A positive attitude is healthy. Introducing Attitude and Your Mind

Introducing Attitude and Your Mind

Attitude is about dealing with the reality of existence. From the commonsense point of view, your mind refers to your inner dialog of self-talk. Attitude is dealing with other people. Your mind can heal by mobilizing your body's innate healing powers. Attitude is about dealing with your emotional states from love and compassion to fear and anger. Attitude is having the fortitude to do what you want to do when you want to do it.

Highlights of Attitude and Your Mind:

    Attitude is your self-talk
  • Your attitude is a key part of the biopsychosocial / mind - body model of Natural Health.
  • Attitude is a psychogenic factor of the mind - body connection.
    • Psychogenic factors affect both your mind and body.
  • For good natural health you have to be both physically and emotionally well.
  • Attitude is about having the fortitude to do, what you want to do, when you want to do it.
  • Stress comes from how you have chosen to react to the stresses of everyday life, rather than from the stressor itself.
  • A strong mind, or the capacity to say no, improves a person's health.
  • Stop reacting to stressors, and start acting by plan.
  • Having a strong mind, being responsible, self-disciplined, capable, easygoing, having a low level of anxiety, enthusiasm, sensitivity, and warmth is correlated to successful aging.[1],[2],[3]

From the common sense point of view, your mind refers to your inner dialog of self-talk. This inner dialog of self-talk takes place parallel to whatever behavior you maybe engaging in. The Aristotelian subdivisions of the mind (perception, attention, imagination, emotion, motivation, memory and volition) or the mentalistic concepts of everyday speech can aid readers in dealing with their inner dialog of self-talk.

Your conscious mind refers to a subjective awareness of what is going on. You should view it as a subjective view of reality that your unconscious mind makes possible. Your conscious mind is a state of self-awareness, which is the net result of many parallel physiological processes. "The mind--a manifest functioning of the brain--and the other body systems interact in ways critical for health, illness, and well-being."[9]

Your unconscious mind refers to the automatic processes controlled by your brain and nervous system that collectively take place without your awareness or conscious control. Any behavior that has become routine and is done without conscious thought is controlled by your unconscious mind, by definition. Emotions and feelings are an integral part of your experience of self-awareness. Yet emotions are a part of your unconscious mind because they operate automatically.

"I see a sea of millions of people going down with their own negative thoughts, going down for the third time in this big sea of iniquity and negativity."

These mentalistic terms are a useful part of everyday speech. Any further hair splitting over terms and pursuit of unanswerable questions is best left to the philosophers. In no way should the reader assume that this mentalistic terminology has any necessary relevance to neuroscience. The main challenge confronting this Web site is to explain the mind as part of the mind - body connection.

"From the biopsychosocial perspective, the mind is one activity of the brain, and this activity of the brain is the body's first line of defense against illness, against aging, against death, and for health and well-being."[9]

"There is an increasingly compelling body of scientific evidence indicating that mind-body interactions are at the root of both natural health and disease."[4] "Stressful life events have been shown to be important in the initiation and exacerbation of both infectious and non-infectious diseases while personality factors may act to increase or reduce vulnerability to physical disorders."[5] "Thoughts, feelings, and moods can have a significant effect on the onset of some diseases, the course of many, and the management of nearly all. Many visits to the doctor are occasioned by psychosocial distress. Even in those patients with organic medical disorders, functional health status is strongly influenced by mood, coping skills, and social support."[6]

One recent study found that older people with more Positive Self-Perceptions of Aging [PSPA] lived longer than those with fewer positive self-perceptions of aging. It is a landmark study that proves that attitude works with an expected payoff of 7.5 years.[8]

"The effect of more positive self-perceptions of aging on survival is greater than the physiological measures of low systolic blood pressure and cholesterol, each of which of aging is also greater than the independent contribution of lower body mass index, no history of smoking, and a tendency to exercise; is associated with a longer life span of 4 years or less ... The survival advantage of more positive self-perceptions each of these factors has been found to contribute between 1 and 3 years of added life ..."[8]

In this study, the core belief "that the perceived benefits of one‚s life outweigh the perceived hardships" characterized a healthy attitude. With High PSPA your mindset is toward "the perceived benefits of life" rather than "the perceived hardships of life." People who view retirement as a "time to develop new interests and ... opportunities to extend not only one‚s lifetime but also what can be called one‚s personal biography" have Positive Self-Perceptions of Aging. Low PSPA people view retirement as "a period characterized by monotony, boredom and decline, a period marking time until death."[8]

"The body responds to the brain regardless of whether the beliefs and ideas are imaginary or based in reality."[9]

The philosophy of Natural Health recognizes the Mind - Body - Spirit Connection. Our thoughts and emotions play a central role in all aspects of our health. Your mind can heal by mobilizing your body's innate healing powers. The existence of the placebo effect documents the healing power of the mind. Natural Health advocates believe that by taking care of our psychological well-being we, can often prevent illness and speed our own recovery when we do get sick.

"I think about TODAY; I don't think about tomorrow.
I think about this moment and what I am going to do."

