Being open to positive change is a key to emotional wellness. Sometimes people think that emotions just happen, kind of like the weather. But research suggests that we can have some control over which emotions we experience. As mounting research suggests, having an open, positive mindset might help to improve your physical health as well.
Practicing Loving Kindness, Gratitude and Forgiveness
Being kind to the people you interact with in the course of your day goes a long way. Help someone with a heavy load. Run an errand for your sick neighbor. Give a co-worker a boost with a thoughtful compliment. Research shows that when you demonstrate sincere kindness toward others, it activates a portion of your brain that helps you feel pleasure. Research has also shown that your generosity of spirit might even be contagious, so you may spread happiness to others as you go.
When researchers worked with highly stressed health care workers to improve their outlook, they found that after 12 weeks the workers reported they were happier and more satisfied with their lives. Part of the intervention included work on gratitude and forgiveness. For instance, you can keep a gratitude journal, jotting down specific things you’re grateful for. Instead of rushing to hurt or anger when someone behaves thoughtlessly toward you, choose forgiveness. As you practice these traits, you may find your happiness level increasing too.
Wise Choices: Enhance Your Emotional Wellness!
Follow these tips to develop a more positive mindset:
- Remember your good deeds. Give yourself credit for the good things you do for others each day.
- Forgive yourself. Everyone makes mistakes. Learn from what went wrong, but don’t dwell on it.
- Spend more time with your friends. Surround yourself with positive, healthy people.
- Explore your beliefs about the meaning and purpose of life. Think about how to guide your life by the principles that are important to you.
- Develop healthy physical habits. Healthy eating, physical activity, and regular sleep can improve your physical and mental health.