When we talk about health and wellness, nutrition is the first aspect that comes to mind. Making sure the diet is balanced, healthy, and complete with all the vitamins and nutrients our bodies need to function and flourish. However, there are several other aspects to health and wellness that need to be addressed as well. Sleep, stress, physical activity, but one aspect that is oftentimes left out is the mind. It’s called mind, body, and soul for a reason- balancing the body starts within our cognition and what we allow ourselves to think on a daily basis. It’s important to allow yourself a positive mindset, allowing yourself to see change as a positive and knowing you can overcome any health obstacle in your way.
When we have a negative mindset, we close the window of opportunities and shut the blinds to possibilities. Negativity narrows our thinking towards a mentality of “I can’t”. We start thinking about the challenges being too hard, the obstacles becoming too high, and our goals pushed too far away. Our brain is such a strong organ, it governs most everything we do. From firing neurons, to regulating hormones, to declaring what foods to crave- our brains have a massive effect on our actions. It’s a no brainer that when we have a negative mindset, our actions follow in route.
However, conditioning your mind towards positivity and optimism can create a domino effect of positive actions.
Not only do we have the power to influence our brain’s mentality but our genetics, certain hormones, and neurotransmitters all play a different role in the way we think. The neurotransmitter, Dopamine is produced in the brain and is the main component in the pleasure reward seeking behavior. The amino acid, tryptophan is the precursor to serotonin, which is also considered to be a neurotransmitter. Serotonin is known to regulate mood, anxiety, sleep cycles, and digestion.
However, I wanted this blog post to be more personal, rather than a multitude of scientific facts thrown your way. I wanted to open up and share my mindset with you, letting you get to know my mentality a bit more and why I think positivity is the key to a healthy lifestyle.
I wasn’t the most optimistic person six years ago. My mindset was very negative because I was surrounded by some negative thinkers in my life. It wasn’t until I was going through some health issues of my own when I discovered the power of optimism and what it could do for me, and still does for me. I have a mantra in life that I use almost daily, “This Too Shall Pass”– making me stop in less desirable situations and reassess them for good. When I started doing this about six years ago, my whole perspective on life changed. For the better. In the hardest of times I would remember this phrase and know everything was going to be okay. In the best of times, I would remember this phrase to remind myself to live in the moment a bit more and hold on to the sunshine for a little while longer.
Life is about 10% what happens to us and about 90% the way we choose to react to situations. We have the choice daily to wallow in self pity, making the situation we face even more miserable, or we can choose to get up, get dressed, and make a difference with what we are given. Everybody is handed obstacles along the way and no situation comes without challenges. When we start to look at those challenges as achievable and just another curve ball in life, there is no way we can get knocked down forever. My mentality is key in any situation I am faced with, I make sure before I begin facing a challenge, goal, or obstacle in life that my mentality game is strong with optimism and faith.
Justin and I made a silent pact when we got married to live our lives with a positive mindset, no matter the situation. It has kept us strong, able to continue even when we get bulldozed by life’s heavy curveballs. Our life together is not without challenges, we face them everyday and continue to make our way through some of life’s hardest decisions. However, we truly believe our continual optimism and the choice to view our obstacles with a different perspective are the keys to sustaining health and wellness throughout our lives.
All photos used were taken by and for The Healthy Chew, all rights reserved.
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