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Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Looking at the Sunny Side of Life

Man don't you hate people that say that. The glass is half full, count your blessings, the sun will come out tomorrow...tomorrow...tomorrow..I love you tomorrow...ha..just kidding I won't do that to you.  Sorry if it catches in your head.  Realistically there is a reason for all these all too chipper statements.  Those folks out there that are so drippy with optimism are really onto something.  Medically I mean, though socially annoying as they are they seem to make out okay too.  Ok, Ok...I am a closet optimist....I can spin sunshine as well as the next girl, except in my own head.  Do you ever experience this phenomenon? You are so sweet to the rest of the world but in your own head you are constantly criticising yourself and preparing for the worst. That's me.  All the time.  Sometimes I just need solitude because the chaos of people talking around me plus the nagging of the inner me overwhelms me.  I was reading an article on the Mayo clinic site and another on the Live Science site and they were talking about research that has been conducted into the effects of positive thinking on depression.  To me this seemed counterintuitive as if we were thinking positively we would likely not be depressed. That in fact is their point.  The study focused on mildly depressed folks, not like us hiding under the covers peeps. The results showed that they were able to stimulate the amygdala by positive thoughts and it counteracted the usual overreaction we experience. By no way do they suggest it will work in all instances and they say it would be most effective in conjunction with medication.  I am very fortunate and not only do I live in an area that provides excellent support but also I am married to a hard working guy with a nice medical package. Write that one down single ladies...make sure your man has a job and benefit plan!! So sexist I know. Regardless, the positive activity interactions (PAIs) can be used by people that are unable to access additional support.  Its one of those "what do you have to lose kind of things".  

Here are a few examples of Positive Activity Interactions:

Intentional positive behaviors and thoughts, such as performing acts of kindness, expressing gratitude, meditating on positive feelings  toward others and using one's strengths. Gratitude journals, thank you cards, putting a quarter in someone's metre. 

It all seems so easy! When you think about it though, in those moments when we are outside our own brain and we are doing something nice for someone else don't you just get that sort of sunny buzz inside. Just in those few moments you forget that you are depressed, anxious, panic stricken or obsessive compulsive.  Maybe thats the seed of wisdom in it all.  A happy distraction from our pain.  I say lets go for it guys! Are you with me? I am going to shut down this computer and go read an extra bedtime story to my kidlets, just to remind them how much they are loved and to steal a little sunny buzz moment.  My thoughts and prayers are with you as always.