IT'S NOT LUCK, IT'S SCIENCE
Updated: Oct 13, 2019
The white heavy blanket and fluffy duvet laid over me like a warm cloud protecting me from the coldness of the morning.
My face laid in-between my two pillows with tousled hair covering my eyes and the birds chirped loudly while playing on the tree branches outside. The sun beaming through my window told me that it was Saturday. This equated in my head immediately as: No pressing need to jump out of bed quickly. So I laid underneath the warmth and grace of my waking. "All I aspire to do today is write." I thought to myself. But first... coffee.
Yes of course I can make coffee at home but the act in which I retrieve a fresh, hot coffee from my local coffee shop brings such a revitalizing method to my morning. To feel the brisk cold winter morning on my face as I walk to my car is refreshing and to have my first spoken words of the day be, "good morning" to a friendly stranger brings something so positive to my mood. As I left the coffee shop with my fresh cup of hot coffee I noticed the beautiful blue of the sky and appreciated how positive my mood felt. I took a moment to sit on a bench and to enjoy the warm sun juxtaposed with the crisp air. I thought,
"My ability to feel such a strong burst of optimism this morning brings light to the fact that I've been carrying a lot of anger and resentment around with me lately."
Sure the thoughts that I've allowed recently to weigh heavily on my mind should be acknowledged but what I find even more useful is the acknowledgment behind why my mood has shifted so dramatically within only approximately two days. Physiologically, how can we effectively change our mood and thoughts to be more positive?
Optimism and a good mood is not luck - it's science.
Therefore, in answering this question, I need to pay attention to how I've been treating my body within this past week. These keynotes will allow guidance towards better answering the question - How did I create my positive mood?
So we're speaking physiologically, right? Before grabbing my cup of coffee, I drank 16 ounces of purified spring water, squeezed the juice from 1 lemon into about 4 ounces of purified water and then drank a 2 ounce shot comprised of ginger root juice, turmeric root juice, lemon juice and echinacea juice. Pairing this immediate boost of energy on top of an eight hour night of sleep - This is now making more sense why I felt such a rush of positivity this morning. Let's not stop there. I've been exercising within the last month taking kickboxing classes for cardio and Pilates classes to improve the strength of my muscles. And the kicker, last night I treated my body to a one hour Swedish massage, a hot shower and an early night for rest. My morning optimism isn't luck, as I said before, it's pure science.
When we exercise the pituitary gland in the brain releases endorphins. These endorphins are initially released as a response to painful or stressful stimuli which makes sense because when we exercise our bodies we are technically tearing our muscles and causing ourselves temporary pain and discomfort. But the lasting effects of these endorphins have been found to decrease stress, provide euphoric feelings, decrease appetite and improve immune response.
Another chemical that our brain releases during exercise is serotonin which is a natural mood enhancer. Simon N. Young is the editor in chief of the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience. He claims that,
"People with lower levels of serotonin may experience negative physical effects in addition to depressed moods."
Another positive attribute associated with exercise is the brain-derived neurotrophic factor, known as BDNF. This is a neurotransmitter found to be released into the brain when we exercise. This particular chemical has been said to reduce the symptoms of depression.
Hmm interesting.. so what about my massage? I recently read an interesting article written by Candice Reimholz titled, The Science Behind Massage: Why Does It Work? She stated,
[In a study done on people who received a Swedish massage post exercising] "Blood and muscle tissue showed an increase in a gene responsible for mitochondria development. The mitochondria are known for cell growth and energy production."
So my massage not only made me feel super relaxed it also possibly provided additional cell growth and energy production within my muscles.
And finally to conclude the science behind what I ingested pre-coffee moment was the massive intake of purified water and juice shots. Consuming all of these liquids allowed to rehydrate my body after sleeping and gave a boost of healthy vitamins which has been proven to increase the bodys' metabolic rate, enhances immunity, diminishes inflammation, enhances digestion and according to research conducted by Ohio State University, linked lemon juice to positive physical and emotional effects on the brain.
Now it makes sense to me why I woke up feeling better than normal. But there is one more subject that I think links empirically with my positive mood and that is the state of my mental health.
One insight I thought about right after I got my cup of coffee was the realization that my thoughts had turned positive as opposed to the negative thoughts I had been experiencing earlier within the week. I think this, out of everything, is one of the most beneficial attributes that has come from my recent healthy lifestyle. That being - the transition of negative thoughts into positive thoughts. I'm finding that when I have more nutrients, sleep and overall wellness in my life I'm more inclined to, not only, accept the changes I need to make to bring further success into my life but I'm completely willing to make those changes happen as well. When I have a lack of sleep I tend to find myself feeling more like a victim within situations and am less apt to taking responsibility within challenges I'm facing. When I'm not at my healthiest state of mind and body, I have found that I tend to make excuses why certain things have not yet progressed within my life.
When I've taken care of my body and its' health I feel more accepting of challenges and more excited to take risks that will positively promote my life - socially, professionally and personally.
I don't ever want to be the type of person that plays the victim. What a cowardly way to live. If I fail, then what was it that I did wrong? How can I change it to succeed later? If I find achievement then I acknowledge my gratification. I worked hard and deserve my reward. Achievements, optimism, success and a good mood is not luck - it's science.