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The Power of Positive Thinking

Last week, I discussed the different explanatory styles. Did you find yourself relating more to the optimistic or pessimistic style? Well, it turns out, how we react and relate to the world around us has a larger impact on our health than we might think. Research has shown that a positive outlook and explanatory style strengthens the immune system. While stress and negativity weaken it.

Our emotions are translated into a physical form in the brain called neuropeptides. These molecules change the chemistry of every cell in both the body and mind. Basically, our feelings alter the electrical frequencies of our entire system. One researcher even compared the role of neuropeptides to a sophisticated conference call between the brain, the immune system, and the body’s other organs and systems.

Look at it this way- Everything in the body is connected. All our systems, our thoughts, the mind, and the body. This is why it is just as important to maintain our physical health as it is to maintain our mental health. There is a sophisticated two-way communication between the brain and the immune system that allows the mind (and its emotions) to impact immunity. This bidirectional flow of data between the brain and the immune system provides powerful evidence that emotions actually play a part in illness instead of the reverse. The good news is, if our negative emotions can cause, trigger, or perpetuate disease, positive ones can improve our health, protect us from disease, and can help us heal faster when we are faced with illness. Of course, a positive attitude isn't the only thing that can protect us from disease, but its power should not be overlooked. It’s nearly impossible to avoid all negative emotions but being mindful of how we react to obstacles or adversity can give us the opportunity to take charge of how we feel and choose an attitude of gratitude.

What you practice grows stronger.

So, do something good for yourself every day. Take the time to read something you love, listen to music, soak in a warm bath, take a brisk walk, or call a friend. Pay attention to your physical and emotional health. Create an attitude of wellness.

I hope that this inspired you to take a step back and work on changing your perception of life's challenges if need be. As always, have a well day!

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August 20, 2021
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Dr. Gina Travis

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