Friday, November 27, 2009

Lean Toward the Bright Side

If you’re like me, you probably don’t like the idea of taking medicine. And as an ardent believer in natural health, my choice would definitely be natural remedies over drugs, if it’s at all possible to avoid them. But here’s a medicine I can recommend wholeheartedly and without reservation. You don’t need a prescription for it and, best of all, it’s free! What am talking about? A merry heart. In Proverbs 17:22 we find this bit of ancient wisdom: “A merry heart does good, like medicine. But a broken spirit dries the bones.” In the same way that happiness can lead to better health, a negative attitude can literally make us sick.

Dr. Richard Davidson of the University of Wisconsin has discovered through research that people with a positive attitude “have more electrical and metabolic activity on the left side of the brain’s prefrontal lobe” (Creation Health Discovery, p. 92). This is the side of the brain that has more of the killer cells that help to fight viruses. In other words, a positive attitude can help us to resist disease. Now, that’s powerful medicine.

On the other hand, Neil Nedley, M.D., who is well-known for his work with depressed patients and author of the book Depression, The Way Out, cites a number of studies indicating higher risk factors for certain diseases in people who are depressed. These conditions include cancer, pneumonia, elevated stress hormone levels, osteoporosis, hypertension, elevated blood sugar, asthma, seizures, and infertility, among others. In his book, which I highly recommend, he suggests a number of lifestyle measures you can take to help deal with and/or prevent depression.

The reality is that there is an intricate mind-body connection (we are fearfully and wonderfully made!), and I firmly believe that in order to achieve optimal health, we must take care of our physical bodies (exercise, follow a good diet, get proper rest, etc.) as well as our minds, by cultivating a sense of optimism and a positive attitude. (Keep in mind that if you are dealing with clinical depression, it’s important that you seek the care of a competent physician who recognizes the role of lifestyle in the healing process.)

I could share with you many tips to help you cultivate a positive outlook on life, but you can read them for yourself in Dr. Nedley’s book, and I hope you will (even if you don’t suffer with depression). Let me just leave you with this thought: God’s Word, the Bible, is filled with promises that give us hope and joy. If you want to have a brighter outlook on life, then read the Bible, follow its principles, and grasp hold of the promises you discover there. Here’s one of my favorite promises that I hope you’ll take to heart: I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).


The Wellness Lady

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