Monday, December 28, 2009

Belief is a Leg Up

Belief is a Leg up (or a misstep down)

After many years as a psychotherapist, I thought I had mastered the rules for “Mind over Matter:. But this Christmas, grandson Adam Mobley added a piece of wisdom to my list. He got it in a teachers’s conference in his work as a math teacher in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Below is a summary of the psychological research of how the mind hurts or heals the body by Oakley Ray, (American Psychologist, January 2004), it is clear that how one thinks affects one’ life health, happiness and longevity. See how many of these you accept, embrace and practice.

Diet: Do we eat to live, or live to eat? How often d we use food fir comfort? We know that our bodies do not need lots of meat, calories, sweets, fats, breads, pasta, etc. we know that a Mediterranean diet high in fish, vegetables, nuts and fruits is healthier for the heart. The bigger the waistline the shorter ythelifeline.

Exercise: Do we walk, exercise enough, 2x, 3X a week? We know that regular vigorous exercise strengths the heart and the immune system.

Attitude: Is the glass half empty or half full. It is not what happens but how we take it. If we focus on the positive we become more positive. It has been said that attitude is everything, attitude determines altitude, but actually “attitude is everywhere. “(Adam Mobley) We convey, catch and are caught by attitude everywhere. Are we a role model?

Education. The more education a person has, the more healthy they tend to be. Possibly they see the world as more complex or have more coping skills, better health habits, or more imagination than some others.

Inner Resources. Living a reflective life stye, by use of meditation, prayer, journaling, joga, reading, etc., all increased resiliency and improve coping skills.

Social support systems: family, friends, work networks, a faith community. Those with strong social support do better after loss. Women do better than men.

Sense of humor. Not only laughing daily but being able to laugh at oneself. Laughter is healing and healthy.

Strong personal faith. This does not seem to need organized religion, since this is beyond church affiliation. Possibly connected with this but maybe different is the ability to visualize oneself as a generous, kind, forgiving and loving persons.

Zest for life and the will to live. It helps enormously to have a passion to live for , a service to others that drives one’s energies. One needs a vision of oneself remaining productive, creative and being needed and useful to others.

There are still others, as we are still just beginning to discover the power of the mind. Perhaps you have one to contribute? What about a story you believe in that gives you courage and commitment?

Your brain and what you tell yourself is your first line of defense against illness and disease and setbacks in life. It is where you will first find success and happiness. Editor Griff Baute.
©Paschal Baute, 2009