Imagine for a second that we counted our blessings ALL year long instead of just at Thanksgiving and Christmas. What would be the result? Better health and a stronger immune system, say researchers. Positive psychology, a recent health movement, has found that people who are more optimistic and grateful on a daily basis for their lives, take better care of themselves and manage stress a lot better. Optimistic people tend to have higher levels of blood cells that protect the immune system, too. In fact, adversity can boost feelings of gratitude. Studies held after 9/11 showed that overall feelings of well being and thankfulness surged in our country which helped many people cope with every day stress. For survivors of 9/11, the feelings of gratitude even helped them avoid Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. What are some of the things you can do to live a more “mindful” life?
1. Maintain a gratitude journal on a weekly basis detailing feelings of thankfulness.
2. Create a list of benefits in your life and ask yourself, “To what extent do I take these things for granted?”
3. Talk to yourself in a positive, creative and optimistic manner.
4. Reframe a situation by looking at it in a different, more positive manner. What good things could possibly come from it?
What do you have to lose (except feeling negative and helpless?) A new year begs for a new mindset.