Positive thinking, getting rid of those automatic negative thoughts, and the benefits of Pollyanna-ism, are all part today’s show. We’re going to look at how you can have that positive mindset to help you survive and prosper no matter what life throws at you.

There are countless examples of people throughout history who had physical, mental, or emotional struggles in life, but instead of letting it define them, and keep them down, they used the opportunities that arose from those afflictions to help others. The following inspirational stories are mentioned in this podcast:

Charles Dodgson, AKA Lewis Carroll, author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. “And so you have found out that secret—one of the deep secrets of Life—that all, that is really worth the doing, is what we do for others?” Lewis Carroll

Let’s Reverse Obesity Podcast   In this podcast, John Bukenas takes you with him on his journey through weight loss. Many of us struggle with our weight due to poor diet, lack of exercise, slow metabolism, or a combination of this and more. Sean Webb from the I AM Intellectual Spirituality podcast, and that conversation will really make you think twice about why you feel the way you do about yourself. I encourage you to listen to it. Sean says “understanding our emotions gives us back control over our entire lives.” It’s found in episode #18 of the Let’s Reverse Obesity podcast.

Dr. Peale and Positive ThinkingPosThinkrdcd

Minister and author Dr. Norman Vincent Peale had a strong message in his book, The Power of Positive Thinking.

Positive quotes from Dr. Norman Vincent Peale:

  • “Optimism, when applied to your life, develops strength and peace within you.”
  • “When you wholeheartedly adopt a ‘with all your heart’ attitude and go all out with the positive principle, you can do incredible things.”
  • “The person who sends out positive thoughts activates the world around him positively and draws back to himself positive results.”

How to Get Rid of “A.N.T.s” (Automatic Negative Thoughts)

If you let these automatic negative thoughts control your emotions, then you are likely to follow with a negative action. Maybe that action is a negative response to someone you’re talking to. Maybe it’s eating something unhealthy. Or taking something unhealthy. Maybe your negative thoughts are telling you that you’re not good enough, smart enough, sharp enough, or—- they don’t want to listen to you. In any case those ANTS invading your mind, those Automatic Negative Thoughts, are keeping you from living the finest life you can have. Two ways to take control of negative thoughts are exercise and reconditioning the mind to think positively.

Pollyanna-ism and the Power of Thinking Positively

A positive mood is an important predictor of health and longevity. People with a positive mood have been shown to live longer than their negative-thinking peers.

Pollyanna-ism”; Always finding something to be glad about despite the circumstances.  Pollyanna, written by Eleanor H. Porter. The title character’s name became a popular term for someone with the same optimistic outlook. In it, an orphaned ten year old girl changes the lives of those around her. 

“Those who spread sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.” Sir James Barrie

Uncovering your Positive Attitude

Life isn’t full of bright yellow smiley faces and the “thumbs-up” sign. If you get to know someone well enough, you will find a past or present pain that they talk about quietly.  So where is the positive in all of this? The positive is in our mind. The changes we want to take place in our lives are already inside us. Allowing those changes to take root and grow begins with a positive mindset. You can do it!

Please leave me a comment or question, or if you have listened to the podcast in iTunes, please support me by leaving a review. Thank you so much for joining me today, and remember, when you look for the positive in any situation, you are not just being optimistic, you are re-training your brain and becoming a healthier you.

Until next time friend,
—stay positive!!!!

Disclaimer Please Note: Any information provided at the Positively Life After Fifty website, or in the podcasts, is strictly for informational and entertainment purposes only. Be sure to talk to your health care professional before changing any of your medical treatment or before starting any exercising program.

Positively Life After Fifty is a division of New Vision Podcast Co. No part may be copied or reproduced in any form.  All Rights Reserved


Life After Fifty – New Beginnings- Changes, Choices, and Challenges

Welcome to the premier podcast of an informative, inspiring series for those of us in our forties, fifties and beyond. In this episode, you will meet the host, Connie Minnell,  and look at the choices and challenges we are met with at this age. The two points discussed are: “The only guarantee in life is change, how you respond to it is your choice.” and “Find unusual ways to stay positive – like going OUTSIDE your comfort zone.”


Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. ~Abraham Lincoln

“have a purpose — your family, your work, your community. There may be no better longevity booster than simply wanting to be here. You have one life; it makes sense to love living it.” Dr. Mehmet Oz

Links mentioned in the show:

Changing Course: Navigating Life After Fifty      book by William A. Sadler, Ph.D. and James H. Krefft, Ph.D.

MSNBC anchor Dylan Ratigan gives up fame and fortune to become a farmer     Mother Nature Network article on Dylan Ratigan

Living Long and Living Well         Dr.   Mehmet Oz’s Article



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001 The Healing Influence of Nature

by Connie on July 3, 2013

in Blog, Podcasts

Episode 001-The Healing Influence of Nature.  Nature, and images of nature, have been proven to promote a healthier life. The National Parks are spotlighted, and I’ll have a surprise inspirational story for our first episode. My favorite, time saving app of the month, called “POCKET” is discussed.

