Jun 28 2020

If You are Feeling Down, You’re Not Alone

Published by at 12:50 pm under General

Feeling down? You’re not alone.

Americans are unhappier than they have been in 50 years, according to study.1*

If there’s ever been a time to have a bad attitude, it might be these times! No one would blame you and pretty much everyone is feeling some stress right now due to our current circumstances. All you have to do is turn on the news which is available to us 24-7, and chances are you’ll end up in a sour mood. We are in an incredibly difficult political, socio-economical and health climate that is weighing on EVERYONE.*

Studies show that Americans are the unhappiest they’ve been in a while. In late May, a COVID Response Tracking Study by researchers at the University of Chicago found that people in the United States are more unhappy today than they’ve been in 50 years. While many feel unhappy, and yes with good reason, how you as an individual handle it can make the difference of how the rest of your day, week, and year is going to go. And, it may be indicative of how your health will follow.1*

According to the University of Texas professor, Dr. Kristin Neff, “…”The COVID crisis is making us all worried and feels uncertain. We don’t know when we’re going to come out of it. A lot of people are hurting financially and there are a lot of health concerns.…” To add to this mess, people are feeling intense loneliness from being stuck at home, and this, according to Neff started before the coronavirus pandemic. “…”You had a loneliness epidemic to start with, and then you throw a shutdown on top of that, and it just really exacerbates it,” …” she said.1*

But remaining positive and optimistic is essential for our health and well being. First and foremost, take care of your gut by being consistent with taking your Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™, as serotonin production occurs here. But we also need to take a proactive approach to stay positive. When life gives you lemons, you can either make lemonade or suck on the lemon. Let’s make lemonade!*

This is important because it can have a real impact on your health and well being. Researchers continue to explore the effects of positive thinking on health and they include:

  • decreased rates of depression
  • Better coping skills during stressful periods
  • Less distress
  • Greater immunity to the common cold
  • Increased psychological as well as physical well-being
  • Longer life span
  • Better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease2*

Having a positive outlook helps us to deal with stressful situations, which can take a toll on our bodies, so the more positive we are, the less stress we experience which is healthier for the mind and body.(2,3)*

When we are feeling down, it can feel tough to dig ourselves out of the negative spiral we get in. But with a little effort, we can go from negative to optimistic. According to the website, Opt for Optimism, “…optimism comes in a variety of shapes: gratitude, organization, community, generosity and perspective…” By harnessing these different areas, you can gain control over your attitude and feel more positive even in the most desperate of times. (2,3)*

Another place to start is by changing your mindset by identifying negative thinking

When you talk to yourself, whether out loud or in your head, is it negative or positive?

Avoid negative self-talk which includes:

  • Instead of focusing on the positive aspects of a situation, you filter those out and magnify the negative ones. Let’s say you have a great evening with friends, but instead of focusing on the great conversation and good food, you focus on the one thing that someone said to you that didn’t sit right. Forget those little things and look at the big positive picture.
  • If something negative happens, you immediately blame yourself. An example of this is dinner plans with friends get canceled and you automatically assume it is because they don’t want to be with you, not that someone was just sick or they just didn’t feel like going out.
  • This is when you automatically anticipate the worst. Something bad happens and you think it is a sign that your whole day will be bad. Just move on from the negative.
  • This is when we only see things as good or bad with no middle ground. If you’re not perfect, you’re a failure.2*

Focus on positive thinking instead:

  • Identify areas to change. In order to feel more optimistic and have a more positive outlook towards things, it is important to identify the areas of your life that you tend to think negatively about. Is it your job? A relationship that leaves you feeling empty or inadequate? Your commute? Your living situation?  Start by focusing on one area to approach in a more positive way.
  • Check yourself. Self checks your thoughts throughout the day to see if you are thinking negatively or positively. If you are being negative, ask why, and figure out how to put a positive spin on things.
  • Try to see the humor. When we can find humor in simple things throughout the day, we can feel much happier and enjoy a good laugh for stress relief. Life is so ridiculous most of the time we just have to laugh. And force yourself to smile at people. They just might smile back.
  • Practice a healthy lifestyle. Exercising just 30 minutes most days or 10 minutes three times throughout the day can boost your mood and reduce stress. A healthy diet also fuels your mind and body. (We cover this a lot.)
  • Surround yourself with positive people. The negative people in your life can really have influence and increase your stress levels. Especially if there is someone who tells you negative things about yourself. We are not talking about constructive criticism at work, but people who put you down. Depending on who they are, limit your time with them or maybe it’s time to sever ties. Make sure you surround yourself with people who lift you up, are positive and supportive. It’s usually the downers that want to bring you down with them.  
  • Say nice things to yourself. Start each day with something nice to say to yourself and to others. During the day, if you catch yourself with negative self-talk, switch it around and tell yourself something positive instead. We are our own worst critics, so let’s be kind to ourselves. 2*

Research also shows that the more self-compassionate you are, the happier you are. The three components to self-compassion are awareness, being mindful of what’s hurting us in the moment, and kindness. 1*

So, if you tend to have a negative outlook, you may not become an optimist overnight but with a little practice, you can slowly become less critical of yourself and the world around you.  When your state of mind is generally optimistic, you’re better able to handle everyday stress in a more constructive way. That ability may contribute to the widely observed health benefits of positive thinking. “…A plethora of studies shows that while genetics and upbringing set the baseline for optimism, it is malleable and can be increased at any age. For example, one study on elderly pessimists found that those who engaged in a simple, two-minute daily positive habit of writing down their gratitudes became significantly more optimistic in just a couple of weeks. Actions that remind the brain our behavior matters in influencing our mood and mindset fuel optimism. ..“ (2,3)*

So I will leave you with this…it was a sign I saw…

‘Watch your thoughts, they become words

Watch your words, they become actions

Watch your actions, they become habits

Watch your habit, they become your character

Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.’

 

Healthiest and most positive wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

Resources:

  1. https://www.kvue.com/article/life/americans-unhappiest-50-years-coronavirus-poll/269-eb626438-3a94-49fb-9ab2-ba0f31f1d192?fbclid=IwAR2krZdgLwdwBAcvsqIbz5MyCkaGcn2pRf-wrTzNjwOQOSXELvzAVV6F7ZQ
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/positive-thinking/art20043950#:~:text=Better%20psychological%20and%20physical%20well,hardships%20and%20times%20of%20stress
  3. https://www.optforoptimism.com/optimism/life/challenge/?gclid=Cj0KCQjw3Nv3BRC8ARIsAPh8hgKQWPOlwWG2krVmvomI-6yOy_8mx0j7u1zYB_E23hfwvq8rWP0BKtcaAgKSEALw_wcB

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