Continued from Attitude And Stress Effects On The Body
It isn't just minor diseases that have a relationship to our attitudes. Mental stress, for instance, has been so strongly linked to blood pressure, stroke and heart disease that mental exercises have been prescribed by doctors to reduce stress, giving birth to the science of bio-feedback and many other lesser-known techniques. Of course, if someone were to contract a fatal disease, it would be particularly cruel to suggest they, even accidentally, brought it on themselves. This article is really for those of us who have relatively good health, to provide a way to protect our immune systems and help prevent major disease. Since some (Norman Cousins, for example) have recovered from life-threatening illness using mental attitude practices, it isn't too much of a stretch to say that the negative emotions of stress and anger can significantly increase our risk of deadly disease.
I don't know whether it was overeating, drinking, smoking or the terrible negative, fearful, angry and violent attitude of my father that killed him at age 57. I do believe my brother's death from cancer at age 51, had everything to do with attitude. Prior to that, he was the epitome of health, practicing daily aerobic exercise and toning from his early teen years on. He never smoked, ate carefully, and was never overweight. His life revolved around his wife and two children. Three years before his death, his wife left him and took the children, then in their early teens. His life stopped! He was no longer motivated and just went through the motions at his work. He never moved out of their home or redecorated. The kids rooms were left exactly as they had left them, three years before. It seemed as if he died at age 48 and it took his body three years to catch up. This isn't to say his ex was mean...we're all human! This is about how important our attitudes are and how big a role they play in our physical well-being. In fact, the relationship between thought life and physical life is so strong, our thought life is the only place we can approach recovery from addiction, depression, anxiety, pedophilia, eating disorders, past abuse...the list goes on and on. At some point, it dawns on us just how important it is to control our attitudes.
Though we can't directly change our attitudes, we can indirectly change them by spending time in more positive thoughts and actions. First, we begin replacing every negative, fearful, angry thought with positive, uplifting and productive ones. Second, we replace activities that increase stress and anger emotions with more positive and productive ones, including hobbies, volunteer work, church and club activities, etc. Other actions that can improve our attitudes are exercise programs, donating money to worthy causes, letting others go first, helping neighbors and strangers, tipping excessively, etc. Over a short amount of time, this improves our experience of life and replaces stress and anger with joy and satisfaction. Once the mental habits are formed, over time, we'll discover we're not sick as much, and when we do get a cold or flu, they aren't as severe as before. About 2,000 years ago, a guy named Saul Of Tarsus said, "Be gentle and not anxious about anything. Think about things that are true, praiseworthy, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable...and you will have peace." Let me add my belief to his...and you will have health.
If you're looking to improve your health and fitness, you probably want a healthy life...including mind, body and spirit. You can renew your mind and spirit with God's help. He can heal the stuff your diet doesn't control. If you want His help, go to Healing From God.
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