9 Ways to Positively Influence Your Health and Happiness [A Reblog courtesy of Always Well Within]
Sandra Pawula, author of Always Well Within wrote a wonderful article today about the power of positivity, and the impact optimism and consciously practicing positivity can have on your life, your emotions, your relationships, your health and your happiness. Sandra offers so many wonderful links, quotes, and inspirational words, that I had to share her post for others to read. Her blog is truly wonderful, and one I highly recommend visiting frequently. Enjoy!
9 Ways to Positively Influence Your Health and Happiness
POSTED ON APRIL 9, 2012 BY SANDRA PAWULA
Smiling releases “feel good” chemicals in the body.
The scientific evidence has been steadily accumulating: negative emotions like anger, fear, and sadness as well as the repeated activation of the stress response can have a negative effect on the immune system and may also put you at higher risk for a range of diseases.
On the other hand, research tells us that optimism typically has a positive affect on the immune system and one’s health. According to researcher Suzanne Sergerstrom,
“…a number of studies show that optimists are in general both psychologically and physiologically healthier.”
Traditional Chinese Medicine also suggests that laughter, pleasure, optimism, and boosting your spirits in other enjoyable ways can have a positive knock-on effect for your immune system and general well being. The “radiant circuits” – the meridian systems interconnected with the immune system – are thought to be highly responsive to your thoughts, images, and beliefs. Shifting your mind set can sometimes have an instantaneous effect.
Great Leaders and Thinkers Say Yes to Optimism
Both spiritual and conventional wisdom seem to agree that optimism is good for your health:
“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.” –Proverbs 17:22
“If you believe that feeling bad or worrying long enough will change a past or future event, then you are residing on another planet with a different reality system.” – William James
“There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“Happy is the man who has broken the chains which hurt the mind, and has given up worrying once and for all.” – Ovid
“When I look back on all the worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which never happened.” – Winston Churchill
Enjoy the Medicine of Positivity
Use any of these 7 simple methods to funnel the medicine of positivity into your own body, mind, and spirit. As you heal your own heart and mind, you will naturally exude kindness, compassion, and positivity and thus become a healing influence for others.
You can start with tiny doses: just one minute at a time, repeated several times a day. Morning, as
soon as you wake up, is a potent time to “take your medicine” and set the tone for the day. For example, start the day with a smile.
- Smile ~ Smile for no reason! Studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers, and serotonin, substances that make you feel good. Smiling may also increase immune function, extend your longevity, and reduce your blood pressure.
- Joy ~ Recall a time when you felt happy. Bring that sense of happiness into the present moment and let it permeate your body and being. Or, remember a person that makes you happy and let the memory spark your heart with joy.
- Forgiveness ~ Imagine completely forgiving yourself or another and immerse your entire body, mind, and spirit in that feeling. Radiate forgiveness throughout your body.
- Gratitude ~ Tune into different parts of your body – your legs, your hands, your brain, your organs, and so on – and feel grateful. Send feelings of gratitude to each one.
- Love ~ Place your attention at your heart and feel a sense of unconditional love toward yourself exactly as you are. Kindle that that sense of love so it burns brighter and brighter. Repeat the phrases: “May I be well. May I be Happy. May I Be Safe.”
- Laughter ~ Watching funny movies, read joke books, look at funny comics, be silly, practice laughing for no reason at all.
- Affirmations – Repeat positive affirmations to yourself, write them out, draw them, post them in prominent places. You are fundamentally divine. Allow this truth to gradually wash away your low self esteem or self hatred.
- Nature – Watch a sunset, sit by a gentle stream, watch for whales or dolphins at the ocean, listen to the birds singing outside, smell the roses!
- Expand Your Happiness Vocabulary ~ Jubilant, eager, content, vibrant, and many more!
You can read the rest of 9 Ways to Positively Influence Your Health and Happiness here:
Article written by SANDRA PAWULA author of Always Well Within
During difficult times these things can help us be resilient in meeting life’s challenges, for sure!
I couldn’t agree more!
I love this! This is exactly what I try to do every moment of every day. Smile, love, laugh .. 🙂 There’s only one very small thing that I don’t agree 100% on – the ‘may I be’-part. I think it’s more right to focus on the fact that you _are_ those things, and try to feel that way. Like, “I _am_ well” .. but yeah, this was a great post – and I couldn’t have said it any better myself!
You are very right!! I personally do believe that affirming that “Yes I am well!” Yes I am happy!” is the way to go as well. Thanks for the comment: )