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A happiness attitude shift - how to change your outlook

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I read an exerpt of a book on an airplane magazine and realized that all I had learned in graduate school for clinical psychology, and what I had been telling my patients suffering from depression was validated. Then I also thought - well dang, I am doing that for myself, and have been for a while and look at me. I am so much happier then I had been in recent years. This stuff really works. So, whether this is new information from a Shawn Achor book, or something I have learned in years of grad school, or just basic common sense really does not matter so much. What matters is that this plan can change your attitude and change your life. So take these ideas from Mr. Achor (and others) and see if you can apply them is worth a try:

1. Each morning write down three things for which you are grateful. Me, I do this when I run. The first mile I list in my head the faces of people I love and for whom I am grateful. You would be amazed how much better your run is when you start this way! Mr. Achor says to do it before bed, but I have found starting my morning or my run this way, tees up my day for a good attitude.

2. Journal about a positive experience every day. I often tell my patients to journal as one of the most effective and inexpensive forms of therapy you can find. For me, blogging is a method of journaling...but find your thing. Write longhand in a beautiful journal, type a journal or blog entry. Just be sure to give the positive thing your time. The negative stuff gets too much time already so why give it more.

3. Meditate. If you can take a few moments just to breathe, you reap more than just the physiologic benefits. You actually can calm yourself and may even prolong your life. There are tons of studies that substantiate this claim (check out the Mayo Clinic website for more info). Yoga has a huge component of meditation.

4. Pay it forward. Doing something nice for someone always makes you feel better - and it has the power to brighten up someone elses day too. Try it.

5. EXERCISE! A recent study showed that exercise was more effective at reducing feelings of depression than antidepressants! Well dang!

Happy running, happy loving, happy living everyone!


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
COWBOYMAMA 1/17/2011 6:49PM

    Great blog!

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AMYDOYLE1 1/17/2011 4:59PM

    Thank you so much for sharing! emoticon

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LCORTEZ7 1/17/2011 2:04AM

    Wonderful! Thank you!

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KANSASROSE67 1/16/2011 8:34PM

    Great blog! I do the same while running...I tell myself I will spend a mile thanking God for every thing I can think of...and it usually takes MORE than a mile!

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TERRYT55 1/16/2011 8:00PM

    I LOVE your blog post! I've been trying to practice all of the above for the last year and I have never been happier in my life. I've been trying to convince my husband, who suffers from depression, and have finally been successful in the last month or so. He is seeing a therapist who has encouraged him to write, meditate & exercise.

I've printed this off & my husband is reading as I type. I've noticed he seems to be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.......for this I am most grateful.

Thanks again for sharing, Terry

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CYNTHIAMINUS40 1/16/2011 7:43PM

    Love it!

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KATTY1975 1/16/2011 7:38PM

    Thank you for this post. I have been trying to give myself a more positive outlook. Everytime I feel down I think about something positive like my family or friends and how grateful I am for them all. One thing I have been telling myself is Make it Great day. I got this pearl of wisdom from an 85 year old WWII vet. I tell myself that everyday. It is true. The day is what you make of it. I chose to make it good.

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TEDDYBABE 1/16/2011 7:32PM

    These are truly wonderful guidelines. We can all benefit by putting all of these into practice. Great blog. Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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