My thanks to the reader who alerted me to this article:
Studies have shown an "indisputable link" between having a positive outlook and health benefits such as lower blood pressure, less heart disease, better weight control and healthier blood sugar levels, says The New York Times.
And actively pursuing positive emotions can boost the immune system and counter depression during a health crisis, the paper says.
Judith Moskowitz, a professor of medical social sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, has developed a set of eight skills to help foster positive emotions. Her research participants are encouraged to learn at least three of them and practice one or more every day:
— Recognize a positive event every day
— Savor that event and log it in a journal or tell somebody about it
— Start a daily gratitude journal
— List a personal strength and note the way you used it
— Set an attainable goal and note your progress
— Report a relatively minor stress and list ways to rethink the event in a positive way
— Recognize and practice small acts of kindness every day
— Practice mindfulness, focusing on the present rather than the past or future