Tomorrow marks the end of Daylight Saving Time when we turn clocks back one hour.
According to Scott Bea, PsyD, of Cleveland Clinic, when it gets darker outside sooner, it can impact our likelihood of developing seasonal affective disorder, or SAD.
”Of course we know people in Florida aren’t going to suffer quite as much,” says Dr. Bea.
Research shows the rate of seasonal affective disorder down there is about 1.4 percent, but if you get up to New Hampshire, its about 9.7 percent. So where you exist in relation to the equator makes a difference.
Dr. Bea says SAD is marked by 3 things:
Research has shown that women tend to suffer from SAD about four times as much as men do, but when men develop symptoms, they tend to be more severe.
In addition to longer periods of darkness, the grayness of winter impacts a lot of people.
About four percent of folks will experience SAD during the winter, while another ten percent will get winter blues.
Dr. Bea says light therapy works for many people. He suggests getting a light-therapy lamp, sitting in front of it for about 30 minutes every day, ideally in the morning.
Starting light therapy as early as October and keeping it going through the spring will provide the most benefit.
And, if nothing else, Dr. Bea says just getting outdoors more often can help too.
”What people do is they stay indoors and so they dont get ordinary light exposure. One of the problems is we’re not outside enough, even on a cloudy day, if youre outside for thirty minutes in the morning, youre going to get enough light exposure and that seems to make a difference.”
Dr. Bea also suggests creating social obligations – meeting up with other people or perhaps taking up an exercise program – can be beneficial for our mental health during colder months.
Again, to keep smiling through darker, colder weather follow these tips:
GET OUTDOORS, ESPECIALLY IN MORNINGS FOR AT LEAST 30 MINUTES
SOCIALIZE WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS -LAUGHTER!
MAINTAIN A DAILY EXERCISE ROUTINE
USE LIGHT THERAPY 30 MINUTES DAILY UNTIL SPRING
If you’ve used light therapy in the past, we’d love to hear from you.
There are several brands available on Amazon from small portable ones you can place on your desk for about $39. and ones costing up into the hundreds so if you’ve used one, please let us know if and how it worked for you!
Scott Bea, PsyD, of Cleveland Clinic, says for years doctors have had notions that attitudes and thoughts may predispose us to early aging.
More and more these notions are turning into scientific research.
He says there are different types of negative thinking. Each can be impactful.
One is just cynical hostility, where you know, we stew a lot, says Dr. Bea. When people are kind of suspicious and pretty certain the world or folks are against them it stays with them; and keeps stress chemicals like cortisol circulating in the body too long.
Dr. Bea says some studies have looked at how certain types of behavior and thought patterns can impact our aging and DNA.
He says we tend to lump all negative thinking into one place, but there are actually many little ways that can actually harm us by influencing our telomeres, which are the tips at the end of our DNA that affect the aging process.
Thoughts like pessimism — always predicting doom and gloom, as well as ruminating, which isdredging up past events and mulling them over and over again, can keep stress chemicals active and alive.
Dr. Bea also says thought suppression where we actively try to avoid thoughts – takes a lot of activity and tension and tends to overload our brains.
What to do? When we engage in the outside world, and not in our own heads, Dr. Bea says we can better handle these negative thought patterns.
The key is to be able to recognize that thoughts are just thoughts.
Dr. Bea recommends you do the following to cut off negative self-talk:
Say to yourself, ‘I’m allowed to think without trying to fix or solve anything.’
Use simple mindfulness exercises that can be done, even in five second bursts at various times throughout the day. Focus on the sensation of your breath.
If something distracts you (sights, sounds) ease your attention back to your breath.
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MY two cents and what I recommend. My blog. My two cents:
I subscribe to something called DAILY PRIME. You know how a “Good Morning Beautiful” text from your significant other can make you wake up with a smile.
Well, relationships ebb and flow, so you can’t count on consistency. It can also border on creepy if it’s not from your SO. DAILY PRIME is consistently in a positive, good mood.
