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How Your Attitudes Can Impact Your Life

By Sandy Schroeder

Most of us know people who are always upbeat. I have a neighbor who is retired and dealing with an assortment of health issues, but he never stops smiling, and usually supplies everyone on the block with homegrown tomatoes.

I have another neighbor who usually has some bit of bad news to impart, or a complaint about something. She is much younger, but much less positive. The contrast is mind-boggling.

Researchers and scientists tell us attitude can make a big difference in our immediate health and longevity.

Dr. Laura Kubzansky, professor of social and behavioral sciences at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, has studied the health effects of various attitudes. She says emotional strength is made up of hopefulness, enthusiasm, involvement in life and the ability to face stress. This emotional strength is also linked to a reduced risk of stroke and heart attack.

How to Improve Your Attitude

If you know you tend toward the negative, you may not be able to be an overnight switch to a more positive stand, but there are suggestions that could help such as these from Harvard Health.

Figure out what really counts – Too many times we become discouraged just thinking about daily issues and long-term goals. Take the time to sit down and list just the big things in your life. Then add brief notes on how they are going and what you are doing to make things work. This simplification of focus can do a lot to let you see the positives in your life, and clear away miscellaneous distractions.

Let go of age obsessions – I have a friend who simply does not look his age. When people comment on it, he smiles and says, “Well I used to be younger.” His sense of humor and acceptance of life really serve him well, enhancing his health and his enjoyment of every minute of it. Researchers say people who feel younger than their chronological age often live longer.

Know what you want to accomplish – People with positive attitudes usually have a fairly clear idea what they want to do in the present, and on down the road. It can be fun to dabble or float for awhile, but having a purpose for the long haul will probably make you feel a lot more positive. Decide where you are and do the homework if you need to pin down your overall goals.

Live in the moment – Mindfulness meditation keeps turning up in recommendations and conversations as people discover what it can do for them. The basic approach is to find a quiet spot and sit quietly letting your thoughts stream by without judging them. I find this works very well for me when I am dealing with a lot of conflicting thoughts and pressures. Later, my mind feels clearer and I often feel a lot more positive as I move ahead with my decisions.

 To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Lakewood, Calif.

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