Articles

 

Health Benefits of Great Attitudes 

By Ramone Yaciuk© 2010

The overwhelming evidence points Health Benefits to positive attitude playing a major role in improving immune system activity and helping people to avoid or overcome illness. Let us take a tour around some of the research. Let us look at the Mayo Clinic first.
In the Mayo clinic studies optimists lived significantly longer than pessimists. Happy people with good attitudes also had lower blood pressure, better health habits and feistier immune systems than pessimists did.
Between 1962-1965, 839 Mayo Clinic patients completed the same questionnaire and 124 were classified as optimists, 197 as pessimists with 518 falling in between. Thirty years later, ananalysis of data that was available on 723 of these patients showed that the optimists had a significantly better survival rate than anticipated and lived twenty percent longer than pessimists.
When I give talks on having a positive attitude for your better life I encourage people to give up whining and complaining. The opposite of whining and complaining is accepting things the way they are. The less you whine and complain the better your overall health. The conclusion is that negative thoughts can literally make you sick.
People who are constantly negative are more prone to sickness. According to a study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “Negative brain activity is linked with a weakened immune system.”

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Study after study illustrates that positive attitude and positive emotion have a predictable, profound, and enhancing effect on health and well-being.
  • Here is a short list of some of the positive health benefits of people with a positive attitude:

    • Fewer problems with work or daily activities because of physical or emotional health

    • Less pain and fewer limitations because of pain

    • A more peaceful and calmer environment

    • More energy

    • Better social connections

    • Increased immune system activity


  • My suggestions to immediately improve your attitude are:

    • Reflect on something or someone you love. For example, when I think of my nieces and nephews it always puts me in a good mood.

    • Do something fun that brings laughter and joy in your life. For example, playing a musical instrument, dancing, or playing with your pet (or dancing with your pet).

    • Bring awareness to negative thoughts, let them go and replace them with thoughts of gratitude instead.


Have a positive attitude, let your light shine, and share your gifts.Until we talk again make all your days great.

Ramone

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Attitude, The Top of Your Pyramid 

By Ramone Yaciuk © 2002

Attitude is a key contributor to all aspects of being human and all aspects of being human affect attitude. Imagine the four main components of humans that I have listed here as corners of a square.

Physical 
Emotional
Mental
Spiritual/Intuitive

Now imagine attitude is the apex or top point above all these that when a line is drawn connecting it to each corner forms a pyramid. Therefore we can say that your attitude, when cultivated and elevated, truly gives you the best view of your life and your future. Weakness in or lack of caring and attention to any of the base points will cause your pyramid to become lopsided and negatively affect your attitude. Lets us look at each of the base points in our life and how they affect and interact with our attitude. Also, lets pay attention to how we can work with these parts of our life to improve our attitude. 

One way to work with this information is to do simple addition and subtraction. Add one behavior and subtract one behavior. Just doing one behavior at a time helps to keep the focus and improves the success rate. Research has shown that adults need at least 21 days of repetition to break a habit or to form a new habit. Whatever you choose to add and subtract write it down and commit to trying it for 21 days or not doing it for 21 days.

Physical

This is fundamental. Your physical body is an intersection for all parts of you. Thinking of it as an intersection enables us to see the intrinsic connection to all other parts of ourselves. What do you need to do physically to have a good attitude, sustain it and support the other major parts of you? It is important to pay attention to the normal stuff that you have heard a thousand times before like eat right, exercise, stretch, sleep, avoid toxins and give and receive affection. 

I was attending a conference in LA and the keynote Speaker was Tom Crum. He wrote the book 'The Magic of Conflict' and he is also an accomplished Akido master. I was exercising in the hotel facility the afternoon before he was to speak and there he was pumping iron. I said hi and then after my workout I was surprised to see him dangling his feet in the hot tub. I got into the hot water and proceeded to question him. I asked about his exercise routine and what he did and why. One of the memorable things he said was, 'I exercise everyday so that the emotions do not get stuck in my body'. Having been a practitioner of deep tissue structural massage {Rolfing} for years I knew exactly what he meant. The physical body contributes to or can block the flow of emotion in our life. Years ago, as I was creating my exercise routines in my life, my experience was then and continues to be that the best benefit of exercise is mental. So we have crossovers between these supposed distinct parts of ourselves. These crossovers have a big influence on our attitudes.

Emotional

Where in our culture do we deal with emotion? Support groups and counseling. What else, friends??? Maybe. This base point is one that is sorely under supported in our culture. Yet this plays a major role in our attitude. People stuff emotions, deny them, exaggerate them, act them out, blame others for them, numb them with addictions and so on. Avoiding emotions seems to make them stay around. Going right into them and feeling what is there causes the energy to shift and move. Feeling what is present or what I refer to as staying current emotionally is key. This is a very challenging task for many people. When a strong emotion comes up many times people leave the present moment. They perpetuate the emotion by visiting it in an unresolved state in the past or future. The future and past obviously keep them from the present. A person's emotional currency is there ability to stay present and return to the present if they have left. 

Sometimes, like if you are working or involved in a focused activity, you may need to make an appointment to go more deeply into the emotion at later time when you won't be distracted. When the timing is right practice being emotionally current. Emotional currency is when you find your self in the past or future and you come back to the present and explore the feeling right now. Feel the sensations. Steer your mind away from the meanings and bring your mind back to the physical sensations. When you don't feed the analyzing and critical part of the mind and stay with the physical sensations instead, the emotion will usually move and shift. If it doesn't move or shift with this simple practice, it may be a deeper-seated emotion tied to some childhood trauma. When dealing with your deeper triggers you may want some professional assistance to help to resolve it.

