Half Full or Half Empty?

by Paul Wood

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Whether a glass of water is half full or half empty is distinguished by our outlook. The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them. Obstacles can  be tools of success or hindrances. Admittedly, we all struggle in life and face problems. Consequently, what are our options?

Well, an optimist will aim to do the best in a given situation believing that things will work out for the best in the long run.

On daily basis the attitude of cheerfulness and contentment boosts immune enhancing mechanisms thus preventing disease. In contrast feelings of helplessness, distrust, anxiety, discontent tend to suppress our immunity and invite decay.

Study that followed Harvard graduates showed that pessimists had a higher disease risk factors in the middle age and late adulthood. Additionally, cancer recurrence is more frequent in pessimistic individuals. On the other hand studies have found that the optimistic cancer survivors live the longest.

The research has only confirmed what has been observed even in the history that dating few thousand years ago. Moreover, an ancient proverb told by the wise kind Solomon says that a merry heart does like a good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Optimistic individuals have better health not just because their mood is better, thus affecting the immune system, but also because they tend to become better and continuously strive to improve their health. They are keen on learning and applying new knowledge. In addition, they don’t isolate themselves. They seek to engage in meaningful social support systems and communities that are also important for physical health. Pessimists tend to be more passive when the trouble strikes and are less likely to seek social support.

There is a strong connection between our thoughts and the immune system. A happy relaxed mind produces hormones that release neurotransmitters in charged of happiness, pleasure, energy, concentration, motivation. On the other hand during depression they get depleted and the immune system down spirals.

Choosing courage over fear, hope over hopelessness, sympathy over apathy, love over resentment and hate will promote health and prolong life.

In a matter of fact nothing tends more to promote health of body and of soul than does a spirit of gratitude and praise.




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