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How Positivity Can Improve Our Physical Health

How Positivity Can Improve Our Physical Health

by Patrick Bailey

The connection between mental health and physical health isn’t something we hear a lot about in today’s fast-paced world but the proof is there. How we think affects how we feel. Even the random thoughts that float around in our heads have an impact. When these thoughts are positive we stand to benefit in more ways than one. Positive thinking and health are closely linked and it doesn’t take make to incorporate positivity into your daily life.

Can Thoughts and Emotions Affect Your Physical Health?

Most everyone knows what it feels like to be angry or even furious. While anger is an emotion, it also comes out in the body. Your heart rate increases, your muscles tighten, and your breathing changes. These physical expressions can take a toll on your health if they happen often.

Negativity develops out of patterns of thinking and feeling that work against your well-being. When left unchecked, chronic stress is the result. Chronic stress has damaging effects on the body’s systems, disrupting your hormone balance, weakening your immune system, and depleting the “feel-good” chemicals your brain uses to promote happiness. While negative attitudes and feelings can tear down the body’s health, the flip-side is also true. The relationship between positive thinking and health is just as strong.

The Many Layers of Positivity

A happy, worry-free state of mind about sums up positivity but there are some underlying layers that make this mindset possible. In a nutshell, positivity is a belief system that determines how you see yourself and the world around you. While this may sound like a “head-in-the-clouds” perspective, it has more to do with how you perceive life’s situations (both good and bad) and you react to them.

Another layer of positivity to consider has to do with self-talk or that seemingly random stream of thoughts that runs through your head throughout the day. If negative thoughts populate most of your inner chatter, it can be really hard to choose, let alone maintain, a positive outlook. Much like the effects of negativity on your health, the power of positive thinking is real.

Ways Positivity Can Improve Your Physical Health

Positivity Effects on Emotional Well-Being

Numerous studies have examined the link between a positive attitude and health. One particular study conducted by the University of San Francisco worked with people living with H.I.V. infection. Study participants were instructed to incorporate daily practices that were specifically designed to promote positive emotions. Daily practices included things like building a healthy social support network, paying more attention to the good things in their lives, and fostering behaviors that promote good health, such as eating right and getting proper rest. Results from the study showed the participants were less likely to need antidepressants to cope with their illness.

Positivity Effects on Aging

The effects of chronic stress reach all the down into our DNA, shortening DNA telomeres. Telomeres are the “end caps” on DNA molecules and they gradually shorten with age. With shorter telomeres, the body’s cells deteriorate and die off, which is what happens as the body ages. These cells are also more prone to becoming cancerous. The link between positive thinking and health can have a significant impact on telomere health along with other lifestyle improvements, such as regular exercise and healthy eating.

Positivity Effects in Addiction Recovery

Traditional approaches in addiction recovery place a heavy emphasis on positive attitude and health as can be seen in the central role support therapies play in helping individuals build drug-free lifestyles. Drug and alcohol rehab programs, across the board, understand the crucial role destructive thinking patterns play in driving substance abuse. Replacing this mindset with one that views and approaches self and daily life circumstances from a productive standpoint is an ongoing theme in the addiction recovery process.

Tips on How to Stay Positive

You can see the power of positive thinking at work in your life by making a few tweaks in your thinking and overall approach to daily life. Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk
  • Look for the humor in daily life events and laugh as often as possible
  • Identify the “negative” areas of your life and focus on seeing the positive in each area
  • Spend time with positive people

While developing positivity doesn’t typically happen overnight, it can be done when you’re intentional about it. Making positivity and health work to your advantage can go a long way towards enhancing your quality of life.

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Author Bio: Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them.

