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Welcome to the Elder Information Page

 

This section of the KSDPP website is to honor the wisdom and the knowledge that comes to us from our elders. Elders in the traditional sense is not indicated by age but rather by the experience acquired through years of learning and through personal experience.

In this section, you will find various information on being healthy and implementing healthy lifestyles and attitudes into your everyday life.

More to come!

 

Positive Thinking  back to top
Stop Negative Talk To Reduce Stress

Understanding positive thinking and self-talk

Positive thinking doesn't mean that you keep your head in the sand and ignore life's less pleasant situations. Positive thinking just means that you approach unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. You think the best is going to happen, not the worst.

Positive thinking often starts with self-talk. Self-talk is the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head. These automatic thoughts can be positive or negative. Some of your self-talk comes from logic and reason. Other self-talk may arise from misconceptions that you create because of lack of information.
If the thoughts that run through your head are mostly negative, your outlook on life is more likely pessimistic. If your thoughts are mostly positive, you're likely an optimist - someone who practices positive thinking.

The health benefits of positive thinking

Researchers continue to explore the effects of positive thinking and optimism on health. Health benefits that positive thinking may provide include:

• Increased life span
• Lower rates of depression
• Lower levels of distress
• Greater resistance to the common cold
• Better psychological and physical well-being
• Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
• Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

It's unclear why people who engage in positive thinking experience these health benefits. One theory is that having a positive outlook enables you to cope better with stressful situations, which reduces the harmful health effects of stress on your body. It's also thought that positive and optimistic people tend to live healthier lifestyles - they get more physical activity, follow a healthier diet, and don't smoke or drink alcohol in excess.

Identifying negative thinking

Not sure if your self-talk is positive or negative? Here are some common forms of negative self-talk:

Filtering. You magnify the negative aspects of a situation and filter out all of the positive ones. For example, you had a great day at work. You completed your tasks ahead of time and were complimented for doing a speedy and thorough job. That evening, you focus only on your plan to do even more tasks and forget about the compliments you received.
Personalizing. When something bad occurs, you automatically blame yourself. For example, you hear that an evening out with friends is canceled, and you assume that the change in plans is because no one wanted to be around you.
Catastrophizing. You automatically anticipate the worst. The drive-through coffee shop gets your order wrong and you automatically think that the rest of your day will be a disaster.
Polarizing. You see things only as either good or bad. There is no middle ground. You feel that you have to be perfect or you're a total failure.

Focusing on positive thinking

You can learn to turn negative thinking into positive thinking. The process is simple, but it does take time and practice - you're creating a new habit, after all. Here are some ways to think and behave in a more positive and optimistic way:

• Identify areas to change. If you want to become more optimistic and engage in more positive thinking, first identify areas of your life that you typically think negatively about, whether it's work, your daily commute or a relationship. You can start small by focusing on one area to approach in a more positive way.
Check yourself. Periodically during the day, stop and evaluate what you're thinking. If you find that your thoughts are mainly negative, try to find a way to put a positive spin on them.
Be open to humor. Give yourself permission to smile or laugh, especially during difficult times. Seek humor in everyday happenings. When you can laugh at life, you feel less stressed.
Follow a healthy lifestyle. Exercise at least three times a week to positively affect mood and reduce stress. Follow a healthy diet to fuel your mind and body. And learn techniques to manage stress.
Surround yourself with positive people. Make sure those in your life are positive, supportive people you can depend on to give helpful advice and feedback. Negative people may increase your stress level and make you doubt your ability to manage stress in healthy ways.
Practice positive self-talk. Start by following one simple rule: Don't say anything to yourself that you wouldn't say to anyone else. Be gentle and encouraging with yourself. If a negative thought enters your mind, evaluate it rationally and respond with affirmations of what is good about you.

Putting positive thinking into practice

Negative self-talk: I've never done it before. Positive thinking: It's an opportunity to learn something new.
Negative self-talk: It's too complicated. Positive thinking: I'll tackle it from a different angle.
Negative self-talk: I don't have the resources. Positive thinking: Necessity is the mother of invention.
Negative self-talk: I'm too lazy to get this done. Positive thinking: I wasn't able to fit it into my schedule, but I can re-examine some priorities.
Negative self-talk: There's no way it will work. Positive thinking: I can try to make it work.
Negative self-talk: It's too radical a change. Positive thinking: Let's take a chance.
Negative self-talk: No one bothers to communicate with me. Positive thinking: I'll see if I can open the channels of communication.
Negative self-talk: I'm not going to get any better at this. Positive thinking: I'll give it another try.

