There is no longer any doubt that what happens in the brain influences what happens in the body. When facing a health crisis, actively cultivating positive emotions can boost the immune system and counter depression. Studies have shown an indisputable link between having a positive outlook and health benefits like lower blood pressure, less heart disease, better weight control and healthier blood sugar levels. —Brody, NYT

On March 27, 2017, the New York Times’ Personal Health reporter Jane E. Brody wrote about the results of research conducted by Judith T. Moskowitz at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Moskowitz’s research, conducted on people with new diagnoses of H.I.V. infection, as well as people with diabetes and breast cancer focused on a set of 8 skills:

1.     Recognize a positive event each day.

2.     Savor that event and log it in a journal or tell someone about it.

3.     Start a daily gratitude journal.

4.     List a personal strength and note how you used it.

5.     Set an attainable goal and note your progress.

6.     Report a relatively minor stress and list ways to reappraise the event positively.

7.     Recognize and practice small acts of kindness daily.

8.     Practice mindfulness, focusing on the here and now rather than the past or future.

[I highlighted the 4 skills that you learn and practice at]

Participants in Moskowitz’s studies were “encouraged to learn at least three of the eight skills and practice one or more each day.” Dr. Moskowitz observed that people who demonstrated positive emotions lived longer. They consistently made better choices that enhanced their physical and emotional wellbeing.

Link to the article: A Positive Outlook May Be Good for Your Health.