December 7


Choosing the Positive

By Sue Ingebretson

December 7, 2010

Emotional Wellness, Gratitude Book, power of positive thinking

Did you know that how we deal with past issues is a great indicator of our physical well-being? Those who dwell on the negative side of things are generally in poorer health. Consider this: the mind is so powerful, that it cannot differentiate between an actual event and an event that is vividly imagined. Isn’t that amazing?

That means if we frequently remember (or imagine) a negative scenario, say a horrific accident, we will not only re-live that event in our minds, we will re-live that event in our bodies. We’ll experience an increased heart rate and an adrenaline rush. The heightened sense of alert will focus our resources on our muscles, lungs, and heart while taking away focus from functions such as digestion.

The bottom line is that living in the past prevents us from experiencing the present.

Of course, re-living experiences isn’t all bad. What about re-living a positive experience such as a fond memory of a family event? If you vividly imagine that event, you’ll flood your body with “happy” hormones such as serotonin (produced during the day) and melatonin (produced at night) while increasing your general sense of well-being. Not a bad idea!

Choosing to live and re-live in the positive rather than the negative is a powerful way to help rebuild and restore your health. I discuss this topic quite a bit in Chapters 7 and 8 of my book, FibroWHYalgia ( I love to share ideas on how our thinking affects how we feel because that discovery played a vital role in my own healing process.

So, we’ve discussed in this post how the mind powerfully governs our health, but what about other factors of influence? Everything we see, read, hear, and even smell has a profound impact on us. Choosing TV programming that’s positive (or better yet, no TV at all) can improve our mood. Healing smells such as fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, and some essential oils can facilitate health improvements. Listening to positive radio stations and/or CDs can put us in a healthy frame of mind and then there’s the power of reading a good book….

That leads me right into my next subject! Earlier this fall, I caught wind of a project that I just knew I had to be a part of. My good friend, Donna Kozik decided to create a book that is focused on one of my favorite subjects: GRATITUDE!

This book entitled, The Gratitude Book Project: Celebrating 365 Days of Gratitude will be released very soon. I’m fortunate to be a contributing author and look forward to seeing the book in print. In order to strengthen sales numbers, we’re asking that purchases of this lovely book be made on one particular day. I’ll post that important launch date on Facebook and twitter just as soon as it’s announced. It should be in just a week or two. For now, you can check it out on Amazon ( but we ask that you refrain from ordering until the book launch date.

This book contains – just as it states – 365 days of personal stories about gratitude. The subjects vary as wildly as the authors/contributors. Because this is a grass roots project, we’ll need all the help we can get with promotion, marketing, and recommendations. That’s where you come in! Please talk it up to your friends, family, co-workers and be a book buzz starter! I’ll have more details soon including a list of the wonderful international charities that the sales of this book will profit. Please keep this worthwhile project in your thoughts and prayers as we head toward Christmas.

Reading The Gratitude Book Project should be a prescription for all who wish to shift their mental focus toward the positive side of life.

Stay tuned for more information to follow!

(Official icon for contributing author and ambassador of The Gratitude Book Project. If the icon doesn’t appear in this post, I’m sorry!)

  1. Like you I am thrilled to be a contributing author to this awesome project! Gratitude changes lives and this book will change many, many lives for the better!

    Speaking of gratitude… I am indebted to you for letting me know about this project. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

    1. Dear Petie’s Pam 😉 I’m just glad you happened to pop into my twitter stream as I was writing my submission. It made me think of you and wonder if you were interested. I look forward to reading your submission!

  2. I too can feel a difference in my body whenever I think on a negative event and I have learned to think upon something else in order to feel better. You educated me when I read your book. I wish Donna great success with her book on gratitude. This is a much needed topic in everyone’s life; especially these days with the economy the way it is.

  3. Hello Sue. Great post & very valuable information. I don’t think enough is said about the value of “NOT” thinking negatively. When someone lingers in the shadows of their tougher life moments too long, they re-visit the feelings and energy that caused that event to be so tragic. It definitely affects their health– negatively! So here’s to emphasizing the positive and moving forward. I’m with you there! (My Learn How to Heal Membership course teaches people how to do this. It takes a lot of courage to move on because it means moving away from the pain and anguish you know into the spooky unknown that you don’t know… . That’s not so bad; it just ‘feels’ scary.) :-)) Cinda Crawford

    1. Cinda — you’re so right! People are often confused when you make the point that even if things are bad, it feels “safe” to stay there because it’s the “known” rather than the “unknown.” Change is uncomfortable, but when we’re headed toward a healthier path, it’s so worth it! Thanks!

  4. “if we frequently remember (or imagine) a negative scenario, say a horrific accident, we will not only re-live that event in our minds, we will re-live that event in our bodies. We’ll experience an increased heart rate and an adrenaline rush.”

    Sue – Agreed. Reliving stressful thoughts or having stressful experiences affect the body and mind.
    Many times have powered through high stress experiences on auotmatic survival mode and just kept going. Afterwards feeling wrung out, traumatized, still keeping going and not resting. Especially during the holidays. Am remembering to stop when I’m feeling mildly run down, not full blown on empty. This has helped me from getting sick – the body’s way of saying – OK – you won’t stop on your own? Watch this. 🙂

    P.S. Can’t wait to read your gratitude book submission.

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