By Scott D. Miller, MD, MBA
The science is clear—an optimistic attitude will lead to a whole host of health benefits, including better cardiovascular health, lower risk of stroke, easier weight control, a stronger immune system, healthier blood pressure, improved blood sugar levels, better exercise tolerance, enhanced sexual performance and lower incidence of depression and anxiety disorders.
Although we cannot always control the events around us, we can control the way we react. So, how do we change our outlook? Like any worthwhile endeavor, practice and commitment are essential. Here are some helpful tips:
Be prepared—Have a plan in place for when you’re faced with challenges.
Identify—Recognize negative triggers, particularly those that recur regularly.
Create perspective—Isolate negative events so that they don’t define your day.
Avoid avoidance—Take action to mitigate unpleasant tasks rather than hoping that they resolve on their own.
Validate your feelings—It’s ok to react negatively to stress. Understanding these feelings is the first step to modifying your response the next time.
Make a “good thought” list—See “My Good Thought List” above. Use this list as a toolbox for reframing those situations that you are unable to change.
Try to smile more—The mere act of smiling can make you feel better.
The primitive part of our brain—the brainstem—is motivated by seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. By consciously managing our feelings, we can improve our resiliency, mental health and physical well-being. Look for my article on “A Men’s Health Declaration of Independence” in the next issue.
My Good Thought List
- I am helping a lot of people right now.
- This is a great learning opportunity.
- Actually, I’m really good at this.
- I can do anything for two hours.
- Not many people have this cool of a job.
- Boy, I’m going to sleep good tonight!
- I feel needed.
- I have a kind heart.
Scott D. Miller, MD, MBA, is Wellstar’s Medical Director of Urology and of Robotic Surgery. He has practiced in Atlanta for over 20 years and sees patients at Wellstar Urology in Roswell, Wellstar North Fulton Hospital and Wellstar Avalon Health Park.
Wellstar North Fulton Hospital offers the Know Your Heart Screening that can determine your risk of heart disease, stroke, and other serious conditions. Call 770-956-STAR (7827) to learn more or schedule an appointment.
Scott D. Miller, MD, MBA Wellstar North Fulton Hospital
470 956-4230 • www.scottdmillermd.com