September 13th is International Positive Thinking Day. Did you know that our thoughts can affect our mood, attitude and behavior? Staying positive can literally alter our physical well-being, leading the brain to rewire itself for success. Sufferers of TMD can better manage symptoms and achieve wellness by simply keeping positive.
Origins of Positive Thinking Day
International Business Times credits psychologist Kirsten Harrell with the origin of the idea, which was first begun back in 2003. Suffering from chronic knee pain for years, Harrell became frustrated with the limited medical therapies offered by mainstream health professionals.
An Alternative to Medical Procedures
Repeatedly told her only option was a surgery with a limited chance of success, Harrell decided to follow another path. Instead, she came to believe the “mind-body connection” and “the effect that attitude can have on our health.” So she started to embrace the idea of always thinking positively. With the help of social media and the Internet, her movement has been steadily gaining an expanded following.
Actually an Old Idea
Of course, many other proponents of positive thinking predate Harrell’s movement. The most notable mention is Norman Vincent Peale. In 1952 he published The Power of Positive Thinking, which quickly shot to the New York Times best seller list for a phenomenal 186 consecutive weeks. It was here Peale advocated the innumerable benefits to choosing optimism as a means of rising above our limitations.
Your Mood Matters
Here are Dr. Kirsten Harrell’s 10 suggestions for creating a positive day.
- Use affirmations. Rephrase sentences in an optimistic manner.
- Intentions. Set goals every morning that are positive.
- Mindfulness. Quit focusing on the distant future. Focus on the here and now.
- Link to think. Think of a chore you have to do and link it to a reminder to think a positive thought.
- Gratitude. Keep a journal and write down all you are thankful for.
- Inspiration. Read positive books and watch positive TV shows with upbeat messages.
- Positive people. Surround yourself with happy people. They can help you stay happy, too.
- Kindness. Be kind not only to those around you, but especially yourself.
- Applied faith. Trust that every situation will turn out well, not poorly.
- Smile. It’s contagious. Smile when you see others doing it or initiate a smile and watch how it spreads.
If you practice the above techniques, you may soon discover a boomerang effect on your health. Its potential impact is not unproven speculation or junk science. Countless studies have been performed which show a beneficial relationship between thinking positive and its effect on disease. Happier people are also more likely to smoke less, drink less alcohol, and engage in healthier lifestyles.
So start today. Stay positive and change your health! For more information, contact the office of MedCenter TMJ, Drs. Ronald Auvenshine and Nathan Pettit.
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