Hi, everyone. I just thought that perhaps some of you may be wondering why Rogene and I have created our positive lifestyle blogs and insist on the importance of a positive attitude. I mean, many of you who may know us well realize that this type of thinking does not come easily or naturally for us, and sometimes we flat out fail. But we insist that we retain this attitude as a central theme for our lives not only because it creates a more pleasant atmosphere for us and others to live, it also causes us to feel better.
The Christian/Hebraic scriptures gives us our basic teaching on this subject where Solomon recorded being told: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22) But now scientists are catching up to the wisdom of old.
I just read an article from the National Institute of Health (NIH) which, for some, may be an astonishing announcement from a governmentally sponsored research institute, but it simply shows that the sages of old most certainly had more than just hunches when they gave their advice. One of the researchers that was interviewed by the NIH, Dr. Fredrickson, reportedly said,
“The results suggest that taking time to learn the skills to self-generate positive emotions can help us become healthier, more social, more resilient versions of ourselves.”
The report goes on to say that the results of positive thinking affected not only one’s spiritual and psychological health, but also our physical health and recommends positive lifestyle training through meditation, affirmations and thought control methods to help one learn how to feel better by thinking differently.
Below I have quoted the first few sentences of the NIH article to get you started reading this article about this exciting research, but don’t stop here. Please follow the link and read the whole article. It takes a few minutes, but the information is invaluable. . . .
Positive Emotions and Your Health Developing a Brighter Outlook
Do you tend to look on the sunny side, or do you see a future filled with dark, stormy skies? A growing body of research suggests that having a positive outlook can benefit your physical health. NIH-funded scientists are working to better understand the links between your attitude and your body. They’re finding some evidence that emotional wellness can be improved by developing certain skills.
Having a positive outlook doesn’t mean you never feel negative emotions, such as sadness or anger, says Dr. Barbara L. Fredrickson, a psychologist and expert on emotional wellness at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. “All emotions—whether positive or negative—are adaptive in the right circumstances. The key seems to be finding a balance between the two,” she says.
“Positive emotions expand our awareness and open us up to new ideas, so we can grow and add to our toolkit for survival,” Fredrickson explains. “But people need negative emotions to move through difficult situations and respond to them appropriately in the short term. Negative emotions can get us into trouble, though, if they’re based on too much rumination about the past or excessive worry about the future, and they’re not really related to what’s happening in the here and now.”
People who are emotionally well, experts say, have fewer negative emotions and are able to bounce back from difficulties faster. This quality is called resilience. Another sign of emotional wellness is being able to hold onto positive emotions longer and appreciate the good times. Developing a sense of meaning and purpose in life—and focusing on what’s important to you—also contributes to emotional wellness.
Research has found a link between an upbeat mental state and improved health, including lower blood pressure, reduced risk for heart disease, healthier weight, better blood sugar levels, and longer life. But many studies can’t determine whether positive emotions lead to better health, if being healthy causes positive emotions, or if other factors are involved. . . . (complete article here)