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Positive Thinking And Your Health: Are You Making Yourself Sick?

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“You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.” - Jerry West

While everyone seems to know that negative feelings can eventually damage your health, there’s a new theory that a positive attitude can help you sustain good health and maybe even make you feel a whole lot better. Can it chase away illness? It sure can.

If a person has the ability to control good health, even a little bit, it’s worth looking into, wouldn’t you say? If you don’t have anything to lose by maintaining a positive attitude, and all the good health to gain, then why not maintain that optimistic spirit? At the very least, you’ll be happy, contented, and able to handle anything life throws at you.

A good start is with some regular exercise, which brings with it great benefits already. It will clear your mind, take care of stress, give you energy, and build up your stamina. That alone will improve your health and make you feel good about yourself. As your body improves in strength and tone, you’ll begin to feel proud of your ability and feel good about how much better you’re looking.

Want to minimize the risk of cardiovascular problems? Think positive! According to a 15-year study by Dutch doctors, involving 545 men between the ages of 64 and 84, optimism and just an overall great positive attitude reduced the health risk by half! That even beats the “laughter is the best medicine” cliché.

So, why is it that people with a negative attitude or a feeling of hopelessness seem to sicken, while people with a more positive attitude can recover more easily? Doctors have done studies on the human immune system trying to figure out exactly that. Unfortunately, the immune system cells of people who are hopeless and sad are unable to fight off diseases.

When these people are given hope and are able to think in a more positive manner, they develop stronger immune systems. A healthy immune system stands a better chance of fighting off diseases and allowing the person to regain good health. Part of the reason for this is that positive thinking and emotions give a person more energy and stamina; and that helps the immune system.

Doctors have discovered a biochemical connection between the brain and the body. According to the National Institute of Health at Georgetown University, emotions play a huge part in helping us maintain healthy bodies. Believe it or not, the psychological and chemical processes that control the neural, hormonal, and immune systems all use the very same neuropeptides in order to communicate. Since the brain and the body use the same chemicals, it makes sense that these elements would affect the mind as well as the body. It’s all tied together. Scientists used to refer to it as psychosomatic illness, but didn’t understand how the mind could make the body ill.

It makes perfect sense that if you can improve the mind, making it more hopeful and positive, it would then affect the entire bodily system, helping to cure what ails you.

Unfortunately for us all, hope isn’t something your doctor can prescribe for you; you have to find it on your own. So, before you give in to that constant pity party, consider your health. And never trivialize the power of positive thinking.

Prevention would seem to be the ideal way to go. Work on that attitude adjustment now, before you become ill. A change of attitude will help your immune system work at peak efficiency, effectively preventing most illnesses. Let that positive thinking and emotion energize you and make you happier right now. Then learn to maintain that positive flow. The life you save could be your own.

Not only will positive attitude help you stay healthier, but it can even delay the aging process. A study done at the University of Texas uncovered the fact that people who viewed life more positively showed fewer signs of frailty than those who have a pessimistic outlook in life.

This is good news to the Baby Boomer generation. Thanks to modern medical breakthroughs, more and more folks are living past their 60s, 70s, 80s, and some well into their 90s. Modern medicine may be responsible for part of the longevity, but could it be possible that a positive attitude and more recreational activities are the reasons so many are experiencing long life?

Retirement age used to be 65, at which point a person stops working and starts sitting around, trying to find something useful to keep themselves busy. Boredom and loss of purpose may have ended many lives. Without a useful reason for being on the planet, many just withered away.

In the new generation, senior citizens are proving that they still have contributions to give to this world. Several decades of experience shouldn’t be wasted. We can learn a lot from our Boomers. Many are enjoying life, keeping up with what’s going on in the world, traveling, and yes, still working at what they love to do.

And this is where the positive attitude comes in. After several decades of dealing with change, problems, and whatever life throws at them, they are still here showing us how it’s done, and learning more. Muhammed Ali said, “The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” Moreover, according to Patricia Neal, “A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug.”

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