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The Gift of Positive Energy for Optimal Health

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1 The Gift of Positive Energy for Optimal Health
Keith J. Karren, PhD Dept. of Health Science, BYU

2 POSITIVE ENERGY Does positive energy and positive psychology really impact our health? Is positiveness a gift that only some people are blessed with, or can it be developed? Current research gives us the answers to these questions! The impact of positive energy and positive psychology on our health. It is a gift for all. It is a gift given by a loving God to all his children who seek it.

Zeezrom – burning fever (wickedness) Mind/Body – Alma – “believe in Christ,” “Have mercy and heal him according to his faith.” Zeezrom was healed immediately. Isrealites healed of serpent bites Alma 46:40 – Nephites dying of fever’s but health “because of the excellent qualities of the many plants and roots which God had prepared to remove the cause of diseases.”

4 POSITIVE ENERGY Positive Psychology and “Authentic Happiness” – Martin Seligman Dr. Seligman – the “new psychology” The things in life that make it worthwhile! Martin Seligman – “...there is a set of human strengths that are the most likely buffers against mental illness: courage, optimism, interpersonal skill, work ethic, hope, honesty and perseverance. A new science of strength and resilience Move from helpless and hopeless to helpful and hopeful PP “Making normal people stronger and more productive as well as making high human potential actual”

5 POSITIVE ENERGY As I listened to his presentations, this champion of “learned optimism” and the new psychology gave me a new vision of a very rich and fulfilling second half of life through high self-efficacy, learned optimism and hope, the development of wisdom and courage, and a vision of optimal human functioning through the impact of mindfulness living, flow and spirituality, attachment and connectedness, love and flourishing relationships. Dr. Seligman was giving us the concept of living well at every stage of life, and I was fascinated by this new, positive psychology.

6 POSITIVE ENERGY High-energy positive emotions like joy make people playful, and play is deeply implicated in the building of physical resources. There is direct evidence that positive emotion predicts health and longevity. Positive emotion also protects people against the ravages of aging. You will recall that beginning nuns who wrote happy autobiographies when in their twenties lived longer and healthier lives than novices whose autobiographies were devoid of positive emotion, and also that optimists in the Mayo Clinic study lived significantly longer than pessimists. Happy people, furthermore, have better health habits, lower blood pressure, and feistier immune systems than less happy people.

7 POSITIVE ENERGY Not only do happy people endure pain better and take more health and safety precautions when threatened, but positive emotions undo negative emotions. Happy people were more likely to demonstrate that trait. They display more empathy and are willing to donate more money to others in need. When we are happy, we are less self-focused, we like others more, and we want to share our good fortune even with strangers. When we are down, though, we become distrustful, turn inward, and focus defensively on our own needs. Looking our for number one is more characteristic of sadness than of well-being.

8 POSITIVE ENERGY A meaningful life is one that joins with something larger than we are – and the larger that something is, the more meaning our lives have. Partaking in a process that has the bringing of a God who is endowed with omniscience, omnipotence, and goodness as its ultimate end joins our lives to an enormously large something. You are vouchsafed the choice of what course to take in life. You can choose a life that forwards these aims to a greater or lesser degree. Or you can, quite easily, choose a life that has nothing to do with these aims. You can even choose a life that actively impedes them. You can choose a life built around increasing knowledge: learning, teaching, educating your children, science, literature, journalism, and so many more opportunities.

9 POSITIVE ENERGY You can choose a life built around increasing power through technology, engineering, construction, health services, or manufacturing. Or you can choose a life built around increasing goodness through the law, policing, firefighting, religion, ethics, politics, national service, or charity. The good life consists in deriving happiness by using your signature strengths every day in the main realms of living. Using these same strengths to forward knowledge, power, or goodness. A life that does this is pregnant with meaning, and if God comes at the end, such a life is sacred.

10 POSITIVE ENERGY There are many studies that correlate positivity with later health, longevity, sociability, and success, the balance of the evidence suggests that in some situations negative thinking leads to more accuracy. Where accuracy is tied to potentially catastrophic outcomes (for example, when an airplane pilot is deciding whether to de-ice the wings of her airplane), we should all be pessimists.

11 POSITIVE ENERGY Health is an attitude or orientation comprising our basic values and beliefs about ourselves and the world around us. It is an inner quality that gives rise to particular health practices but cannot in itself be reduced to those practices.

