Thursday, November 29, 2012

'The pause that refreshes'

I recently read that emotions such as anger, jealousy and hate have been shown to promote impaired immune responses and increased levels of stress hormones.

Of course, the reverse is also true: Love, compassion and gratitude are shown to lower blood pressure and increase our bodies' immune responses.

Even if putting good energy out into the world isn't reason in itself to focus on positive emotions and decrease our negativity, the impact on our health of both negative and positive responses should convince us.

I've said it in these blogs before, and I've heard it for years: What we focus on gets larger. If we focus on anger and jealousy, we'll see more of that in the world. If we focus on gratitude and love, we'll notice that far more than the negative aspects of life.

Of course, knowing the truth of that in our head and heart isn't the same as acting on it. When someone jumps in front of us in the grocery checkout line or cuts us off in traffic, we don't always hit the pause button and take a moment before reacting. It's good to do that, though.

Remember the ads that talked about "the pause that refreshes"? Well, this pause when something negative happens to us definitely refreshes—it refreshes our spirits and even our health. Next time, take that moment so you can respond rather than react to what's just happened to you. You'll be healthier. And happier.

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