positive thinking

In the seventies, researchers followed people who'd won the lottery and found that a year afterward, they were no happier than people who didn't. This hedonic adaptation suggests that we each have a baseline level of happiness. No matter what happens, good or bad, the effect on our happiness is temporary, and we tend to revert to our baseline level. Some people have a higher baseline happiness level than others, and that is due in part to genetics, but it's also largely influenced by how you think. So, while this article will help boost your happiness, only improving your attitude towards life will increase your happiness permanently. Here are excellent starting points for doing that:

Happiness – If you're going to feel great you need to determine what it will take to make you feel GREAT.

Consider yourself in the equation, and what you are doing to keep you from feeling GREAT at this time. Make time for you, make sure you are not stretched too thin, and look towards feeling GREAT, find creative ways to live the life you've dreamed of.

Feeling GREAT has a lot to do with how happy you are. Find out if there is anything keeping you from being happy and address it. Nobody is happy all the time, but some people are definitely more fulfilled than others. Studies reveal that happiness has little to do with material goods or high achievement; it boils down to your outlook on life, and the quality of your relationships.

A good mood not only influences how you feel today, it can have a powerful impact on your health for years to come.

Scientists urge us to be as attentive to our moods and attitudes as we are to our physical health. Two recent studies underscore the importance of that advice.

A paper in Current Directions in Psychological Science notes that a positive attitude can protect against poor health later in life and may be a powerful antidote to stress, pain and illness.

Another study, published in the journal Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, found that happy people tend to live longer and experience better health than their unhappy peers.

"Happiness is no magic bullet," says University of Illinois psychologist Ed Diener, the lead author, "but the evidence is clear and compelling that it changes your odds of getting disease or dying young."

As researchers continue to explore the effects of positive thinking and optimism on health, they have come to some interesting conclusions. Their results show that positive thinking benefits include:

* Decreased negative stress
* Greater resistance to catching the common cold
* A sense of well-being and improved health
* Reduced risk of coronary artery disease
* Easier breathing if you have certain lung diseases
* Better coping skills in difficult situations

If you rarely walk with your head up or look on the bright side of things, now's the time to cross over.

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