The Optimist’s Path (Guest Post)

Childhood experiences, environment, success and disappointment all play a role in shaping our attitude. But whatever your current worldview might be, there’s always room for a little more optimism – especially these days, when one dark thing after another appears on the nightly news. Now, flexing the optimist muscle is imperative. Life becomes more meaningful. Our physical energy and vitality is lifted. It’s certainly nicer for others to be in our presence when our presence is positive.

Recently, a friend and I talked about possible links between good health and having a positive mental attitude. My view was that a positive outlook is a healthier way to live and can even prevent illness. After all, numerous studies have indeed suggested a connection. But my friend countered with something interesting. He said, “Some of the nastiest, most negative thinking people I’ve known have lived to be very old.” Once I thought about this, I had to agree; I’ve seen this, too.

Although we can all probably think of a difficult, cantankerous person who lived to old age, I still believe keeping a positive focus is important for physical, mental and spiritual wellness. The idea is just as Dr. Karl Menninger – a founder of the Menninger Clinic and proponent of blending psychiatry and medicine – put it decades ago: “Set up as an ideal the facing of reality as honestly and as cheerfully as possible.”

Why go the opposite route? It’s apparent that many of us choose the path of complaining and misery, but why? About complaining, a wise teacher I once had said, “It’s self-correcting. One eventually sees the futility of one’s own negativity, although this may take many lifetimes.” I found this to be an interesting way to look at it: We are all evolving, and one of the roads in our travels is the road of pessimism!

I’d like to think I traveled that road long ago, but things happen, and sometimes it just feels really good to get right into the center of the mud pile and complain about everything. But if we can be aware of the moment we choose to jump into the mess, and also be a little practiced in how to climb back out and clean off, then, once in awhile, maybe we can be excused and just indulge. Griping is an indulgence, after all.

Affirmations are one way to help your mind stay focused on the positive and also to help dig yourself out of the mud pile once you’ve had your fun in there. I encourage you to set up your own self-fulfilling prophecies. Listed below are a few you can use to get you on your way.

  • I make conscious, positive choices.
  • I have the kind of inner fortitude that survives and succeeds through anything.
  • I live in true comfort and joy.
  • I have a healthy vibrant body and mind.
  • I forgive myself for everything.
  • I am open to positive change.
  • I flow easily with change.
  • My own well-being is my top priority.
  • Optimum health is mine now and always.
  • I am fully loved.
  • My body knows how to heal itself.
  • I am completely healthy in every way.
  • Every day I’m feeling happier.
  • I am alive and healed on all levels.
  • I remain in balance, steady, strong, peaceful.
  • I have a lot of options.
  • I have many opportunities.
  • My life is filled with harmony.

You can write them out, print and post where you can see them, choose one that resonates with you and put it on your refrigerator or make a list of your own. Either way, you’re mental focus will be improved and, according to the latest studies on mind-body wellness, you will be healthier and happier.

Christina Grant, PhD

Read more by Dr. Grant on her blog, Dr. Grant Holistic

Published by The Verigin Dental Health Team

A humanistic, holistic dental practice in Northern California, providing integrative, biological, mercury-free dentistry

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