Day 18 – Stay Positive
Positive Thinking (and speaking and acting) can improve your mental, physical, and emotional health and wellness. Positive emotions have been linked with better health, longer life, and greater well-being in numerous scientific studies. On the other hand, chronic anger, worry, and hostility increase the risk of developing heart disease, as people react to these feelings with raised blood pressure and stiffening of blood vessels.
Here are a few tips on staying positive:
Write in a gratitude journal every day. Make sure to be specific! A number of studies have found gratitude to be linked with positive emotions, and overall well-being, and life satisfaction.
Listen to happy-sounding music. Research has shown that music activates the region of the brain that releases the feel good chemical dopamine and also relaxes the body. So “happy” music can in fact make you feel happier! Seriously….who can listen to “Happy” by Pharrell Williams or “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift and not just feel like you want to dance and smile.
Share positivity by sending one thank-you email or doing one kind act every day. There are several studies that show that acts of kindness can boost happiness, reduce depression, and even help you live longer.
Challenge your negative thinking. Ask yourself, “Is there another more positive way I could view this?” Studies have shown that being able to think optimistically is good for your health and well-being.
Optimists are also better problem solvers and better at accepting bad situations.
Smile. It might sound simplistic, but research has shown that it actually helps you feel happier. Feedback sent to the brain from facial muscles can actually impact the development of emotions and the effect is even stronger if you combine the smile with a positive thought. So smile!
Follow your passion. Do something you feel excited about. Volunteer for a cause you believe in or sign up for a class to learn something new. Several studies have shown that people who feel a sense of meaning in their life are healthier, live longer, and have greater life satisfaction.
You don’t have to let bad news and negativity ruin your day. You have a choice about where you focus your attention and how you choose to respond to any situation. Try incorporating these tips into your life and I’m confident you’ll see how the positives outweigh the negatives.