Friday, January 6, 2012

Positive attitude for a New You in the New Year!

Welcome to 2012, a brand new year full of opportunities and memories to be made!

Many people make resolutions in the new year and struggle to stay on track with keeping that resolution. I know I'm one of those people who've struggled and even given up on a resolution only after a few short weeks in past years. In fact, Jobo from Khits broke his 2012 resolution just 4 days into the new year. What was his resolution? A Bacon-less 2012! Read more about it here. My resolution for this year, to stay positive!! Sometimes it seems that things in life get us down and make us think of worse case scenario, but I don't want that for this year. I want to see the good in the bad and be able to hurdle over those potholes to get on with my day and my life with a smile on my face. Have you made a resolution yet? Post a comment and tell me about your resolution and how you're going to stick with it.

So why a positive attitude in the new year? Positive thinking is more than just ignoring the bad in life, its about approaching "bad" events with a productive view and reacting in a way that puts you in control of the situation. For example, say Fido tipped over your plant at home while you were at the store and now there is dirt all over your living room, kitchen, and some on the front of your blouse since he jumped up to greet you hello. How do you react to this? Do you get mad at Fido and put him outside of the house while you clean up until he "learns from his mistake" or do you take this as a opportunity to not only clean house, re-pot your plant in a bigger planter (it was getting too big anyways), and give Fido a much needed bath? 

Positive thinking will not only uplift your spirits but will also rub off on those around you. Smiling and staying upbeat will not only give your co-workers the opportunity to smile back but it will also brighten their day and even the next person they pass in the hallway as well. Positive thinking and optimism has been linked to many health benefits and will even boost your luck according to Stanford. Read more about lucky vs unlucky people here. Health benefits include increased life span, lower levels of depression and stress hormones, greater resistance to the common cold, decreased risk of heart disease, and better coping habits. In addition, optimistic people tend to live more healthier lives by getting more physical activity, eating a healthier diet, and refraining from overuse of alcohol and tobacco products. 

"Humor stimulates laughter. And we know that physiological stimulation through laughter leads to a number of health benefits. It appears to reduce stress; it tends to boost immunoglobulin A (an antibody that fights upper respiratory disease); and it tends to boost killer T-cells, which are antibodies that fight infection." Steven M. Sultanoff Ph.D. 

So what can you do? 
  1. Analyse your inner voice. Your mind tells a lot about not only how you view the world but also how you react to the events around you. Try to pay attention to negative views such as "I'll never get this all done today" and flip it to something positive like "I'll get most of this done today and finish it tomorrow". 
  2. Find the positive in your day. Take time to think about how blessed you are to and what you're thankful for today. Did your child give you a hug and smile when you walked through the door? Did your husband/wife do something special for you to let you know they care? Did your friend call you for new reason other than to see whats new in your life?
  3. Get more sleep! Sleep helps our bodies rebound from the days events and lets our brain hormones (called neurotransmitters) reset themselves. Sleep is essential for body function and will give you a clearer picture in your mind of the event at hand. 
  4. Take time for yourself to relax and unwind. Taking time for yourself will help you to cope with new events better, give you a chance to de-stress, and uplift your attitude. Read a book, take a bubble bath, knit, cook, or pick up a hobby you've long since abandoned. 
  5. Help someone out. Karma ladies and gentlemen! Just helping someone out will make you feel better about yourself and that little helping hand will make that person's day just that much easier. Have you seen the movie Pay It Forward? Go pick it up and watch it with the whole family. It's very inspiring and will definitely give you a positive outlook on helping others out.

Take those lemons and make lemonade! 

"Our attitude toward life determines life's attitude towards us." John N. Mitchell

"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference." Winston Churchill

"I can't change the direction of the windbut I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination." Jimmy Dean