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Dr. Noelle Nelson

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Want a Happier, Healthier, More Successful 2013 at Work and Home? Become an Optimist.

Malibu, CA, January 08, 2013 --( Before trying to conquer any of your New Year’s resolutions, becoming an optimist should be your first and most important new choice for 2013, says Dr. Noelle Nelson, author of The Power of Appreciation and Make More Money By Making Your Employees Happy.

"The excitement of the holidays are over and life has returned to the mundane. You might be wondering what will make 2013 different from 2012," says Nelson. "Here’s a radical suggestion: be more optimistic."

Studies show that being optimistic affects the way we live. Research from Yale University found that being optimistic adds an additional 7.6 years on average to our lives, which is more than low blood pressure, low cholesterol, healthy weight and regular exercise. From the Harvard School of Public Health, study results are similar: the most optimistic people had 50 percent less risk of a first heart attack when compared with the least optimistic.

"Other studies show optimists experience significantly less stress, less depression, and heal faster than pessimists," notes Nelson. "Not only that, but optimists outperform their own abilities. You may be good at something, but if you’re an optimist, you’ll be better at it. No matter what you undertake, you’ll experience more success and joy by the simple decision to become an optimist."

Nelson offers these tips to becoming more optimistic.

Work Satisfaction: Focus on what is working, rather than on what is not.

If you are not getting along with your boss, instead of focusing on the negatives, look at the situation with a new lens. Is your boss getting the job done? If the boss is new, does it look like he is trying to manage well? If so, cut your boss some slack. Meanwhile, look for ways to maximize your skills and your contributions to the company.

Job Security: Play the “what if” game--but with a positive spin.

We all play the “what if” game, but for the most part, we play it negatively. For example, take a common concern: “What if I get fired?” which usually leads to “What if I can’t get a new job?" Panic sets in, and with that, your stress increases as your ability to think clearly and make good decisions goes downhill.

Play the “what if” game in a hopeful direction: “If I get fired, I have a good skill set. I’ve learned a lot at this job and I’ve made new connections. I’m sure I can parlay some of that into a new situation. Meanwhile, I’ll put some extra effort into my current position so I’m not so dispensable.”

Home Life: Reminisce constructively.

Most of us, when faced with a situation we don’t like, reminisce destructively. We think of the bad things that have happened, how awful it felt and how hard it was to get back on track. For example, how hard it was to blend your family with his, or how annoying your in-laws are.

Instead, reminisce constructively. Find the positive. It may be that his and your kids are getting along better now, finding their footing within the family with fewer emotional disasters. Or, about how your in-laws made an effort over the holidays to be less critical. Deliberately think about all the good things that have happened. It will be surprisingly easy to change gloom into optimism.

"There are no downsides to becoming an optimist," says Nelson. "No nasty side effects, nothing that warrants disclaimers or fine print of any kind. Be an optimist and enjoy a simply fabulous 2013 at work and at home."

For more optimism-producing suggestions, go to Nelson's blog, or follow her on and
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Dr. Noelle Nelson
Diane Rumbaugh

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