I’ve written many posts about scientific studies, supplements, and other information relating to bone health, but relatively few posts deal with the psychological aspects of building bone.
This doesn’t mean that “bone psychology” is invalid or irrelevant; it’s just that there have been few studies actually conducted on this topic.
But today I have breakthrough information on this that is simply amazing. It has to do with positive psychotherapy (PPT), which in contrast to standard therapy, focuses on positive emotions instead of negative emotions.
Recent research has shown that positive psychotherapy can have a profound effect on your mood and your sense of well-being. By extension, it can also have a significant effect on your bone health, since bone density loss can be triggered by stress and depression.
What’s so astounding is that all it takes is a simple and quick do-it-yourself procedure that anyone can do. It’s called Three Blessings, and it’s been scientifically proven to work.
The best part is that it only takes five minutes, so it’s perfect for extremely busy times of the year such as the holiday season. I’ve been doing this myself for the past couple of weeks, and I can tell you that it’s incredibly helpful.
So I’m truly thrilled to share this information with you today.
The Science of Happiness: Why Three Blessings Works
Researchers were astonished when they discovered how well this mental exercise works. In a 2006 study published in American Psychologist, many of the participants described the effect of positive psychotherapy exercises, which included the Three Blessings, as “life-changing.” 1
Dr. Martin Seligman, who spearheaded this study, is a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds multiple PhDs, and is highly respected among academics and scientists. In 2006, his focus shifted to promoting Positive Psychology, and that same year he conducted the randomly-assigned, placebo-controlled study referred to above. His research showed just how effective certain positive psychotherapy (PPT) exercises are.
This is how the study was set up: 500 thoroughly-tested participants received interventions for mild to moderate depression for one week: three PPT exercises or three placebo exercises. All three PPT exercises worked well, and among them was the Three Blessings exercise.
In an interview describing the study, Dr. Seligman remarked, “I do not think I ever heard the word ‘life-changing’ more often in my 40 years of teaching.” 2
The Three Blessings Exercise in Just Three Simple Steps
This is so simple that you may wonder how it can possibly work. But experience and science tell us that it’s highly effective at relieving depression and stress, both of which are bad for your bones.
Just follow these easy steps:
- In the evening, take a moment to think about your day.
- Find the three most positive things that occurred that day that made you feel happy. They do not have to be big things – maybe someone smiled at you or gave you a compliment. (Of course, big things count too!)
- Write the three things down.
These are the instructions to practice the Three Blessings, and no doubt you’ll find them if you just take a few minutes to reflect.
A Happier, More Relaxed You Means You’ll Have Healthier and Stronger Bones
In the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, I write about the negative effects of cortisol – the “stress hormone” – on your bones. Research has shown that the higher the cortisol levels, the lower the bone density.
So promoting happiness and less stress in your life is a perfect holiday “gift” for your bones. That’s why I want to share the Three Blessings exercise with you today.
I encourage you to take five minutes in the evening to reflect on your three blessings…and who knows? You may find far more than three!
Wishing you a warm and happy holiday season, and a Merry Christmas!
1 Seligman, Martin E. P., Rashid, Tayyab, and Parks, Acacia C. “Positive Psychotherapy.” American Psychologist. November 2006. https://www.ppc.sas.upenn.edu/positivepsychotherapyarticle.pdf
2 Seligman, Martin. “Staying happier for longer.” BBC News. May 9, 2006. Web. https://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/happiness_formula/4903464.stm
Comments on this article are closed.
Hello and Happy New Year Vivian
I found your site whilst searching through the internet for advice on how to treat Osteoporosis. I purchased your book and am waiting for it to arrive..I am keen to learn more about ‘saving my bones’.
I was recently diagnosed with severe osteoporosis of my spine and have been referred to a Specialist whom I will see this week. My GP, in the meantime, has put me on HRT although I hate taking it particularly as I did not need it during menopause. I am 57 years of age and have always been pretty fit, so when diagnosed with severe osteoporosis I was quite shocked.
I asked myself what have I done that is different in the last couple of years to develop such low bone density and the only thing i can think of is that I injected Clexane (blood thinners). I developed a DVT after breaking my fifth metatarsal playing tennis. (I was not wearing the correct tennis shoes, hence my foot rolled over).
