“A good memory is one that can remember the
day's blessings and forget the day's troubles"
"General Health in England and Wales, 2011 and Comparison with 2001" compares 326 local authority areas. The worst ten include:
· East Lindsey (worst in the country with 73.5% reporting good health)
· Bolsover (4th worst with 74.3% reporting "good health")
· Mansfield (9th worst with 75.8% reporting good health).
This compares with 88.1% in good health in the "best" local authority area, Hart.
Now of course demographics play a part, with a higher number of older people living in East Lindsey than there are in Hart. But is there something more at play I wondered?
How much do your thoughts affect your health?
In Dr David Hamilton's blog 5 Ways that Positivity and Happiness can Protect you from Illness and even help you Live Longer we can see without any doubt that positive thinking has a direct impact on our health and well-being. This I can also corroborate, from not only my own personal experience, but also from my as a therapist who has for many years specialised in the areas of stress, anxiety and depression. When clients shift their thoughts even a small amount towards a more postive viewpoint their health also improves.
Dr Hamilton make's the following point:
3) Counting blessings improves happiness
If you wanted a simple tool to increase your happiness then look no further than counting blessings. People who count their blessings tend to be happier than those who don’t. A study compared people keeping a list of blessings with people listing their hassles and found that the blessings group were 25% happier than the hassles group.
A simple exercise that I use is to catch yourself a few times a day and ask, ‘what am I grateful for right now?’ It helps to create a habit of counting blessings. Happiness is a side-effect.
So I urge you ( along with those living in the low scoring districts of the East Midlands) to take a moment each day to count your blessings and not your worries.
It's all too easy at the end of the day to lay in bed at night, just before drifting into what you hope to be a peaceful slumber, with your thoughts running over and over your worries.
In this extract from WebMD we can see that worrying, has no positive effect on solving issues, but does have a detrimental effect on our daily lives:
"Worrying is feeling uneasy or being overly concerned about a situation or problem. With excessive worrying, your mind and body go into overdrive as you constantly focus on "what might happen."
In the midst of excessive worrying, you may suffer with high anxiety -- even panic -- during waking hours. Many chronic worriers tell of feeling a sense of impending doom or unrealistic fears that only increase their worries. Ultra-sensitive to their environment and to the criticism of others, excessive worriers may see anything -- and anyone -- as a potential threat.
Chronic worrying affects your daily life so much that it interferes with your appetite, lifestyle habits, relationships, sleep, and job performance. Many people who worry excessively are so anxiety-ridden that they seek relief in harmful lifestyle habits such as overeating, cigarette smoking, or using alcohol and drugs".
How about thinking about just how great things are and will be?
How about as you lay in bed tonight, just before drifting into that peaceful slumber, your recall all of the blessings from the day?
Tonight I urge you to count your blessings, name them one by one and say thank you!
When we show gratitude for the blessings in our life do you know what happens?
We notice more and more blessings to be grateful for.
Imagine what that will do for your health and wellbeing?
Lots of us take our mental and physical health seriously and we try to improve our daily lives with exercise, a good diet, even supplements. But theres one simple treatment that is often over-looked and its been shown through scientific studies to be an effective way to keep our heart and mental health on target.
The power of the simple hug.
In fact, studies show that folks who are regularly hugged by their close friends and family have reduced heart rates, lower blood pressure, increased nerve activity and more upbeat moods. A survey of successful marriages even showed that hugging and touching (not sexual intercourse), were the key factors in keeping the relationship long-lasting.
Plus, a loving hug in the morning, researchers say, can keep you buoyant throughout the day. Just a brief hug or 10 minutes of handholding with a romantic partner greatly reduces the harmful physical effects of stress. Loving contact before a tough day at work "could carry over and protect you throughout the day," says psychologist Karen Grewen with the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill who conducted the study.
So what are you waiting for?
Get hugging! ( an oldie but goodie- Free hugs campaign)
Make every moment count!