I routinely ask my patients successfully entering their 8th and 9th decades of life one important question.
What is your secret to longevity and living well?
Universally the first answer is “Staying Busy.” Most of these individuals explain further their lifelong habit of physical activity, continued learning, and constant social engagement. Hence staying engaged and maintaining life-time habits of physical activity rank high if you want to “Go the Distance” in life.
One theme also underlines each of these type habits–Positive thinking.
It got me wondering, how much of our health depends on the decision to simply maintain a positive attitude?
I routinely see pessimism among patients with poor health. In fact, pessimistic patients, clearly make up the vast majority of my daily visits.
Is there a link between positive thinking, attitudes, and outlook on health?
Should I prescribe “Attitude Adjustments?”
Emotions are a complex result of our experiences and view of the world. Attitudes represent our conscious response to the challenges we face daily. Challenging circumstances such as disease, injuries, social, financial, or emotional stress all shape us but DO NOT define how we must behave or respond.
My 80-90 year old success stories live this truth everyday. I’ve treated WWII soldiers, Holocaust survivors, cancer survivors, orphans, and individuals with severe birth defects who live joy filled lives–by choice.
Choosing positive thinking changes our brain chemistry and commands the rest of our body to release different (NON-FIGHT/FLIGHT) hormones. Lower stress hormones in general means better health which I’ve discussed at length in the past. (SEE HAZARDS OF STRESS)
The last paragraph was highlighted because it probably represents a pathway to the “Fountain of Youth” so many consciously or unconsciously seek. Admittedly, diet, fitness, luck and to some lessor extent genetics play a role in living long and well. However, the long term, anti-inflammatory, hormonal benefit of positive thinking likely represents the final piece of the puzzle to living and age optimally.
So if positive thinking can improve health, can positive thinking be taught, trained, or developed?
I believe it can.
Some of my favorite fellow bloggers would likely agree with me based on their approaches to life and messaging.
From the writings of those listed above, positive thinking can improve relationships, opportunities, creativity, and productivity. Try exploring conscious positive thought by exploring the links I’ve shared.
RX: 30 day Positive Thinking Trial
- Meditate on Positive thoughts once daily (10 Best Positive Thinking blogs)
- Mentally guard against negative thoughts
- Slow responses to others, carefully consider the response until they become automatically positive
Try following the following steps: Five Steps To Positivity
I’d love to know if my prescription helped you change your health.