12 POSITIVE ENERGY As cardiologist, Dr. Paul Dudley White explained, “Body, mind, and soul are inextricably woven together, and whatever helps or hurts any one of these three sides of the whole man helps or hurts the other two.”

7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Rediscovering love Reaching forgiveness Building self-esteem De-addiction Meditation Enjoyable exercise Einstein energy diet

14 Supportive of Health and Well-Being
Non-Supportive of Health and Well-Being Supportive of Health and Well-Being Unbalanced diet Lack of exercise Loss of humor and lack of fun Lack of music, sonics, and chantings Lack of love, touch, and support systems Lack of interests, hobbies, and creative purpose Lack of nature, beauty, and healing environments Lack of faith and belief in the supernatural Balanced diet Daily and weekly exercise Time for fun, play and laughter Music, sonics, and chanting Love, touch, and support systems Engaged in interests, hobbies, and creative purpose Nature, beauty, and healing environments The presence of faith and believe in the supernatural

15 POSITIVE ENERGY Mind Emotion Behavior
Our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors influence a virtual orchestra of biological responses that can promote health and prevent disease. This is a symphony played by mind, emotion, brain, behavior, and body. (ME-B3) Mind Brain/Body/Health Emotion Behavior

Do you exude a sense of support and compassion with others? Yes No Do you think others feel safe and relaxed with you? Are you a generally positive person? Are you non-judgmental with yourself and others? Are you compassionate with your own shortcomings and try to heal them? Do you feel peaceful much of the time? Are you able to let resentments go rather than harbor them? Do you laugh frequently? Yes No Are you kind to family, friends and people you don’t know well? 9 of your answers out of 9 suggest you have positive energy.

Healthy, optimistic thinking can help you: Improve your mood, self-esteem, and overall happiness Decrease depression, anxiety and hostility Lessen pain and other bodily symptoms Speed recovery from surgery Enhance your immune function Possibly extend your life

Do you agree or disagree with the following statements? Don’t respond with what you think you should say, but how you typically view your life. In uncertain times, I expect the best I’m optimistic about my future Every cloud has a silver lining If something can go wrong, it will Things never work out the way I want them to I rarely count on good things happening to me If you agree with the first three statements and disagree with the last three, you are an optimist. If you disagree with the first three statement and agree with the lass three, you are more pessimistic.

Principle investigator: Dr. Martin Seligman, U. of Pennsylvania Positive health predicts increased longevity, decreased health costs, better mental health in aging, and better prognosis when illness strikes.

20 A focus on health rather than illness will be cost saving and life saving.
Bringing about well-being—positive emotion, engagement, purpose, positive relationships, positive accomplishment— may be one of our best weapons against mental disorder.

21 RESEARCH FINDINGS Women who flashed Duchenne (genuine) smile in their yearbook positive photos as freshman have more marital satisfaction twenty- five years later (Harker & Keltner, 2001) Brief raising of positive mood enhances creative thinking and makes positive physicians more accurate and faster to come up with the proper liver diagnosis (Fredrickson, 2001: Isen, 2005) The relation of national wealth to life satisfaction is dramatically curvilinear; after the safety net is met, increases in wealth produce less and less life satisfaction (Diener, Sandvik, Seidlitz, & Diener, 1993). In business meetings a ratio of greater than 2.9:1 for positive and negative statements predicts economic flourishing (Fredrickson & Losada, 2005). Peripheral attention is superior under positive emotion (Fredrickson & Branigan, 2005).

A state of positive health will increase longevity and improve prognosis. High optimism produced a remarkably low hazard ratio of 0.23 for CVD death. A high correlation was found between high levels of optimism and increased protection against cardiovascular events.

23 OPTIMISM Depression significantly increases the risk for cardiac events. Optimism and positive emotions are linked to recovery after a major cardiac event. Optimism and positive affect may be protective against other physical deterioration. Positive emotional style may also act as preventive against the onset of the common cold. There seems to be a strong link between positive psychology and positive health So, you can learn to take control of your health just by changing the way you feel about yourself and the way you look at certain situations.

24 CHANGE All of us can benefit from applying a little common sense to our everyday life, reaping the rewards in better relationships, healthier bodies and active minds. “Your future should be better than your past because you can shape your future but the past is gone.” To make changes to your life you first need to recognize that changes have to be made. It may be that your doctor has told you your cholesterol is too high or you have bad blood pressure. One of the greatest tools that you can use to make changes in your life is a diary, where you write down your goals, thoughts and feelings then record what positive steps you undertake each day to meet your goals.

