We all know by now that the brain and our thoughts influence our physiology, but sometimes its nice to be reminded the true impact of our thoughts and the small things we can consciously do to keep our thoughts positive. Even when faced with a health crisis, positive feelings and thoughts can improve ones quality of life. The health benefits are indisputable. A positive outlook can lower blood pressure, reduce the risks of heart disease, improve blood sugar levels and reduce the need to take antidepressants to help cope with one’s present illness.
These positive emotions can help make the tougher times easier. People that can learn skills to help foster positive emotions not only helps them feel happy, calm and satisfied in the midst of a health crisis, but improves overall health and longevity. Doing one or more of these skills daily is all you need to help cope with your current stressors. It also helps you become more resilient with stressors in the future.
These are the eight skills to help foster positive emotions developed by Judith T. Moskowitz, professor of medical social sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago:
1. Recognize a positive event each day.
2. Savor that event and log it in a journal or tell someone about it.
3. Start a daily gratitude journal.
4. List a personal strength and note how you used it.
5. Set an attainable goal and note your progress.
6. Report a minor stress and list ways to reappraise the event positively.
7. Recognize and practice small acts of kindness daily.
8. Practice mindfulness. Focus on the here and now rather than the past or the future.