One of the most important aspects of health for the average person is positive thinking. It is not up to genetics, exercise or healthy eating, but the mind. This fact has been proven time and time again in the scientific fields of psychoneuroimmunology, psychoneurocardiology, psychoneuroendocrinology, not to mention cancer research and all the various psychosomatic disorders that have been studied.
If you have any doubts that your thought affect your health then I will be happy to have a room full of research evidence delivered to your door that will take the next couple of years of perusing. On the other hand, why don’t I just tell you a little story.
It’s about the oldest documented person that ever lived. It was a French woman named Jeanne Calment who lived to be 122 years, 164 days old.
What was her secret to a longevity? According to French researcher Jean-Marie Robine, “She never did anything special to stay in good health.”
Jeanne Calment started smoking cigarettes at the age of 21, she drank port wine and ate a couple of pounds of chocolate sweets a week until she was 119 years old.
She credited her long life to laughing a lot and not getting stressed out. She is quoted as saying “If you can’t do anything about it, don’t worry about it.” Her outlook on life may also be accredited to her life circumstances as she was born into wealth and married into wealth. This enabled a life of ease and comfort. Simply put she had little to no mental stress.
Let’s compare this to someone who lived a very healthy lifestyle, they ate right, exercised yet they dropped dead at the age of 64 from a heart attack. This same person also took life very seriously, didn’t miss a chance to be pessimistic about life in general and rarely laughed at all.
What does research say about thought and the major causes of death — heart disease and cancer? The studies on thought and cardiac disease are so well known there is really no point in covering it, but what about cancer?
According to the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, “Extreme suppression of anger was the most commonly identified characteristic of 160 breast cancer patients.”
In other research: “Extremely low anger scores have been noted in numerous studies of patients with cancer. Such low scores suggest suppression, repression, or restraint of anger. There is evidence to show that suppressed anger can be a precursor to the development of cancer, and also a factor in its progression after diagnosis.”
The most interesting thing in this article is that a woman that lived 122 years smoked cigarettes for 100 years without any ill effect. Why didn’t smoking lead her to an early grave? This could be said that it’s because positive thinking is more important than a healthy lifestyle. I’m not advocating the smoking of cigarettes or eating bucketfuls of junk food but I would say, “Don’t take life so seriously, avoid holding grudges, forgive and last but not least ….Celebrate life with lots of laughs and smiles and a couple of tears !”
Where there is love, there is life,
At the end of life, what really matters is,
Not what we bought, but what we built,
Not what we got, but what we shared,
Not Competence but our character,
And not our success, but our significance,
Live a life that matters,
Live a life of love and compassion !
Barbara is a qualified nutritionist offering Health, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling. She gives Healthy weight loss advice and promotes the Mediterranean diet. She is the author of the Med Life Diet - creating healthy lifestyle habits and attitudes for life !