Wellness Wednesday: Look Up!

Greetings of Fall!  

Every week, this column brings you news to ponder and ideas to try out, all related to health and well-being. While my job is primarily advising, I also work to teach, advocate and, ideally,  inspire health and wellness in our community. So here’s this week’s dose of well-being. 

Have you heard about the Cloud Appreciation Society?  https://cloudappreciationsociety.org/

Their motto is “Look up.” In general, I think “looking up” is a good idea and it fits with trying to be positive, looking on the bright side and keeping your eyes on the horizon.   

On that note, did you know positivity can be learned?  

Three tips:

  1. Cultivate optimism.  Learning to think positively is like strengthening a muscle. Rewrite the narrative about something that happened without using adjectives. What are the facts? Then consider what piece of what happened is within your control. Give yourself credit for your efforts and your skills, regardless of external circumstances. Consider what you can do differently next time. You can only go forward, so improve the NEXT thing.
  1. Avoid negative self-talk.  You often cheer on your friends and family when something goes awry.  “It’s okay. Don’t worry about it. We’ll figure it out.” But to yourself you say, “I’m an idiot. I can’t believe I did that. I’m not good at ________.” Start with being nice to yourself!  
  1. Try a gratitude journal, or more simply, every night, write down 3 things you’re grateful for.  Warm blankets, hot coffee, a helpful instructor, a friend reaching out, cold puppy noses. Keep it simple. Do this daily for two weeks. It makes a difference. Using a gratitude journal can reduce stress and help you refocus on what really matters for you. Learn more here: https://positivepsychology.com/gratitude-journal/   

Like many things in life, the more you look for it, the more you’ll find it.   


How does positivity relate to overall wellness? Why does it matter? 

Think of someone you know who is happy, balanced and demonstrates an overall positive well-being — what are the characteristics you notice? (Take a minute to reflect)

Attributes often mentioned:

  • Doesn’t let the little stuff get them down. 
  • Has a purpose or goal in mind.
  • Appreciates other people (and animals, of course)
  • Deals with whatever comes their way
  • Laughs a lot

(Anyone else thinking of Santa Claus?)

This question and answer is interesting to me because often when we are asked to describe “wellness,” we start with things like eating well, exercising, getting enough sleep, not smoking, and balancing life. While these are all great answers, it’s important to note just how integral positivity is to our well-being.

“Find magic in the little things, and the big things you always expected will start to show up.”― Isa Zapata

Image by Freepik

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