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A Half-filled Glass: Stress and Optimism

Chronic stress can seem like a dark cloud that looms over our heads, but to borrow a phrase, every grey cloud has a silver lining. Research studies reveal that having an optimistic outlook on life not only helps us navigate around the potholes in the road, an optimistic perspective helps boost the immune system. Good thoughts and feelings are correlated to the release of neuropeptides that enhance our health. So, it’s in our best interest to balance the negative thoughts with positive one and perhaps add a few additional pleasant thoughts for good measure. There is a theory that suggests that a prolonged pessimistic outlook is nothing more than prolonged grieving, and while grieving is certainly healthy, prolonged grieving isn’t. Lance Armstrong didn’t win seven Tour de Frances with a negative attitude. Rosa Parks didn’t take a seat on a bus that one famous day because she was a pessimist. Nelson Mandela didn’t become the President of South Africa with an attitude of resentment. We would do well to learn from these role models.

• Stress Tip for the Day
Take inventory of your thoughts several times today and discern if there is a healthy balance between positive and negative thoughts. Work to find the balance with your emotional thought process. One thing that helps find this new (healthy) balance is to start counting your blessings (an attitude of gratitude) with all the things going right in your world.

• Links/Books Worth Noting:
The field of positive psychology is exploding with research that supports conventional wisdom. Here are just two of hundreds of links that may be of interest:

http://stress.about.com/od/optimismspirituality/a/optimismbenefit.htm
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/positive-thinking/SR00009

• Quote for the Day:
“No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.” Helen Keller

Photo of the Day:
I went out for a whale watching boat ride while vacationing on the Cape last year. We saw over 20 whales that day and I think its fair to say that everyone on the boat saw the glass as completely filled. Is it time to fill your glass?

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Brian Luke Seaward

Author Brian Luke Seaward

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