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Wednesday
Nov282012

The Power of Positivity

The human body is simply an amazing thing, allowing us to run marathons, lift weights, and compete in events people are still dreaming up each year, but without the right frame of mind, the power of the body is all for naught. Our mind is responsible for our attitude, and our attitude often determines how our days will progress. Attitude is often defined as “an expression of favor or disfavor toward a person, place, thing, or event.” This week I would challenge you to put a high priority on your attitude and spend time learning just how impactful it can be!

We’ve all heard the old saying, “he must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed,” but how many of us have really given any thought to what that means? Obviously the bed rarely has anything to do with our attitude in the morning. How we approach our day is about so much more…

Recently one of my colleagues shared a video1 with me that changed the way I approach my attitude. Shawn Achor, a leading expert on the connection between happiness and success, speaks about how positivity and happiness can drive our ability to be successful. While the video speaks about happiness in the workplace, it can easily be applied to your desire to live a Healthy Way of Life!

Spending time reflecting on what makes you happy may be just what you need to regain your positivity. We live in world full of pessimism, violence, and drama, which we hear about and experience each and every day. Taking time to remind yourself about the bright spots in your life can help set your steps back on the path to success. There is positivity all around you, especially within yourself. Have you taken time lately to determine where you’d like to go, where your Healthy Way of Life journey is taking you? Can you see yourself achieving your goals and dreams? If not, YOU might be creating the wall that is blocking your path to success.

Visualizing one’s best positive self and exploring gratitude may be the keys to helping break down that wall. Researchers have shown that visualizing yourself as you’d like to be is highly beneficial in improving your overall outlook and sustaining your positivity2. In addition to this, taking time to express gratitude for things in your life can be a very powerful exercise in improving positivity and attitude2. People who spend time on these activities will continue to see an increase in their positivity and self-confidence over time.

It’s time to see yourself succeeding. If your goal is to run a 5K, have you visualized yourself crossing the finish line and thought about how you will feel when you are done? Have you run the race in your mind? If you are trying to lose weight and fit into your old “skinny jeans,” have you pulled them out and thought about how you will feel when you button them again? Have you pictured where you will go when you get them on again for the first time? These are the types of thoughts you should have to break down the barriers that are keeping you from your successes. Create your goal, see yourself accomplishing it, and accept nothing less than a positive experience in the process!

In the video, Shawn Achor provides a challenge to all of the audience members to “train their brains to become more positive by completing the following tasks for 21 days in a row:”

  •  List three gratitudes for the day (3 new things each day)
  •  Journal one positive thing from your day
  •  Exercise (reflect on how you moved your body)
  •  Meditation (spend at least 5 minutes of quiet time alone)
  •  Perform at least 1 random act of kindness each day

These activities have been shown to reinforce a positive attitude, so grab a notebook and get started! Today is the day that you seize your attitude and change how you see the world. After 21 days of this activity you can begin to “re-wire your brain” to begin to see the world as a more positive place. Find greater happiness in your work, your relationships, and your health!

Life is filled with choices, and one of the most important is your attitude. Your attitude is a choice. Never forget that. Join me on the 21-day positivity challenge and reap the benefits of a life filled with the power of positivity. 

“Not only does the future look bright when the attitude it right, but the present is much more enjoyable too.”  ~John C. Maxwell

By Julie Brown - Life Time Nutrition and Weight Loss Coach

References:

 Sean Achor - How to increase and sustain positive emotion: The effects of expressing gratitude and visualizing best possible selves. Sheldon, Kennon M.: Lyubomirsky, Sonja. From Journal of Positive Psycology. 2006 April Vol 1(2) 73-82.

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.

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