It’s true, the song says so, and so does a research paper published by the Boston University School of Medicine, who found that people with greater optimism or a positive mindset are more likely to live to the age of 85 or older.
Looking on the bright side, according to the scientists, can help you to live longer.
This is possibly because optimistic people have taught themselves to regulate their emotions and behaviour, and they are essentially better at bouncing back from stress and life’s difficulties more effectively.
It is inherently our choice how we decide to look at life – whether we are a half empty or half full type of person.
I have included a few tips to help you feel happier and live a long and stress free life.
Taking the time to notice our thoughts is the first step to choosing to look on the bright side.
Every choice you make determines the life you are living.
Of course, you can’t change what happens to you, but you can change how you choose to respond and react to it. Through a regular mediation practice, clearing your mind of all the worries and stresses of the day, will affect everything else you do that day.
Eating more mindfully, taking decisions with care, being able to think more clearly about the choices you make.
A Daily Gratitude Practice
One way to make a conscious choice about how we think is to practice gratitude. The more we practice the easier it becomes. We need to be grateful for the amazing gifts the universe has already provide to us, before there is any point having more.
You won’t be satisfied with the ‘more’ you get until you have learned to show love for where you already are.
It can be as simple as listing all the things you are grateful for before you get out of bed. You can write them down or simply let them run through your head. You could even build them into your morning meditation practice if you have one.
I find with some activities (swimming for me especially) it is a great time to put those endorphins to work and feel really good by thinking of how blessed my life is and how lucky I am.
I swim round the pool or use that time post workout to list in my head at the things I am grateful for.
Having a gratitude journal by your bedside helps to empty your mind and promote great sleep – which both contribute to a healthy mind. I suggest noting the top three things that have happened to me that day.
That way it serves the purpose of letting you sleep in a positive frame of mind, having found the good parts of even the most difficult days (a skill well worth developing) and you get the added bonus that you keep a really positive record of your life to look back over in any times when you are feeling a bit low.
Journaling on a daily basis has a huge number of benefits. It can help you know yourself better, improve your relationships, improve your mental and physical* wellbeing, act as a therapeutic tool, increase feelings of joy and gratitude, increase organisation and planning and help you explore the subconscious to name just a few.
Hug yourself healthy
Happy hormones and human connection can also pay a vital role in our health and wellbeing.
As life has for many of us moved online and it could be all too easy to stay there. However, socialising with large social groups of friends and family, can reduce our mortality by 45 percent!
And that’s not forgetting happy hormones, or Oxytocin, flood our systems when we hug our friends, family and even our pets, dubbed the elixir of youth, in short hugs are not only nice, they keep us young at heart and help us promote the formation of new neurons in our brains.
Have a Hot Chocolate
There are many studies that also say the magic of plant medicine, cacao or dark chocolate also promotes oxytocin, the happy hormone that has anti-inflammatory properties.
So, here is your permission to enjoying a piece of dark chocolate, or a cup of cacao to help you young and healthy.