There may be a reason optimists are happier – research suggests that how we think affects how we feel and act. But, is the key to being happy as simple as thinking of the glass as half-full rather than half-empty?. “To a degree,” says Shilagh Mirgain, PhD, UW Health psychologist. But she cautions, “It's not always easy.” The field in psychology known as cognitive therapy, emphasizes that negative thought patterns can have a profound effect on our physical and mental well-being. How we perceive a situation, or even our day-to-day life, can contribute to higher stress levels and ultimately contribute to anxiety and depression.
Did you know that just saying certain words more often throughout the day can actually have an effect on your mood? And we have all heard how much of an impact a positive or negative mood can have on our health, in terms of stress or depressed mood and willingness to partake in health-boosting activities.
Sometimes when I talk to people, I can instantly tell their mood. And although body language plays a role, I can even pick up on a persons mood when Im talking to them over the phone or they are seated across from me at the table. To me, the words people use and the expression on their face makes it apparent whether theyre feeling upbeat or depressed.
Let me explain in a little more detail.
Through two experiments, a research team concluded that when people articulated words with the long o sound, like in alone, they …
When we're not paying attention to our thought patterns, it's easy for our minds to fall into a playback loop – thinking the same thing each and every day. But, when we start to pay attention, we can notice the quiet ways we get stuck into negative patterns and then we can begin to reshape our thinking in more constructive ways.
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