Sunday, March 28, 2010

60 & Single: Ways to stay positive

Every time I get my feet out the door for a 20- to 45-minute jog, I come back amazed at the remarkable improvement in my mental health. Life's challenges look less daunting, my outlook is more positive and (here's the good part)...I feel younger. For me, cardio-vascular exercise changes my brain chemistry for the better. As I've aged, the improvement has become more noticeable. If I'm under stress, if I've have had a poor night's sleep and feel overwhelmed by the challenges I face, a good workout puts everything in perspective. The tough part is making it a regular part of a weekly routine and finding the oomph to get it done when I'd rather stand in front of an open refrigerator and eat everything in sight.
I'm lucky in that my driveway leads to a paved country road that is relatively flat with little traffic. Thirty minutes of slow running and fast walking takes me through some beautiful timber with the possibility of spotting wildlife....birds for sure. Today, a buck deer jumped across the road ahead of me. I can feel the brain chemistry changes kick in after about 15 minutes. They put me in a better frame of mind that usually lasts the rest of my day. Today has been especially productive with calendar planning, writing an overdue thank you note and writing a proposal for a newsletter project. So how can 60 & Single women stay positive about life? Eat and drink in moderation, find time for solitude, don't smoke and get some exercise. By the way, I'm NOT talking about huffing and puffing, but a gentle increase in heart rate. Your jogging rate should be slow enough that you can still talk to someone, if you want.
National author and coach Barbara Pachter has these suggestions for maintaining a positive attitude in tough times:
1. Avoid downbeat topics. Don't keep discussing negative things.
2. Remind yourself to be positive. Use post-it note reminders, if necessary.
3. Take action. Don't let a bad situation paralyze you, Pachter says. Take a class, keep your resume up-to-date. Don't put your job search on hold.
4. Stop complaining. Complaining is draining. People get tired of listening.
5. Word things positively.
6. Disagree agreeably. "I see it differently," works better than "you're wrong."
7. Avoid use of the word "but." The word but throws cold water on whatever you said before it.
8. Remember your nonverbal communication. Stay in the moment and give love. Avoid sarcasm and eliminate any harsh tone to your voice, Pachter says. To view her Web site and read her blog click here.

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