Accentuating the Positive

by Joan Jacobsen | May 21st, 2014 | Fitness Expert, Senior

Looking AheadI am a big advocate of smiling, laughing and staying positive. Not only does it work wonders with our overall attitude and health, but it also gives us hope and a reason for waking up each morning. By incorporating this practice into our daily routine, we can parlay it into living a long and healthy life. It makes no sense to be a “Debbie Downer” especially when it develops into long term negativity, because this practice can seriously have adverse impacts on our heart, brain, immune system, digestion and overall mortality. Bringing unwanted stress and gloomy thoughts upon ourselves is a recipe for shortening our life expectancy. Sometimes it is difficult to overcome these feelings of hopelessness and pessimism. I was one of the fortunate ones who were able to get past my negativity. I discovered that I was my own worst enemy and turned my life around easily by filling my mind with uplifting thoughts and performing anonymous acts of kindness.

Think about this; in the 1950’s when we were just starting out in this world, the life expectancy in the U.S. for both males and females was 68.2 years. Many of us will soon be, or already are that age now. In this year of 2014 the life expectancy age combined for men and women is 78.7 that is a 10 year age surge over sixty years. Medical technology, research, combating some diseases that were thought to be “death sentences” in the past, the discovery of certain drugs and vaccines have given us hope along with a sunnier outlook.

Exercise and staying active is one of the best ways to keep positive. Studies show by Susanne S. Pedersen, Ph.D. cardiac psychologist, that cardiac patients who performed exercise on a regular basis showed increased levels of optimism. According to regular exercise will release endorphins that act as analgesics which will help diminish the perception of pain. These endorphins can be accompanied by a positive and energizing outlook of life. Positive thinking distracts us from some unpleasant aspects that we must endure in our everyday lives. There is always time to visualize happiness as it translates into a more optimistic and hopeful approach that definitely reduces stress and negative feelings. Besides it takes more muscles to frown instead of to smile, and we don’t need any more wrinkles!

Here is the kicker, believe it or not laughter (and I’m talking out loud in your face guffaws) is a great way to tone your abs. You utilize many muscles when you are laughing therefore your oblique’s will benefit from your roars and chortles. There are also laughing yoga clubs springing up and around the U.S. Who would have imagined a good belly laugh exercises the diaphragm, contracts the abs and even works out the shoulders, leaving muscles more relaxed afterwards. It even provides a good workout for the heart. Of course any exercise will make you feel fantastic and ready for your next workout. In conclusion, you can approach life’s challenges realistically, but it pays to proceed with a positive attitude. So, in the words of Pharrell Williams “Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth.”

  1. lois says:

    Great advice!

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.