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 yourself...it 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!