As we start out the brand new year, did you know that almost 50 per cent of Americans think 2014 will be better than past years?

Flickr / Paolo Camera[/caption]So, what the heck, let's be positive.  What have we got to lose?  It certainly doesn't cost anything.

1.  Yes, it's the dead of winter, but try to spend some time outside.  It reduces stress.

2.  Spend some time with kids.  It doesn't make a difference if it's your children, nieces or nephews, kids always have a positive attitude.

3.  Meditation.  It can lower your blood pressure.

4.  If you have a pet, spend time with him or her.  It's a fact that owning a pet brings happiness and reduces stress.

5.  Step away from the electronics.  Spend time away from your smartphone and computer.  Social media and e-mails can tend to stress us out.

6.  Say "thank you."  Send out a thank you note to someone you care about.  It doesn't have to be for a particular reason.  Just because.  It'll make you happy.

and,

7.  Read a book.  It's relaxing and will clear your mind.

I hope you have a positively positive 2014!