By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 05, May 2019, 18:17 pm IST | UPDATED: 08, May 2019, 16:19 pm IST
This transformation, which is part of emerging fields in psychology focused on mind-body health, is very important because it can greatly boost our chances of achieving what we want in life, including a fitter, healthier lifestyle.
“By changing our minds, we really can change our lives,” asserts Dr. Arvon.
Mind-body medicine originated more than 4,000 years ago, when physicians in China noticed that illness often followed periods of frustration in their patients’ lives. Today in western societies like the U. S., medical professionals also share the view that emotions, life events, and coping skills can have a very strong influence on health.
Healthy mind-body medicine is now part of exciting new fields such as psychoneuroimmunology and behavorial cardiology.
Psychoneuroimmunology focuses on the relationship of our thoughts and emotions to our brain chemistry and immune system.
Behavioral cardiology is the application of psychological and social factors in the assessment and reduction of cardiovascular risk. It is an important field for a number of reasons, including reducing recurring heart attacks, helping patients recover sooner, and improving family support.
It is the long-term consequences of an anxiety-filled existence that are particularly troubling. Over time, chronic emotional and psychological stress can:
Guests at Pritikin are also introduced to and practice many of these techniques. “Add them to healthy eating and exercising,” encourages Dr. Arvon, “and you maximize your control over your well-being.”
A key goal of mind-body techniques is achieving an overall approach to life known as stress hardiness. Stress hardiness is associated with four important personality traits that buffer the impact of stress and improve coping. These characteristics of the stress resistant or healthy personality are identified as:
An attitude of curiosity and commitment to yourself, your loved ones, your work, and the world.
The belief that you can respond effectively to situations that arise in your life, rather than feeling hopeless and incompetent.
The ability to see change as exciting and an opportunity for growth rather than viewing it as frightening and fearing failure.
The enduring assurance that you are understood and validated by those you are closest to.
Social support, explains Pritikin psychologist Dr. Arvon, is protective against the effects of stress and has been found to be associated.
By keeping a journal or speaking with others, emotional disclosure helps people cope with events. Also, people who use these strategies have lower blood pressure and report fewer health problems compared with people who don’t.
Humor has been demonstrated to have “stress-busting” qualities and reduces the body”s physiological response to stress.
Healthy behaviors, such as developing and maintaining the Pritikin nutrituation and Excersise program, are crucial for optimal health.
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