Website / Blog URL: http://patrickbaileys.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Pat_Bailey80

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-bailey-writer

Sources –

1 – University of Minnesota, “How Do Thoughts and Emotions Affect Health?”

https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/how-do-thoughts-and-emotions-affect-health

2 – The University of San Francisco, “Randomized Controlled Trial of a Positive Affect Intervention to Reduce Stress in People Newly Diagnosed with HIV; Protocol and Design for theIRISS Study”

http://repository.usfca.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1030&context=soe_fac

3 – Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, “Telomeres, Lifestyle, Cancer, and Aging”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3370421/

4 – National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (Alcohol, Marijuana, Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Nicotine)”

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/evidence-based-approaches-to-drug-addiction-treatment/behavioral-therapies/cognitive-behavioral-therapy

5 – Sunshine Behavioral Health, Inpatient Alcohol Rehab Options”

https://www.sunshinebehavioralhealth.com/alcohol-addiction/alcohol-rehab/

 

 

 

How To Embrace the New Normal Based on Your Myers-Briggs Personality

 

With everything going on in the world recently, it can be difficult to remain positive. The pandemic has impacted all of our lives in a way we couldn’t have imagined when ringing in the new decade. All the plans you made, whether that be traveling, hitting the gym every day or spending less time binge watching TV were affected by this worldwide crisis. So while nothing seems to be certain these days, we know for sure that everyone is affected. In fact, a recent poll showed that 72% of Americans felt their lives have been disrupted to at least some degree.

 

The internet is full of great resources and tips to stay active and remain positive while working from home and sheltering in place but what works for your favorite blogger or YouTuber may not necessarily work for you! That’s why FTD created a helpful visual that illustrates how each personality type according to Myers-Briggs deals with uncertainty.

 

The MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) was developed by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, and consists of eight traits:

 

  • Extraversion (E) vs. Introversion (I)
  • Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N)
  • Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F)
  • Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P)

 

The test asks simple questions about your personality to see how you score on each of these four scales. Your personality type is then defined by the traits you scored higher on and is made up by four letters (f.ex. ENFP). There are a total of 16 different personality types that can further be combined into four groups that share specific traits: Analysts, Diplomats, Sentinels and Explorers.

 

You can take the free MBTI test here, it only takes about 12 minutes and can give you a deeper understanding of your personality. When you have the results of your test, come back and check out how you can embrace the “new normal” so you can feel more confident making it through this year.

 

Embrace The New Normal

Don’t Let COVID-19 Keep You from Your Yoga Practice

Today’s guest post is from Sheila Johnson, author and founder at Well Sheila.  Read her amazing post and be sure and check out her great website!

 

Don’t Let COVID-19 Keep You from Your Yoga Practice

 

If you’ve been self-isolating for some time, you may have found that many of your normal routines have gone out the window. But your yoga habits are not something you should toss so easily. Practicing yoga is a great way to stay healthy and sane in what is ostensibly the most stressful time in our lives as a whole since 2001. Unfortunately, online classes cost money, and if your hours have been cut or you’ve experienced layoffs, that might be in short supply.

 

Never fear, however, because there are plenty of ways to fit your yoga routine into your day without watching your savings dwindle away. Here’s how:

 

Get comfortable.

 

The most important aspect of your at-home yoga practice is having the right space. This doesn’t have to be an entire room, and even a small corner is enough if you set it up correctly. One thing you do need is peace and quiet. This can be tough if you have a house full of children or your spouse is also working from home. In this case, it might be best to think outside of the proverbial box and outfit your garage or shed with your yoga gear.

 

Gear up.

 

Speaking of yoga gear, now is the perfect time to review what you do and don’t have. An effective home yoga studio should have at least a mat, as well as props like blocks and a yoga strap. You’ll also want to check the closet to ensure that you have comfortable, form-fitting clothing so you don’t feel constricted. Even if you don’t have any of this handy, everybody’s favorite store, Target, of course, has everything you need to get started without breaking the bank. And, if you are still uncomfortable going out into the public, Target offers free shipping on $35 or more purchases. What’s more, according to these Target savings tips, you can also save money by shopping Top Deals and browsing through their weekly sales.

 

Learn to meditate.