25 REDUCE STRESS Reduce stress by surrounding yourself with Positive Energy. Negative self-talk and negative energy can create many health problems. Developing positive self-talk reduces stress and increases health. Maintain a positive frame of mind (which will help with positive self-talk), by surrounding yourself with positive energy in your life.

26 POSITIVE ENERGY You can get that by adding the following elements to your life: 1. Uplifting music: soothing, melodious and uplifting messages (e.g. Wilson Phillips’ “Hold On”). 2. Inspirational Books: Books on strength, personal power, enlightenment, or self help can be good resources to help you change your outlook and the things you say to yourself. Rather than triggering habitual self-defeating thoughts, you can find yourself thinking of new can-do concepts when times get tough. (For shifting your paradigm, I love Gary Zukav’s “The Heart of the Soul”, or Sarah Ban Breathnach’s classic “Simple Abundance”.)

27 POSITIVE ENERGY 3. Positive People: One of the most important ways you can get (and keep) positive energy in your life is with the company you keep. Do your friends uplift you, or bring you down? Are they critical, or complementary? Ideal friendships provide support when you’re down, fun when you’re up, wisdom when you’re lost, and positive regard. Good friends can inspire you to reach greater heights, and see your strengths even when you don’t always. Pay attention to how your friends make you feel, and if they’re less than supportive, start putting your energy and time toward people who are better suited to be your friend. 4. Practice Affirmations: Positive affirmations can subtly but pervasively change your self talk from negative to positive. See this article for some creative ways to begin working positive affirmations into your life.

Positive people shine with energy, goodwill and vivacity. They have an aura of confidence and success; they smile and appear confident; they enjoy life. Each time you think negatively, a neurological pathway in your brain fires – and that negative thought, plus the mood associated with it, is activated. The more negatives you think, the more frequently negative pathways are activated and the worse you feel about yourself. Thought Stopping is a technique for replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. Habitual thoughts have well-established neurological pathways and, just like using a pathway in a forest, the more traffic the pathway gets, the bigger it becomes. Establishing a new pathway takes work. If every time you trigger a negative, you use this to consciously replace it with a positive and make that positive more powerful, you can create new neurological pathways that change your thinking habits.

Every time a negative thought strikes, you replace it with a reasonable, alternative, positive thought. You repeat this positive thought aloud, and if possible, write it down. Saying positive thoughts employs multiple brain processes: the frontal lobes for decision-making; language centers for expressing and comprehending speech; auditory centers for hearing; lower brain centers for breathing and coordination; motor strip for muscle movement; temporal lobes, hypothalamus and limbic system for mood and memory. When we write, we activate visual processing, eye- hand coordination, spatial skills and the kinesthetic feel of reading and writing. Next time any nasty, negative thoughts strike you: create realistic alternatives. "I'm ugly," can change to "I look okay," or "I have a nice smile." After two or three weeks of practice it becomes second nature to self- correct. If you have thoughts like: No-one likes me; I'm never good enough; I'm stupid; I'm a rotten person; who'd want to be my friend, try these kinds of substitutes: * I have friends: I am likeable * It's normal to make mistakes: I'm not stupid. * I'm not perfect: I have good qualities. Make creating positives your new feel-good habit! Positive self-talk nourishes not only your emotional and psychological health but also your physical health and well-being via the body-mind connection.

30 POSITIVE ENERGY – Dr. Judith Orlaf
Energy Psychiatry – the subtle energetic components of health and behavior It blends the practice of mainstream medicine with subtle energies – our life force (Qi or Chi or Prana) Dr. Orlof has formulated ten essential prescriptions for boosting energy, improving relationships, and combating energy vampires.

31 POSITIVE ENERGY – Dr. Judith Orlaf
Awaken your intuition and rejuvenate yourself – and learn the cure for techno despair and overload from s, computers, and phones. Find a nurturing spiritual path that fits your own beliefs and inner stirrings. Design an energy-aware approach to diet, exercise, and health – and learn how to avoid the “energetic overeating” that sabotages attempts to lose weight. Generate positive emotional energy to counter negativity. Develop a heart-centered sexuality. Open yourself to the flow of creativity and inspiration to achieve greater job. Celebrate the sacredness of laughter, pampering, and the replenishment of retreat – it’s not selfish to take care of yourself. Discover how to attract positive people and situations. Protect your energy vampires with specific shielding techniques. Create abundance and a continuing flow of energy.