Here’s how it works. Each morning, I get an amazing, positive, motivational, inspirational text that kick starts the rest of my day. You pick a time preference.
It’s created by John Assaraf.
John and his wife Maria are two of my favorite people in the world. When I first met them we walked in San Diego for Rady’s Children Hospital.
They’ve wonderful energy and such an authentically calm, healing presence. It’s the kind of good, positive energy that radiates from within. I
When you get to that state, it benefits your well-being and everyone in your presence.
Assaraf has been preaching thoughts equals things way before before The Secret (which he appeared in) was on Oprah or studies confirm it.
One of my favorite books, The Power of Positive Thinking did too.
Positive THOUGHTS lead you to make positive ACTIONS.
Also, you can do things that release the opposite of cortisol in your body. There are naturally healthy healing chemicals and hormones inside your body, but it takes action to release them.
Actions like daily exercise, listening to music, mediating, spending time in nature or with positive family and friends, laughing, petting your dog, and hugging release endorphins.
Love is a biggie. It releases all the feel good hormones, including oxytocin. I read a great book about it in 2014 and interviewed author, Paul J. Zak for this blog. It’s called The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity. I
I was recently interviewed on a radio program about mind-body connection –hot topic.
I was delighted to meet Brian Tracy while in San Diego. I attended one of his conferences and brought one of his books with me. Without my even asking he graciously says, “Let me sign that.” He wrote, “Maria, You can do it!” inside it. That’s positivity for you. Whatever “it” is doesn’t matter when someone believes in you.
How To Be More Positiveby Brian Tracy
Your mental diet largely determines your character and your personality and almost everything that happens to you in life.
What is a mental diet? Keep reading and I’ll explain…
When you feed your mind with positive affirmations, information, books, conversations, audio programs, and thoughts, you develop a more positive attitude and personality.
You become more influential and persuasive. You enjoy greater confidence and self-esteem.
Those who work with computers use the expression “G.I.G.O.” or “Garbage in, Garbage out.” But the reverse is also true, “Good in, Good out.”
When you make a clear, unequivocal decision that you are going to take complete control over your mind, eliminate the negative emotions and thoughts that may have held you back in the past, and become a completely positive person, you can actually bring about your own personal transformation.
Mental fitness is like physical fitness. You develop high levels of self-esteem and a positive attitude with training and practice. Here are the seven keys to becoming a completely positive person:
1) Positive Affirmations
Speak to yourself positively; control your inner dialog. Use positive affirmations phrased in the positive, present, and personal tense:
“I like myself!”
“I can do it!”
“I feel terrific!”
“I am responsible!”
We believe that fully 95% of your emotions are determined by the way you talk to yourself as you go throughout your day. The sad fact is that if you do not deliberately and consciously talk to yourself in a positive and constructive way, you will, by default, think about things that will make you unhappy or cause you worry and anxiety.
As we said before, your mind is like a garden. If you do not deliberately plant flowers and tend carefully, weeds will grow without any encouragement at all.
Perhaps the most powerful ability that you have is the ability to visualize and see your goals as already accomplished. Create a clear, exciting picture of your goal and your ideal life, and replay this picture in your mind over and over.
All improvement in your life begins with an improvement in your mental pictures. As you “see” yourself on the inside, you will “be” on the outside.
3) Positive People
Your choice of the people with whom you live, work, and associate will have more of an impact on your emotions and your success that any other factor. Decide today to associate with winners, with positive people, with people who are happy and optimistic and who are going somewhere with their lives.
Avoid negative people at all costs. Negative people are the primary source of most of life’s unhappiness. Resolve that from today onward, you are not going to have stressful or negative people in your life.
4) Positive Mental Food
Just as your body is healthy to the degree to which you eat healthy, nutritious foods, your mind is healthy to the degree to which you feed it with “mental protein” rather than “mental candy.” Read books, magazines, and articles that are educational, inspirational, or motivational.
Feed your mind with information and ideas that are uplifting and that make you feel happy and more confident about yourself and your world.
