Positive Thinking: July 15

Publish date: 02/07/2015

Positive Thinking with Mark Winwood
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Thu 02 Jul


AXA PPP healthcare asked:
Hi Mark we have had this message come through: Are there any exercises/sports that I can do that would help me feel more positive? I’m not very active at the minute but would like to take something up in the evenings.

Mark Winwood answered:
Any exercise will helpyou - something as simple as going for a walk with a friend can have positive benefit on your overall wellbeing.  It might ne helpful to know why this is - here are a few reasons:
1. It releases happy chemicals into your brain.
Dopamine, a chemical that plays a role in happiness, is a neurotransmitter in the brain that’s necessary for feelings of pleasure and happiness. Many studies suggest that as we age, we’re constantly losing our stores of dopamine, which is why we need to constantly seek out experiences that release dopamine.  The best way to increase your brain’s dopamine production? Exercise. So walk, run, lift, jump, play, swim — and get happy.
2. It makes you less stressed out. Not only will moderate exercise ease stress in the short term by helping you sweat out the day's worries, regular exercise will help you become less stressed out in the long term as well. That’s because when you exercise, you’re actually subjecting yourself to a low-level form of stress by raising your heart rate and triggering a burst of hormonal changes. When you subject yourself to the stress of exercise enough, your body will eventually get better at handling the rest of life's stressors. And less stress equals a happier, healthier life.
3. It energizes you. You no doubt have days when you just feel too tired to exercise, when working out is the last thing in the world you want to do. But no matter how exhausted you are from a long day at work, taking care of your family or recovering from a busy weekend, do your best to muster up all the willpower you have and do something, because more likely than not, you'll feel more energized after your workout than you did before it. More energy equals greater happiness.
4. It boosts your confidence.  When you don't feel good about your body or how you look, it's all too easy to have low self-esteem. And that can have a negative effect on all areas of your life including your relationships, your career, and your goals and aspirations. But when you start to do some light exercise and see your body transform, that can quickly change. Because exercise will not only make you like how you look, it will also make you feel stronger, more independent, and more confident. There's nothing like a boost in confidence to increase overall happiness.
5. It eases anxiety.  If you suffer from anxiety, exercise may be a simple way to help you.  
Because recent studies on the effects of exercise show that in people suffering from anxiety, the immediate mood boost from exercise is followed by longer-term relief, similar to that offered by meditation and talk therapy.  So next time you’re feeling anxious, try some exercise - really push yourself — you’ll feel better..
6. It fights insomnia. Trouble sleeping? Try exercising. Staying active and exercising on a regular basis has been shown to improve sleeping problems of insomniacs and people with sleeping disorders. And not only can regular exercise significantly improve your sleep quality, it can also give you that pep that makes you want to get out of bed in the morning and do things.
And that equals greater happiness, every time.
Exercise, and be happy and feel more positive!

Good luck!
The next time you’re feeling down, stressed or anxious, get off the couch and get some exercise instead.
Because you'll not only feel more confident, energized, and calm — you’ll be a healthier and happier person for life.


AXA PPP healthcare asked:
Hi Mark, another question: I have always been a ‘glass half empty’ person. Is positivity something that can be learnt or is it a characteristic that you are born with/without? Sue

Mark Winwood answered:
We all have different characteristics and some people are more naturally optimistic than others.  However there are things that we can all do to learn to become a little more positive in our lives.

So what is positive thinking?
Positive thinking is a mental and emotional attitude that focuses on the bright side of life and expects positive results.

So a  positive person anticipates happiness, health and success, and believes he or she can overcome any obstacle and difficulty.

