(DGIwire) — While there is no guaranteed secret to achieving perfect health and eternal happiness—and of course perfection itself doesn’t exist—there are proven ways to improve our mental and physical states. And they don’t require any pharmaceuticals or “miracle” pills.
A 2011 study from Harvard University’s School of Public Health (HSPH) on the biology of emotion, published on its website, showed how a positive outlook could actually have a positive effect on one’s health. Cutting out negative emotions is only one-half of the equation, said Laura Kubzansky, associate professor of society, human development and health. In an earlier study that followed more than 6,000 men and women aged 25 to 74 for 20 years, she found that emotional vitality—a sense of enthusiasm, hopefulness, engagement in life and the ability to face life’s stresses with emotional balance—appears to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. The protective effect was distinct and measurable, even when taking into account behaviors such as not smoking and regular exercise.
This research suggests that certain personal attributes—whether inborn or shaped by positive life circumstances—can help some people avoid or healthfully manage diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and depression. These include:
- Emotional vitality: a sense of enthusiasm, hopefulness and engagement.
- Optimism: the perspective that good things will happen and that one’s actions account for the good things that occur in life.
- Support system: Having a reliable group of family and friends to support you in whatever life throws your way.
- Self-regulation: Bouncing back from stressful challenges and knowing that things will eventually look up again; choosing healthy behaviors such as physical activity and eating well; and avoiding risky behaviors such as unsafe sex, drinking alcohol to excess and regular overeating.
“I believe the key to staying positive is to set small goals for yourself,” says Harry Edelson, an 81 years young, world-renowned business advisor. “Whether it’s finishing all of your chores, preparing a great meal or helping your children complete their homework, every small goal is an achievement unto itself and should be acknowledged as such.”
Edelson has quite the sunny disposition. It’s carried him through a lifelong advisory career. In fact, for decades, he was considered the most quoted analyst on Wall Street. Now, Edelson, is taking all that he knows about happiness and has put it into a new book Positivity: How to Be Happier, Healthier, Smarter, and More Prosperous that is available on Amazon.com
“A positive mindset is an absolute must in order to stay happy and healthy,” adds Edelson. “It might not make you immune to disease but it will greatly increase your chances of resisting it—and if you get sick, it will increase your chances of a speedy and complete recovery.”