Overcoming Negative Thoughts – Increasing the Positive II

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(continued from the last reflection)

4) Do Exercise.  Physical exercise is important not only for physical health but also for our mental health.  It helps to relax, reduce stress, anxiety, and depression and to improve our self-image, creativityand  mood. It releases endorphins, which create feelings of happiness and euphoria.

5) Meditate.  There are different types of meditations.  Here, we use the word meditation in a general sense to mean any practice “such as focusing the mind on a particular object, thought or activity,”  used by an individual “to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state.”

When we go through physical or mental stress our body produces the stress hormonecortisol.  This in turn leads to the production of dis-ease creating chemicals like cytokines.  The effects of all this could be problems like sleep disruption, fatigue, increased bloodpressure, anxiety and depression.Meditation is one of the proven and time-honoured ways of reducing stress and bringing about a sense of calmness, happiness and well-being.

6)Cultivate Virtues. A virtue is a quality or trait that is considered to be morally good, e.g. kindness, love, modesty, self-regulation, prudence, justice, hope, religiousness.  Positive psychology refers to these as character strengths.  According to Martin E. P. Seligman, one of the founders of Positive Psychology, “authentic happiness comes from identifying and cultivating your most fundamental [moral] strengths [= virtues] and using them every day in work, love, play, and parenting” (Authentic Happiness, 2002: xiii).

7) Develop a Personal Relationship with God. God loves each one.  In fact, God is more interested in us than we are in ourselves.  To live a happy life it is important to cultivate a personal relationship to God.  One way to do this is through daily prayer.  Our hearts will be restless till we establish a deep relationship with God.  As St. Augustine observes: “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds rest in thee” (Confessions, I, 1).

 

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