With all that’s going on in our nation and world politically and then weather fears and money issues, it’s many times difficult to stay positive. It’s difficult to not let the weight of the world impact our own outlook for the day.

I firmly believe that keeping a positive attitude helps our health as well as our strength to cope with the day in and day out stresses. We also know that stress not only increases cortisol which impacts weight and weight management. It also impacts how well we sleep. We know absolutely that stress contributes to blood pressure issues as well as makes diabetes much more difficult to control.

As a physician I am always trying to find ways for my patients as well as myself to live healthier lives. Reducing stress is a major way to make a healthier lifestyle possible. Reducing stress is accomplished in many ways but I find, for myself, maintaining an attitude of gratitude and saying positive is my best way to not fixate on things I can’t do anything about anyway.

I tell my staff when they answer the phone that the person on the other end can hear your smile. They know if you are just doing your job or if you really enjoy it. They also say fake it until you make it.. so smile even when you don’t necessarily feel like it. I’m not really advocating hypocrisy but rather claiming your own state of being. I choose to remain happy. I choose to keep a sense of humor. I desire to maintain positive relationships.

Even if you are having a difficult time being grateful at the moment I will reassure you it is something that, like a muscle, gets easier with practice. Start with things that are obvious. Then start digging for things, even if they seem silly, to be grateful for. Practice it every day. A smile goes a long way in changing someone else’s day which in turn chances your day. I’m grateful for each of you in my life and practice. I’m even grateful for those difficult situations or complaints because they give me a chance to become better. I’m hoping each of us can find something to smile about today.

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