(I encourage you to listen to the podcast above, as more is mentioned than can be included here.)

Landscape and nature images are proven to aid in healilng.

Landscape and nature images are proven to aid in healing.

If you have the “POCKET” app installed on your computer or tablet, all you have to do is click on the little picture of a pocket up in your browser bar to save that special article you don’t have time to read right now.

Then, in the evening or on the weekend when you have more time, you can open up POCKET and there are all the articles waiting for you in neat little pockets, lined up neatly like your “Pinterest” boards.

Whenever I do have time to go check out my articles saved in POCKET, I can look at them with a fresh perspective, and decide if they realy are worth my time to read. If not, I can delete it and read the other articles I’ve saved.

The great thing is, it also works on your smart-phone, so if your waiting in a doctors office, you can read the articles YOU want to read and not the the old dog-eared magazines in the waiting room.

Sunbeam on a Pond at Dusk

Sunbeam on a Pond at Dusk

“I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we only will tune in.” George Washington Carver

Our culture with all its advances, is unable to fill the one void that is growing in this fast paced world. Time spent outdoors enjoying nature.

Nearly 200 million people in America are living with limited exposure to nature.

With stress levels increasing and eleven percent of Americans aged 12 years and over take antidepressant medication, where are we headed?

In a recent Stress in America survey, people ages 18-33 had the highest levels of stress. The report said these adults felt they weren’t equipped to manage their stress well.

Now the good news:
–Nature alleviates the impact of life stress and helps us deal with adversity. The greater the amount of nature exposure, the greater the benefits.

Children who learn to solve problems during free play outdoors are more likely to have the tools to handle the daily stress in their lives better. In fact multiple studies have been done on the importance of introducing children to nature.

Author and advocate Richard Louv wrote a book on it a few years ago that started a movement,
The book is called Last Child in the Woods, and the term he coined in that book is “nature-deficit-disorder”. Since then, he has had adults tell him that they need it too (nature), so he then wrote, The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of the Nature Deficit Disorder.

Hospitals and clinics are replacing the art in their waiting rooms with photographs and paintings of landscapes and other natural scenes. Their taking down the portraits and abstract art. In fact, abstract art has been shown to actually INCREASE anxiety in people.

Patients who are ill are not as comforted by abstract art, many prefer the positivism and state of calm created by the blues and greens of landscape and nature scenes instead.

Distraction therapy with nature sights and sounds has been found to significantly reduced pain in patients.

If your looking for a way to bring a more calming environment into your work place or home, try putting up some photographs of landscapes, simple things, like choosing the calming colors of blues and greens when decorating,

I’ve been using blues and greens in my classroom for years, and even eight year old children have told me that it makes the room look more calm and peaceful.

Remember, when people feel peaceful, they feel safe. When they feel safe, they feel more secure.

When you feel more secure, you feel more able to take on new things, learn new things, take on new challenges, all because you have that lifeline, that peaceful place you know you return to to feel safe.

And its not just America, and its not just the colors around you, but also the sights and sounds of nature that bring on that feeling of security.

People all over the world are learning the benefits of spending time outdoors.

In Japan they have a healthy pastime called forest bathing. A forest bathing trip, called Shinrin-yoku in Japanese, is similar to hiking. It’s a short, leisurely visit to a forest and is regarded as being similar to natural aromatherapy.

You may not be able to travel and see new landscapes, but instead I’m asking you to travel your favorite old path with new eyes, finding that great view and linger a bit longer. Take a few deep breaths, listen with new clarity and the sounds of nature, disregarding the sounds of traffic or voices that may be nearby.


I’m a Christian, but what ever your religion or faith, if you believe that there is a higher power, don’t you feel closer to this greater power when you are looking up at the vast sky above you?

When you feel part of a greater whole, you realize that you aren’t responsible for everything that happens in life.

It doesn’t matter what your level of education, talent, or skill is. You can help yourself and help enrich the lives of others when you become more aware of the importance of nature in our lives.

“Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.” Henry Van Dyke

As I have been reading stories of renewal and re-careering for people in midlife, I came to recognize that people who make changes after living for years in the same life patterns, have much of the same things in common. For one thing, these people take chances and try new things. They also realize that life is not about the “what”, it’s about the “who”.

That led me to realize that the person I wanted to spotlight this week is you. For being brave, and wanting to make changes in your life, for wanting to look at the positive side of things, I celebrate you.


The National Park system in the US has millions of visitors from around the world every day.

Shelton Johnson, a Ranger at Yosemite National Park in California, cares deeply about getting people interested in National parks.

This link below will take you to on outstanding short video featuring Yosemite National Park in California, and the story of the “Buffalo Soldiers.”

The Way Home: Returning to the National Parks from NPCA on Vimeo.

Links and other resources can also be found on the Resources tabs at the top of this webpage.

Get the Pocket App

The Nature Principle

Impact of visual art in patient waiting rooms

Books on nature deficit disorder by Richard Louv

The Children and Nature Network

The Nature Rocks website with activites for kids

The National Parks

National Parks Podcasts

Explore the National Parks in the United States