Everyone I know is on a health food kick, and membership at the gym increases every January. Keeping yourself healthy is important, and going for daily workouts and eating clean, nutritious food is medicine for the body, but what about our thinking? Emotional anxiety and depression lead to more social as well as personal problems than any other factor we encounter each day, and yet we rarely consider the importance of making healthy emotional resolutions to begin the New Year. What you’ve dealt with in the past will surely be repeated in the present and future unless you begin making changes today.
If you’ve begun this year with the same old, same old attitude of feeling sad, frustrated, angry, and/or stressed out, begin with making small changes toward these suggestions. They won’t fix your life in one day, but they will leave you feeling better about your life by years’ end.
Tell someone you appreciate him or her. Brain chemistry is constantly fluctuating, and the brain responds positively when you do something nice for others. Telling someone you appreciate them or doing something kind for someone else randomly helps secrete “feel good” chemicals in your brain. Practice with your partner and your family.
Find a purpose bigger than you. Getting out of your own head and making your life about something other than you will automatically help you feel less alone or frustrated in yours.
When you get angry look within before you blame others. When you get angry you automatically want to shift the blame to someone else, but this actually makes you feel worse. You’ll feel more helpless and more frustrated if you don’t have a course of action you can take to fix a situation. Seeing the areas you can change to make it better gives you more control of the situation and makes you feel better about the situation.
Acknowledge the good in your life. When you’re stuck feeling bad about your life, you forget to acknowledge and accept the good things. Begin listing every good thing every day and you will be amazed with the abundance you receive every day.
Surround yourself with more optimists. Pessimism and sarcasm are contagious, but so is optimism and positive energy. If you feel miserable there is a good chance your life is more influenced by negativity. Once you catch it, you’ll continue spreading it and attracting it back to you. Make at least one positive connection each month and you’ll watch your thinking begin to repel negative energy.
The New Year promotes a new look drawing attention to the “outside” appearance of your body. But feeling troubled, angry or anxious on the inside affects the outside of the body as much as being overweight. Practice making this the year of living a life you love more. Take charge and begin making small changes that can help you change the negative thoughts in your mind. –Mary Jo Rapini
*This article promotes self-improvement changes individuals can make, however depression and anxiety may require medications. If you are feeling depressed and it has been over two weeks make an appointment with your health care professional as soon as possible.