Positivity and Health
Is it possible that a positive attitude has a direct (positive) impact on your health?
Ever since we were very young there was always someone telling us about the power of positive thinking. You can be anything that you want to be. Don’t let anything stand in the way of your dreams. And I would hazard a guess that most of us have experienced it in one way or another when we really wanted something. Maybe you wanted to get backstage with your favorite band, or you wanted the opportunity to work in a foreign country, or you were looking for a promotion. If you really wanted this bad enough, you kept thinking about it, imagining it happening, and many times it did. What is it for you? There’s something. Something you almost didn’t think could happen. But you just kept dreaming and thinking of a way to have it happen. And eventually it did. I always had a dream that I would meet my favorite band (Great Big Sea, from Newfoundland) and share a beverage with them, and on the night before my 50th birthday, it happened.
Other times, you may not have followed that passion or maybe something else became more of a priority for you, and the original dream didn’t manifest into reality for you. In many cases that really didn’t matter, but in other cases, it’s still niggling at you. You wonder if it’s too late. Do you really want it that bad anyway.
So, back to the question, is it possible that a positive attitude has a direct (positive) impact on your health?
Over the past 5 years, I have come up with a new dream for me. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune dis-ease (rheumatoid arthritis) and ever since, I have had the dream of returning to good health with the condition disappearing. Crazy, right? Autoimmune conditions don’t just go away. There is no known cure for them. They’re like cancer. There’s no known cure for cancer. Cancer doesn’t just go away. How many times have you heard that? It has to be true, right? It has to be true because you’ve heard it said so many times, and the doctors are saying it’s true. So it has to be true.
Or does it?
Over the past 5 years, I have read a large number of books, watched a large number of videos, and heard a large number of stories that suggest that maybe this prognosis is not quite so cut and dried “fact” after all. There have been hundreds of cases of spontaneous remissions from cancer and other dis-ease states. People who have been given 6 months to live are alive and thriving 20 and 30 years later. People with chronic conditions have the condition suddenly disappear or significantly improve. Some have been handled with the use of modern medicine and others without. Most have been handled with a change of lifestyle. Virtually all have come with an attitude of “that’s not going to work for me!”
What’s the difference? The very consistent theme in the stories I have been exposed to is that the person has decided that life was very much worth living and they decide to make changes. Virtually by definition they adopt a positive attitude to the possibility that it just might not have to be this way after all. Many talk about changing their diet to healthy alternatives, becoming more accepting and loving of themselves, figuring out what they are grateful for and taking the time to acknowledge them, forgiving others, meditating, giving up “worrying”. All of these are steps of positivity.
While I won’t go into detail here, there is a massive volume of both science-based and mind-body-spirit connection material that is suggesting that we are only beginning to understand the power of our minds. I encourage you to do a bit of research if you’re interested in finding out more (I do keep a list of recommended resources on my web site at www.kenjaques.com). The findings are quite clear. When we approach life and health from a positive perspective, we “attract” positive things into our life. When we slip into the negative perspective, we “attract” negative things into our life. Our beliefs affect our outcomes.
There are a couple of ways I choose to look at things differently when I hear prognoses now, whether they be for me or for someone else.
If I hear something along the lines of “this is a terminal condition and 65% of the people die within 1-2 years”, I ask for details about what the 35% have done differently, and I ask for the evidence of any that have lived a long time or spontaneously recovered.
When I hear a doctor suggest that “we don’t know what causes this”, I think about what the root causes might be (diet, lifestyle, unhealthy job conditions, poor relationships at home, with friends or family, etc.) and encourage people to look at those as I feel they are all contributing causes.
When I hear about another awareness campaign for a growing dis-ease, I ask where the associated health campaign is (Mother Teresa was quoted as saying she would never attend an anti-war protest but she would come to every peace rally). I don’t want any more awareness about dis-ease, I want to focus on promotion of health.
So, back to the question one more time, is it possible that a positive attitude has a direct (positive) impact on your health?
My belief after these last 5 years is that a positive attitude not only has a direct positive impact on your health, it is absolutely the biggest contributor to the state of your health. I’ll leave it to you to decide if you adopt the same beliefs.
In closing, I’d like to point out a couple of other references:
I highly recommend the book “Mind Over Medicine” by Dr. Lissa Rankin, a recognized leader in the power of the body to heal itself. Check out the movie “The Cure Is …”, where many recognized leaders highlight the same message
Check out “Healthtember” on my web site, where we use the month of September to focus on positivity and emotional, physical and spiritual healing.
Ken Jaques describes himself as a Health Care Evolutionary, Community Builder, and Speaker. True healing begins when we treat root causes instead of just patching symptoms.
Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in 2008, Ken has experienced many facets of the health care system. As “the only patient who ever lost their hair on this low of a dosage of chemotherapy” – as spoken by his rheumatologist – Ken has been on an amazing journal of self-discovery, a journey of true healing. In his blog, Ken shares stories of how his beliefs have changed over the past few years, and how they are still changing. Is it possible that our bodies can heal themselves? Do we really have to live without hope after we receive a chronic illness diagnosis? These are the types of questions that Ken encourages people to ask themselves as they embark on their own physical or emotional healing journey.
If you’re feeling confused or stuck and don’t know where to turn, check out Ken’s “Heal” page on the web site, or ask for a copy of his “Healing Manifesto”. We can make the rest of 2013 an awesome year of emotional and physical healing.