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Goal for 2017. Be Happy!

Happy 2017!

I’m sure most of you have make resolutions for the coming year that involve losing weight, exercising more and taking better care of your health. What most people tend to ignore is having a positive mental attitude.

The Mind Body Connection

The mind body connection has been studied extensively and recent research has shown that a positive outlook can increase your health and your life. A Danish study showed that being positive increased life for at least another five years. The NIH funded a study involving over 100,000 women. Those that were optimistic were 30% less likely to die from heart disease (the #1 killer of women).

"In addition to protecting your heart health, having a positive outlook can help improve relationships and self-esteem and lead to better decision-making and less stress throughout your day," says David Burns, MD, a psychologist and an adjunct clinical professor emeritus of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the author of The Feeling Good Handbook.

Positive thinking lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol and thus lowers overall inflammation. Negative thoughts and emotions activate a brain region known as the amygdala. It is the amygdala that plays a role in fear and anxiety. Studies have shown that negative thinkers are 23 percent more likely to die from cancer.

What is the best way to be positive?

Studies show that the best way to hold onto positive emotions is to practice meditation. Meditation alters brain circuits in a way that will promote positive responses. I do advocate learning how to meditate and there are some good apps such as Headspace and Simple Habit that can teach you how to meditate starting at only 5 minutes a day.

My Tip

Don't wait. Start your day tomorrow by feeling positive. Mornings can be rushed and hectic but before you get pulled into the maelstrom pause for a moment and take a long, deep breath through your nose and slowly exhale.

And then say to yourself, “Today is going to be a great day!”. Do this every day and several times throughout the day and you will feel your outlook shift, your mental mood lighten and your motivation to achieve your 2017 goals will become a reality.

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