Tracy Becker answers your questions.

Jennifer Asks: “What can schools do to help students become more
tolerant of different people’s beliefs, appearances and backgrounds?”

By Tracy Becker

Licensed Counselor

Thank you, Jennifer, for this question. I have done some of my own research on this topic. The research suggests that if the teachers and staff can lead by example and integrate tolerance, diversity and multicultural dynamics into their style of teaching, and the way in which they interacting with the students the students are more likely to follow suit.

As you know this isn’t always easy, because, as adults, we have also been influenced by our own culture and environment; and may not have even notice for ourselves that we have intolerances; or we may have a habit of saying something that is offensive to some, but we don’t even realize it. Thus, this requires some inquiry into our own beliefs and intolerances.

If the schools can offer in-services classes, if they don’t already, to help the teachers realize their influence and power related to this topic, and how to integrate it into their already existing lesson plans, this would be a great start.

In addition, students, teenagers specifically, learn from each other. It would be prudent to make sure that there are multicultural opportunities for the student body, and supervised by an adult. This could range from students getting together to discuss openly the issues they see daily in their school and among their friends; an educational opportunity through an assembly where the questions and concerns are addresses by the student body; and celebrations of holidays other than the
traditional ones throughout the school year.
These are just a few ways the schools can start with the hopes that tolerance grows out into the community from this effort.

Resource: 64 days, 64 ways to non-violence K-12 curriculum based on Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi’s
teachings. All information, content, and material of this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician, licensed counselor or healthcare provider.

Drink your milk

It is an honor to serve Johnson County in the House of Representatives.
Time passes so quickly. It is hard to believe I am beginning my seventh year representing you. I am grateful for the opportunity you have given me.
One of the reasons I believe I was sent to Nashville is to protect our values, and many of them are under assault.
Now your milk has been targeted. Senate Bill 15 would change the way we are allowed to consume milk. The proposal would eliminate your right to drink the milkfrom the cow – that you own.
Plenty of people consider it dangerous to consume raw milk prior to processing. Well, there are gallons at the grocery store for those folks to buy. In fact, my 3-year-old son, Hudson, has been doing his best to keep our dairy farmers in business. And I support his healthy milk habit, every day.
But, what about the people who own the cow? To me, the question isn’t just about the cow, or the contents of the milk.
Behind it all is the government coming into our homes, or onto our farms, and telling us what is proper or acceptable.
At what point do we say, “Enough is enough?”
There is risk in drinking raw milk. There is also risk in riding a bicycle, in driving a car, and in countless other activities. Life comes with risk.
But are we going to allow “big brother” government to continually encroach on our lives, and take away rights we have enjoyed for so long?
Of course I believe in safety, but there are already controls and safety measures in place, and
the law shouldn’t be changed.
I also believe in being levelheaded, and that there must be a balance in any attempts at regulation. If people who own cows want to drink the milk, that should be their right.
In the name of freedom, and common sense, I oppose SB15, and intend to fight to keep the law as it currently stands.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly in the office at 615-741-2050, or on my cell at 423-646-1589.

Rep. Timothy Hill is the Commerce Committee Chairman of the Tennessee House of Representatives.

Drink your milk

It is an honor to serve Johnson County in the House of Representatives.
Time passes so quickly. It is hard to believe I am beginning my seventh year representing you. I am grateful for the opportunity you have given me.
One of the reasons I believe I was sent to Nashville is to protect our values, and many of them are under assault.
Now your milk has been targeted. Senate Bill
15 would change the
way we are allowed to
consume milk. The proposal would eliminate your
right to drink the milk
from the cow – that you
own.
Plenty of people consider it dangerous to consume
raw milk prior to processing. Well, there are gallons at
the grocery store for those folks to buy. In fact, my 3-year-old son, Hudson, has been doing his best to keep our dairy farmers in business. And I support his healthy milk habit, every day.
But, what about the people who own the cow? To me, the question isn’t just about the cow, or the contents of the milk.
Behind it all is the government coming into our homes, or onto our farms, and telling us what is proper or acceptable.
At what point do we say, “Enough is enough?”
There is risk in drinking raw milk. There is also risk in riding a bicycle, in driving a car, and in countless other activities. Life comes with risk.
But are we going to allow “big brother” government to continually encroach on
our lives, and take away rights we have enjoyed for so long?
Of course I believe in safety, but there are
already controls and safety measures in place, and
the law shouldn’t be
changed.
I also believe in being levelheaded, and that there must be a balance in any attempts at regulation. If people who own cows want to drink the milk, that should be their right.
In the name of freedom, and common sense, I oppose SB15, and intend to fight to keep the law as it currently stands.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to
contact me directly in
the office at 615-741-2050, or on my cell at 423-646-1589.

Rep. Timothy Hill is the Commerce
Committee Chairman of the Tennessee House of Representatives.

