Category Archives: positivity

Is Happiness a Choice?

This is a wonderful explanation of happiness and our own experience of it. I subscribe to Positive Psychology.

Check out my Page – Positive Psychology – What’s it all about? for more details.

Tony

Thriving Under Pressure

IMG_1371

The Happiness Question

Have you ever wondered why some people remain upbeat and positive despite the chaos that surrounds them while others are utterly miserable even in good times?  What explains the difference between these two groups of individuals?

Are happy people just lucky people born happy? And unhappy people born miserable?  Or is happiness a choice we make day by day, moment to moment?

The answer to this question is mixed. On one hand, 50% of happiness is predetermined by biology (e.g., inborn temperament) while the remaining 50% is influenced by life circumstances and intentional activities.

happinessformula2

The Happiness Formula

As stated above, research indicates that approximately 50% of happiness is genetic (e.g., temperament), 10% is life circumstances (e.g., income), and 40% is intentional activities (e.g., daily exercise, meditation, forgiveness).

Though we may have little control over genetics and/or life circumstances — we do have personal agency when it comes…

View original post 139 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under happiness, Positive Psychology, positive thinking, positivity

The Surprising Secret to Healthy Aging

Really good information in this.

 

To read more on lining your head up straight, check out my Page – Positive psychology – What’s it all about?

Tony

Our Better Health

You probably know that exercise and diet are important when it comes to aging well. But there is something else you control that can help you along: a positive attitude.

Research shows more and more that your approach to life may be just as important in making your “golden years” your best years.

Aging: It’s in Your Mind

Growing older brings with it some natural changes (think those creaky knees). But folks who see good years ahead and who don’t accept stereotypes about aging — such as you’re less useful — may actually live longer.

And there’s science to back that up.

One study found that thinking positively about getting older can extend lifespan by 7.5 years. And that’s after accounting for things such as gender, wealth, and overall health. Some 660 women and men in Ohio joined this study, and they were monitored for more than 20 years.

If…

View original post 539 more words

1 Comment

Filed under aging, aging brain, aging myths, Positive Psychology, positivity, successful aging

5 ways to hold optimism — and reap health benefits – Harvard

As regular readers know, I feel very strongly about positive psychology. I stumbled across it some years ago and it certainly moved my life to a higher plane. You can read more about it at the end of this post. In the meantime, I wanted to share this nice write up from Harvard Health Publications.

A growing body of research indicates that optimism — a sense everything will be OK — is linked to a reduced risk of developing mental or physical health issues as well as to an increased chance of a longer life.

e71e01a9a785e7239322ce01392cf3d1

One of the largest such studies was led by researchers Dr. Kaitlin Hagan and Dr. Eric Kim at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Their team analyzed data from 70,000 women in the Nurses’ Health Study, and found that women who were optimistic had a significantly reduced risk of dying from several major causes of death over an eight-year period, compared with women who were less optimistic. The most optimistic women had a 16% lower risk of dying from cancer; 38% lower risk of dying from heart disease; 39% lower risk of dying from stroke; 38% lower risk of dying from respiratory disease; and 52% lower risk of dying from infection.

Yes, you can acquire optimism.

Even if you consider yourself a pessimist, there’s hope.Dr. Hagan notes that a few simple changes can help people improve your outlook on life. Previous studies have shown that optimism can be instilled by something as simple as having people think about the best possible outcomes in various areas of their lives,” she says. The following may help you see the world through rosier glasses: Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Harvard Health Publications, Positive Psychology, positive thinking, positivity

7 Reasons positive emotions are good for your heart – Infographic

While the holiday season is a joyous time it can also bring about its own set of stressors. Thought this little infographic might be a nice reminder.

stars.jpg

Happy holidays!

Tony

Leave a comment

Filed under Positive Psychology, positive thinking, positivity, Uncategorized

5 Ways Hope Improves Your Success

Our Better Health

The Challenge: We all want to find inner peace and perform at our best -how can we do it?
The Science: Hope is a little-known secret to getting ahead and improving well-being! 
The Solution: Implementing a hopeful mindset in life gives you 5 serious advantages!

Psychologists have proposed lots of different vehicles to success over the years. Grit, conscientiousness, self-efficacy, optimism, passion, inspiration, etc. They are all important. One vehicle, however, is particularly undervalued and underappreciated in psychology and society. That’s hope.

Hope often gets a bad rap. For some, it conjures up images of a blissfully naïve chump pushing up against a wall with a big smile. That’s a shame. Cutting-edge science shows that hope, at least as defined by psychologists, matters a lot.

