Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Healing power of positive thinking

First of all, thinking is "real" medicine, as proven by the placebo effect. When given a sugar pill in place of a prescription drug, an average of 30% of subjects will show a positive response. What causes this response isn't a physical substance but the activity of the mind-body connection. Expectations are powerful. If you think you've been given a drug that will make you better, often that is enough to make you better.

The real point isn't to rescue a dying patient but to maintain wellness... The upshot is that medicine cannot be definitive on how mood affects wellness. But if I wanted to enhance a state of wellness before symptoms of illness appeared, there is much to be gained and no risks involved in trying to reach the best state of mind possible.

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There are now several lines of research suggesting that our mental perception of the world constantly informs and guides our immune system in a way that makes us better able to respond to future threats.

"Inflammation is partly regulated by the hormone cortisol and when cortisol is not allowed to serve this function, inflammation can get out of control …
The immune system's ability to regulate inflammation predicts who will develop a cold, but more importantly it provides an explanation of how stress can promote disease.
When under stress, cells of the immune system are unable to respond to hormonal control, and consequently, produce levels of inflammation that promote disease.
Because inflammation plays a role in many diseases such as cardiovascular, asthma and autoimmune disorders, this model suggests why stress impacts them as well."

"Placebo painkillers can trigger the release of natural pain-relieving chemicals called endorphins. Patients with Parkinson's disease respond to placebos with a flood of dopamine.
Fake oxygen, given to someone at altitude, has been shown to cut levels of neurotransmitters called prostaglandins (which dilate blood vessels, among other things, and are responsible for many of the symptoms of altitude sickness)."

• Deal With Your Feelings Head-On: You may be tempted to run from your pain or hide from it (think overworking or substance abuse). A better option is to face your feelings, accept them and feel them. Only then will you be able to move past them.

• Let Go of Guilt. If you made mistakes in your past relationship, say your apologies, if necessary. Then, let go of the guilt and move on. The Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) can be very effective in helping you to do this.

• Be Easy on Yourself: Allow yourself to fully experience all the emotions that come along with it and don't judge yourself when you need extra time to process them.

• Immerse Yourself in Your Creative Passions: If you love to write, sing, dance or create in another way, allow yourself to become lost in the creative process. It will help you to express your thoughts and emotions in a healthy, productive way.

• Choose a Positive Mindset: Remaining negative won't help you in the long run. Make a choice each day to look on the bright side and be open to positive new beginnings.

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"10 Keys to Happier Living," which together spell out the acronym GREAT DREAM:

• Giving: do things for others

• Relating: connect with people

• Exercising: take care of your body

• Appreciating: notice the world around you

• Trying out: keep learning new things

• Direction: have goals to look forward to

• Resilience: find ways to bounce back

• Emotion: take a positive approach

• Acceptance: be comfortable with who you are

• Meaning: be part of something bigger

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