Tips for a Positive Attitude by Judith Orloff, MD
As a physician in practice for over twenty years, I know that your beliefs set the tone for health and healing. Positive attitudes accentuate wellness, negative attitudes impair it. Our beliefs trigger biochemical responses. No organ system is apart from our thoughts. Beliefs set a tone for certain health realities to occur. In “Positive Energy” I discuss 5 tips for keeping a positive attitude.
The first is, try to focus on what’s good in the ‘Now” rather than catastrophizing about what danger lurks in the future. Negative fear based thoughts increase the stress hormones in your body, and stop the blissful flow of endorphins, our brain’s natural pain reducing neurochemicals.’
The second is to take a few minutes to meditate each day on a positive image: a waterfall, sunset, the night sky, a child’s face. This calms your physiological system and allows you to take a mini break from the stressors of the day.
The third, is to practice positive self-talk. This is a form of affirmation that will neutralize the tendency to focus on what is negative. For instance, if you are tired tell yourself, “Honey, it’s okay to take a rest” instead of beating yourself up over not being a super person who goes nonstop. Or “you’ve done a great job” when you know you’ve done your best in a work situation or in the process of healing from an illness. This emphasis on what you’ve done well will help keep your body calm and healthy.
The fourth is to be grateful for what is working in your life rather than obsessing on what has gone wrong—always focus on the love you have and know the enormous value of this.
The fifth tip is to practice anonymous acts of service whenever you are feeling unhappy or in a bad mood. Reaching out to help others in a small way—for instance, helping someone across the street, letting someone in front of you in traffic, being emotionally supportive of a friend—serves to open your heart and generate positive energy so you feel better and so does someone else.