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You are hereHome › 7 Steps to a Stress-Busting Attitude
7 Steps to a Stress-Busting Attitude
7 Steps to a Stress-Busting Attitude
Step 1: Become an optimist
The first step in developing a positive mental attitude is to be more optimistic. Fortunately, we are optimists by nature. Optimism is a vital component of good health and an ally in the healing process. Look for the positives even in challenging situations. What distinguishes an optimist from a pessimist is the way in which they explain both good and bad events. Here’s how.
Step 2: Beware of self-talk
We all have a constant dialogue taking place in our heads. Our self-talk makes an impression on our subconscious mind. In order to develop or maintain a positive mental attitude you must guard against negative self-talk. Become aware of your self-talk and then consciously work to imprint positive self-talk on the subconscious mind.
Step 3: Ask better questions
One of the most powerful tools I have found in improving the quality of self-talk—and hence the quality of life—is a series of questions originally given to me by Anthony Robbins, author of the bestsellers Unlimited Power and Awaken the Giant Within. According to Tony, the quality of your life is equal to the quality of the questions you habitually ask yourself.
If you want more energy, excitement, and/ or happiness in your life, simply ask yourself the following questions consistently:
- What am I most happy about in my life right now? Why does that make me happy? How does that make me feel?
- What am I most excited about in my life right now? Why does that make me excited? How does that make me feel?
- What am I most grateful about in my life right now? Why does that make me grateful? How does that make me feel?
- What am I enjoying most about my life right now? What about that do I enjoy? How does that make me feel?
- What am I committed to in my life right now? Why am I committed to that? How does that make me feel?
- Whom do I love? Who loves me? How does that make me feel?
- What must I do today to achieve my long-term goal? Why is it important for me to achieve my long-term goal? How does it make me feel to know that I am making steps to achieve my long-term goal?
Step 4: Use positive affirmations
An affirmation is a statement with some emotional intensity behind it. Positive affirmations can make imprints on the subconscious mind to create a healthy, positive self-image. In addition, affirmations can actually fuel the changes you desire.
Positive affirmations can make you feel really good if you follow these guidelines.
- Always phrase an affirmation in the present tense. Imagine that it has already come to pass.
- Always phrase the affirmation as a positive statement. Eliminate the words not and never.
- Do your best to totally associate with the positive feelings that are generated by the affirmation.
- Keep the affirmation short and simple, but full of feeling. Be creative.
- Imagine yourself really experiencing what you are affirming.
- Make the affirmation personal to you and full of meaning.
Step 5: Set positive goals
Learning to set goals is another powerful method for building a positive attitude and raising self-esteem. Goals can be used to create a “success cycle.” Achieving goals helps you feel better about yourself, and the better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to achieve your goals. Here are some guidelines to use when setting goals:
- State the goal in positive terms. It’s better to say, “I enjoy eating healthy, low- calorie, nutritious foods,” than, “I will not eat sugar, candy, ice cream or other fattening foods.”
- Make your goal attainable and realistic. Little things add up to make a major difference in the way you feel about yourself.
- Be specific. The more clearly your goal is defined, the more likely you are to reach it.
- State the goal in the present tense. In order to reach your goal, you have to believe you have already attained it.
Step 6: Practice positive visualizations
Positive visualization or imagery is another powerful tool in creating health, happiness or success. You can use visualization in all areas of your life, but especially for your health. In fact, some of the most promising research on the power of visualization involves enhancing the immune system in the treatment of cancer. Other research, including a 2009 study featured in the journal Complementary Therapy in Clinical Practice, showed guided imagery can help reduce pain. Be creative and have fun with positive visualizations, and you will soon find yourself living your dreams.
Step 7: Laugh long and often
Humor may be the most powerful stress-buster around. By laughing frequently and taking a lighter view of life, you will also find that life is much more enjoyable and fun. Researchers are discovering that laughter enhances the immune system and promotes improved physiology. Medical research, including a 2009 literature review published in the journal Medical Hypothesis has confirmed that laughter:
- Enhances blood flow to the body’s extremities and improves cardiovascular function.
- Plays an active part in the body’s release of endorphins and other natural mood-elevating and pain-killing chemicals.
- Improves the transfer of oxygen and nutrients to internal organs.
These seven attitude-adjusting steps may seem fairly straightforward, but don’t underestimate the innate healing power they can have. Employing these steps to condition your attitude is extremely powerful medicine—with no side effects!
Editor’s Note: This information was adapted with permission from Dr. Murray’s book, Stress, Anxiety and Insomnia (Mind Publishing 2012). A free PDF copy of this book is available online at www.doctormurray.com.
Dr. Murray is president and CEO of Dr. Murray Natural Living and director of product development and education for Natural Factors, a major manufacturer of nutritional and herbal supplements. Dr. Murray is a graduate and faculty member of and serves on the Board of Regents of Bastyr University, where he received his doctorate in naturopathic medicine. He is coauthor of A Textbook of Natural Medicine and the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. He has also written more than 20 other books, including Dr. Murray's Total Body Tune-Up, The Pill Book Guide to Natural Medicines and The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. For more information, visit DoctorMurray.com.
September 27th, 2012