Look on the Bright Side of Life

Sunny smile thumbnail

Looking at the Bright Side of Life

Smile and forgive.
Smile. Forgive.

In almost everything that happens, you have the opportunity to look at the worst or the best implications. Even terrible setbacks hold within them rays of hope you might focus on. And even wonderful events can produce threads of worry or despair you might cling to. Your focus is not merely a personality quirk but a way of life. Let’s look at the bright side of life!

Learning to see the upside, the optimistic outcome, the good in what has happened, will not only increase your enjoyment of life, it will lengthen your life.

Optimistic people, who credit themselves when things go well and view bad times as temporary, live longer than pessimists. They have learned to always see the bright side of life.

According to a study conducted over a thirty year span by the Mayo Clinic, pessimistic people are 19 percent less likely to reach a normal life expectancy.

Forgive and Forget

Being able to forgive, to let go of angry thoughts and feelings, promotes the body’s natural ability to return from an aroused state to a normal state. Staying at an even keel allows our bodies to function at their best. For the sake of your own health, avoid holding grudges.

Doctors at the University of Washington found that holding a grudge raises the heart rate, blood pressure, and sweat production in more than nine out of ten people. Each of these symptoms indicates an activated nervous system and increased stress hormones.

Always Being Right is Wrong

People with a very high estimation of themselves and little respect for others wind up experiencing more stress and anger as they deal with a world that constantly disappoints them. Thinking you are always right is neither a helpful social trait nor a sound health habit. See the value in other people’s perspectives, even if you highly value your own.

Studies Say…

  • Researchers at the University of Bradford in England found that 62 percent of absolutist thinkers – people with a very high opinion of themselves and a low tolerance for compromise – suffered from high levels of anger and stress, which depressed the functioning of their immune systems.
  • Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, found that people who experienced high levels of anxiety were up to seven times as likely to practice poor health habits.

Give Yourself Time

The average person feels that there isn’t enough time in the day. We rush around from one thing to the next, not stopping until the day is over. One of the easiest things to cut out of the day is a moment for us. A moment to reflect on the bright side of life. But time spent quietly alone is not a luxury. It is an important component of how we function. Give yourself time to sit, to think, to breathe, to feel – every single day.

Sitting and relaxing.
Sit a spell. Relax.

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P.S. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin found that people who meditated regularly had higher levels of disease-fighting antibodies. See also: Meditation for Seniors

Author: Jeni

Certified by the Professional School of Fitness and Nutrition in March, 1995; honored for exemplary grades. Practicing fitness and nutrition for over 20 years. Featured in the Feb. 1994 issue of "Shape" magazine. Featured in Collage in the spring issue of 1995 Low fat recipe's published in Taste of Home, Quick Cooking, and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, among others. September, 2001: Featured in "Winning The War on Cholesterol" By Rodale Publishing