Why you should take a new approach to your New Years resolutions

Here’s an exercise well worth doing:

Think about your life at a specific time in the future. Imagine everything has gone as well as it possibly could.

You have worked hard, used your strengths and succeeded at accomplishing each of your life goals at that point in time.

This moment is the realisation of your life dreams.

Now, for 15-20 minutes, on 4 separate occasions, write continuously about what you imagined.

When we take the time to write about ourself accomplishing our long-term goals, we benefit. These benefits are substantial and numerous, and include:

  • improved mood and well-being,
  • more optimistic thinking,
  • greater clarity about our motivations, priorities and long-term goals,
  • improved confidence,
  • integration of our emotions and life experiences in a more meaningful way,
  • enhanced physical health, and
  • a lower chance of getting ill.

When done right, the process of writing our New Years resolutions can not only benefit us one day in the future.

It can also benefit us today.

Healthy mind, healthy body

It is well-known that our emotions, both positive and negative, have a direct effect on our physical health. By definition, emotions have a physiological effect on our body, and it is in this way that they can strongly influence our health and vitality.

Feelings of chronic stress, anxiety or hopelessness, as just some examples, can increase the strain on our cardiovascular system and our risk of heart disease. Feelings of joy or excitement, on the other hand, strengthen our immune function and significantly lower our risk of colds and flu.

What is less well-known, but even more important, is that these emotions are influenced directly by how we think. We feel stressed because we think we can’t cope. We feel anxious because we think all about how it could go wrong. And we feel hopeless because we think that we will never find another way if this way fails.

Scientific findings show that optimism, which is the thinking process that concludes good things will happen, is associated with better cardiovascular health, and may also reduce cancer risk. This is an effect that parallels the benefits of high fruit and vegetable consumption.

Our mind and body are deeply connected. A desire to cultivate a healthy body starts with a desire to cultivate a healthy mind.

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