Positive thinking has, for the longest time, been relegated to the realm of new age, inspirational, and metaphysical healing rather than to the empirical fields of science and physiology. Medicine and positive thinking, therefore, were once thought to go together like brownies and onions. But recent findings have revealed that medicine and positive thinking may not be as incompatible after all. Indeed, they may actually be far more complementary than we could ever imagine.
Not only is positive thinking good for mental health, but it is now scientifically proven to be just as healthy for the body. Optimists generally have lower levels of stress hormones and are at lower risk for cardiovascular disease – telltale signs of a healthier immune system-compared to those of pessimists. Positive thinkers are also more likely to get well faster during treatment for a physical illness.
If negative factors like anxiety and stress can adversely affect a person’s physical well-being, then it should follow that positive thinking has a reverse effect. The only reason this hasn’t been readily accepted as truth before is because for years, we have tended to focus more on the negative, measuring and quantifying depression and such while the scales of happiness remained uncharted.
Research has repeatedly shown that chronic and psychological stress delays the healing process, reduces vaccine effectiveness, and diminishes the immune system’s health. Here, at least, we have known that there is, in fact, an obvious connection between what you know and feel in your head and how your body responds to it. Literally, you are what you think.
Medicine and positive thinking are hardly interchangeable, but they work wonders when taken hand in hand. So when you’re sick, expect positive results. Picture yourself in the prime of health; or if you want to be more realistic, visualize yourself recuperating from your sickness. Laugh your way to recovery. That is the best medicine, after all, according to the well-known proverb.
Positive expectations, like the placebo effect, can greatly reduce pain; thus, proving the innate power of an optimistic outlook in life. So do yourself a favor by thinking positive and helping yourself get better.
Medicine and positive thinking do work famously together. It is not believing in a false hope, but rather embracing the beauty of life despite its many setbacks. Positive thinking was never meant to be a miracle cure, but if you focus on living instead of drowning in anger, sorrow, and self-pity, you may just find yourself thinking your way to health and wellness.
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