Monday, May 18, 2009

beyond happy

Today my June issue of Body + Soul magazine arrived and one of the articles really stood out to me. It's titled "Beyond Happy," and it states that, "those who experience more positive emotions cope with stress better, find creative solutions to problems, enjoy better health and relationships, and even negotiate more effectively." Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D. is quoted as saying, ""Rather than just signal an absence of negativity, positivity can produce success and health.'"

I am not exactly sure what my parents did to instill in me a positive attitude, but it is definitely one of the things I am most thankful for from them. Some of the tips in the article for cultivating positve emotions include:
  • "Be here now. The most direct way to boost positivity is to live in the moment."
  • "Don't overthink. It's one thing to savor the present but quite another to analyze it to death."
  • "Make positive thoughts stick. Work to pay the positives more attention. Make them 'stick' by actively registering them in your mind."
  • "Assume the best. Thinking about what you want in life may get your positive emotions circulating."
  • "Ritualize gratitude. The ultimate positive gear shifter? Seeing the good in every situation. Search for reasons to feel and experience gratitude."

I would say I use each of these strategies on a daily basis. Don't get me wrong, I do have negative thoughts (and the resulting feelings) creep in now and then. The main thing is that I realize how toxic negative thoughts are, and so most of the time when I have them, I am very aware I've slipped into negativity. Because of this awareness, I'm able to make a conscious effort to replace the negative thought or self-talk with the positve. At that point, I work to make the positive thoughts stick. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but I always try!

I find ritualizing gratitude is something that has helped me the most. I have so many things to be thankful for. So, to end this post on a positive note, here is my gratitude list for today. I am thankful for:
  • beautiful spring weather
  • my sweet husband
  • the smell of fresh cut grass
  • blogging
  • my blogging friends

I'd love to hear what you're grateful for, or how you cultivate an upbeat attitude in your life. (And even if you don't post about it, definitely think about it. You'll feel a bit better by doing so!)




Carolyn said...

You're so right - negative feelings are SO toxic. Thanks for reminding me - i really needed to read this today. I can't wait to get my issue of B&S!

Romaine said...


thank you for this beautiful post!

I'm also a positive thinking person. If negative thoughts creep up, I try to analyze why they're there (a little soul searching), but then try to replace them positive ones!

Everyday, I am grateful for living on this beautiful earth, grateful for my loving husband, our beautiful home (it's no big house but I love it), I'm grateful for every single moment I'm here!!! Sometimes people get caught up with work, are stressed, that they don't see the beauty of this planet we're living! That's sad, because at the end of their life, they might regret the time not spend with the ones they love, and not appreciating the life they have, always waiting for tomorrow to get better.

I try to appreciate every moment!! And, what's hard for me sometimes, try to live now, in the moment!!


Alicia said...

Due to my job, there has been a lot of negativity around me lately and I have to admit, I have been sucked in. My balance is my family. I get to go home to the best family every evening!! I LOVE the "don't over-think" tip. I tend to over-analyze EVERYTHING and am much better off when I just let it go. Thanks for the reminder. I printed off something you had posted and put it on my office door at work!

Melita said...

i love b&s. had a subscription for quite a while now and never ceases to entertain me.

i am also a positive person. i am so grateful for this. i do have bad thoughts, times and days just like everyone else but i do my very best to try to turn it around by thinking about all i do have. it really helps. i am also thankful i found your blog. your blog and you mean so much to me.