Guest Writer for Wake Up World
One might ask, “How can I be happier in my life? How can I unite my body, mind and soul to create a happy life?”
Doctors have long acknowledged the influence our thought patterns have on the body, but usually only among themselves. Freshman medical texts sometimes admit that as much as 50% of disease is psychosomatic; in other words, “of the mind”.
The Biology of Belief
I have read the story of Dr. Norman Cousins, author of “Anatomy of an Illness”. He was diagnosed in 1964 with Ankylosing Spondylitis (crippling collagen disease). His doctor gave him a one in 500 chance of recovery. After a series of hospital procedures, Cousins checked himself out of the hospital and moved into a hotel. He believed that positive attitudes would result in positive results. Surrounding himself with funny movies and alternative healing methods such as intravenous Vitamin C therapy, he made a full recovery.
After reading Dr. Cousin’s story, I thought back to my mother. How much did emotions play a part in her Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), immune system, and health? During the 1960’s, psychiatrist George Salomon was an early pioneer in psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), the study of mind/body connection. He observed the connection between depression and people with RA noting that their depression seemed to make their condition worse. It certainly seemed to be the case with my mother who was always depressed and lacked any drive to be well. She died at 52.
My grandmother had Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 in her upper 60’s. She lost a leg and learned to walk with A prosthesis. Her mantra became “When you have your health, you have everything”. She had the courage and strength to get up each morning and go about her daily life. She survived into her mid 70’s, passing away in her sleep. Her resilience and attitude, coupled with faith in herself and God, gave her a longer life than the doctors predicted. She outlived her older husband and one of her daughters, my mother.
I am 71 years of age. For now, I reside in a small apartment choosing to be near my children and eight grandchildren. I stay active with yoga classes, biking, hiking, attending cultural events and being of service to others. I read, write and start each day as a new adventure. The women who live around me are in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. They are widows or have been divorced for years. Some are still able to drive while others rely on public or county transportation.
I have noticed a pattern with some of these women. They have led full lives and are intelligent beings, however their mind set is negative. I continue to hear “they are old” and as a result, their health and spirits have been greatly affected. It’s as though they are sitting around waiting to die. Others (like myself) choose to stay active by gardening, sewing or participating in events.
In Bruce Lipton’s book “The Biology of Belief” scientific findings merge with a convergence of the body, mind and spirit trinity to empower our thoughts, beliefs and attitudes in our daily lives. We are living in a world filled with chaotic energy, which affects our path to peace-filled living. Bruce Lipton’s scientific studies have shown that our childhood beliefs and programmed perceptions can be radically shifted and help to rewrite our genetic coding. His research is in tune with ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’ and ‘The Laws of Attraction’. His new science of cellular biology can inspire us personally and professionally.
Some suggestions as catalysts for your continuing quest for a vibrant and happy life include:
Develop an Attitude of Gratitude
When there is something that may not be going well, rather than focus on what is wrong and how you can fix it, ask yourself “what do I have in my life right now to be grateful for?”
Be Selfish ~ Treat and Pamper Yourself
Being selfish is a difficult thing for many of us to aspire to. And yet it is important for us to learn how to be kinder to ourselves. I raised five children and had very little time to do things for myself that didn’t involve the family. I disciplined myself to make time for just me. Sometimes it was as simple as a walk or a lunch with a friend.
I hope you inspire yourself to become healthier. Being healthy and happy encompasses the food we eat, our daily attitudes, and the environment where we live; which include our community of family and friends. We can choose to change our diet, exercise more or to be of service to another who may need help. Happiness doesn’t come from being rich and prosperous or owning ‘things’. By taking in life’s small pleasures, make an effort to stay healthy, and focus your energy inward instead of outward. Happiness may be as simple as eating a scrumptious apple just picked from the tree. It could be lying in a hammock or witnessing a splendid sunset after a misty rain.
Remember to Choose Happiness Each Day
“Each morning when I open my eyes, I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I am going to be happy in it.” ~ Groucho Marx
About the author:
Cynthia Olsen (pen name) is the author of several award winning books and a successful publisher. In addition to her role as mother to her five children and her role as “Nonna” for her eight grandchildren, Cynthia is a lifelong supporter and exponent of holistic living. She formed an import company in 1985, becoming a leader in introducing Australian Tea Tree Oil into the North American health scene.
Cynthia’s appetite for continued learning and healthy lifestyle choices has amassed a wealth of information, which she willingly shares through writing and speaking engagements. Her book Essiac: A Native Herbal Cancer Remedy received the Small Press Gold Book Award in 1997. Her recent book Looking Up: Seven Steps for a Healthy & Youthful Midlife and Beyond has been a labor of love due to her passion for healthy aging, and is a Gold and Silver Medal recipient and finalist in USA Book Award and EVVY Award.
From her home in Colorado as well as her travel venues, Cynthia continues to actively pursue her varied interests in health, spirituality and joyful living.