Here are 5 reasons hope gives you a serious advantage:

Hope Gives You Willpower

Why is hope important? Well, life is difficult. There are many…

View original post 983 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Positive Psychology, positive thinking, positivity, Uncategorized

Do You Fall for the ‘Nocebo Effect’? 5 Ways to Stay Positive for Better Health

If we’re lucky, we learn something every day. Today I learned about the ‘nocebo effect.’

Regular readers know I am a big fan of positivity. To read further, check out

7 Exercises That Train Your Brain to Stay Positive

How to Harness Positive Psychology for You – Harvard

Positive, Happy People Suffer Less Pain

What is Positive Psychology?

pills

Tony

Our Better Health

Scientific studies confirm that a placebo (a dummy medication or procedure) can genuinely benefit a person’s health. But its sinister cousin, the “nocebo effect,” creates expectations of harm, which can lead to seriously negative health consequences.

A patient’s expectations of a treatment clearly influence the way it works. The authors of a 2012 German study note that vulnerable, ill, or injured patients are highly receptive to negative suggestion. A participant in one drug trial developed dangerously low blood pressure by “overdosing” on what he thought was an antidepressant—only when he learned that it was an inert substance did his blood pressure return to normal. (Conversely, the power of positive suggestion may explain some of the success of complementary therapies—from herbal remedies to homeopathy). The more strongly a patient believes in the treatment, the more likely it is to be effective. Here are some ways you can put this knowledge to…

View original post 310 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under mind, positivity

The Benefits of Optimism

If you always see the brighter side of things, you may feel that you experience more positive events in your life than others, find yourself less stressed, and even enjoy greater health benefits.

optimism

This is not your imagination.

I have written time and again about the benefits of a postive mental outlook. Check out the following to read further:

How You Can Benefit From a Positive View of Life – WSJ

How to Become a Positive Thinker

How to Harness Positive Psychology for You – Harvard

These are just a sample. Search out Positivity in the SEARCH box at the right for more.

Tony

Our Better Health

Staying positive can improve stress management, productivity, and your health

By Elizabeth Scott, M.S.   Stress Management Expert    April 02, 2015.

Do you know someone who seems to always have a smile and a positive thought? Or are you yourself one of those people who is full of optimism? Hardships are seen as ‘learning experiences’ by optimists, and even the most miserable day always holds the promise for them that ‘tomorrow will probably be better.’

If you always see the brighter side of things, you may feel that you experience more positive events in your life than others, find yourself less stressed, and even enjoy greater health benefits.

This is not your imagination.

Researchers like Martin Seligman have been studying optimists and pessimists for years, and they have found that an optimistic world view carries certain advantages.

The Benefits of Optimism

Superior Health

In a study of 99 Harvard…

View original post 432 more words

3 Comments

Filed under Positive Psychology, positive thinking, positivity, Uncategorized

How You Can Benefit from a Positive View on Your Life – WSJ

Regular readers know that I have embraced the theory of positive psychology. I have written a number of posts on the benefits of a positive point of view. You can find an index of them at the end of this post.

Meanwhile, I was thrilled to see Elizabeth Bernstein’s piece in the Personal Journal of Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal entitled “It’s Healthy to Put a Good Spin on Your Life.”

To-Think-Positively-or-Negatively_opt

In a study of a large number of adults in their mid to late 50’s researchers found that “when people displayed higher levels of agency, communion and redemption and lower levels of contamination, their mental health improved. They consider good mental health to be low levels of depression and high levels of life satisfaction and psychological and social well-being.”

They explained the four keys to good mental health as follows:

• Agency—Did the subjects feel able to influence and respond to events in life, or did they feel battered around by the whims of external forces?

• Communion—Are the people connected to others or disconnected?
• Redemption—Did the subjects take a negative experience and find some positive outcome?
• Contamination—Did they tell narratives of good things turning bad?”

I would like to point you to a post I wrote in May of 2011 called Super Tools for Handling Stress.

In it I quoted Maggie Crowley, Psy.D., a Health Psychologist at the center for Integrative Medicine and Wellness at Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group.

Dr. Crowley listed the following as maladaptive coping strategies:

*Demand our circumstances be different
*Devalue ourselves and others
*Demean/blame ourselves and others
*When the above fail to work, do we choose another strategy?
*Or, do we double our ill-conceived efforts and feed our downward spiral.

