by Tamela Duncan | Featured Contributor
Did you know the cells in your body actually feel the energy of your thoughts, and women are prone to have a mental framework of highly stressed thinking? Tension, anxiety, depression, and stress are frequently reported emotions of women. Women tend to be “worriers,” over-thinking stressful situations. In today’s society, the typical stressors reported are things like: trying to find a parking space, traffic, phone battery dying, not having enough time, having to wait in line, misplacing or losing things, not hearing back from someone by text, and over scheduling. Then there are the big issues: finances, relationships, health issues, work issues, family stressors, and major life changes. Even happy events tend to stress women out – getting married, your child getting married, holidays and even planning a trip. Everyone can always find something to stress about, but choose how you deal with it.
Emotions not only impact your joy, but they also impact your health. An improved mental outlook can actually reduce your risk of coronary disease − ongoing stress, and negative attitude has been found to cause thickening of the carotid artery walls. People with worrisome or negative thought patterns have greater sleep issues; wake feeling tired and even grumpy. They are more prone to small illnesses such as headache, stomach and bowel issues, and have higher incidences of depression and anxiety. Negative thinking upsets the bodies hormonal balance, depletes the brain of those “happy” biochemicals, and damages the immune system.
Thought about a situation, regardless of how stressful it is, is mental attitude. Your mental attitude is chosen, and even when you feel it isn’t, you can learn how to choose it. A person’s overall contentment and happiness are largely determined by how they emotionally interpret and process information. One fourth (25%) of your overall happiness will be determined by how you emotionally handle stress.
So how do you begin to change your mental attitude? You start by liking and believing in yourself, having hope and holding optimistic thoughts in your heart and mind. Accept that sometimes things won’t go your way − and then choose to have a positive emotional bounce back. Look for what’s right in life vs. what is wrong. Believe it or not, a simple hug will release oxytocin which is that warm fuzzy biochemical. Hug that loved one, friend or four-legged critter every chance you get. Laughter, learning to relax and not take things so seriously; working to sometimes accept things as they are will reduce negative energy. Remember to have gratitude as most of us are surrounded by many gifts of life. Play music, dance for no reason at all. And the next time someone steals your parking space, showers down on their horn or “flips you the bird”; wave, smile and wish them well. Your life is meant to be enjoyed.
Big changes are important, but little changes can make a big difference. Your overall mental attitude will affect your quality of life; so why not choose a good one. A positive attitude is the fuel that keeps us active, engaged, curious, hopeful and determined…which are also the qualities needed to have an emotionally happy and successful life.
“My greatest passion is attempting to live life to the fullest, not taking it for granted and doing my best to support the beauty and growth of another. I’m a terrible sleeper because my mind is moved by things I have to write about or spiritually figure out. (Thank goodness for coffee.) My motto is to laugh, play and love as deeply as possible. When something in life is hard, I think of myself as a Jedi attempting to transcend the fear before me – because fear is the thief of opportunity. Life is a gift; we get to choose how we live it”.
Tamela Duncan, LSCW has been in practice for over 28 years as a licensed, clinical therapist; she’s certified in Regression therapy, teaches meditation and mindfulness. She has extensive training in spirituality, life coaching, relationship counseling, and mood disorders. Tamela has a thriving private practice working with individuals, couples, and families.
For over a decade, Tamela taught at UNCG’s Call Program. She provides lectures and talks to the community and continues to conduct workshops and classes open to the public. She has recently completed a book titled, “Genuinely Happy: A Conscious Choice.” She is also a talented musician, writer, and blogger.