Positivity & Kindness
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2020 has brought a variety of challenges to people all over the world. Pandemics cause more than physical illness; the emotional toll due to added stress is extensive. According to a recent study by the American Psychological Association, stress levels have increased substantially due to COVID-19, and the negative health effects will be serious and long-lasting.
Managing ongoing stress can have an impact on our overall feelings of happiness and positive thinking. We must concede that even though many elements of the crisis will be out of our control, there are some things within our control that can make a difference. These habits can improve our emotional wellbeing if we learn to practice them regularly.
Boosting Happiness and Positive Thinking
Positive thinking can have a great impact on stress. It is the basis of cognitive therapy, one of the mainstays of modern psychology. Positive thinking doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but with daily practice, negative self-talk can be overcome. Practicing gratitude, meditation, exercise, and showing kindness to others are all proven ways to increase positivity and happiness.
Practicing gratitude has been linked to an increase in positive emotions. Try practicing gratitude today by making a list of what you’re thankful for, thanking a friend or family member for being there, or starting a gratitude journal.
According to Psychology Today, practicing as little as seven minutes of meditation each day can help with mood, stress levels, and sleep. Mindful meditation and deep breathing are great habits to learn because they teach us to be aware and present in the moment – this is an important aspect of “mindfulness”.
Exercise has numerous overall health benefits. Did you know it can be a mood booster, too? Studies suggest that regular vigorous exercise can improve mood as effectively as medication in depressed patients.
There are numerous scientific reports documenting the health benefits that helping others provides. Acts of kindness improve emotional health, self-esteem, and even physical problems. When you show sincere kindness toward others, it activates a portion of your brain that helps you feel pleasure, according to experts at the Mayo Clinic.
November 13, 2020, is World Kindness Day, so hold that door open, smile at a stranger, or treat someone to a cup of coffee and a listening ear!
Daily challenges will come and go, but we have control over how we respond to the challenges.
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Written by BWS Lead Health Coach- Kelly Schlather, BS, ASCM – CEP