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Many studies demonstrate that our mind has tremendous influence over our health. It’s no secret that placebos – “pills” that look like medicine but don’t contain any – often produce results as good or better than standard medications.
I’m not advising you to set aside medications or other standards treatments for an illness. But you can tap into the additional healing power of mind and spirit.
Healthy mind, healthy body
Happy people, people with a network of warm relationships, are healthier, recover faster from illness and injury, and live longer than others.
A realistic feeling of control in one’s life also seems to help. Flexibility in the face of life’s unexpected challenges is very helpful.
These qualities also reduce stress. The connection between high stress and illness is well known. Stress related illnesses include heart attacks, digestive disorders, strokes, muscle pain and injuries.
Having goals in life helps, too. When people lose a sense of purpose, give up on life, their health can quickly worsen, even leading to death.
Specific methods you can use
Become aware of your emotions, and seek to set aside stress. Resolve to do what you can to fix or cope with the situation, and let the stress go. Practice relaxation techniques. This may include prayer, meditation, or just chilling out in a comfortable chair.
Develop an attitude of gratitude. Focus on the things you can appreciate about your past, present and future.
Manage your time. Be realistic about what you can accomplish in a day and leave time for re-creation. Do activities you enjoy and that add to your life.
Cultivate your network of family and friends, especially relationships where you can be open and honest.
Regular exercise relieves stress, keeps you in shape, and strengthens you ability to heal injury and illness.
Laughter is also helpful in reducing stress.
A healthy diet is also important. A diet high in sugar and caffeine can make you stressed.
It’s been shown that you can heal faster if you accept that you have an illness.
A higher power
Studies show that those who believe in a higher power are likely to heal more quickly. It reduces anxiety. Prayer or meditation can can lower your breathing rate, heart rate, and blood pressure.