The way people think is unavoidably connected to how they feel. Health psychology is the study of this phenomenon and can be explained in three main categories. The first relates to how negative emotions affect out health. The second pertains to how easily the brain can be manipulated from one state to the next. The final category is how negative conditions can be treated with positive emotions and have an eventual effect on the body.
Stress and emotional discontent
Stress affects the heart and body more than people realize. Men are more likely to have a heart attack at the age of between 40 and 55 because this is the point of their lives where they start thinking of retirement. The anxiety of whether or not they have enough to retire causes so much stress that they often arrive at the point of having a heart attack. Another aspect of health psychology is how people get sick because they hold grudges or because of emotional hurt caused by family or friends. Not letting these issues go can be a hazard to the physical wellbeing of a person.
The placebo effect
More evidence in favour of health psychology is studies done on the placebo effect. The theory goes that if you give a sick person medication that actually has no effect on their bodies and tell them that it will make them well, their minds will believe the fallacy to such a point that their bodies will actually get better. Stories are even documented about how patients who hear that they have a short time to live, die as expected; while others who have the same condition, live longer not knowing their condition. This proves the power that the mind has over the body.
Compassion and care
Healing can also be received through a positive mental process. A mother’s touch can be very healing to a young child who is ill or hurt. This caring mentality is well-understood in hospitals where nurses are encouraged to act compassionately toward patients. Smiling, being friendly, and showing empathy are all methods that speed up the body’s healing process and accelerate recovery.
Health is not all science. There is clearly a correlation between how we think and how we feel. Keeping our spirits high is a sure way to attain better health. Less stress in our daily lives will play a huge part in staying healthy. By changing our mental state, we can often overcome huge health obstacles and even prevent sickness.
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