Finally, in 2018, we are able to recognize there is an intimate and dynamic relationship between what is going on with our feelings and thoughts and what happens in the body. Numerous studies and observations have shown that happiness, hopefulness, optimism, and contentment appear to reduce the risk or limit the severity of cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, diabetes, hypertension, colds and upper-respiratory infections; while depression — the extreme opposite of happiness — can worsen heart disease, diabetes and a host of other illnesses.
Illness is very real, accidents happen, and medicine can certainly help. We all know someone who’s had burst appendix and is immensely grateful for the medical intervention that saved their lives. But the role of the mind and emotions in our state of health appears to be a vital one and by understanding this relationship we can claim a greater role in our own wellbeing. It is only a part of the overall picture but can be overlooked.