March for Life

Photo: Mountain City resident Hanna Sharp, 7, holds a sign she made with the help from her mom, Ashley James last week during the annual March for Life event organized locally supporting the National March for Life march in Washington DC against abortion.

March for Life

Johnson County Commissioner Megan McEwen, left, carries a sign during the annual March for Life, last Friday in Mountain City TN. The local event organized by McEwen joined the nation, boasting of much support for the fight against abortion. Photo by Tamas Mondovics

Adopt a new best friend

CJ is a stunning, female redbone coonhound mix. She only wants to be a spoiled family pet. A home with lots of toys and kisses is a must! Start 2019 off right by donating to Rescue DOG! We always need blankets, bleach, puppy food, etc. Drop off locations are Mtn City Antiques, Fred’s, & Barks and Bubbles.

Students and seniors give back this holiday season

The JCHS Boys Basketball Team visits with former teacher June Williams. Photo submitted

By Meg Dickens

Locals young and old were overwhelmed with Christmas spirit. The Johnson County Senior Center joined forces with the Johnson County High School Basketball Team to bring joy to several county shut-ins this holiday season.
Coach Austin Atwood reached out to the Senior Center when he learned of the outreach. Atwood was eager to help his students get involved in volunteer work.

The seniors used money from their fundraisers to put together a dozen gift bags filled with items such as necessities, easily heated food, candy, books and more. The boys delivered 9 bags.

The shut-ins were not the only ones receiving a pleasant surprise that evening. Coach Atwood was surprised to run across a familiar face during visits; his former teacher June Williams. The team enjoyed learning about this influential person in their coach’s life. Atwood and Williams discussed their time as teacher and student.

“You were the first teacher to paddle me,” Atwood exclaimed.

Atwood and Williams laughed and joked throughout the visit. Williams was moved to tears before the visit ended. In the end, the players enjoyed the experience as much as the shut-ins enjoyed receiving the presents. It is certain that this small act of kindness made a positive impact on those unable to travel for the holidays.

Senior news

Local seniors bring in the new year with enthusiasm at the Johnson County Senior Center.
Photo submitted by Kathy Motsinger.

By Meg Dickens

Staff Writer

The Johnson County Senior Center started the new year with a bang. Seniors gathered at the Senior Center for New Year Trivia and to make their New Years resolutions. Local business Food Lion donated sweet treats for seniors to munch on while they partied. Just like any other lively group, the seniors joked around and posed with friends in goofy novelty glasses. The pool table and exercise room were as active as usual. It just goes to show that age is only a number.

The New Years fun did not end after the party. Seniors later gathered for New Year Bingo after lunch on January 4.

Join in on the fun at the Johnson County Senior Center this year. There is almost always something going on at the Center. Find out more information on future activities at (423) 727-8883.

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor

I would like to express my concern of the lack of clean lakes and streams for the sake of native fish for which I feel that the state of Tennessee should be responsible even if it means hiring people to use boats to do the job.
Thank you,
Kenneth Paul Sluder
P.S. Happy New Year

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor
Since pricing of gasoline is very HIGH in Johnson County compared to other counties around us, WHY isn’t someone doing anything to fix the problem or investigate? Crude oil as of Jan 4th, 2019 was going for $47.96! There is NO reason for high prices in our county.
In Butler, gas was listed at a store/gas station for $2.40. In Town it is going for $2.31. If you drive to Carter County in Hampton, gas was $1.99 last week at the Shell station next to Dunkin Donuts.
This week I got gas at the Wal-Mart station and shopped in Lowes in Abingdon VA, which was advertised for $2.02 less three cents discount for $1.99. It is only 26 miles from my home and have the chance to purchase donuts at DD.
I would shop more in Johnson County, however it is TOO expensive!
Elizabeth Remis

There’s a new deputy in town

Johnson County Sheriff Eddie Tester congratulates Evan Martin on his completion and graduation from the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy. Martin is now working with JCSO. Submitted photo

Johnson County Bank donates toys to Niswonger Childrens Hospital

After hearing on the news, that the Niswonger Children’s Hospital in Johnson City, TN was in need of toys for Christmas, the Johnson County Bank Employees and Staff went shopping. Three boxes of toys were purchased and taken to the Niswonger Children’s Hospital with the hope of making a sick child’s Christmas a little brighter. Megan McEwen, a Johnson County Bank employee says, “I love that we are helping make a difference in the lives of children. I myself had a child there during a holiday season and I saw the things they do to make a difficult time easier.” This is one of many contributions the Bank and their employees have made to Niswonger including a Starlight Gaming System. Each year Johnson County Bank and the Johnson County Little League host a toy drive collecting many toys and supplies that benefit the Children’s hospital. Sandy Snyder says, “The Niswonger Hospital is dear to the hearts of the Johnson County Bank family and we plan to continue our support.” Submitted photo and caption.