32 POSITIVE ENERGY The signs of positive energy in people:
They exude an inviting sense of heart, compassion, and support. You intuitively feel safe, relaxed, wanting to get closer to them. They emanate a peaceful glow. You feel better around them. Your energy and optimism increases.

Rehearse success: When you aren’t happy with the way you handled a particular situation, try this exercise: Write down three ways that it could have gone better Write down three ways it could have gone worse If you can’t think of alternatives to the way you handled it, imagine what someone whom you greatly respect would have done Or think what advice you would give to someone else facing a similar situation Remember that mistakes aren’t failures. They’re good to learn. Mistakes give you the chance to rehearse other ways of handling things. This is great practice for future crises.

Use your thoughts to increase your happiness. Make it a goal to think about positive events and experiences in your daily life as much as possible. Focus on what you have, not what you lack. Rather than mulling over your shortcomings or difficulties, think about the good things in your life. It might be your family, your friends, your work, or something you are looking forward to. Every one of us can find something to be grateful for.

By taking positive steps to improve your health and looks, you gain a feeling of control over your life and body. That sense of accomplishment and confidence will carry over to other areas of your life, raising your overall self- esteem.

36 FOLLOW YOUR BLISS Passions lead to good health
A positive attitude to life contributes to joy and health For positive psychological health: Be authentic with your feelings Let go of blame, guilt, and fault Keep your attention on what feels good Happiness = the life force and energy that keeps us vital and healthy



39 REMEMBER Remember, spend time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side. Remember to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent. Remember to say, “I love you” to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

40 28 SECRETS TO HAPPINESS Live beneath your means and within your seams.
Return everything you borrow. Donate blood. Stop blaming other people. Admit it when you make a mistake. Give all the clothes you haven’t worn in the last three years to charity. Every day do something nice and try not to get caught. Listen more; talk less. Every day take a 30-minute walk in your neighborhood. Skip two meals a week and five the money to the homeless. Strive for excellence, not perfection. Be on time. Don’t make excuses. Don’t argue. Get organized. Be kind to kind people. Be even kinder to unkind people. Let someone cut ahead of you in line. Take time to be alone. Reread a favorite book. Cultivate good manners. Be humble. Understand and accept that life isn’t always fair. Know when to say something. Know when to keep your mouth shut. Don’t criticize anyone for 24 hours. Learn from the past, plan for the future, and live in the present. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

41 ATTITUDE The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company...a church...a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past...we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude...I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes.

What Cancer Can’t Do – there is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. One of the most dreaded sentences a patient might hear is, “You have cancer.” these words bring a chill to the heart. Although great progress has been made in treating cancer, recovery can be long and painful, and some people do not survive. An enthusiastic believer in Christ, Don Boggs, lost his battle with cancer. But his life demonstrated that even though the physical body may be destroyed by disease, the spirit can remain triumphant. This poem was distributed at his memorial service: Cancer is so limited... It cannot cripple love, It cannot shatter hope, It cannot corrode faith, It cannot eat away peace, It cannot destroy confidence, It cannot kill a friendship, It cannot shut out memories, It cannot silence courage, It cannot invade the soul, It cannot reduce eternal life, It cannot quench the Spirit, It cannot lessen the power of the resurrection.

43 Mother Theresa People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway. If you are successful you will win some false friends and true enemies; Succeed anyway. If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway. What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway. The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you've got anyway You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway.

44 Nelson Mandela’s Inaugural Speech (1994)
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

45 AGING WELL (Harvard Study) Dr. George Vaillant
Iris Joy, the healthiest ager She chose loving parents. Did not smoke or abuse alcohol. Knew how to savor joy. Knew how to turn lemons into lemonade. Learned from her children, but “Biology flows downhill.” Remembered that all life is a journey. Knew the seeds of love must be eternally resown. Knew how to give, to serve.


47 ALWAYS REMEMBER: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but the number of moments that take our breath away.

48 The Wind, One Brilliant Day
The wind, one brilliant day, called to my soul with an odor of jasmine. "In return for the odor of my jasmine, I'd like all the odor of your roses." "I have no roses; all the flowers in my garden are dead." "Well then, I'll take the withered petals and the yellow leaves and the waters of the fountain." The wind left. And I wept. And I said to myself, "What have you done with the garden that was entrusted to you ?" ~Antonio Machado

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