Sunday, January 15, 2006

positive attitude

Contrary to popular belief, aging is not a disease. It is believed that the prescription for long life is good nutrition, plenty of exercise, adequate sleep, and a positive attitude. Much research is currently being done about the effect of mental attitude on the course of disease. Norman Cousins is probably one of the better-known authors who advocate positive attitude and "the will to live" as essential for recovery from major illnesses. It is well known that some people can be given a placebo and get better. These people think that they are going to recover and they do. This is true for productive longevity also. A positive attitude can be a self-fulfilling prophecy; if individuals want and believe they can have a long life they will have it.
Generally, the older person who remains involved and active is healthier, lives longer, and certainly gets more out of the later years of life. The old saying "you are as old as you feel" can apply to almost every older individual.
All individuals should live each day to its fullest and dwell on what they can do instead of what they are unable to do. The ultimate tragedy in an individual's life is not dying, but what is allowed to die while he or she is living.
See also AUTOGENIC TRAINING; BIOFEEDBACK TRAINING; GESTALT DREAM ANALYSIS; HATHA YOGA; MEDITATION; SELF-IMAGE EXERCISE; TAI CHI CHUAN.
Cousins, N. Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1979.

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