I often heard from other people, especially from some of my friends from my work, that being happy and positive (instead of lamenting your illness) can actually help people recover from sickness and those states of mind actually lessen the pain a person experiences. Is it placebo, subjective or positive feeling or attitude does have a science-based impact on person’s recovery? According from US National Library of Medicine (2010), there are studies that examined the effectiveness of optimism as a psychological phenomenon which leads to numerous theoretical formulations to explore the a person’s positive state of mind and its connections and influences with a person’s over-all health – “disposition”, “attributional style”, “ cognitive bias”, or “shared illusion”.

I believe that positive thinking or attitude is a choice of a person wherein s/he tends to incline more on the positive side than the negative side. I mean I believe that there is no absolute happiness and sadness in life, it’s always a combination wherein in most cases, there is a dominant emotion and thinking that makes us decide if what we are experiencing is happy or sad, pleasurable or painful etc. I would like to point out also that being positive doesn’t mean that we are forcefully trying to forget the real problem and trying to manipulate our state of mind, positive attitude is appreciating the blessings that we have (sounds a bit cheesy but it’s true) and making the most out of it.

We learned from the initial modules that the 7 dimensions of health (physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, occupational and environmental) are interconnected and greatly affects one another, hence, it is imperative to nurture each dimension to achieve balanced lifestyle and to attain positive health being. According to a theory from Mayo Clinic, mind and the physical body is connected – people who possess positive attitudes are better in coping up and adjusting to stress and anxiety. Also, Mayo Clinic suggests that many health benefits have been brought by positive attitude such as better life longevity, increase resistance against common cold, lower rates of depression, increased cardiovascular health, reduction in stress symptoms, and perceptible physical and mental vigour.

Additional benefits of having and living life mostly with positive thoughts according from Sammy Nickalls of inspiyr:

  1. It keeps anxiety and stress at bay
  2. It helps you to be more successful in relationships
  3. Blood pressure is managed
  4. Being happy encourages higher pain tolerance
  5. It pushes us to follow healthy practices and measures
  6. According to a study in University College London, positive thoughts are linked with “healthy aging”
  7. Being happy reduces cardiovascular-related sickness
  8. Being positive improves physical and mental performance

According to the book written by James Clear titled “Transform Your Habits”, below are his three ideas that increase our positive thinking in life:

  1. Meditation
  2. Writing
  3. Play

References:

Conversano, Rotondo, Lensi, Vista, Arpone, and Reda. 2010. US National Library of Medicine. Optimism and Its Impact on mental and Physical Well-Being. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2894461/ on June 10, 2015

Butler, Alia. 2013. Live Strong. The Importance of Positive Attitude to Health. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/126155-importance-positive-attitude-health/ on June 10, 2015Nickalls, Sammy. Inspiyr.

The Importance of Optimism: How to Think Positive Thoughts. Retrieved from http://inspiyr.com/think-positive-thoughts/ on June 11, 2015Clear, James. Transform Your Habits. Retrieved from http://jamesclear.com/positive-thinking on June 12, 2015

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