UPDATED: Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 2:52pm
(StatePoint) Everyone knows that proper diet, regular exercise and avoidance of bad habits like smoking are crucial to great health. But some experts say that a truly positive outlook on life can be just as powerful a factor in improving overall wellness.
In fact, possessing “emotional vitality” and a sense of hopefulness, was found in a Harvard School of Public Health study to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. And many other studies have yielded results with similar implications.
“An internal dialogue that is filled with negative, judgmental or self-defeating thoughts can be a self-fulfilling prophecy,” says Sean Meshorer, a spiritual teacher and author of the new book, “The Bliss Experiment: 28 Days to Personal Transformation.” “Bringing bliss into your work, relationships, family and service, no matter what your personal struggles may be, can help you live a more focused, stress-free, fulfilling life.”
Meshorer, who sustained an injury seven years ago that left him with severe, disabling and incurable chronic pain, believes your circumstances in life don’t need to define your happiness. In his new book, he offers readers science-based spiritual solutions to changing the way one thinks.
With that in mind, Meshorer shared a few ways to get started:
• Have compassion: You can’t be genuinely happy while you’re indifferent to the pain of others. Compassion reinforces our feeling to the world around us and breaks down barriers of loneliness. Make a conscious decision to act compassionately toward others -- including strangers and enemies -- without the expectation of receiving anything in return.
• Dispute negative thoughts: Don’t suppress your negative thoughts or paint them over with pretty colors. Running from reality can be counterproductive. Instead, recognize that not all your negative thoughts are rational or justified.
Analyze your thoughts for how they began and why they may not be entirely accurate. Attempt to think about the people or things that are making you unhappy in the most objective light possible.
• Be optimistic: Optimism is a practical and effective life strategy. Let go of your fears that being positive leads to disappointment.
• Don’t place material conditions on happiness: To place your happiness at the whim of complex economic conditions out of your control is like playing Russian roulette with your soul. Don’t let your bank account define your happiness.
• Practice affirmations: Our words are extremely powerful. What we say to ourselves and how we say it are vitally important, impacting our bodily health and mental well-being.
While often viewed as dubious New Age musings, there is scientific evidence that doing affirmations can avert depression, according to a study by the American Psychological Association. Other studies have found affirmations can substantially improve body image, bolster business success and reduce stress. Sit somewhere quiet and repeat your affirmation out loud.
More tips about personal transformation, along with information about Meshorer’s new book, can be found at www.TheBlissExperiment.com.
By pursuing your happiness, you can live a more functional, fulfilled life.