Saturday, August 27, 2011

Attitude and Health

As a health major, I took many health classes in college. One day one of my  professors brought up the topic of attitude and health. It was one of the more memorable lessons I recall from college. He used the word "hearty" to describe individuals who are more resilient, optimistic, up to a challenge, and able to cope with changes in their lives better.

One's attitude can help determine how you deal with stress, illness, injury, and serious disease. It also determines how you feel about taking care of your body. I believe having a good attitude can improve one's health. To illustrate this, let's look at the example of someone with a bad attitude.

I'm sure you have encountered people who always seem to have a furrowed brow and a scowl on their face. Their bad attitudes ooze negativity to everyone they come in contact with. They love to complain and bellyache about everything. These are the kind of people who brighten a room up when they leave. You can't tell me that their negative interpretation of life and angry emotions don't carry over and manifest themselves on a physical level in their various body systems and, in turn, affect their health.

I think a great example of the power of attitude is the story of Victor Frankl. He was a Jewish psychiatrist who was sent to a concentration camp during World War II. He observed that those who survived the nightmarish conditions were the ones who looked to serve and take care of others. They still had purpose and focused on others as opposed to the suffering they were going through. They refused to give up and, as a result, had a better chance of surviving.

I've never had to endure a concentration camp, abuse, or gone through chemotherapy, so I am not trying to judge those who have had bad attitudes while going through horrific experiences. I'm just trying to point out that the ability of a person to deal with difficulties and move beyond them has a great deal to do with their mentality and attitude.

I've trained people with negative attitudes who second guess and refuse to take counsel. They make excuses and try to be the exception to the rule for nature's laws. I've found that the "glass half empty" people are less likely to be successful at reaching their goals and getting results than people who have a positive attitude.

Some people think positive attitude denotes a Pollyanna complex or is used to describe people with rose-colored glasses who ignore reality. A positive attitude is much more than that. Having the proper attitude is essential to good health. As you develop a hearty attitude, you will be able to deal with set backs and adversity more successfully. I believe attitude is one of the great secrets to better health.

1 comment:

Raymond said...

That's very true and the positive people are the ones we all need to be around.
But another point is how do get to be hearty if not already?
I believe in conditioning, reprogramming, affirmations etc … al these things mean to me is that you need to consistently and repeatedly be positive ..and you'll learn to be!