Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Positive Attitude and Health

In the book, Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, we learn about Louie Zamparini, a man who miraculously cheated death more than once. He survived for 48 days on a raft in the Pacific Ocean after his plane went down during World War II. He then suffered from hunger, beatings and deplorable conditions as a prisoner of war in Japan and he overcame post traumatic stress syndrome and alcoholism when he finally returned to the U.S. In Unbroken, Hillenbrand discusses Louie's positive attitude and how it helped him endure monumental challenges. The medical world concurs with her consensus that positive thinking can really contribute to survival, keep you healthier, increase longevity and make you successful at whatever you choose to do. How do we get there?

The AARP has listed six ways that will automatically improve your attitude. In a nutshell, they are:
  • Get a pet
  • Laugh
  • Help Others
  • Listen to Music 
  • Spend time in Nature
  • Tai Chai (Yes. I did say Tai Chai.)   
The good news is there are simple ways to incorporate all of these into our lives, although I'm not so sure about Tai Chai. I think it's pretty complex. We'll explore these life enhancers over the next few weeks.
You may be wondering whatever happened to Louie Zamparini. He's 94, lives in Southern California and refuses to concede much to old age according to the Wall Street Journal. He still works a couple of hours each day in the yard of his Hollywood Hills home, bagging leaves, climbing stairs and, on occasion, trimming trees with a chainsaw. His outlook is reported to be upbeat, even rambunctious.

"I have a cheerful countenance at all times," Zamparini says. "When you have a good attitude your immune system is fortified."

I included this book trailer on an earlier post, but it's worth repeating:


  1. Hi, Peggy. Love that list - nuts about our dogs and cats, love hiking in the woods (esp. in Adirondacks!), LOVE to laugh, crazy about Chopin and lots of other music, and helping others just feels right. I guess for me I'd replace the last item with writing. Just makes me feel whole and satisfied. ;o)

  2. Tai Chai doesn't do it for me either. I got this list from the AARP recommendations of ways to stay positive. As far as writing goes, I have a severe case of the novel flu. I've started writing and just can't stop. I love it.