Keep Your Sunny Side up. It’s Healthy, They Say

Perhaps I should stop writing about politics. I just got some news that makes me think politics could be bad for my health. A recent study shows optimists are healthier than pessimists, and try as I might, I can’t find anything in politics to be optimistic about.

The Concordia University study shows a cheerful attitude keeps cortisol levels calm. And as we diabetics can tell you, cortisol – your fight-or-flight hormone – is useful in emergencies but can mess with your blood sugar and do damaging things to your body.

The study results came to me courtesy of an organization called Care2, which leaves useful tips on diet, exercise and so on in my mailbox every morning. And writer Diana Vilibert adds some advice to those of us who have difficulty seeing the glass as half-full. Here’s her advice:

So are you just doomed if you’re a natural-born pessimist? You’d like to think so, wouldn’t you, pessimists? Actually, looking on the bright side is easier than you may think. Research has shown pessimists can become optimists through things like meditation, surrounding yourself with positive people, and even just smiling more (it releases serotonin, the happy hormone).

So, I guess I’ll have to stat meditating, perhaps even going so far as to smile once in a while.

Let’s see, what have I got to smile about this morning?

Congress is on vacation so I won’t be badgered with its distressingly nutty behavior for a few weeks. That’s a happy thought… No, wait, that’s politics. I promised to think about something else. How about golf?

Tiger Woods just made a birdie at the pGA. Is the Tiger back? That would be worth a smile!

And I’m still smiling over Phil Mickelson’s closing round in The Open. Am I mistaken? Or is that the way Tiger played when he was Tiger? Phil the Thrill lived up to his name by going for it and pulling it off. He hit a couple of 3-woods that will live in legend. Tiger, on the other hand, is playing like the middle-aged bloke that he is. As I write this, he just hit an iron off the tee on a hole where he could have smashed a driver. Phooey.

Yes, I confess. I’m watching the PGA online as I write this. That’s one way of surrounding myself with positive people, I suppose.

As for Ms. Vilibert’s suggestion that I meditate… Let’s see if my aching joints can manage the lotus position (illustrated above) while I meditate on Tiger and Phil.

Click here for the Care2 article.