 

Meditation and yoga go hand in hand, and as Think Positive 30 explains, there are many health benefits. But the former is often more difficult to master than the latter. Surprisingly, although meditation is a time when you’re supposed to disconnect, technology may actually be your greatest ally here. You can use free or inexpensive meditation apps – Women’s Health likes HeadSpace, Calm, and a handful of others – to get yourself in the right mindset to relax.

 

Know how to stay safe.

 

Keeping yourself safe when doing yoga outside of the classroom setting means listening to your body. Don’t overdo it, and, if you haven’t practiced in a while, be gentle with yourself. While you should certainly try to give yourself new challenges each day, if you get to a point where you feel worse after than you did before, you’ll be doing yourself more harm than good. When your goal is to save money, the last thing you want is to have to pay for expensive doctor visits because you threw your back out trying to progress too fast without guidance.

 

Becoming the master of your own yoga domain is empowering to say the least. And it’s an excellent opportunity to break away from the monotony of quarantine. Don’t buy into the notion that you have to funnel hundreds of dollars and countless hours into designing your own home studio. All you really need is a quiet corner and the willingness to ease into a new routine and treat your mind and body with respect.

Image via Pexels

Positive Practices for a Productive Commute 

Positive Practices for a Productive Commute

With rush hour traffic, projects waiting for us at our desks and an overall busy homelife, we rarely think of our mornings as relaxing. To make things worse, we often get to work only to have to deal with awful mental blocks or that nagging feeling that we’re wasting time on menial tasks –– you know, those times where you feel like you’ve done so much yet accomplished nothing? Well, a hectic and stressful morning routine can be the culprit to this unhealthy cycle.

 

According to a recent survey by Car Rentals on morning commute practices, a busy and stressful commute can hinder our focus and productivity at work. The survey found that nearly 40% of people ages 18-24 think about work on their way to and from work. This inability to disconnect can not only lead to mental blocks and added stress, but can also cause us to feel burnt out.

 

If your morning commutes are often jammed packed and hectic, perhaps incorporating a few new healthy morning practices can help you better organize, compartmentalize and decompress before getting to work and back home. Below are some simple practices you can implement aimed to reset your mind, help boost your productivity at work and hopefully encourage you to improve your work-life balance.

9 Power Napping Tips for Boosted Productivity and Positivity

Please include attribution to Casper.com with this graphic.

3 Ways to Empower Yourself to be Prepared

3 Ways to Empower Yourself to be Prepared

 

No one likes thinking of an emergency situation. We focus on the positives and try to avoid negative “what if” thoughts. This mindset can be good because it’s impossible to prepare for everything, but it can also be harmful if you aren’t prepared at all.

 

Luckily, you can find a balance between the two. There are 3 things you can do to empower yourself to be better prepared for an emergency. These simple actions will help you live more confidently and positively in your daily life.

1. Make a plan with your family

It can be scary to think about an emergency situation impacting your family, but creating a rough plan will help if anything were to happen. This plan will vary based on where you live, but it should include a family meeting place and an emergency kit with food and supplies. Everything might not go as planned if something were to happen (it usually doesn’t) but having a plan will help you feel safer in your daily life. This sense of security will calm any “what if” thoughts.

 

 

 

 

2. Have an emergency contact list

Emergency situations can come in all shapes and sizes. Be sure you have all the phone numbers you may need on hand. This will save time and remind you what action is needed. To help, here is a list of emergency phone numbers and a printable that has every number you might need to know. Fill it out and keep a copy in your home and your car just in case.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3. Learn to live in the moment

Lastly, but most importantly, a daily practice that can help you prepare for an emergency is learning to live in the moment. Take on each day as it comes and learn to embrace each moment for what it is. Doing this in your daily life will give you a sense of strength and confidence. If anything were to happen, you would be able to tackle it.

