MMP Home Page

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Please copy the code below for your own Monday Morning Power badge

Blog Archive

Most Recent Comments

Names I Use

To avoid any confusion I thought it appropriate to list the names (cyber) I go by.
My Names:
Mel Kaye-(my real name), MondayMorningPower,
MMP, Killeris-(Technorati name), Powerkis-(Wordpress name), SiFiBiBi-(Original Blogger name)
Site Names:
Attitude, The Ultimate Power-(Blog name)
MondayMorningPower-(Blog AKA)
It's All About Attitude-(Blog AKA)

My email address: info (at) MondayMorningPower dot Com

Why read Monday Morning Power?

You will find a consistency and a focus in all of my content that can change your attitude which can fuel a positive change in your life, if you want it to. If you are happy with your attitude and your life and see no reason for changing, then you either already have a PMA (Positive Mental Attitude), or you are a victim and want to hold onto your misery. These postings will then serve to fortify the person with PMA, or, hopefully, convince the "victim" that there is a better way. This site will contain essays, poems, stories, humor and links, all with the same goal: The pursuit, capture, care and feeding of a Positive Mental Attitude. I have had readers tell me that they have spent hours on my site and feel great about themselves both during and after. I log onto my own site frequently to help fuel my attitude; I hope you will as well.

To My Fellow Bloggers.....

Please feel free to link my blog to yours. A dose of "Monday Morning Power" would bolster any blog, except for those that profess doom, destruction and the end of the world. If you want to use any of my content in your blog, please ask first via email or by comment. I will need to review your blog for appropriate content and then give you written permission as well as being sure that you link back.

Monday Morning Power

A dose of "Monday Morning Power" and a cup of coffee and you're ready for whatever awaits you. At a minimum you should read this blog on Monday Mornings. However, there will be new posts daily. Whenever you want to feel good, tune in and help yourself to some "Monday Morning Power." Please share this site with everyone you care about. I welcome your comments and suggestions

About Me

My photo
My goal is to help my clients navigate the “residential investment property” market; make some money and have some fun in the process. This real estate market is ripe for the investor. In addition, I would like to help the home buyer and home seller. I am part of an 80,000+ agent network that spans all of North America. Being on the “inside” I can find you the “right” agent to handle your specific needs no matter where in North America you may reside. I have been in and arround the real estate market for most of my professional life and want to be your resource for making money in this market. I have been negotiating all of my life and want to negotiate great deals for you. Following is my contact information and my philosophies: Mel Kaye (Broker Associate) Keller Williams Realty Direct: PCH.MEL.KAYE (724.635.5293) Mobile: 805.300.1769 Fax: 888.371.1190 Email: Website: Skype: Mel.Kaye Lic #: 00742678 340 N. Westlake Blvd., Suite 100 Westlake Village, CA 91362

My blog is worth $578,088.96.
How much is your blog worth?

This Site is dedicated to the development of your ATTITUDE, which is your ULTIMATE POWER. The content includes: Essays, Articles, Poems, Links, Inspirational stories, Quotes, Research, Music, an original series called the "Process" and Laughter....all focused on the
Pursuit, Capture, Care and Feeding of a Positive Mental Attitude.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Optimism Revolution

Following is an interesting article from Psychology Today in regards to the health benefits of being optimistic. I have only reprinted a portion of the article. Because of Copyright protection you will have to follow the link to get the complete article, directly from Psychology Today.

Optimism as you know it isn't always the best medicine. In the new view, behavior trumps positive outlook. Why a healthy mentality paints the world in light and shadow.

By:Jill Neimark

The pain was blinding," recalls Larry Dossey of the afternoon last August when he was thrown by two different horses—within a mere two hours. Dossey, his wife, and another married couple had just spent two weeks camping and fly-fishing in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming—a place so beautiful, he says, that it makes him feel like he's "in touch with the gods."

Dossey, a doctor as well as an early champion of mind-body medicine, cracked his ribs when the first horse spooked; but he allowed the wranglers to mount him on a second horse—their most experienced one—with the hopes of reaching civilization soon. The second horse bolted up the mountain, lunged over an embankment, and sent Dossey flying. He fractured his spine, though he didn't know that at the time.

After testing his ability to wiggle his toes and turn his head, Dossey concluded his best chance for survival was to walk out of the wilderness. "I realized that this was an extraordinarily serious situation with no good solution that I nonetheless had to overcome," he recalls. "And somehow I knew I could overcome it with sufficient courage and resolve." So he suggested that the women, wranglers, and pack horses ride ahead, and that his friend accompany him by foot. Night fell. For 10 hours he walked, in pain "with every step, one flashlight between us, across some of the most rugged territory I've ever seen," says Dossey. "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. I focused on the act of putting one foot in front of the other. I put my consciousness down in my feet. I stopped every 15 minutes to get on top of the pain."

At about 4 in the morning, they reached the wranglers' base camp, and from there his wife drove him to the small town of Lander, Wyoming, an hour away. But his back pain only worsened, so that he could hardly stand. Two days later they located a spinal specialist in Bozeman, Montana, who diagnosed the fractured vertebra and hospitalized Dossey, putting him on intravenous morphine. For months he wore a body brace , encased in plastic from chin to hips. He now wears a lighter brace and suffers from daily back pain. His conclusion: "I'm absolutely grateful I didn't land on my head or neck. I came within just a whisper of being a quadriplegic. I reflect on this every day."