She said that we needed something to shift our mental gears out of the stressful/fearful response that triggers that damaging cascade of negative emotion. She suggested the following activities that set off the parasympathetic approach:

*Practicing appreciation
*Making choices that are positive
*Using constructive language
*Employing our strengths and personal power.

I think there is a great similarity between the four keys to good mental health mentioned in the Journal and the points made by Dr. Crowley in dealing with stressors.

Regarding positive psychology, I have found it answered a lot of questions for me. If you are interested you can explore it in the following posts:
What is Positive Psychology?
How to Harness Positive Psychology for You – Harvard
Breaking down 8 Barriers to Positive Thinking – Infographic
11 Ways to Become a Better, More Positive You
How to Become a Positive Thinker
7 Exercises That Train Your Brain to Stay Positive
Positive, Happy People Suffer Less Pain

Tony

2 Comments

Filed under Positive Psychology, positivity, Wall Street Journal

How to Be More Optimistic

Reframe your frustrations. Researchers at the University of Kent in England found that people who strived to see the positive side of things that went wrong – rather than venting to friends about what went wrong, or blaming themselves for small failures – were happier and more satisfied at the end of the day.

optimism
To read further on positive thinking, check out my posts:
What is Positive Psychology?
Breaking down 8 Barriers to Positive Thinking – Infographic
How to Become a Positive Thinker
Positive Thoughts To Dwell On
How to Harness Positive Psychology for You – Harvard
Positive, Happy People Suffer Less Pain

Tony

 

Our Better Health

Perspective is everything, and you can learn to change a negative outlook.

By Colleen Oakley      WebMD Magazine – Feature Reviewed by Patricia A. Farrell, PhD

Think happy thoughts. Find the silver lining. Look on the bright side.

Rolling your eyes yet? Alexandra Hruz is. She’s a 27-year-old self-proclaimed pessimist who lives in Chattanooga, TN. “When people are overly optimistic, it’s much easier to be let down by circumstances,” she says. “I don’t think the world is going to end tomorrow, but I also don’t like to hang my hopes on things working out on their own, simply by the power of positive thinking.”

But experts say positive thinking has serious benefits that go beyond a perky attitude. According to a recent study from the University of Pittsburgh, women who expect good things to happen have a 30% lower risk for heart disease.

Optimism was also linked to a…

View original post 283 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under optimism, Positive Psychology, positivity

Weathering the Storm

The key to resilience is thinking more flexibly and learning to increase your array of options. The psychologist Martin Seligman advocates disputation, in which you think of your mind as a courtroom where negative thoughts are instantly put on trial.

th-2

You can rebut these thoughts, and you should. Now you’re acting as your own defense counsel, throwing at the court every bit of evidence you can think of to prove the belief is flawed. The bad thought is no longer a lock, and it dies amid the doubt.

I think one of the most important concepts I know is that we also learn from negative feedback.

Tony

Our Better Health

Failure destroys some people. Others rise from the ashes, only to come back stronger. A guide to surviving tough times.

By Bruce Grierson,       published on May 1, 2009       last reviewed on December 18, 2014

In September of 2008, Philip Schultz, a humble and plainspoken fellow, crossed the hardwood floor and slid in behind a temporary lectern in the Center for Well-Being at The Ross School in East Hampton. It was commencement day for the eighth-grade class. Some students recognized Schultz, who was giving the address, as the father of eighth-grader Eli. He was a local poet.

Schultz told the students he hadn’t learned to read until he was 11. By then, he’d been held back a grade and was a permanent member of what the other kids called the “dummy class.” Teachers just didn’t know what to do with a kid like Phil Schultz—who…

View original post 4,020 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Positive Psychology, positivity

The Emotion Which Has a Wonderful Protective Effect on Mind And Body

Our Better Health

How this feeling could protect you against depression and even Alzheimer’s disease.

Positive emotions, especially the feeling of awe, have been linked to lower levels of inflammatory cytokines by a new study.

The research suggests that the positive feeling from enjoying the beauty of nature or getting lost in a painting or symphony can actually help protect the body against heart disease, arthritis, depression, and even Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr Dacher Keltner, one of the study’s authors, said:

“That awe, wonder and beauty promote healthier levels of cytokines suggests that the things we do to experience these emotions — a walk in nature, losing oneself in music, beholding art — have a direct influence upon health and life expectancy.”

Across two different experiments, 200 people reported their emotions during the day, including the extent to which they felt:

  • amusement,
  • awe,
  • compassion,
  • contentment,
  • joy,
  • love
  • and pride.