I now wonder whether Clexane could have caused my bones to deteriorate so rapidly?
Thank you for caring.
Jan – Australia
Love the concept, the simple approach and the whole idea of combining the mental and emotional aspects of physical well-being! Bravo!
Dear Vivian I love the Three Blessings. I have been a little bit depress, –I don’t even want to mention neither write the word– by knowing that I have Osteoporosis. But you are helping me a lot with all your knowledge.
Thanks so much!
Thank you for the Three Blessings exercise. I copied it, purchased several small notebooks and gave them to all my daughters in law and granddaughters for Christmas. I would have given it to my sons, but thought the girls would be more likely to use it. Their response was positive. I am using the exercise since Christmas day and loving it. How wonderful to go to sleep with gratitude in my heart.
Thank you your good idea, today, I get 3 blessings.
1. I received your books.
2.The tips for the 3 meals.
3. May you and the save our bones community have happy holidays.
Re: TrueOsteo Bone Support
I have always measured how calcium supplements affect my bone health by my finger nails. When first taking TrueOsteo, I noticed my nails started to break after 2 wks. I quit taking it after 1 bottle to test it by going back on the liquid-filled store brand OC capsules you don’t recommend. My nails inproved so after a few months went back on TrueOsteo & in 2 weeks, my long nails are all broken off again.Doubt it is just MY problem. I am curious if others have complained. Now I have to discard (expensive) bottles of TrueOsteo that I have left that do more harm than good. I hope you do extensive research re: this product’s effectiveness I remain a faithful follower. I rarely comment but this bugs me.
I would like to know if you have received other comments from using TrueOsteo.
I was planning to start this product. Now i am not sure.
Thank you Vivian for this wonderful reminder that we must count our blessings! So simple and so gratifying and effective.wish you a joyous and peaceful Christmas season. God bless you.
This is not about the blessings (which are great) but I’ve just had an abnormal blood test for PTH (parathyroid) high reading of 73 & now I have to go to an endocrinologist. I’m already on Synthroid for my thyroid which is in normal range. Does anyone know about the parathyroid gland? Thanks…
I had a parathyroid removed at the Norman Parathyroid Center in Tampa, Florida in 2009. They are THE experts in this surgery. I am from Ohio, but it was one of the smartest things I have ever done. There is a video about removing your parathyroid on the internet. All you have to do is fill out their paperwork with all your blood test results and your symptoms and they can tell if you are a candidate for the surgery. Don’t wait, start the process now. The surgery is fast, the scar is small, and you will feel so much better!
Thank you Vivian for all your hard work at keeping us abreast of the bone saving information you provide throughout the year. We are all so blessed to have this program available to us. Counting my blessing will be such an uplifting thing to do each evening, I know I will have more than three.
Wishing you a very Blessed Christmas and Wonder New Year……..Carolyn
It is very interesting to find this new Three Blessing Exercise. I shall try it from tonight.
Thanks for the encouragement to improve our life.
Vivian, I’m reading the last chapters of “Younger Next Year” by Dr Henry Lodge & Chris Crowley. It is filled with information that supports everything you’re teaching people, including blessings for ourselves and events/things/people in our lives.
You are a blessings in our lives! Knowing proper foods to support bone growth is a blessing. The ability to exercise is a blessing.
Merry Christmas and wonderful holidays for us all!
It’s 6:20 pm. so I decided to begin to count my blessings for today – even at this early
hour. I’ve already written down SIX- and the day is not yet over!
I smile as I write this and think how lucky I am!
One of my blessings is I’M ALIVE !
May the Lord bless you and yours this Christmas and help you to continue to help us!
Hi Vivian And My SAVEOURBONES Family,
That Sounds Like A Wonderful Idea. Thank You Very Much Vivian, For Sharing It With All Of Us.
I’m Going To Share It With My Significant Other, And Hopefully I Can Get Him To Try It With Me. I Will Start This Evening. Thank You Again Vivian.
And May You And ALL My SAVEOURBONES Family Have A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY KWANZA, HAPPY EID, And Just HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!
LOVE, LESLIE ( MS. L. CARMEL)
I will try it, always seeming to be down on myself. I feel like I am getting no where with the bone improvement. I am following the program and doing everything I can.
I am just so scared. I hope this helps.
