“Attitude” is comprised of the internal dialog we have with ourselves and our reactions to the outside world. Researchers continue to find compelling evidence that a positive attitude has beneficial effects to our well-being and health. Studies consistently find links between attitude and health when related to:
- A longer life span
- Lower rates of depression
- Less susceptibility to airborne illnesses such as colds
- Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
Sometimes the direct effect of our attitude on health is even more obvious. Consider how we approach weight loss. If we think about our diet from the perspective of “all the foods we can’t have”, we are far more likely to fail in our lifestyle changes. A more positive approach to the same goal is to view our changes as “an opportunity to learn about new foods and preparations.” This positive approach makes it far more likely our choices will become a life-long commitment.
SIX STEPS TO A POSITIVE ATTITUDE
Get Moving! Regular exercise, (at least three times a week), will have a positive effect to your mood by reducing stress. Mindful exercises like yoga, stretching, or Pilates provide additional stress-busting benefits.
Stick to a balanced diet. A diet with leafy greens, vitamin rich vegetables, and unprocessed foods will provide energy and help you feel happier. Learning to consume the correct amount is also an important factor to avoiding obesity and other chronic diseases that affect mood.
Positive affirmation. Sometimes we can’t help but feel overwhelmed. In these moments follow one simple rule: Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to anyone else. Try to think of the ways you’d encourage someone going through the same things and instead apply it to yourself.
Use laughter as a barrier to stress. By actively seeking the humorous side of situations it allows you to step back from a situation and see the bigger picture. It is okay to laugh, even during difficult times. There is a reason laughter is called the best medicine.
Positivity is contagious. Surround yourself with other positive, supportive people. Their attitudes will support an optimistic outlook in stressful situations, which helps maintain physical health. Alternatively, negative people may increase your stress and make you feel more overwhelmed, sapping much needed energy.
Watch out for negative influences. 24-hour news channels, celebrity gossip, even your internet “Home Page” can cause negative influences to seep into your day. Pay attention to what’s happening in the background and turn it off whenever you can.