Creating a Positive Mental State
The link between our mental and physical states is so profound and closely integrated scientists have even coined a term for it – the Mindbody. The late Dr. Candace Pert, a globally respected neuroscientist and pharmacologist, broke new medical ground with her research offering evidence that “your body is your subconscious mind.” The Optimum Health Store carries Dr. Pert’s books and CDs.
When our brain is stressed with worries, fears and visions of all the things that could or are going wrong in our life, our body will respond accordingly. Back and chest pains, high blood pressure, insomnia, constipation, fatigue, headaches and weight gain or loss can frequently become physical manifestations of poor emotional health.
A recent TIME magazine special showed that more positive emotional states – like happiness, optimism, contentment and hopefulness – could lessen the severity or even the risk of developing physical symptoms. A similar study reported that optimism could reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 50%.
The relatively new field of positive psychology suggests that simple decisions to focus on what’s going right, rather than what’s going wrong, can measurably raise our level of optimism. For instance, pausing each evening for a week before we go to bed to focus on the three most wonderful things we experienced that day will boost our joy level for six months. Making the practice an on-going habit will continue to keep us in a more positive mental state.
Besides making a conscious decision to acknowledge all the good things unfolding in our lives, meditation is another excellent way to quiet the mind, increase our optimism, and nurture the body and spirit.
Meditation advocates from Buddhists to cardiologists encourage us to make the practice a regular part of our daily lives. M.R.I brain scans show that taking time daily to enter into a deep meditative state even changes the brain’s structure, increasing gray matter in the area of the brain governing learning and memory. Meditation also reduces gray matter in the region associated with anxiety and stress.
Learn more about meditation and cultivating more happiness with a one, two or ideally three week stay at OHI missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas. Help us celebrate 40 Years of Holistic Healing. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org , or call us at (800) 993-4325 to find out about special OHI Summer Retreat discounts and make your reservation.