Often those of us on the road to conscious conception, whether from heart or body, forget that our level of optimism can play just as powerful of a role as the numerous paths we take to address our physical selves.
Perhaps this forgetfulness stems from the difficulty of remaining optimistic in the face of disappointments, let downs, fears, and dashed hopes/dreams. Yet such optimism is a powerful tool to employ to help our bodies heal, and to keep our dreams and hopes alive.
One effective method I have found for harnessing optimism is the power of a day dream. You see, within each of hearts–deep down where we must be still and quiet to hear and listen to it’s wisdom–is the knowing of where this journey ends.
When we settle into the stillness that leads us to that answer, and then visit that place often, optimism is the river that will always meander through it’s path.
So perhaps today is a good day to day dream. Those dreams that are most vivid in their color and detail are the ones that will float us closest to the shores of tomorrow.
Take time, dream your dreams in the waking hours of the day, and in so doing float away on optimism river into the world of your future mothering self.
Are Happy People Healthier: New Reasons to Stay Positive
By Nancy Gottesman
O, The Oprah Magazine | From the April 2011 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
We know tai chi has all sorts of benefits, and here’s one more: In research conducted at UCLA, 61 older adults took tai chi classes three times a week, while 61 others attended health education classes. At the end of four months, both groups received a dose of the shingles vaccine—and the tai chi group achieved twice the level of immunity. “It’s likely the meditation component that is causing the effect,” says study author Michael R. Irwin. “Which means it’s possible other forms of meditative exercise, like yoga, would lead to a similar boost.”
Seek Help If You Need It
A study by researchers at the University of Nottingham monitored the rate of healing in 93 people with foot ulcers, a skin injury common in diabetics. After six months, subjects who were clinically depressed and subjects who were not coping well emotionally with their condition showed less improvement. As a result of the findings, the university is developing a therapy program for diabetic patients. “We hope this intervention will help cut the risk of reulceration,” says study author Kavita Vedhara, PhD.
Lean on Your Friends
Sheldon Cohen, PhD, is a psychology professor at Carnegie Mellon University and an expert on the link between social networks and health. In one of his studies, Cohen exposed 276 adults to the common cold virus. He wasn’t surprised to find that smokers were three times more likely to get sick. But Cohen also found that subjects who had the least variety of social relationships fared even worse—they were 4.2 times more likely to catch a cold. One reason people with strong social ties are better at warding off infection may be that they have lower stress levels, Cohen says.
Look on the Bright Side
In another of Cohen’s studies, he assessed 193 subjects to determine their level of positive emotions (including happiness, calmness, and liveliness). Again, he exposed participants to a virus—and found that people who scored low on positive emotions were three times as likely to succumb to the bug. (A few high-scoring participants fell ill, too, but they reported fewer symptoms than the average cold or flu sufferer normally experiences.) What’s intriguing about this phenomenon, says Lara M. Stepleman, PhD, an assistant professor of psychiatry and health behavior at the Medical College of Georgia, is that “we all have the ability to choose an optimistic mind-set. And with practice, we can get better at it.”