 

We can’t be ready to handle everything that life throws at us but being prepared can lead to a happier and more positive life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Source]

 

 

Travel Differently in 2020

Travel Differently in 2020

Six Ways You Can Make the World a Better Place

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image source

In the past couple of years, people are being more aware of how important it is to be sustainable. It started mainly with food and clothes but people are realising that you can do sustainable travel, have fun and still contribute to the Earth. Most of us are not aware that travellers are the best promoters for celebrating and taking care of our world. 2020 is the time to choose a different approach to travel and support sustainable development.

Help Save Coral Communities in Seychelles

If you like beaches and golden sand, The Indian Ocean’s Curieuse Island is the best option for you. It is known for the giant tortoises, golden sand and massive sea coconuts. This is where you can see the unfortunate effects of climate change, especially in the Marine National Park. Instead of laying out on the beach and staying in an expensive resort you can get involved in a program that helps evaluate the health of the waters that surround the coral reefs and the coastal ecosystem by measuring the growth of the corals. In your free time, you can do all the fun things like snorkeling, explore the beaches or layout in the sun.

Exploring Whales in the Norwegian Arctic

Instead of going whale watching and leaving a massive carbon footprint behind you, think about going with exploring whales. You can apply for programs that will have you investigate male sperm whales, listen to humpback whales or killer whales communicate with special equipment. Another fun thing you can do is record data that you got and learn to decipher whales’ sounds and help their research. While you are doing amazing work you will be able to enjoy the breathtaking mountains and amazing glacial lakes.

Help Elephants in Thailand

Thailand is one of the most popular travel destinations of 2020. But there is no need to be like everyone else and just layout on the beach and drink cocktails, instead of that go and do some volunteer work. There’s nothing more magical than helping elephants in Chan Mai. There are open projects all year round and you need to be 17 years or older to participate. You can meet some amazing people while staying in the rooms that the organisation provides for the volunteers. Thailand is also the most popular destination for people who are interested to volunteer overseas.

Investigate Volcanoes in Iceland

If you are interested in volcanoes this might be the best option for you. Because Iceland is the place to be if you want to explore the seismic activity and learn about magma flow. There is the famous Earthwatch Institute that will let you get involved and help them. You will be able to help them create maps that will document all the disturbances that volcanoes can cause underneath the surface and you will help predict any future eruptions. You will get to travel and see the breathtaking glacier-capped volcanoes in the South and Iceland’s most popular Krafla volcano in the north. The trip will also include walking across amazing lunar-like landscapes while recording your discoveries.

Saving Turtles in Costa Rica

All of us have heard about Costa Rica and its amazing beaches, food and forests. Many people refer to it as a Paradise on Earth. Because of its beauty, Costa Rica attracts millions of tourists and volunteers, and now that people are being more aware of 2020 will be the best year for volunteer work. As more and more people are interested in volunteering there are many projects like the Turtle Conservation Program that you can apply for. Your days will usually consist of monitoring turtle eggs and keeping the beaches clean. Some projects are active and available throughout the year and the minimum age to apply for it is 17. They will provide you with accommodation that is close to the beach so it is easier to manage your time. During your time off you will be able to venture off and explore or enjoy the magical beaches. The most important thing is that you are being the unique individual that you are and what you are aware that you are doing great things that will contribute to the wellbeing of the Earth.

Take Care of Kangaroos in Australia

If you are interested in helping with wildlife rescue or saving the environment Australia is the way to go. There are organisations that you can help to protect the native wildlife, parks that are along the coastline and protect the tropical forests. There are so many options you can choose from. If you are an animal enthusiast, you can apply to help out in a rehabilitation centre where you will help to take care of orphaned or injured kangaroos. During your free time, you can experience Australia’s amazing beaches and rainforests.

 

Going on a vacation is not supposed to be an excuse for putting more fumes in the air. Wherever you choose to go you can seek a volunteering organisation that could use your help. While you at your destination choose to rent bikes instead of using buses and cars. The most important thing that you need to do is to make sure that you are happy.

