Today sets you up for tomorrow. So if we set up poorly, tomorrow will have more challenges than needed. Simple thought, but something I had not overtly considered until now. Since I know that all activities have two components -- the actions to be taken and the attitude when taking action, it should be easy to sort. So what does it mean to set up for tomorrow? Is it the actions I need to line up, or the attitude I plan to have? I believe it is more the attitude than the activities planned.
Here is what I want for tomorrow. I want it to be productive with a minimum of stress. I want it to be interesting and not boring. I want it to make me feel I have accomplished something. I want to enjoy the day! If living today is a test for a greater tomorrow, then I need to do something to make it so, right? So what do I do to set up tomorrow for success?
As my attitude is important, then I need to be able to make attitude adjustments today if things go wrong. I need to not grumble when taking on an onerous task. Why? I am told that negative thoughts, including grumbling, affect our body chemistry. Instead of positive hormones that make us feel positive and in good spirits, we get bathed with negative hormones that cause us to feel down or depressed. I also understand that chronic negativity will have an adverse effect on our physiology and ultimately result in physical ailments and disease.
Here is the chemistry around why it is better to be positive than negative. If our day is causing us to fight for what we are doing, then our fight or flight hormone (adrenaline) is released from our sympathetic nervous system. Accompanying adrenaline is norepinephrine that causes hyper-awareness, shifting blood to muscles. Additionally the stress hormone, cortisol, is released from the adrenal gland. If we stew on a problem and cortisol levels remain high, serious health problems may ensue -- suppressed immunity, increased blood pressure, increased blood sugar, decreased libido, and more.
We know that exercise makes us ultimately feel good. When you exercise regularly, you will increase positive hormones, such as endorphins and serotonin. Endorphins reduce anxiety and pain and serotonin increases a sense of well-being.
OK, then I need to see the positive no matter the circumstance! Being grateful for things; laugh more; seeing all experiences, good or bad, as learning, not penalizing; looking for the positive in the midst of negatives; and only taking on fights (figurative, of course) truly worth fighting for. Try the following self-talk. Say ALL IS WELL regardless of the circumstance! This tells your spirit that this is a prophetic vision, tells your mind that you expect a positive resolution, and keeps the negative hormones at bay.
Here's the bottom line. Our state of mind DOES make a difference on how we will feel and behave. The chemicals released in our body are real and will truly affect the way we feel and act. Thus we need to set ourselves up for a great and glorious day tomorrow by staying on the positive side today! It also means that, together with attitude, exercise is an important factor for a great tomorrow!
© Dr. Baldwin H. Tom CMC, FIMC