Their cheeks were also swabbed…

View original post 194 more words

2 Comments

Filed under Positive Psychology, positivity

What are the Top Habits of Healthy, Happy, Productive People? – Infographic

I have to tell you that when I stumbled across this infographic on Pinterest, I was amazed. There is so much good information in this, I can hardly believe it. I hope you will promise yourself to dig into it and read and evaluate every little point. This is like a full course on being healthy, happy and productive. In a word – POSITIVE.

ca979bf1d9422be1c9078b51e598e202

I have no doubt that if you study this infographic and adopt its positive practices, your life will change for the better. I know because I began the practice of positive psychology several years ago and my life has never been better.

Here are some posts on living a positive life:
What is Positive Psychology?
Breaking down 8 Barriers to Positive Thinking – Infographic
How to Become a Positive Thinker
Positive Thoughts To Dwell On
7 Exercises That Train Your Brain to Stay Positive
How to Harness Positive Psychology for You – Harvard
Positive, Happy People Suffer Less Pain

Tony

Leave a comment

Filed under happiness, Harvard, Positive Psychology, positivity

An Optimistic Outlook May Be Good for Your Heart

“There’s a lot of psychological research linking pro-social behaviors to better health,” she said. “Gratitude, for example, has been linked to lower impulsivity, higher salaries, better sleep and stronger relationships. And this strikes me as yet another study that reinforces an intuitive knowledge that probably most people have that our mind and body are linked.”

Regular readers know how strongly I feel about living a positive life. Here are some previous posts:
Breaking down 8 Barriers to Positive Thinking – Infographic
How to Become a Positive Thinker
7 Exercises That Train Your Brain to Stay Positive
How to Harness Positive Psychology for You – Harvard
Positive, Happy People Suffer Less Pain
What is Positive Psychology?

Tony

Cooking with Kathy Man

Study of more than 5,100 adults found a strong correlation between the two.

Accenting the positive may be good for your heart, with a large study suggesting that optimistic people seem to have a significant leg up when it comes to cardiovascular health.

“Research has already shown a link between psychological pathology and poor physical health,” said study lead author Rosalba Hernandez, an assistant professor in the school of social work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “So we decided to look at whether there’s also a link between psychological well-being and good physical health.

“And by looking at optimism as a measure of psychological well-being, we found that after adjusting all sorts of socio-economic factors — like education, income and even mental health — people who are the most optimistic do have higher odds of being in ideal cardiovascular health, compared with the least optimistic,” she added.

Hernandez…

View original post 517 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under happiness, Positive Psychology, positivity

Breaking down 8 Barriers to Positive Thinking – Infographic

Sometimes we can get in our own way when it comes to health and happiness. This infographic shows some excellent examples of common everyday mistakes that put in front of our own well being as well as the antidote for each.

tumblr_mjv4yxZHPs1rm6smso1_1280.png

To read further on positivity, check out: How to Become a Positive Thinker, Positive Thoughts To Dwell On, 7 Exercises That Train Your Brain to Stay Positive, How to Harness Positive Psychology for You – Harvard, Positive, Happy People Suffer Less Pain, What is Positive Psychology?

Tony

1 Comment

Filed under Positive Psychology, positivity

8 Obstacles to Positive Thinking – Infographic

tumblr_mjv4yxZHPs1rm6smso1_1280.png

Regular readers know that positivity is integral to my blog as well as my life. Here are some further posts on the subject: Hw to Become a Positive Thinker, Positive Thoughts To Dwell On, 11 Ways to Become a Better, More Positive You, 7 Exercises That Train Your Brain to Stay Positive, What is Positive Psychology? How to Harness Positive Psychology for You – Harvard, Some Super Tools for Handling Stress.

Tony

Leave a comment

Filed under happiness, Positive Psychology, positivity

11 Ways to Become a Better, More Positive You

Our Better Health

“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” – Buddha

Life can be very challenging. With constant demands being placed on our time, it can feel like life is happening to us, not for us. We can get caught up and allow other people and events to run our day, sometimes missing out on opportunities for ourselves.

But, there is a solution to this ever increasing problem – the power of positivity. Consciously making a decision to become a better, more positive version of yourself can and WILL transform your every day life.

Stepping out of your comfort zone is where growth happens.  With your continual willingness and practice you’ll begin to see more evidence of change. Making gradual small changes in your habits will create big positive ripples down the road. Soon enough…

View original post 1,120 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Positive Psychology, positivity, Uncategorized