 

 

Nina is a lifestyle blogger, yoga aficionado and a travel enthusiast with a distinctive taste for home decor. She’s passionate about learning new things and sharing meaningful ideas. In her free time, she loves to design clothes and furniture. If you wanna see what she’s up to you can find her on https://twitter.com/NinArtSimons

7 Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem

7 Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem

Self-esteem refers to how you view your worth. Whether you are aware or unaware of it, your evaluation or perception of yourself in terms of your capabilities, potentials, and emotional and physical features affects your lifestyle, academic or work performance, relationships, and other life concerns.

Because of this, self-esteem plays a crucial role in helping you develop and maintain relationships, find success in school or work, and stay mentally, emotionally, and physically healthy.

Since a healthy dose of self-esteem can do wonders for various aspects of your life, you need to know when and how to give it a boost, especially at times when you know it has taken a hit.

Leading providers of professional clinical supervision services share some helpful tips below on how to improve your feelings of self-worth:

1.    Practice positive affirmation

Everyone hears discouraging and unkind words from time to time. The popularity of social media has also made it easier for people to post whatever they want to say about others, even if these remarks are hurtful and harsh.

If your self-confidence has taken a dip because you heard or read something upsetting, avoid letting these words take root in your mind. Instead of remembering them, forget about them. You will have an easier time doing this by coming up with and repeating positive affirmations.

Create a list of things you like about yourself, what you are good at doing, and your accomplishments. The simple act of writing down and reading about your positive attributes will boost your mood immediately.

Additionally, the more positive qualities you write down and remember, the more you will boost your trust and confidence in yourself. You will then feel empowered and more self-assured, ready to take on the activities and challenges at hand.

2.    Stop comparing yourself to others

There is nothing wrong with following the status of your friends, colleagues, and the people you know on social media. However, if you start envying and comparing yourself to them, you may need to take a break from these sites.

Comparing your skills and accomplishments to others won’t do anything good for you. You will always feel that they are still a step above you and that you will have your work cut out for you when you try to catch up with them.

Because of this, you will have something else that will occupy your mind. And this will lead to feelings of discontent and low self-esteem.

Although it can be hard to avoid comparing yourself to others altogether, try to do so. Additionally, don’t act on this to minimize feelings of competitiveness that will also ultimately affect your sense of self-worth.

3.    Do something nice to others

When you are feeling really low, you will be focused on your weaknesses, both real and imagined. If you continue concentrating on these limitations, you will never get out of your funk.

You can avoid focusing on the causes of your low self-esteem and feel better when you turn your attention toward another person.

Help a co-worker who seems to be swamped with work and has to submit a report before the day ends. If a friend looks burnt out due to juggling housework and taking care of toddlers, offer to babysit the kids so that she can go out for a few hours of pampering. You can also volunteer at a soup kitchen or animal shelter.

By doing something good for someone else or the environment, your focus shifts. You will stop fixating on your negative thoughts, and you will start thinking more positive things about yourself.

4.    Get more exercise

Various studies show that regularly working out and engaging in physical activities can increase self-esteem. They can improve mental health as well.

Exercising empowers your mental, emotional, and physical faculties. While working out, you focus only on the task at hand and forget your worries. As a result, you will have a clearer mind, and you will be better prepared for any ensuing tasks.

Additionally, whenever you complete your workout, you will feel a certain sense of accomplishment. And this will immediately give your confidence a boost.

When you maintain a healthy weight and stay in good shape, you will improve your perception of yourself as well.  This will go a long way in helping you be more confident and avoid feelings of discontent.

5.    Look your best

Your physical appearance usually reflects how you feel inside. For instance, if you’re feeling down, you will feel lazy or lack the motivation to put on makeup and choose a great outfit.

Consequently, your outward appearance can affect your emotions and thoughts as well. As such, if you feel your self-esteem is low, pamper yourself and experience its positive effects.

