April 18, 2015

How to be happy

Yesterday, I read an article that claims acetaminophen depresses emotions. That's right, the little pill known as Tylenol, that is taken by so many and included in over 600 different medicines, may take away your happiness at the same time that it eases your pain.

An optimist would ask, "Is that a good thing?"

I think not would be the answer because, you see, optimism can also take away pain. By visualizing positive outcomes and positive attributes about oneself, a study has concluded that there is a causal link between optimism and lower pain sensitivity.

In layman's terms, we call this hope. Why would someone need or want to take a pill when a positive, hopeful disposition would do as much or more?

Part of the reason might be that pill-popping is an easy, quick fix; however, we must be careful of the long-term effects of any quick fix. What do we give up when we choose instant gratification? There are balances that must be weighed.

Clinical researchers have started to create optimism training for pain intervention. This is a medical solution that may better be conducted by a community solution, namely, participation in social activities. My suggestion is to give a concentrated effort to participate in social activities that are known for their positive ideology. Join an Optimist Club and find others who are working on their positive mental attitudes and eliminating pain every day.

Find out how you can share optimism by joining an Optimist Club in your local community. If there's not a club near you, please contact me and I'll help you start a new Optimist Club in your home town.
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