Do you know how important optimism is when it comes to fighting illness and maintaining good health? It’s probably more important than you realize.
In fact, it seems like every month a new study is published, reporting solid evidence that the thoughts we think, and the emotions we feel, affect our bodies and our physical health. We now know that the immune system is strengthened by happy, positive feelings of being in control and weakened by chronic anxiety, depression and feelings of helplessness. We don’t know exactly how this happens, but there is no longer any doubt that it does.
We also know that feelings of depression and helplessness are almost always a direct result, not so much of the events that happen to us, but of the way we habitually interpret and respond to those events. In other words, we have learned ways to behave and respond to life that are literally making us sick. If you need further proof, take a look at how you are dealing with stay-at-home orders and six feet spacing to stay safe – for you and your loved ones. Are you looking at what you can do, or what you can’t?
The good news is that since this behavior is learned, it can also be unlearned. It is possible to turn yourself into an optimist by learning techniques that help you control your thoughts, substituting self-esteem building messages, to replace the negative thoughts. It does take conscious thought and commitment to the goal, as you build this new habit of replacing the negative with a positive.
Once you have created a habit of seeing and responding from a positive framework, you no longer need to be conscious about doing it. The habit is turned over to your subconscious mind – which holds your knowledge of who you know yourself to be – and you don’t need to consciously think about it again. It becomes part of who you are, how you define yourself, and your body’s physical health will thank you for it.