Get An Attitude!The condition of the mind influences our physical health greatly. Research has shown that the brain and the immune system communicate with each other. This could explain why a positive mental attitude helps the body fight off disease and recover more quickly from illness.
In the Nun study, the positive emotions of joy and contentment were strongly correlated with longevity. In mid-January1991, a 58 percent increase in mortality resulted in Israel from the intense apprehension and mental distress caused by the scud missile attack at that time. Mental illness is often associated with poor physical health. Heart disease and cancer are twice as likely to develop in persons with chronic anxiety and depression.
In the Alameda County study, researchers found that unhappy persons had a 57 percent greater risk of dying prematurely.
Grief, anxiety, discontent, guilt, and distrust are all negative forces that erode our physical health. On the other hand trust, hope, love, contentment, and courage are all positive forces that promote physical health and enhance life (MH 241). Health is strongly enhanced by cultivating a spirit of gratitude and praise (MH 251).
Author: Winston Craig, MPH, PhD, RD.
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