You’ve read plenty of hard-times headlines. Heck, you’ve probably seen some hard times yourself. If you’re not unemployed or having trouble paying the mortgage, we bet you know someone who is.
Well, take a deep breath and don’t let tough setbacks do you in. When life hands you a lemon, forget making lemonade. We’ve found three newly proven ways to help make each day better and get your life back on track.
1. Give it a positive twist. Experts call it “positive reframing.” Translation: Whatever hits the fan, look for the upside. Blame games and fault-finding won’t fix anything. In fact, they’ll make you old fast. Yep, one key to successful aging lies in tapping that positive frame of mind as often as possible. Lost your job? Determine to find a new one with a shorter commute. Burned the dinner? Whole-grain cereal and berries splashed with no-fat milk is quick, delish and slimmer.
2. Accept what happened. Not so easy? Try this: Acknowledge the problem, but add an upbeat mantra, like: “Change presents opportunity. Seize it!” Not only does repetition work (positive reinforcement), but if you make it a habit to see the glass as half-full, you’ll be 30 percent less likely to develop heart disease!
3. Inject some humor. Laughing helps by decreasing stress hormones and boosting your immune system. So turn on a funny movie, or go to YouTube and watch videos of babies or cats doing crazy things. (Never gets old.) Go on, yuk it up. Get ready for life’s next adventure.
OK, it’s no news flash that blueberries are nutritious. They’ve been high on our shopping list since we wrote “YOU: On a Diet,” and they’re regular “guests” on Dr. Oz’s show. Lately they’ve been getting more good press than a presidential contender (not hard!). If you were choosing just one fruit to eat every day, a big handful of blueberries — fresh or frozen — would be hard to beat. Why?
They make high blood pressure take a nosedive. Eating blueberries daily for just eight weeks can drop your blood pressure by 4 percent to 6 percent. That’s a lot. Even more impressive, it works on people in big health trouble: obese adults with metabolic syndrome, a scary group of risk factors that invites heart disease and diabetes. The “dose”: about 2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries. Just put a bunch on your cereal, and snack on the rest. (BTW, more than just blueberries are blood pressure-friendly. Cranberries, strawberries and raspberries help, too.)
The YOU Docs — Mehmet Oz, host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen of Cleveland Clinic — are the authors of “YOU: Losing Weight.” For more information go to www.RealAge.com.