When it comes to my energy level, I often feel as if I’m trying to cook a banquet over a tea light. The juice is just not THERE, which is typical of my old pal, hypothyroidism. On the tread desk, I don’t march, I trudge. All the memes exhorting me to get to the gym, lose the weight, go paleo, go clean, drink water (but not from plastic bottles), avoid carbs (avoid more carbs! avoid all carbs!), strike me as fine ideas, but executing them takes energy.
Instead of cursing the darkness (though heaven knows I have the energy for that), I scrounge around for what I can do. For the smallest steps I can take in the direction of better health and more energy.
Like managing my sleep. Pretty much every prescription for better health is doomed if it’s not based on adequate rest. I can do this one! Or learning New Stuff, because this is one way to protect the old brain from Alzheimer’s. I can learn new stuff! Or making time for my friendships–very important for overall health and happiness.
Something else that has been proven to aid longevity is optimism, having hopes and dreams instead of noshing constantly on worries and disappointments. Looking on the bright side, acknowledging that silver linings can be beautiful. Associating with bright-side people (commenters represent!), avoiding the click-bait horror stories that pollute so much of what passes for social media.
Optimistic people have longer life expectancies. Optimistic people with HIV have better prognoses than do HIV patients of a grimmer nature. Optimistic people recover from surgeries and other physical traumas more quickly.
There’s further evidence that you can even be wrong in your optimism–you’re not as healthy as you think, not as likely to succeed as you think–and your positive outlook still benefits your overall health. You feel better than your lab reports think you should, in other words.
I love my life. I’m so stinkin’ lucky to be able to do something I love, much less to be able to pay the bills doing it. I can spend my free time as I please, my health is good enough that none of my dreams are precluded by medical issues. Yes, there are challenges, and thank heavens for them, because they help me keep growing.
I want to do what I can to keep this joyride going. Turns out, one of the most powerful steps I can take is to foster a positive attitude about myself, my future, and my fellow wayfarers. Maybe the meek will inherit the earth, but the jolly will have good long turn enjoying it too.
Where do you see grounds for optimism? To one commenter, I’ll send a signed copy of Too Scot to Handle, a tale that draws upon much optimism to reach its happily ever after, even optimism in the face of disaster!