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just sit for a moment and breathe
you are so much more than you think you are
you are capable of anything and everything
go share the love that you are

Dare To…
Dare to...
Believe in your dreams
Ask for what you want
Fail, and dare to succeed
Practice moderation
Overcome adversity
Kiss and make up
Walk your talk

Happiness is an attitude.
"Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same." ~ Francesca Reigler

Actually, we disagree with this quote... as far as the amount of work involved... But it is an optimistic way to look at pessimism and the price is right - so we'll use it.

HOWEVER -- it takes a lot more effort to be miserable and pessimistic and unhappy and cruel and distasteful and mean and well, why dwell on the negative? There's certainly a lot of that attitudinal bleakness going around today.

It takes a huge toll on you and a boatload of effort to wallow in misery. Your unhappiness eats at you and crunches at your soul and your body -- your hormones, your physicality and general mental health. Ever heard of cortisol? If not, you're about to.

When you carry around that dark attitude and 'think negatively', at a primitive level you feel threatened. A little region at the base of your brain, the hypothalamus, triggers your general alarm system. This most efficient alarm system requests that your adrenal glands, set atop your kidneys, release a surge of hormones. Your body automatically kicks in and produces stress hormones and two of those hormones are epinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisol.

Now adrenaline is a wonderful thing if there is a car hurtling directly at you and you must leap 30 feet with the strength of an Olympian god in order to avoid it and survive. Then, adrenaline is good. It will save your life. But in other non-life-threatening situations, adrenaline is not so good. Adrenaline will drip into your life increase your heart rate, shoot up your blood pressure, sap your energy supplies and basically wear you out. Then see how 'optimistic' you feel. Take this quiz to see if you have "Adrenaline Fatigue" - seriously, it's not good.

Cortisol on the other hand, is no kinder, gentler hormone. As the primary stress hormone, cortisol increases blood sugars (glucose), aids in your brain's use of glucose and enhances your body's use of substances that repair tissues. Simultaneously cortisol efficiently helps to cut back on functions that are considered by the body to be nonessential in a fight-or-flight situation. It helps shut down immune system responses and digestion, reproductive system and growth (seriously, your body doesn't need to waste energy on those functions when you're running from a bear or leaping down stairs in a burning building).

Cortisol, great for escaping from bears, not so great for every day use, promotes abdominal weight gain and causes increased cravings for sugary and salty foods and carbs. This complex natural alarm system also communicates with regions of your brain that control levels of fear, your mood and motivation. Check your stress levels - at the Mayo Clinic

If you believe a pot-belly will be flattering to your physique as you age, definitely continue thinking the worst of everyone and everything, be a 'hater' look for the black-lining on the silver cloud and you will generate your own tubby telly, bulging belly. 'Tis true.

You can easily get caught up in a negative cycle -- think dark thoughts, the adrenaline and cortisol kick in -- they set right to work making your body (arteries and all) more rigid and naturally make you feel even more negative and argumentative. The perfect cycle!

Don't ride it!

A first, basic step in countering your hyperactive alarm system is to basically re-program your thoughts. Become conscious of your thoughts and their origins. A lot of what we feel and do is driven by our subconscious. When you feel miserable, you might stop and ask yourself why? Take your subconscious out of the driver's seat.

Help in Becoming Positive

You might also be interested in these articles:
  • How to Find a Relationship
  • How to Be Miserable - If you'd like to remain miserable and truly deeply completely thoroughly unhappy, here are the steps to follow from a psychotherapist...

    A few more inspirational quotes to ponder:

    "A man's as miserable as he thinks he is."
    Seneca (Roman philosopher, mid-1st century AD)

    "Contemplation often makes life miserable. We should act more, think less, and stop watching ourselves live."
    Chamfort (French playwright, 1741-1794)

    "We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." Carlos Casteneda (American author, 1925-1998)

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