Whenever I hear someone talk about health habits, I hear: eat right, exercise and manage your stress. While these are all important components, there is more to good health. We are all interconnected and affected by our environment and our relationships. Oftentimes I am asked what is the one thing that is most important and the answer is always attitude. People are shocked as they think I will say some magic pill or supplement or hormone. However it's attitude that drives everything. You can have the safest car with all of the best safety features, however it is the driver that ultimately controls the vehicle and is the biggest factor in safety. The same is true of your own health and safety and how your mind affects everything you do. What you think drives what you eat, drink, how much you sleep, how connected you feel to others, the quality of your relationships and your purpose in life. All of these affect your hormones that are the contractors that activate genes and tell your body to degenerate or regenerate. Your hormone balance can elevate or depress mood, change your perception of pain and affect how you love, appreciate and trust others.

Attitude is first and foremost the driver of health and longevity. My neighbor gave me a magnet for my refrigerator that says: How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are? If you think you are old and unhealthy, you are. If you think any ailment is a temporary setback, it is and you can regain the vitality that seems lost. You can produce surges of cortisol and unleash depression just by your thoughts. We have the power to choose our thoughts and our thoughts follow our actions. These can modulate many hormones responsible for our wellbeing. To change your attitude:
- Surround yourself with people who motivate and inspire you
- Read inspirational and motivational books and magazines
- Seek out role models

Mental Activity - doing something you enjoy and can get lost in is very healing. When your mind is focused you become more creative, less stressed and this lowers cortisol the stress hormone that breaks down muscle and bone and adds fat to your waistline and internal organs.
- Find or reconnect to a hobby you enjoy and can get lost in
- Learn various forms of meditation to focus your mind on breathing, a mantra, a visual such as a candle or mandala or chant or walk in nature

Physical activity is a great way to release serotonin, the feel good hormone. Low levels of serotonin lead to depression, anxiety and increased perception of pain. Exercise increases the frequency and rate of serotonin release in the brain and also increases the production of tryptophan that is used to make serotonin. Intense physical activity releases endorphins that elevate mood and relieve pain.
- Walk or work out regularly
- Get physical with house or yard work

Appreciation, love and gratitude release the "Love Hormone" oxytocin. The release of oxytocin indicates that social interactions are safe. If you are not feeling safe, trusted, trusting or loved, oxytocin is not released and can cause a sense of isolation and social phobia. You just don't feel connected. Some of the ways to release oxytocin are to get or give a massage, pet an animal or express love, gratitude or appreciation. This establishes connection and trust and releases the love hormone, oxytocin.
- Look into the eyes of someone you love and express gratitude and appreciation
- Pet an animal. This releases oxytocin
- Find something you are grateful for and keep a gratitude journal

Transform your biology and mood by adapting these habits that release hormones that heal and unleash physical and mental

Author's Bio: 

Lorraine Maita, MD is a recognized and award winning physician and author-transforming people's lives through preventive and anti aging medicine. She is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Anti Aging and Regenerative Medicine and Board Certified in Internal Medicine and has over 18 years experience in Preventive Health and Wellness, Internal, Occupational and Travel Medicine and Executive Health. Dr. Maita served as Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Prudential Financial, Medical Director on The Pfizer Health Leadership Team and Medical Director of North America for Johnson & Johnson Global Health Service and was an attending physician at St.Luke's/Roosevelt Hospital, Emergency Department and Executive Health Examiners in New York City. She is a consultant for companies wanting to develop or enhance their employee and occupational health and wellness programs and has a private practice in Short Hills, NJ. She is author of "Vibrance for Life: How to Live Younger and Healthier."