Why I Believe in the Power of Positive Thinking When I'm Ill
I often read or hear comments about the irritation that patients feel when someone tells them they should think positive thoughts in order to improve their health.
“Be more positive,” they say, “stop thinking and talking about your illness and you’ll feel better.”
However well-intended these people may be, this sort of advice really doesn’t help. In fact, it usually creates resistance and even resentment. After all, positive thinking is not a cure for our health conditions, right? I mean, really, I’ve heard about books written by people who claim that they were cured by positive thinking! This is upsetting because well, if there were an actual cure for chronic fatigue syndrome or any other autoimmune disease, we’d know about it and the author who’d discovered that cure would likely be rich and famous.
So, why does the power of positive thinking keep popping up in so many conversations? I believe that it’s because there is something to it. As it turns out, our thoughts have huge, unsuspected powers over our body at the cellular level.
In the last decade, science has actually proven that the ideas in our brain do have a tremendous impact on every cell in our body; and yes, thoughts can heal us at the deepest level. Ideas and notions can also be destructive, make us and keep us sick. There is only one way to find out if this is for real, and that is to investigate and then, just do it.
I can tell you from personal experience that learning to change your inner dialogue is not something you do once in a while if you want to see improvement in your health. It requires taking responsibility for everything that goes on in your life and making a conscious decision to choose the thoughts that will fuel your emotions in a direction that leads to peace, gratitude and compassion – emotions that nurture health and well-being. There are several ways to do this and anyone can find what works best for them.
I began by choosing a few affirmations that make me feel good and wrote them on post-its that I could see on a regular basis. Then, I started saying them out loud, sometimes to myself in front of the mirror. The next step involved listening to guided meditations during naps or bed rest. I also found books that inspired me to modify my outlook on life as I learned new ways of thinking.
It does take practice and discipline, but over time you start to change the way you respond to life. I noticed that I became calmer, less quick to judge and kinder to myself and to others. I also noticed that my energy levels became more stable and pain levels more manageable. Basically, I am a happier person today. It’s a process. It takes time. But ask yourself, “Am I not worth the effort?”
There’s a commercial that ends with this question: “What’s in your wallet?”
Here’s an even more vital question: “What’s in your mind?”
Follow this journey here.
We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.
Thinkstock Image By: SIphotography