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The Power of Positive Thinking

A completely free, easy way to improve your health with no prescription

Written by Tiffany Wallace, CitiHealth

Laugh as much as possible. It sounds too easy, but in reality a positive attitude can lead to a healthier, happier you.

Laughing, smiling, and just being happy not only leads to better health, but can also give our bodies an extra boost when it comes to fighting illnesses and healing from injuries.

Think about it: Whenever you are unhappy, don’t you tend to make less-healthy choices when it comes to diet and exercise? Our only solace during those times seems to be a carton of ice cream or a bag of chips. Compare that to the choices you make when you are feeling good about yourself and have a smile on your face.

Still a little skeptical? In a study at Virginia Tech, a group of undergraduate students were tested to see which had positive outlooks and which had negative outlooks. Over the course of a year, the students were tracked to see which got sick or had to visit the doctor. At the end of the study, it was reported the pessimistic students were ill twice as many days and had twice as many doctor visits compared to the optimistic students. In fact, the pessimists seemed to genuinely care less about their health overall.

In another study a group of patients receiving the same kind of surgery were studied the day before their surgery and the day after. Again, the subjects were determined to be an optimist or a pessimist. After surgery, the optimists talked about what they would be able to do once they were well again, and asked about ways to help the recovery process. The pessimists were much less involved in their recovery. Naturally, the optimists had a much more speedy recovery.

“Our mind wants to everything we tell it to do,” says Jana Call, “and that means if we’re telling ourselves we’re fat, then our bodies want to help us be fat. On the other hand, if we tell it we want a healthy strong body, then it will help us do that.”

Jana is a holistic alternative psychology practitioner and is nationally certified in therapeutic massage and bodywork. She has been practicing massage therapy for 9 years in Idaho Falls. Jana says if you would like to test the power your mind has over your body try this simple exercise:

Take a few deep breathes in and out of your nose, and imagine yourself in your kitchen.

Look around at familiar objects. Go to your fridge, open the door, a light comes on, and you feel that cold air. Look around to where you keep your lemons, and pick one up in your hand. Feel the cold texture of the lemon. Close the door to the fridge, and examine the skin, the little pores and the two little chubby ends of the lemon. Put it down, and take out a knife and cutting board. You are cutting the lemon in half. Pick up one half and look at the freshly cut surface. If you squeeze the lemon, just slightly, the drops will form a sheet of lemon juice on the surface. At this point imagine bringing the lemon to your mouth, and lick the lemon across the whole surface. Taste the sourness of the lemon juice and you wrinkle up your face.

Chances are your mouth started to water from that sour taste you had in your mouth right?

Of course, lemons are one thing, changing our outlook from negative to positive is another story. Your thoughts are going on in your head all the time, and it takes practice to get control of them. Start by recognizing every time you put yourself down in your head, and try to replace those pesky negative thoughts for positive ones. Instead of thinking, “I will never look as great as those girls in my yoga class,” compliment yourself for trying something new and taking a step towards a healthier body.

In addition to changing the way you think, start doing things that make you happy as well. Rent a funny movie, catch up with an old friend or put some fresh flowers in your room. See your life as an adventure filled with good health. You’ll be amazed how much healthier you can feel and be.

Article Reviewed: July 11, 2012
Copyright © 2014 Healthy Magazine

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