Your mind affects your body and your body affects your mind.
Our brains produce many chemicals that can be released in part by our thoughts and feelings.
Endorphins act as natural painkillers, gamma globulin strengthens our immune system, and
Cortisol is released in response to fear or stress as part of the fight-or-flight response mechanism.
So, if we feel stressed or anxious, the body reacts as if it is under attack and releases cortisol
and hormones that speed up our heart rate and breathing, increase our blood pressure, and
make our muscles tense.
When you are able to relax your mind and body, your body stops producing the hormones that
create stress. This allows you to physically and mentally “calm down.”
One study found that being optimistic was associated with a decreased risk for
Another study found that practicing optimism decreased the amount of cortisol released during
On the other hand, constant pain or health problems like heart disease can affect your
You might become depressed, anxious, and stressed and this could then affect how well you
manage or treat the illness.
And if we are sick, negative thoughts and emotions can hinder our brains from producing some
chemicals that help heal the body.
However, if you have a positive outlook, you may be able to better handle the pain or stress. This could help you heal better or stay healthier than someone who has more negative
emotions and is less hopeful.
As you can see, it is ALL connected.
What are some ways that you practice positive thinking in your daily life?