You may have noticed I like to gather inspirational quotes and post them on my Facebook and Twitter feeds. I love them, I admit it. So while I was posting a collection of these gems one cloudy day I suddenly realised how differently I felt after reading them. I was lighter, more positive, looking forward to the day and optimistic for the future. Perhaps it really was true:
I'd been catching a healthy attitude from reading inspiring quotes. And the likes of Tom Stoppard and friends had been the carriers.
What lifts you up?
This got me thinking about the things that lift us up, the things that inspire us every day. My dad was a motivational speaker of sorts. Charismatic, complementary, he always knew the right words to pick you up and make you feel good. It's those sorts of people you remember because of how they make you feel. A ray of sunshine. Thanks, Dad.
Feeding your mind with compliments, beauty, inspired ideas can only be helpful. Perhaps even on a global scale, if Tom Stoppard is right and these things are contagious. It's a simple experiment, but observe for example the number of smiles you receive on a pleasant, sunny day – even better if it's a holiday. The magic of the day is intoxicating and it's almost impossible to feel otherwise infected. The reflection of happiness from person to person is so uplifting.
The way you feel can affect your health
I can't say I've always felt inspired in positive ways. Dark thoughts inspire self-blame, guilt, irritability and crankiness which unfortunately still spills over into the environment. Waking up on the wrong side of the bed, if you can't shake it, can lead to a really shitty day. And it's exhausting.
If you've ever been to that place where you can feel your blood pulsing through your head – quite literally like you're going to blow your top with anger, you can easily see the wisdom in this quote. Science backs up the mind-body connection with not-so-great impacts for cardiovascular disease in particular. Blaming others for your anger is statistically even worse apparently with the research finding this type of anger is
associated with a 31% increased risk of heart disease in both sexes.Curated from Anger Expression and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease: Evidence From the Nova Scotia Health Survey
So if anger makes you sick, feeling happy fosters health? Seems like the obvious conclusion. I love a feel-good movie, a touching biography, being in nature, time with good friends and family, a positive quote. This all inspires me to feel the way I want to feel – compassionate, optimistic, kind. What about you? What inspires you to feel the way you want to feel?