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Choosing to focus on the positive can drastically improve your mood and interaction with others. It can turn a lousy day into a great day. It can turn bad news into an opportunity for growth. But research shows that it can also speed up physical healing in the body. The teachings of The Kabbalah Centre support these studies, showing that science and spirituality can complement each other in significant ways.
A Canadian study that spanned 30 years linked a patient’s attitude to the swiftness (or not so swiftness) of their recovery. Patients who believed they would heal quickly often did. Those who experienced doubt or fear regarding treatment and the recovery process took longer to heal. These findings suggest that positivity is a powerful tool for improving and maintaining health and wellness.
What we must keep in mind is that disease does not begin at the first instance of pain. The origin of an ailment is almost imperceptible. Like a seed planted below the soil, a lot happens before symptoms become noticeable. By the time we feel pain, discomfort, or the distinct feeling that something is not right, it is time to take action towards recovery. By making positivity a priority, we can help begin the healing process before we are even aware that something is wrong, or in the best case scenario, ward off illness all together.
Undoubtedly, there are many ailments that benefit from medical attention. For example, when we break a bone, we need a doctor to set it and wrap it in a cast so it can heal properly. Yet, we are not inactive bystanders in the process. It is not the doctor who heals your break; you are healing yourself. Altering our attitude can help bring about a faster recovery.
Positive thinking simply complements what the body is already doing. As Rav Berg states in his book, Days of Power, “If a person hurts his finger, the whole body immediately unites in the task of repairing and healing the wound…every cell in the body is affected by the event and is drafted to the war effort. One for all, and all for one!” Whether we are conscious of it or not, our bodies work hard to make us well. The way we respond emotionally can help support this healing.
Furthermore, a more recent American study found that negative emotions trigger areas of the brain, which directly cause a drop in the immune system. Genetics and environmental factors still play a role in our short and long-term health. However, as kabbalists teach, excessive worry and negative thoughts have the potential to spiral downward into more negativity, which can have a detrimental impact on our physical and emotional health.
When we’re feeling under the weather, there are many things we can do to encourage our bodies to feel strong and well again—rest, healthful foods, and in some cases, medication. We are best off remembering to smile and have a positive outlook everyday. Remember the preventative power of a smile!