The Power of Positivity

"Optimism is something you have to put effort into."  - Fran Shea

I like to think I'm a positive person (for the most part). At work, I often wear a smile and engage in pleasant conversation. I dress in clothing that makes me feel happy and confident.  At home, I engage my children in conversations about their day, asking them to name things that went well and one thing for which they are grateful. That's not to say that I'm 100% sunshine 24/7.  I have bad days, but I'm learning to retrain my brain to look at the bright side.

Some people are cheerful by nature.  Others have to work at being optimistic. Ultimately, it's up to us how we react to people and situations in our lives, and thinking positively and being optimistic offer more health benefits.  Our bodies are better able to fight illness or disease when we're in a positive state of mind. This also reduces our levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Who doesn't want to reduce stress?

It hasn't always been easy to stay positive.  When I'm in a stressful situation my emotions can get the best of me. I have days when I feel sad or grouchy (last week for example). I sometimes catch myself thinking negative, self-defeating thoughts.  I consciously have to stop and start to think positive thoughts instead.

I've started carrying a little notebook with me, too.  I write down three good things about my day.  I write down positive things people have said to me.  I take note of things I'm grateful for and make an effort to change my attitude.  I am often surprised at how much better I feel when I do this.

It takes effort but it's worth it.  I challenge all of you reading to try it.  Come back and tell me how it worked for you!


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