Death by expectation of death – that was the topic of the previous article. Now the opposite: To live longer and stay healthier because of the positive expectation of a longer and healthier life.
If the expectation of death works, the contrary should work too.
Just, because it’s logical.
A car drives as long as it drives, no matter what the person behind the stirring wheel is thinking about the car. This is what most people believe, so they may wash their car regularly. On the same hand they do not constantly stroke it, do not say thank you for every ride, but are still banging the doors of their car.
Although some people seem to love their car more than other people, that does not mean that they send positive thoughts to their vehicle and do not maltreat it at the next intersection.
It’s just meant to be kicked, they think. And that’s what they do, just for fun.
A lot of people behave very similar with their body. They clean the biological vehicle regularly, sometimes touching it calmly and tenderly, but usually in a hectic pace and careless. To thank their own body – this idea would be outlandish. But to criticise it, to find it ugly, to talk badly about it and to treat it like that – seems appropriate, even entertaining.
If you act like this, you will be injured and, as a result, you may become ill, perhaps even seriously ill and therefore have to live with the consequence of a significantly shorter lifetime.
That this behaviour might be a mistake has been discussed for a long time. But how to overcame this mistake with clever reasoning, perhaps not yet.
Suppose human bodies are like cars, call them the vehicles of life – how important would be what the drivers think about them? And what kind of effect would their behaviour as drivers have?
Well, that doesn’t matter, some drivers answer. At a certain point, everything breaks, especially when the expiry date has been exceeded. No matter what one thinks about it … When you sit behind the stirring wheel, you can think what you want – ugly, cynical, negative, humorless, loveless und dumb thoughts – as long as you look at the road and do not drive against a tree …
The car doesn’t care what the driver think about it.
That may be the small difference between a car and a body: the body cares. Back in 1993, Penebaker and Francis, two American physicans, had been able to show that positive thinking significantly increases the likelihood of surviving a cancer diagnosis. In 2006, Cohen and Pressman, also physicians, concluded in a study that people who think positive live around 10 years longer than those with negative expectations.
What is positive thinking?, you could ask now.
Quite simply: everything what you take for it.
Objection: I can not judge what is positive and what is negative, because my life is so mixed up that I’m confused.
Possible. But not so confused that you no longer know what is meant by positive and negative at all
Okay, I got it. Next question: How do I give up negative thinking altogether?
Answer: Impossible. You can not do that. But keep in min: Important is the sum. How does your negative thinking add up? Compare the quantity of your positive thinking. Is it more or less?
The sum decides where a life leads to. To more health or less. For more pleasure or less. The rest is grace.
What does that mean now?
Quite simply: that every person can move himself with mindfulness towards the good and better, but can not force it.
Spiritual Medicine means to unfold mindfulness and good intention and to seek closeness to yourself. That could be a long road. Take it with humor. Health starts in the head. That’s why health is always psychogenic. And nothing about it is coincidental.