Be Happy with Positive Attitude Month!

October 21, 2014

Is your glass half empty or half full? The month of October is recognized as National Positive Attitude Month, a time of year to maintain a positive attitude and do your best to stay optimistic. Having a positive attitude can make all the difference when you are facing daily routines, confrontation and adversity. Research shows that those with a positive attitude live longer, are usually healthier and live happier, successful lives.  Here are some ways to help:

Surround Yourself with Positive People. The saying goes “garbage in, garbage out”, so surround yourself with people who are optimistic and have energy.  Often times, we become similar to those who we spend the most time with. Do your friends and family have a positive outlook on life? Remember that attitudes are contagious, so catch a happy one!

You’re Responsible for Your Happiness. It is ultimately up to us to create our own happiness – not anyone else.  If you’re unhappy with something, make a change.  Try and wake up each morning and look forward to your day; when you go to bed at night, write down three things that made you happy over the course of the day. Go back after a week and see all of the things that made you smile.

Volunteer. Helping out a neighbor, friend, or volunteering for community service is a great way to shift focus on something you’re doing onto someone (or something) else.  By volunteering just one (or even over the course of time), you’ll realize what a difference you can make.

Create a Positive Self Image. Creating a positive self-image takes time, but it starts with loving and accepting yourself.  Give yourself positive affirmations and a make a list of your positive traits. Don’t compare yourself to others, but rather look at your unique traits that make you the person you are.

Never Give Up. Everyone is entitled to “off days.”  It’s on those days that you need to stay focused the most.  Take extra time on those days to surround yourself with positive people and positive things in your life.

By allowing yourself to embrace positivity, you will see a change – not overnight, but over time.  Not only will you become more inspired and successful, you’ll become more confident in yourself and see a difference in how you view life.

Healthy Eating Habits

October 14, 2014

Good or bad, we all have eating habits.  Many of these habits were created throughout our youth.  Chances are, you still stick to them today, but that doesn’t mean you can’t change them.  Do you consider yourself a healthy eater? The CDC offers an approach – Reflect, Replace, Reinforce – that can help you improve your eating habits.

The first is to reflect on what you eat, both the good and the bad. It’s also suggested that you reflect on what triggers you to eat poorly. Did you have a fight with someone? Are you stressed about something you can’t control? Maybe you simply had a bad day.  Finding out what causes you to reach for those snacks will help you to control the urge in the future.

Secondly, replace those unhealthy foods and habits with healthy ones.  Pack your lunch instead of going out each day; eat fresh salads and fruits instead of burgers and French fries.  Eat a healthy breakfast consisting of oatmeal instead of a doughnut.  Lastly, reinforce those new, healthier habits. It will take time to adjust, but you will feel much better about yourself in the long run.  Here are additional ways to stay on track:

  • Start a food diary. Write down everything you ate, how you ate it and the times you ate. This process will help you discover trends in your habits. Things that can lead to weight gain include eating too fast, eating when you’re not hungry and skipping meals.
  • Figure out when you’re not hungry. Often times, we eat when we’re not hungry. Doughnuts in the morning staff meeting? Sitting next to the vending machine at lunch? What about that candy dish you keep in your kitchen? These are all times that you could be snacking when you’re not hungry.
  • Eat slowly. Pay attention to when you are full. If you eat slower and put your fork down between bites, your stomach has more time to tell your brain you are full. And only eat when you’re hungry. If you’re feeling bored, get active! That will take your mind off of what you think is hunger.

Remember that all of these things take time and don’t happen overnight. Treat yourself to something sweet after a week of dedicating yourself to good habits (everything in moderation!).  One slip up every now and again doesn’t mean you’ve fallen off the wagon. Stay focused on the positive and jump back on track. Sooner or later, those healthy habits will catch on and become part of your lifestyle.