The Mind-Body Connection

The “mind-body connection” describes the psychological factors which affect the functioning of our body’s systems. It has the power to prolong or shorten or lives, or our recovery from moderate to life threatening illness. It isn’t about having a positive attitude that will guide us through, we need to deal with grief, problems and emotions honestly rather than suppressing them under a stalwart facade of cheerfulness.

Train SignalsThe mind-body approach is about taking steps to make our total life better and possessing a will to fight. It is determination rather than giving in, feeling defeated or believing that your life is out of your control. The great danger of focusing too much on possessing a positive attitude is it can lead to feelings of self blame for not being positive enough, or having the wrong attitude if you’re still sick, no matter how hard you tried to think right. One doctor tells patients with cancer that positive attitude won’t kill cancer cells, but it will do a lot to improve their quality of life. Sometimes length of life is extended too. Patients with breast cancer who understand their disease, work with doctors as a team and are able to express emotions in support groups, have been found to live twice as long as those who go through it confused, and feeling powerless and alone. However, there are no magic cures or techniques which will overcome any and every disease.

Studies on psychoneuroimmunology show that people who are optimistic in outlook feel depressed less, take better care of themselves, develop fewer health problems and are more active in life.

More studies are underway to find concrete clues as to how the mind-body link operates, and there is general consensus in the psychological and medical fields that not enough is known. However many people have discovered the links in their own lives from practical experience. In the same way pain from any illness can make us feel depressed, the pressures of personal problems and negative attitudes can create more toxicity and pain, as our bodies try and function under the addition strain.

Recognising the mind-body connection is not a cure, but an investment in the emotions, mind and spirit that is just as important and essential as food, exercise and hygiene. When the mind is in good shape, the quality of our lives in enhanced, and that in turn can cause us to live longer, healthier lives.

Learn More:

What is Hope?
Purpose, Hope and Determination
The Mind-Body Connection

Ted Cole: Biographical Information


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