How can we achieve this?
1.Use your imagination to visualize only favorable and beneficial situations.
 2.Use positive words in your inner dialogues, or when talking with others.
3.Smile a little more, as this helps to think positively.
 4.Once a negative thought enters your mind - its normal - they will, you have to be aware of it, and endeavor to replace it with a constructive one. If the negative thought returns, replace it again with a positive one. It is as if there are two pictures in front of you, and you have to choose to look at one of them, and disregard the other. Persistence will eventually teach your mind to think positively, and to ignore negative thoughts.
 5.In case you experience inner resistance and difficulties when replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, do not give up, but keep looking only at the beneficial, good and happy thoughts in your mind.
 6.It doesn't matter what your circumstances are at the present moment. Think positively, expect only favorable results and situations, and circumstances will change accordingly. If you persevere, you will transform the way your mind thinks. It might take some time for the changes to take place, but eventually they will.
 7.Another useful technique is the repetition of affirmations. Make a list of the things youlike about your life and yourself.

All the best



sppp123 asked:
I work long hours and don’t particularly enjoy my job. I’m beginning to feel like it is really effecting my mood – constantly low and not looking forward to work. How can increase my happiness/positivity about the situation? Thanks

Mark Winwood answered:
Hello sppp123
Here are some tips you can try to attemptto feel happier at work

1.  Choose to Be Happy at Work - Happiness is largely a choice. I can hear you arguing with me, but it's true. You can choose to be happy at work. Sound simple? Yes. But, simplicity is often  difficult to put into action. I wish you had the best employer in the world, but, face it, you may not. So, think positively about your work. Dwell on the aspects of your work you like. Avoid negative people and gossip. Find colleagues you like and enjoy and spend your time with them. Your choices at work largely define your experience. You can choose to be happy at work.

 2.  Do Something You Love Every Single Day - You may or may not love your current job and you may or may not believe that you can find something in your current job to love, but you can.
Take a look at yourself, your skills and interests, and find something that you can enjoy doing every day. If you do something you love every single day, your current job won't seem so bad. Of course, you can always make your current job work or decide that it is time to quit your job.

3.  Take Charge of Your Own Professional and Personal Development - You are the person with the most to gain from continuing to develop professionally. Take charge of your own growth; ask for specific and meaningful help from your boss. You have the most to gain from growing - and the most to lose, if you stand still.

 4.  Take Responsibility for Knowing What Is Happening at Work . Seek out the information you need to work effectively. Develop an information network and use it. Assertively request a weekly meeting with your boss and ask questions to learn. You are in charge of the information you receive.

 5.  Ask for Feedback Frequently  - you usually really know exactly how you're doing. Especially if you feel positively about your performance, you just want to hear your boss acknowledge you. If you're not positive about your work, think about improving and making a sincere contribution.
Then, ask your boss for feedback. Tell him/her you'd really like to hear his assessment of your work. Talk to your customers and other stake-holders, too; if you're serving them well, their feedback is affirming. You are responsible for your own development.

 6.  Make Only Commitments You Can Keep  One of the most serious causes of work stress and unhappiness is failing to keep commitments. Many employees spend more time making excuses for failing to keep a commitment, and worrying about the consequences of not keeping a commitment, than they do performing the tasks promised. Create a system of organisation and planning that enables you to assess your ability to complete a requested commitment. Don't volunteer if you don't have time. If your workload is exceeding your available time and energy, make a comprehensive plan to ask the boss for help and resources. .

 7.  Avoid Negativity Choosing to be happy at work means avoiding negative conversations, gossip, and unhappy people as much as possible. No matter how positively you feel, negative people have a profound impact on your psyche. Don't let the negative people bring you down.  

8..  Make Friends  . Take time to get to know your colleagues. You might actually like and enjoy them. Your network provides support, resources, sharing, and caring.

9.  If All Else Fails, Job Searching Will Make You Smile If all of these ideas aren't making you happy at work, it's time to reevaluate your employer, your job, or maybe your entire career. You don't want to spend your life doing work you hate in an unfriendly work environment.
Most work environments don't change all that much. But unhappy employees tend to grow even more disgruntled. You can secretly smile while you spend all of your non-work time job searching. It will only be a matter of time until you can quit your job - with a big smile.

All the best!

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