YES… Taking time to stop and Count One’s Blessings is a tried and True technique that we often forget in the hussle and bustle of Everyday Life. Don’t let the Holidays overwhelm you where you forget to take the time to practice this and give THANKS
for the Blessings that you have received. It will be a Gift to yourself and to the World around you. BEST WISHES ! to All for a Happy & Healthy & Blessed Holiday Season
When I was in the hospital recently for surgery I visited the chapel and picked up a spiritual pamphlet with a reading about the gift of laughter. The Bible offered this wisdom from a verse in Proverbs (Chapter 17, verse 22). “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” This reminded me of the need to focus on my blessings. I find I am laughing more now. Though there is much to cause us to be anxious, many who need our prayers, and great suffering in our world my faith brings hope and light, of which we are reminded at Christmas.
Yaaay, I’m one step ahead at last, lol.
Thankyou Vivian, I have been doing this sort of thing for a while now & i feel great, I started about 8 months ago when i found Doreen Virtue (books & facebook), I started a spiritual path, & through her writings my self esteem has risen remarkedly, depression has dropped away & I feel stronger & fitter, I have been on a massive learning curve & loving it, so yes, positive self words, looking for your blessings, is a wonderful boost to yourself, & so wonderful to know it will be helping my bones.
Happy Christmas Vivian. 🙂
Vivian: Just thought you might want to see some comments from various people who have suffered from Reclast injections (see content from the National Osteoporosis Foundation website pasted below).
Thank you for your newsletters….your advice prompted me to stop taking Fosamex after 1 month. Thank God I never got an injection of Reclast or any of the other injectable bisphosphonates!
RECLAST DAMAGE …..? how to deal with the pain…
By 5trees · March 17, 2014 at 2:24 am · 45 replies
In Medication side effects
0 Recommend Follow replies More options
Shared with the public
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything but I was wondering how everyone is doing and if any one is getting better , what they have tried or if the co.who makes the I poison have helped them at all? The infusion of RECLAST hit me hard and I’ve been I. Excessive bone pain since the morning I had the I’ll fated infusion of RECLAST feb.2ed a few yes ago at our local hospital ….it has also followed a pattern much like the first day of the infusion where I get chills and sweting like you might get when a really bad flue sets in followed by a feeling of I’ll health and excessive bone pain .. others days I still have bad bone pane witch simply has destroyed life as I knew it .. I now live mo.to mo. On pain meds.and the 24hr.a day pain witch is always with me no matter what I do or take … it’s a nightmare . My drs.are wonderful but helpless as they just have no answers …. be very cautious as to what you have injected into your bodies … the dr.who prescribed the RECLAST just moved on with his life while I am stuck with his bad med.advice …. he as never even contacted me to see if the RECLAST Co or another dr.is helping me … (he moved to palm Springs !) The drug Co has only asked for my dr.info , then silence . They don’t even answer my letters for help . This is not how our med.system should be working … I know many of you are in even worse condition than I and hope you are all getting by and remain hopeful there is a solution for removing the damage caused by RECLAST ….. I have no other option than hope … keep strong . L.
45 replies. Join the discussion
Oldest firstNewest first
March 17, 2014 at 6:24 am
Hi L, I haven’t talked to you in a very long time. I am still having relapses, where I get the intense pain, about every 3 to 6 months. I am in a relapse now and I feel like it is nearing the end of it. This time, I woke up from sleep with that horrible pain in all bones of my body, but at least, this time, I didn’t start wheezing from it. That means that I won’t have to cope with pneumonia again. I am hoping and praying that this is a sign that it is leaving my system. My doctor was in contact with the company for a long time and it seemed like it was just a ton of paperwork for the doctor and no answers or help from the company. It will be 6 years in September that I had that infusion. The doctor gave me a new pain med, which made me so sick, I’m afraid to take it. I can’t remember if you are in a chair or not, I have been in one since shortly after the infusion. I bought a bath chair, that lowers you into a tub and will raise you out of it. It was the best investment I have made, as far as comfort. The winters increase the pain tremendously, but that chair has made it possible to soak in a tub and it relaxes me and also eases pain. I wish I had more to offer, but I have to think at some point, things will get better. I had problems with email, so lost your address. Message me, I would love to be in contact with you again. Hugs, LTC