In the aftermath of annual New Year’s resolutions, some of which can be ambitious to the point of being unrealistic, it might be a good idea to refocus on the less-dramatic and more-practical steps that can lead to a healthier life and a greater sense of well-being.
The first step we might mention is one that could seem invisible at first. It has to do with establishing and maintaining a positive attitude. Although the step might be internal, the results are surely visible to the people around you – your family, your loved ones, your co-workers, and even your community. This advice isn’t just happy-talk. Research from distinguished medical authorities confirms that a positive outlook can improve overall health.
Expert Views on Positivity
A study from Johns Hopkins Medicine states, “People who are more positive may be better protected against the inflammatory damage of stress” and “…there is definitely a strong link between ‘positivity’ and health.” Additional studies have found that, “a positive attitude improves outcomes and life satisfaction across a spectrum of conditions – including traumatic brain injury, stroke, and brain tumors.”
Even more specifically, research by the Mayo Clinic finds that among the health benefits you can expect from positive thinking are:
- Increased life span
- Lower rates of depression
- Lower levels of distress
- Greater resistance to the common cold
- Better psychological and physical well-being
- Better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress
Pretty good results from having your own attitude on your side. How to accomplish it? The answers seem to boil down to breaking old mental habits with awareness and direction. We become aware of thoughts that work against us, and replace them thoughts that work in our favor.
Exercise without Obsession
We are still fascinated by the simplicity of the findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the famous CDC, on what it takes to have enough exercise for basic health: 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity, like walking, or 75 minutes a week of vigorous activity, like running. That’s just a half-hour walk each weekday, or a 25-minute run three days a week. When we look at the basics like that, the prospect of working fitness into our busy schedules gets a lot easier.
We’d be happy to help you set your eyes on a prize that works realistically, when it comes to a healthier you. As a family practice, you don’t have to have an ailment that fits our specialty to get the support of professional medical guidance. Just call us at 843.815.6468 to get started.