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7 Ways to Adjust Your Attitude for Better Health

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What is a free and natural medicine that can give you various mental and physical health benefits? It is a medicine you would prescribe to yourself, and you should take it every day: looking on the bright side of life!

Life can be tough, and, in this age of media, we can be overwhelmed with unwelcome and unwanted news. But it is super important to introduce positivity into your day, as what’s good for the brain is good for the body.

Research shows that positive thinking can help you live longer, fight off illness, and keep your heart healthy. According to the National Institutes of Health, scientists have found a link between an upbeat attitude and improved health. Improvements include lower blood pressure, reduced risk for heart disease, healthier weight, better blood sugar levels and an increased lifespan.

The NIH reported brain imaging demonstrates that positive emotions trigger “reward pathways” in the brain. The longer the reward pathway is activated, the more healthful changes the body experiences, including lowering stress hormones. On the other hand, negative emotions activate brain regions that are associated with fear and anxiety, which can slow recovery time for a variety of health conditions.

In short, when your mind feels good, it releases happy chemicals to make your body feel better.

Due to such reports, it is now widely accepted that having a cheerful outlook increases longevity, and that cheerfulness can give you a better quality of life. Positivity is also a natural defense mechanism that protects you from anxiety and depression.

Having a positive mindset involves finding the good things in any situation, even the most challenging ones. It is the act of being hopeful without lying to yourself. This should not be confused with unfounded optimism, which can be a bit tricky. Unfounded optimism, also referred to as “toxic positivity,” can lead to intentionally disregarding situations that should be addressed. An example would be choosing not to wear a coat outdoors in winter because you do not believe you will get cold.

If you are living with a common chronic condition like high blood pressure or Type 2 diabetes, Ochsner Digital Medicine encourages you to adjust your attitude to be your healthiest and happiest self. Here are seven suggestions to turn that frown upside down for your health.

  • Identify areas to change: Human nature tends to magnify the negative by filtering out the positive. I Mindfully check in with yourself throughout the day to figure out what may be triggering the negativity. Explore ways to adjust your mindset to consider the good things that have happened.
  • Laugh at it: Yes, laughter really is the best medicine. You must give yourself the permission to laugh, even when things are difficult. Humor is a great coping strategy.
  • Hang out with positive people: Your environment matters; that also means the company you keep. Strive to surround yourself with supportive people whose advice and feedback would be valuable to you. Negative people are sometimes called “energy-suckers” because they can increase stress in your life.
  • Be kind to yourself: Do not say to yourself what you would not say to a friend. Treat yourself with the same compassion as you would someone you love.
  • Be thankful: Positive people make it a habit to write down reasons for being grateful. We often take things that others may not have for granted. While you do not have to record it, take stock of three to five things you appreciate having in your life. These things could be as small as a tasty treat or having great weather.
  • Learn from mistakes: It is easy to be discouraged when faced with failure, but finding the lesson in these situations will do more for your mental health than dwelling on the failure itself. Remember that people with great success typically suffer many failures first!
  • Stay present: Throughout your day take time to stop and bring your mind’s attention to the present thoughts and emotions you experience. Then, let them pass without judging them. This type of meditation is helpful when regulating your emotional response to situations. It also helps you learn to listen to yourself.

Ochsner Digital Medicine can give you a better outlook on life! If you are living with high blood pressure and/or Type 2 diabetes, we can help you and your dependents (age 18 and up) manage these chronic conditions from home without extra doctor’s visits. By joining the Digital Medicine program, you will enjoy patient-centered care. This includes a licensed clinician to monitor readings and help ensure you’re on the right medications and access to professional health coaches who help you make healthy lifestyle choices.

Be proactive in your healthcare with a convenient and proven program. Learn more about Digital Medicine.

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