Optimism

Have you ever felt fearful?  Do you worry a lot?  Do you feel unsafe in your own home or community?  Do you spend a lot of time thinking about your own safety?  Do you worry about your future?  Do you worry about the swine flu outbreaks?  Do you worry about your health?  Do you dwell on illness and death?  Do you worry about your job?  Do you worry about your safety on the highways?  Are your fears seemingly endless?

Well, did you know that  according to Dr. W.F. Peate in his book “Native Healing : Four Sacred Paths to Health”, the more pessimistic you are the more likely you are to develop heart disease?  He writes that  the Veteran’s Affairs Normative Aging study looked at over 2800 men over the past 46 years  and found that those who were deemed pessimistic developed  heart disease more often than not.  He reports that the results were based their findings on the Minnesota Multiphasic  Personality Inventory.  They found that pessimists had twice as much heart disease as optimistic people.  Think about that…could we be attracting the very thing that kills us because we dwell on all the negatives?

Dr. Peate also asks the question of… “what has the greatest effect on the differences in heart disease between rich and poor neighborhoods:  income, education, occupation, smoking, physical activity, diabetes, blood pressure, type of cholesterol, weight or body mass index?”

He stated that …”the answer, based on research in Britain and across the United States, may surprise us.”   He states that “Something beyond genetics, lifestyle, behavior, income, or health care disparities affect our health.”  Dr. Peate reports that “researchers suggest two areas for intervention…enhancing the social and psychological resources of individual people and improving the quality of neighborhoods and communal life.”

M.G. Marmot, one of the authors of an important study that Peate quotes in his book, states that, “My own view is that the mind is a crucial gateway through which social influences affect physiology to cause disease.  The mind may work through effects on health-related behavior, such as smoking, eating, drinking, physical activity, or risk taking, or it may act through effects on neurendocrine or immune mechanisms.”  Basically there is a good chance that what we think and feel affects our wellbeing.

Our bodies are marvelous machines that we need to understand and take care of.  The social influences in the neighborhoods we live in do affect our health.  Those people who feel that the world is out to get them will likely not fare as well as people who take responsibility for their bad decisions and make attempts at changing their behavior.  Those who blame others feel hopeless to change things while those who accept their part in things will make the changes needed.  It is the glass half full/half empty syndrome.

We recently visited relatives in Florida.  They live in a small 55 and over trailer parks.  What I observed there really made an impact on my thinking.  It seemed that those residents spend an inordinate amount of time talking about, thinking about, and sharing their thoughts on death and dying.  It seemed that who died, who was sick, and how sick they were was the primary theme of conversation on a continuous basis.  It permeated the community.  I hate to say this, but it seemed as if most of those people had gone there to wait to die.  That was their primary focus.

There were a few who organized bingo nights, karaoke, potluck dinners, etc.  However, the majority of the people did not attend.  Their lives consisted of game shows and dwelling on their illnesses.    And, the consequences of this negative focus was prevalent.  People just got sicker and sicker until they died.  Those who tried to create a life seemed hopeless and soon quit trying within the community.  Only those who sought activities outside the community seemed to fare better health wise. My theory is that the collective negative energy produced in the trailer park contributed to the pessimistic attitudes of the residents and thus a negative spiral existed.

Again let me suggest that you go to Youtube.com and type in “Quantum Physics applied to mind power” and listen to the various video clips that appear there.  It is quite the eye opener.  I was thinking that most workshops, symposiums, lectures, etc. are aimed at informing and changing thought.  It is obvious that those involved in these activities realize that good comes from thought changing ideas or they wouldn’t waste their time doing it.  All the self help books on the shelves are based on information and changing thought.  Psychologists and doctors spend a great deal of time trying to change our direction.

So, here we are at a cross roads of sorts.  We can embrace change or we can keep going down the same road.  We can change the way we think and feel or we can keep doing the same things we have always done.  The outcome, however, is becoming much clearer.  We have a choice to make in how we choose to live the rest of our lives.  We can work to change our communities for the better or we can live in fear and worry ourselves to death.  We can improve the lives of those around us, and by doing this, change our own life, or we can sit back and feel helpless and hopeless and continue the negative spiral we have been going down.

The choices are clear and our options sit before us.  What will you do?

Chris

 

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~ by womenstudycenter on November 23, 2009.

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