Currency is what you can afford in the moment. Your ability to stay present and return to the present directly effects the medium of exchange for your relationships. Your ability to have a meaningful connection in this moment is compromised if you are not emotionally current. The task is to dismantle previous decisions that lead to your being a victim [mental effecting emotions]. An example is if you have been taken advantage of in the past. Someone had you doing things that were not part of your responsibility. What can happen is someone asks you for something now and you automatically think they are taking advantage of you. You leave the present and are reacting to an old abuse. The challenge is to stop in the middle of your reaction and make a different decision. The decision may be to suspend a decision until you get more information. 

Another challenge is to not make meaning of feelings and just go deeply into feeling them and let them move. Making meaning of a feeling is when you say I feel this way because of these external events. Even if the events are tied to the feeling, once the feelings are identified with the external event then most people leave it there and think the answer for the feeling is outside. The answer is inside. Emotions are energy and will move when experienced fully. The task is to separate the event from the feeling and just feel what is present for you.

How this relates to posture in the body is that many times people are stuck in a posture that requires them to hold certain muscles tight. When I ask them to relax they say they are already. We do a little work to open up a new possibility and provide some education to help them explore the new possibilities. Then a person can discover a new way to stand and sit that takes less effort. 

It is the same with emotions, when you are able to be with them and let them flow as they do, there is less effort. A little work, awareness and education for a new possibility can go a long way in shifting your attitude. Overcoming the programming that you shouldn't feel this or should feel this is what each individual has the opportunity to face. 

Mental

What you say to your self and how you respond to the events in your life have a lot to do with your attitude. How you process things is changeable. You have the ability to choose perspectives and statements of truth that you feed to your mind. Your attitude will follow. You are always in the possibility to choose and adopt new thoughts and perspectives. Challenging yourself to replace stuck thoughts and activate new ones can be tricky. The mind wants to preserve itself in the status quo. This works great if you are preserving a positive perspective that gives you many possibilities to see 
the good in the world and make contributions. The times when you are not in such a state of mind, this tendency of the mind will keep you stuck. Re-framing is a great way to shift your mind. It is simply looking at the same event from a positive perspective or through a positive frame. If you can not readily come up with a different perspective it is good to have some friends who are positive who can help you to see it in a new frame. Keeping your mind sharp requires more than watching TV. Some things to incorporate into your daily routines to stimulate the mind are; reading, writing, playing games, playing music, doing puzzles, solving problems, brainstorming, learning new languages, learning new skills, daydreaming and meditating. 

On the subject of reading, there is a phenomenon that is like self-imposed illiteracy. It is very common; it is when a person knows how to read yet they do not. There is a ton of valuable mind stimulating information available everywhere. Einstein is quoted as saying that most of us only use about 11% of our brainpower. You know that a waste is a terrible thing to mind. Or is it that a mind is a terrible thing to waste. I think you get the point, don't waste your own precious resources. Develop them. 

Spiritual and Intuitive

This cornerstone is very important to attitude. If your have no soul in your work or relationships it will be reflected in your attitude as well as in all other levels previously discussed. Soul? Yes Soul. This is what one has when they are using their mind and paying attention to their emotions and taking care of their body and they connect with a deeper level of themselves. Under these conditions the intuition becomes clearer. This is the connection to the deeper truth for each individual. It is our ability to know, which is available to us from the inside. It is the place where we know what is right for us. It is always available yet often not paid attention to. Many times there is too much activity for us to hear clearly what is our truth. Sometimes we hear it and say that can't be it; it must be indigestion or something like that. Because of our life styles these days it is usually necessary for an individual to set in place some formal way to access this information. It can be meditation, writing, exercise [skiing works to clear my head and helps to give me perspective], Yoga, having conversations, going to church or synagogue getting into nature [hiking and camping], being with animals or children, painting or drawing, playing music and many other ways. It is up to each individual to figure out which ways work for them and then do it. 

Paying attention to our intuition is fundamental to each of us discovering and developing our gifts. It is also a key to delivering our gifts. It is like a muscle that you can develop and strengthen. A good connection to your intuition can help guide you in how to care for the other parts of yourself.

Maintain The Pyramid

Give some attention to fortifying these cornerstones of your attitude pyramid; physical, emotional, mental and spiritual/intuitive. This provides you with a much better chance to be able to adopt and maintain the attitude that you choose. It is a choice and is one that can be made consciously. It is important to identify what you want. Using examples from your life and experience and paying attention to your intuition can give a direction to move your attitude toward. Look for role models. Find perspectives and personal energy that you want to emulate. I want attitudes that are positive, fun to be around, considerate, focused and effective. The attitudes I want to adopt also have respect, concern, heart, and value for each person. What are the attitudes you like? Take examples from your life and try them on. It is a process and it goes on over a lifetime. 

You can have an attitude where everything that is in your life is appreciated for being there even if you plan to get rid of it. Adopt a view where you look at everything as a gift. Each person you encounter has something to offer you. Growth possibilities are in every aspect of your life and you can celebrate everything. You can have an attitude where you are grateful for everything that you have and spend more time appreciating what you have than wanting what you do not have. Adopt a perspective where you contribute to the lives of everyone that comes in contact with you. An attitude where people want to be around you and feel a boost when they can spend time with you. I truly do appreciate everyone that takes the time to work on having a more positive attitude. It is one the fastest ways to make the world a better place. Remember attitude is contagious, choose one you want to spread, then spread it around.

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