That's an optimistic appraisal if there ever was one, but Dossey's background as an experienced physician—he's knowledgeable about both trauma and the impact of attitude on health—helped prepare him for what he calls "grounded optimism." So did his experience as a seasoned outdoorsman who'd made annual treks into wild country for three decades, and the fact that he'd served as a battalion surgeon in Vietnam, where he'd often observed the limits of human endurance. As he puts it: "Characterizing optimists as smiley-faced romantics is unfair. Optimists are actually realists who take steps to solve problems"—for instance, the literal steps Dossey took for 10 hours. According to this definition, Dossey and other true optimists are flexible, and anchored in reality. And most important, they get things done.

Optimism: The New View

Optimism has long been considered a straightforward asset when battling illness or adversity. And, broadly speaking, it is. Harvard graduates who were optimists at age 25 had better health outcomes for the next three decades. As Dossey explains, "Optimists have more stable cardiovascular systems, more responsive immune systems, and less of a hormonal response to stress compared to pessimists. They have a stronger sense of self-efficacy, so they're more likely to invoke healthier behaviors because they think it can make a difference."

Of course, to be considered optimistic you have to have a positive long-term outlook and some degree of hope for the future. But a new view of optimism holds that to have a real impact on health, outlook is less important than behavior. By this definition, it is the act of engaging with the world, of taking concrete steps toward goals, that improves health. But there's a wrinkle: Under trying circumstances, optimism can actually lead to fatigue and temporary immune suppression. That finding has helped researchers rethink optimism and how it really works.

It turns out that our standard view of optimism is simplistic, and it is only by observing the nuanced impact of "optimistic" behaviors on the immune system that we can get a more complete picture of this coping style. Grounded optimism gives the brain a built-in action potential: It replaces emotion with motion.

In the end, the hidden key to optimists' better health outcomes may be their propensity to engage with the world and to persist in the face of difficulty, whether it's a night of agonized walking through the wilderness or the willingness to seek out second and third opinions for a medical condition. "Here's the really important piece to understand," says Suzanne Segerstrom, a University of Kentucky psychologist and author of Breaking Murphy's Law: How Optimists Get What They Want from Life—and Pessimists Can Too. "If you're an optimist and working harder at a task, your stress hormones may go up. Your immune function may dip a bit. But it's like doing crunches at the gym. Short-term, more crunches hurt. Long-term, you get a big payback in terms of health and fitness. Optimism leads to increased well-being because it leads you to engage actively in life, not because of a miracle happy juice that optimists have and pessimists don't."

Segerstrom herself embodies this principle: She recently suffered an injury (also involving a horse) that led to unexpected complications, including bursitis and sciatica. "My attitude was, well, somebody has to fix this. So when one doctor couldn't help me, I found another. And I made progress."

Her conclusion? "The more I work on optimism, pessimism, and health, the more I believe optimism's benefits have less to do with mood and much more to do with persistence. The kind of optimism I study is based on a very simple concept: Do you think the future will be mostly good or mostly bad?" If you believe it will be mostly good, says Segerstrom, you'll be motivated to persist through tough times, whether you are naturally cheerful, a worrier, a grump, easygoing, or a bit neurotic.

Optimists' persistence is evident in a study conducted by Lise Solberg Nes, one of Segerstrom's graduate students. Subjects were given a series of anagrams to unscramble. One was impossible and the other 10 were difficult. Pessimists worked on the difficult anagrams an average of 9½ minutes, while optimists worked for an average of 11½ minutes. For the impossible anagram, pessimists worked an average of one minute, while optimists worked twice as long—two minutes.

Faced with a health challenge instead of an anagram, the active, problem-solving approach stands people in good stead. Carol Farran, a professor of nursing at Rush University Medical Center and author of Hope and Hopelessness, was diagnosed with breast cancer 20 years ago at age 42, when her children were in junior high school. Farran had already been conscientious in dealing with two other chronic health problems: endometriosis and fibromyalgia. "For fibromyalgia, I use low doses of antidepressants, massage, and yoga, and I say to myself each day, 'Well, Carol, you can choose to sit around and mope or you can live an active life anyway.' To me, that decision is the axis around which optimism truly turns."

Farran's proactive outlook may have saved her life—it was she who discovered a lentil-size node in her breast. When it turned out to be breast cancer, Farran first suffered crying jags and panic attacks. Shortly after surgery, "I was out with my kids and panicking. We went to a music store, and I got a metronome. Symbolically it was very important. I could set the metronome to whatever speed I wanted, and it reminded me that I could set my life to my own time, fast or slow." Whenever she listened to the metronome, she remembered that it was her choice to reframe and reappraise her life. "It gave a certain meaning to my struggle," she concludes, and it is meaning that helps us regain a sense of control and mastery over our own lives. "You make new choices in life," says Farran. When one goal becomes impossible, the dispositional optimist will find another goal to work toward and bring satisfaction instead.

That ability to reframe life, to find new meaning, is part of an optimistic strategy. "When a crisis strikes," says University of Virginia psychologist Jonathan Haidt, author of The Happiness Hypothesis, "optimists tend to alternate between active coping and reappraisal. If active coping fails to fix the problem, they reappraise the situation, looking for hidden benefits, and, invested with flexibility, write a new chapter for their life." For instance, optimistic patients who received bone-marrow transplants for cancer were able to sustain relationships and re-enter the world more readily than their pessimistic counterparts, largely because they used emotional coping and tried to gain something positive from a generally negative experience. Optimism also predicts whether people will remain actively engaged with life after falling ill. In a study of 250 adults with chronic illnesses such as arthritis and cancer, Farran found that 85 percent had to give up meaningful activities (exercise, gardening, traveling). But the hopeful among them replaced lost activities with new and meaningful ones (playing music, writing, socializing) to remain fulfilled.

The rest of this article

No comments: