The Power of Positive Thinking

About half the carriers of a gene variant called APOE 4 get dementia. But scientists don't know why the other half don't.   It may be all in your attitude. Researchers surveyed 1, 250 older adult carriers of APOE 4 gene variants on their beliefs about aging.  They presented statements such as "True or False: The older I get, the  more useless I feel"  Those who were most positive about aging were significantly less likely to develop dementia over the next four years.  In fact, their risk for dementia was the same as if they didn't carry the risk increasing gene variant at all.

 

Source:  PLOS One

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness Meditation has a couple of different components. Mindfulness brings awareness and clarity to feelings and emotions in the present moment, which helps to realize your needs, wants, and triggers for stress. Mindfulness also helps you to focus on the present moment which can create peace and happiness in your life instead of depression (focusing on the past) and anxiety (worrying about the future). Mindfulness meditation also allows you to clear your mind of everything. Working to clear your mind for a couple minutes a day can greatly reduce stress and “unclog” the negative thoughts that can impact your mental and physical health. Mindfulness mediation allows for self-acceptance, appreciation, and gratitude. You will feel both mental and physical, benefits of mindfulness meditation. You will also learn about yourself and experience personal growth. Here’s how to start your mindfulness meditation practice:

  • Find a quiet space where you feel comfortable
  • Sit or lay down and close your eyes
  • Take three deep breaths in through the nose, feel your tummy expand outward. Then exhale through the nose, feeling your tummy push back in toward the spine
  • Work to clear your mind. Bring awareness to your immediate thoughts and work to block them out. Silencing the mind is the difficult part. We are not used to turning off our mind chatter. Where is it that your mind wanders toward? You can learn about yourself through this practice. Ultimately you want to be calm and have a clear mindset. A cue word often helps. I use the word “settle” and this helps to focus on quieting my thoughts.
  • Focus on your breath, deep inhales and exhales, find your body relaxing
  • Settle your shoulders, feel where the tension leaves your body (I find most of my tension releases through my face and shoulders)
  • Do this for 3-5 minutes every morning or before bed

You can feel the benefits of mindfulness anywhere! Here is how you can find mindfulness wherever you are:

  • Wherever you find yourself during the day, take at least 2 minutes to really soak in your surroundings
  • Block unwanted or negative thoughts (Your list of things to do, what is for dinner, your weight gain, a fight)
  • Use a cue word to help block your thoughts
  • Dive into your surroundings using your senses (what are you seeing, touching, feeling, hearing)
  • Find beauty and appreciation for what it is you are doing in the present moment

Source:   The Daily Positive - Guest Post