Do You Believe in Positive Thinking
By Ronayne Herbert, RNP
Okay, fess up—at some point you’ve tried to “think positive”, hoping you could magically get something you wished for. I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade but there is considerable evidence that we don’t get everything we wish for. If we did, there would be no need to work for anything.
So what’s the scoop? Is there anything to the concept of positive thinking? Yes, there is!
“Think Positive” is an expression we have all heard. But how many times have we actually considered what this means to our health and happiness. Research has shown that people who are less stressed have fewer medical conditions, better coping skills and actually may live longer than their positivity-challenged counterparts. A daily dose of the following can energize our lives and affect healthy change:
1. Eat more plant-based foods that grow on trees or in the ground and eat less foods that are manufactured. Packaged foods contain more salt, sugar and additives than naturally grown foods. Raw, unprocessed organic fruits and vegetables and whole grains are higher in natural fiber, nutrients and enzymes.
2. Make time to exercise. Exercise conditions your body and increases endorphin release which promotes well-being. In addition, regular exercise strengthens your circulatory system, your heart, muscles, nerves, lungs and brain.
3. Smile more often. Smiling involves 43 facial muscles and is interpreted in all cultures as an act of friendliness. People usually react more favorably to others who they perceive as non-threatening. Positive reinforcement increases self-esteem and self-confidence.
4. Get enough restful sleep. Studies show that lack of quality sleep can have major consequences on our mood, performance, health and mortality. Sleep helps the body restore our strength and immunity.
5. Breathe deeply and be thankful for something each day. Breathing consciously (deep, slow breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth) calms the nervous system, improves the circulatory and lymphatic systems as well as increasing aeration to the lungs and stomach. Practicing gratitude for all that you have been given: the sunshine, a friend, a healthier you may lessen the risk for depression and increase your energy level.