Attitude differs from resilience. Attitude is about perfecting your level of self-control to the point where your mind rules both your body and spirit. Resilience is about developing coping skills or specific strategies for handling specific situations (i.e., deciding what you should do in each of life's challenges). Attitude is about having the fortitude to do, what you want to do, when you want to do it. Attitude is what provides the power that will make Resilience work.

How well can you use reason to obtain a measure of self-control over the destiny of your life? How well can you deal with frustration in your daily life? If you have managed to stay out of jail, are currently holding down a job, own a car that gets you to work, have a little bit of money saved in the bank, and have a place to rest at night you have succeeded at surviving. Yet will your current attitude promote Optimum Health and Longevity?

“You have to wake up in the morning and kick yourself in the butt and grab the bull by the horns or the bull will grab you. And thatno bull‚s no bull!”

Good health is just as much a part of having the correct attitude towards life as it is about having a physically fit body. Indeed, health can even be defined as being successful in coping with pain, sickness, and death as a normal part of life.[7]

The Natural Health Perspective has a definitive position on what is a healthy attitude. You have a healthy attitude only if you believe that the stress in your life comes from how you have chosen to react to the stresses of everyday life, rather than directly from the stressor itself. In other words, the problem is not with other people, but is within you. If you believe in the Natural Health Perspective you obtain control over your own individual destiny by taking control of your own passions, emotions, moods, and urges. The goal is not a life without emotion, but a life in which you are always in control by virtue of your ability to use reason / volition to rule both your body and your passions.

"It is a truism ... that what one person sees as an insurmountable demand is welcomed as an interesting challenge by another, while not even [being] recognized as a unique situation by a third."[9]

A person with the proper attitude realizes the impact that the seven deadly sins/vices and the seven cardinal virtues have on their own health. These are not quaint old fashion notions long forgotten, but part of the daily battle for self-control.

"The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n"
--John Milton, Paradise Lost

The goal of working on your attitude is the avoidance of impulsive tendencies with automatic, but incorrect responses from a natural health perspective. Attitude is about your thoughts. Always be slow to respond to all forms of stress in your environment. Always think, before responding.

The primary difference between man and animal is Reason. The animal is ruled by his environment. External forces control the destiny of the animal. Man on the other hand has the capacity to say no to his environment, by virtue of his Reason. A man becomes a human being by exercising choice or self-control. Can you say no to anything?

"You have the power to do it,
but you have to take responsibility."

Look around you. Look at yourself. Modern society is out of control. Individuals with a total lack of self control makes up the clear majority of the population. Anger is one of the many animal passions. If anybody can get you totally bent out of shape, your life is totally out of control. Roy Masters talks about this a lot. Bullies rule you by forcing you to respond to them, at their whim. You have started on the path to a proper attitude when it finally dawns on you what is happening. The only way to live as a human being is to exercise control over both what you will do, and feel. You will have a good attitude only when you decide to stop reacting to stressors, and start acting by plan.

In conclusion: from the Natural Health Perspective natural health is about promoting wellness and fitness through the natural therapies of eating a healthy diet, taking nutritional supplements, reaping the benefits of exercise, and having a healthy attitude and resilience in your life. Your mind is a psychosocial factor that affects your Health. Yet attitude is only one part of the Natural Health Perspective. Attitude and resilience are the most difficult and most rewarding areas to work on.

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Introducing Attitude and Your Mind Comments:

References:

  1. Samuelsson SM; Alfredson BB; Hagberg B. The Swedish Centenarian Study: a multidisciplinary study of five consecutive cohorts at the age of 100. Int J Aging Hum Dev 1997;45(3):223-53. PMID: 9438877
  2. Quinn ME; Johnson MA; Poon LW. Factors of nutritional health-seeking behaviors. Findings from the Georgia Centenarian Study. J Aging Health 1997 Feb;9(1):90-104. PMID: 10182412
  3. Quinn ME; Johnson MA; Poon LW. Psychosocial correlates of subjective health in sexagenarians, octogenarians, and centenarians. Issues Ment Health Nurs. 1999 Mar-Apr;20(2):151-71. PMID: 10409994
  4. Pelletier KR. Mind-body health: research, clinical, and policy applications. Am J Health Promote. 1992 May-Jun;6(5):345-58. Review. PMID: 10148755
  5. Abiodun OA. The role of psychosocial factors in the causation, course and outcome of physical disorders: a review. East Afr Med J. 1994 Jan;71(1):55-9. Review. PMID: 8055768
  6. Sobel DS. Re-thinking medicine: improving health outcomes with cost-effective psychosocial interventions. Psychosom Med. 1995 May-Jun;57(3):234-44. Review. PMID: 7652124
  7. Moynihan R, Smith R. Too much medicine? BMJ. 2002 Apr 13;324(7342):859-60.
    PMID: 11950716
  8. Levy BR, Slade MD, Kunkel SR, Kasl SV. Longevity increased by positive self-perceptions of aging. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2002 Aug;83(2):261-70.
    PMID: 12150226
  9. Ray O. How the mind hurts and heals the body. Am Psychol. 2004 Jan; 59(1): 29-40. PMID: 14736318



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