I had the pleasure of going to a seminar last Friday called the Habits of Happy People – I love stuff like that!! Did you know that with the advent of modern technology, the ability to really study and see the brain has just exploded. For instance, until recently it was pretty widely accepted that the brain quit growing in early adulthood; now we know – via MRIs, that’s not true at all. Our brain can grow and develop for as long as we challenge it. That’s why games like Luminosity, crossword puzzles, and learning a new language are so good for us. No challenge, no growth; just like our muscles.
Here’s another thing that won’t change without challenge: our level of happiness. Back up: isn’t it exciting that we can change it??? Apparently, we’re born with a “pre-disposition” for happiness that we inherited from our parents. Current science says that only accounts for about 50% of our mood and attitude- the other 50% is what we do, what we say, what we focus on, what we read or watch or listen to, who we pick for friends and peers, etc. We have such opportunity for improvement!
I think this totally coincides with my own “Positive Attitude Positive Change” challenge I threw down last week: Practice, Plan, and Work on taking Action Steps to STOP the Self Defeating Negative Talk, from now through January, and See the Changes! What’s that mean? Instead of focusing on how much you dislike something about yourself and want it to change ( which gets us NOWHERE despite years of thinking that way), focus on being healthy and taking the Action Steps to get there.
Action Steps are EVERYTHING. You know how you can let your mind just wander and ruminate and spin on what you don’t like? And how it can start with one subject, like your thighs/butt/weight etc, and then just keep growing, like ripples in a pond? Well, that’s what Actions Steps prevent: no more wasting downtime “vegging” in front of the computer or tv. No more spending hours of the day (driving, at the desk, even with other people) WASTING your brain time. Now practice focusing on doing: when you can plan/shop/cook/pack; when you can get a workout in and what it’s going to be; listen to a podcast/youtube on a healthy topic like heart health or sleep or thinking positive; schedule cleaning out a drawer, your desk, or your closet and then do it; schedule and follow through with family time, or friend time. I know everyone’s busy, but God didn’t put 24 hours in a day and make it not enough (whether it seems that way or not). He gave us 24 hours because he thinks that’s sufficient – so it must be.
Positive thinking and health; they’re practically one and the same. Our thoughts come from the neurotransmitter mixes we make in our brain. Neurotransmitters are made from Amino Acids, which are from Protein. Our synapses and neural connective tissues are made up of fatty acids (from fats). Our body is made out of Protein and Fats. Feed your body the foods that it needs to make itself.
Positive thinkers and optimistic people have Stronger Immune systems (less cortisol, less negative hormones and neurotransmitter mixes). They also heal from wounds quicker and have less perception of pain. They’re also better problem solvers and more creative, have better success at work by all measures, have happier marriages and friendships, and greater resilience to all sorts of problems. Why wouldn’t we strive for this?
So next time your mind wanders to what you don’t like about yourself, focus instead on the Action Steps to become what you want to be!
Quote for the week (I’ve been saying this one a lot): ” I practice being kind, not right.” I think I got that from Joel Osteen. Have a great day!