Practicing positive thinking every day

If you tend to have a negative outlook, don't expect to become an optimist overnight. But with practice, eventually your self-talk will contain less self-criticism and more self-acceptance. You may also become less critical of the world around you.

When your state of mind is generally optimistic, you're better able to handle everyday stress in a more constructive way. That ability may contribute to the widely observed health benefits of positive thinking.

Seven Ways to Live a More Productive and Positive Life  back to top
1. Think Positive
Thinking Positive is probably the most important of the ways that I can share with you, because you know that everything starts in the mind. Thoughts turn into feelings, which then turn into actions. If you tell yourself you can't do something, you will ultimately find failure. If you tell yourself you can do it, you have increased your chances of accomplishing that goal. Keep your mind clear and your thoughts positive. This way will bring great success to you in your personal and professional life.

Exercise: When a negative thought comes into your mind, instantly swap it with a positive one. An example of this would be thinking about a child's smile or someone you know. This will keep the mind clear of any negative thoughts.

2. Get Around Positive People
Stay away from negative and pessimistic people. Surround yourself with positive people, and you will be more positive! This is a simple and crucial way in reaching a positive lifestyle. Negative people can rob you of your energy and your drive. We must learn to get around people that are like minded, have goals and the ones that have courage to go forward in life.

Exercise: Think about someone that you respect and has the positive traits that you want to possess. Try to meet with that person frequently so that their positive attitude will become part of you.

3. Read and Listen to Positive Information
One of the best ways to create a positive mindset is by filling it with positive information. Too many times we get our information from the wrong places. We get focused on the negative news of the world and it bleeds into our subconscious. We need to learn to be careful on what we let into our mind. To get out of the negative rut, we need to get in the habit of picking up an inspirational book, find a positive article on the web or just listen to a positive inspirational CD. These positive items will open your mind, encourage, inspire, and teach you how to create a positive mindset. (Some of my favorite inspirational authors are Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy and Les Brown)

Exercise: Put a Positive CD in your car, home stereo or in at your office. Listen to it for the length of the car ride or 30 minutes in your home or office. Try to implement that one new positive idea that you learned into what you are doing that particular day.

4. Focus on the Future
Too many of us dwell on our past and let it block our vision of our future. We think about something disturbing that happened to us or we think about something that someone has told us that upset us, and we play it over and over like an old movie reel. We need to break this bad habit and visualize on what we want our future to be. The next time your past is haunting you, instantly think about something in your future. Write down your goals and create a vision board. This way you can always focus and see the positive things you want in life.

Exercise: Make a list of all things that you want in life. Go online and find it, print a picture of each item. Pin them up on a board in your office or home where you can see them. Look at this vision board daily and visualize yourself possessing all of these items.

5. Plan Ahead
Using time efficiently helps to maintain a positive attitude. The best way to do this is to plan your day and your week ahead of time. We need to adopt this habit so that we won't let procrastination take over and keep us from reaching our goals. The habit of planning and focusing on your priorities and important tasks will help you accomplish more in less time. This very act will keep your life in check and help you stay on track towards your goals and let you know stay aware of your accomplishments.

Exercise: Each day sit at your desk for ten minutes and map out your next day. This exercise can save two hours the next day.

6. Be Grateful
Take some time everyday to be grateful and thankful for everything that you have in your life right now. It is easy for us to focus on what we don't have or things we didn't accomplish. Find these great things and recognize them. The very thought of what you are grateful for will help you maintain a positive attitude in your life. This habit is one of the best ways to turn negative thinking into positive thinking instantly.

Exercise: Write down the top 10 things you are grateful for and read them over at least 10 times daily!

7. Exercise More
Daily exercise will help you improve your mood, along with helping to against stress and depression. This healthy way of life will keep you living longer and living a healthier lifestyle. Remember exercising will also make you feel better about yourself. When you feel better about yourself, it breeds confidence which will help you in your personal and professional life.

Exercise: Go for a 30 minute brisk walk on a treadmill or around the neighborhood. This is a great exercise to create positive thinking.
If you follow and implement these 7 life changing ways of life daily, they will bring you the success and happiness you desire. They will take you from underneath that dark cloud of negativity and bring you out into the sunshine of a positive lifestyle. Use the GOYA-cises to improve your productivity and see the positive things like peace and happiness that will come into your life.

"Remember that it is up to you to choose everyday to Get off Your Attitude and to create a positive lifestyle for yourself and others." Ryan C. Lowe - Positive Attitude Coach