Go to a salon and get a haircut. If you want to do something simpler, take more time to put on your makeup and style your hair. Another option would be to wear that new dress or pair of shoes that you’ve been saving for a special occasion to help you feel better about yourself.

Don’t think of these activities as being vain or superficial; consider them as ways of practicing self-care. Keep in mind that looking great will boost your confidence and improve your mood, so don’t hesitate to try doing them.

6.    Try a change of scenery

Going to a place you have never been to will help you break out of a low self-esteem cycle.

Trying a new restaurant, taking a walk to a park you have never been to, or going on a holiday to a city you have never visited are great examples of doing something you like to give your self-esteem a boost.

Going somewhere you’ve never been to can quickly rejuvenate your mind and disrupt any negative thought patterns you may have.

Additionally, a change of scenery can give you a fresh perspective and the motivation you need to start making positive changes.

7.    Do something out of the ordinary

Lastly, aside from experiencing a change of scenery, lift your self-confidence by doing something you have always wanted but never got the chance to do.

This can be something as simple as pursuing a hobby such as gardening or photography or engaging in something more exciting such as an extreme sport. You can also take up a short course that will help you grow personally and professionally.

By trying something new, you will get out of your low self-esteem cycle as well. You will have something else to focus on instead of your negative thoughts.

Moreover, you will achieve a sense of accomplishment when set out to do the things you want to do. This will increase your self-esteem more than anything else.

Although these tips may seem easy enough to follow, certain challenges can still come up that may prevent you from seeing them through.

However, every little step counts when you want to boost your self-esteem, so if you can only start with something simple, do so. You will still feel an increase in your self-worth by taking these small strides.

 

AUTHOR BIO

Dr. Gemma Gladstone is an endorsed clinical psychologist and certified schema therapist, supervisor and trainer. Along with Justine Corry, she is co-director of the Good Mood Clinic in Sydney and has 24 years of experience within mental health.

 

 

How to Take Risks Like a Stunt Driver

How to Take Risks Like a Stunt Driver

If your dreams don’t scare you, are you sure they’re big enough? It’s easy to fall into complacency, especially when life is so busy most of the time, but setting goals can help you stay on track and grow as a person. Sometimes our goals and dreams seem risky — whether it’s a fear of failure, getting hurt, or losing something. However, passing up every opportunity to grow means you may miss out.

 

Taking risks sometimes gets confused with being reckless, but that’s not the case. There are small risks you can take each day to grow as a person. It may be reaching out to someone new and inviting them out to dinner or as small as trying out a new restaurant out of your normal routine. Larger risks may be making a move to a new city or completely changing your career path. Something all of these risks have in common is uncertainty and an opportunity for growth.

 

For a fun spin on risk-taking, we can look to some of the most daredevil professionals out there: stunt drivers. These risk-taking lessons from stunt drivers show us that there are times to take risks and other times we should play it safe.

 

Look for more opportunities to take risk in your life and discover the reward of taking a chance!

Please include attribution to https://www.thezebra.com/ with this graphic.

risk-taking-lessons-stunt-drivers

15 Ways to Make Saving Money Fun

15 Easy Ways to Make Saving Money Fun
Matt Zdun

We all know that saving money is important for our future wellbeing. But, at the same time, it can be pretty difficult and not always the most fun thing to do.

In some cases, just thinking about saving money can bring you down. Studies show that a large chunk of adults — 85% — feel stressed about money from time to time, and a sizeable 30% of adults are constantly stressed about money.

It’s not hard to see why this is the case when you consider the fact that almost half of adults don’t have emergency savings set aside for unexpected life events, like the loss of a job or the illness of a loved one.

If you have struggled with saving money and find the whole process difficult or not enjoyable, you’re not alone. But the good news is that there are plenty of resources that bloggers, authors, and app developers have given us to spice up the process of saving money.

Credit.com has compiled a roundup of tips and tricks to make saving money fun and keep you in high spirits in the process. Check it out:

Please include attribution to credit.com with this graphic.

15 Ways to Make Saving Fun

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