November 20th, 2009
02:51 PM ET

My resolution – be more positive

By Val Willingham
CNN Medical Producer

As the year 2010 begins to sneak up on us, I am already making a list of my New Year's resolutions. There are the usual promises: eat less, exercise more. But I am also determined to adopt a more positive attitude next year and look at the glass as half full. That’s not always easy, especially during a time when friends are without work and the guy down the street can't make his mortgage payments. For some of us this year, the only thing in the glass has been sludge.

But it's time to change the way we look at things and start to appreciate the good in our everyday lives. And we need to spread that joy by taking care of one another, by being there when times get tough, even when the misfortunes are not ours. We need to think that the housing market will do better, employment rates will go up and peace will make its way into the hearts of our world leaders. We must think positively. Research has shown that if we approach the day with an optimistic view, positive things will happen, not only for the good of the world, but for our own heath.

In a recent study published in the journal "Circulation," researchers found that women who were more positive and had a better attitude had a 16 percent lower risk of having a heart attack. Other studies have proved that people who are happier and look at things with a good attitude have lower blood pressure, sleep better and are more active. Doctors also say being more upbeat helps our immune systems, keeps depression at bay and even gives us the ability to cope when things do get rough.

I am a blessed person. I try never to take my fortune for granted. And I try to live by the Golden Rule. But from time to time, when a driver cuts me off, or a clerk messes up an order, I can get irritated – and at times, rather nasty. So next year, instead of slinging terse words at the motorist next to me, or being snippy when checking out at a store, I will try to take a step back, take a deep breath and let it go. I will try to be better to my fellow men and women and lift them up instead of dressing them down. Yes, it's been tough recently, but as we enter into a time of giving thanks, consider all the wonderful things we have in our lives. They may add up to more than we realized. And that’s the most positive thing of all.

Do you are agree?

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.