Listen to positive, constructive CDs and audio programs in your car and on your MP3 player or iPod. Feed your mind continually with positive messages that help you think and act better and make you more capable and competent in your field. Watch positive and educational DVDs, educational television programs, online courses, and other uplifting material that increases your knowledge and makes you feel good about yourself and your life.
5) Positive Training And Development
Almost everyone in our society starts off with limited resources, sometimes with no money at all. Virtually all fortunes begin with the sale of personal services of some kind. All the people who are at the top today were once at the bottom, and sometimes they fell to the bottom several times.
The miracle of lifelong learning and personal improvement is what takes you from rags to riches, from poverty to affluence, and from underachievement to success and financial independence.
As Jim Rohn said, ”Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”
When you dedicate yourself to learning and growing and becoming better and more effective in your thoughts and actions, you take complete control of your life and dramatically increase the speed at which you move upward to greater heights.
6) Positive Health Habits
Take excellent care of your physical health and wellness. Resolve today that you are going to live to be eighty, ninety, or one hundred years old and still be dancing in the evenings. Eat healthy foods, natural and nutritious, and eat them sparingly and in proper balance. A nutritional diet will have an immediate, positive effect on your thoughts and feelings.
Resolve to get regular exercise, at least two hundred minutes of motion per week, walking, running, swimming, bicycling, or working out on equipment in the gym. When you exercise on a regular basis, you feel happier and healthier and experience lower levels of stress and fatigue than a person who sits on the couch and watches television all evening.
Especially, get ample rest and relaxation. You need to recharge your batteries on a regular basis, especially when you are going through periods of stress or difficulty.
Vince Lombardi once said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”
Some of the factors that predispose us to negative emotions of all kinds are poor health habits, sleep deprivation, lack of exercise, and nonstop work. Seek balance in your life.
7) Positive Expectations
Practicing the Law of Attraction is one of the most powerful techniques you can use to become a positive person and to ensure positive outcomes and better results in your life. Your expectations become your own self-fulfilling prophesies.
Whatever you expect, with confidence, seems to come into your life. Since you can control your expectations, you should always expect the best.
Expect to be successful.
Expect to be popular when you meet new people. Expect to achieve great goals and create a wonderful life for yourself. When you constantly expect good things to happen, you will seldom be disappointed.
I hope you enjoyed this post on developing a more positive attitude with positive affirmations. Please leave a comment and share with your friends!
Why You Need Positive People in Your Life
Happiness is a choice. But we continually need to be reminded by people to make that choice.
One big mistake people make is not realizing that happiness is an individual choice. But every choice is influenced by the people in our lives. If you change your life influencers for the better, you can dramatically increase your chances for happiness and success.
In my research, I’ve found that positive social connection is the greatest predictor of long-term happiness. Welcoming a positive new influencer into your world can be one of the most important choices for happiness you make. That person might be a professional life coach or a mentor or simply someone whom you respect and who has the positive outlook you want to emulate.
A positive influencer will have a few outstanding traits that rub off on you over time. This person will practice gratitude. He will seek joy daily and work at becoming his best self. He’ll enjoy being active and feel connected to others.
Think about the negative influences around you. These are people who focus on the bad things in their lives and cause you to do the same. You’ll be left searching for new problems to worry over. Negative influencers don’t smile or laugh easily. They have trouble maintaining relationships and see stress as a threat rather than a challenge to embrace. Steer clear!
We know that happiness is a choice. But we continually need to be reminded by people to make that choice, especially when life gets challenging. Think about the people you know who could be positive influencers and spend more time with someone who will improve your happiness and lead you to greater success.
The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People
Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand? If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!
The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places! Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.
1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.
Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives. Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:
I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life …
To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones …
And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!
2. Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.
Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.
3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.
Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.
4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.
The most positive people are the most grateful people. They do not focus on the potholes of their lives. They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences. They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.
5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.
Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do. They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities. They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time. They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!
6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!
Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.
7. Positive people smile a lot!
When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!
8. People who are positive are great communicators.
They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life. They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind.Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse. They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.
9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.
One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time. Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.
10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.
Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.
How about you? How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself? If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?
I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!