Although the idea that our mental well-being has an influence on our physical well-being has existed for ages, when it comes to achieving our physical goals we most often don’t stop and pay attention to this aspect?
What happens instead? We adjust our food intake. Cut out a food group (like carbs), seriously up the intake of another (like protein) or embark on a new workout schedule designed to beat our bodies into the perfect shape. Most often, these quests/adjustments stop pretty quickly since the results we want to see just don’t happen quickly enough. So we give up, or move onto the next fad diet or workout program.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about a balanced food intake and a healthy dose of exercise. I just believe there’s more to it than that. And, for a long time I kind of struggled with the idea, because I thought it was just in my mind, and a kind of vague theory, but as someone with an academic background I needed a bit more proof than just knowing what works for me.
But it turns out, there are more people like me out there that went and did the research to prove this link between positive thinking and our physical well-being. Ha! I’m not so crazy after all!
So, here are just 3 of the scientific theories/books/ideas that support the idea that thinking positively also has a positive impact on our health and well-being, and therefore us also reaching our physical ideals. Because, let’s be real for a minute here: if you’re sick, or depressed you’re not very likely to be at your physical best right?
Psychoneuroimmunology. My inner nerd did this ridiculous little happy dance when I had to struggle to pronounce this word the first time, but not everyone is a fan of big complicated sciency words, so let’s just call it PNI. PNI was the result of a Psychologist and an Immunologist who came together and in a wonderful scientific accident (related to Pavlov-like experiments), they figured out that even without giving rats a substance that madet them sick, the creatures dreaded it so much they actually decreased their own immune systems so much they died. Basically, unlike previously thought, there IS a connection between mental processes and our nervous and immune systems. An important discovery in this field has been that positive social interactions (which produce ocxytocin, the happy hormone) can actually promote health benefits! This one little paragraph is a serious oversimplification of a pretty brilliant new science. If you want to read more, check out this article: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/305921.php
De Levenscode. Roughly translated, “The Life Code” is a really inspirational book written by the founder of the Sonnevelt Learning Center. This guy, figured out that all the research done as to why people are sick and dying were in a certain way, focused on the wrong things. He decided to instead look at why people who lived to ripe old ages of 85+ and were perfectly healthy and vital were the way they were. He developed what he calls the Vitality Model with 6 factors that influence a person’s chance at living a long and healthy life. After a purposeful life and a meaningful social network, guess what comes next? Positive thinking! So to be healthy, energetic and resiliant, we need to focus on all the good things in life.
The secret – or is there another better idea here?