happy young woman smiling
Elson Haas, MD
written by
Elson Haas, MD

Apr 01, 2017

Article Tags: 5 Keys | attitude | emotions

Mind-Body Balance affects all the other factors

 Attitude is the fifth Key to Staying Healthy, but it could easily be the first. Our attitudes influence our lifestyle choices and those choices affect our health directly. Our beliefs about life and what we tell ourselves in the privacy of our own mind—our “self talk”—can be optimistic or pessimistic.

When you examine your own attitudes, are they positive and encouraging, or negative and undermining? So many poor lifestyle habits come from people feeling a lack of self worth. Just like our diet and other lifestyle factors, we have a choice in regard to what we think and how we live.

One of my personal mottos is, “This is the only body I have and I am going to treat it with love.” This approach sets in motion a whole cascade of positive results – I tend to eat better, exercise more regularly, learn to manage stress more effectively, and take better care of my self overall. I realize from my own experience that shifting attitudes and behaviors is not easy; it may mean challenging and changing some of our core beliefs that we have maintained over decades. Research shows that attitude change is often necessary before making any behavior changes that last. That’s why this could be considered the primary Key, the place to start.

 Attitude Questions to Ask

– Where are you on the scale from positive to negative?

“I can improve my health and heal – – – – or I will always be ill.”

“I can make the changes that I know are best for my body and health – – – – or why bother making any changes, what’s the point? They won’t make a difference.“

“I love myself and feel blessed with my life – – – – or I don’t like the person I am and the life I am living, I don’t like the way my life is unfolding.”

“I can accomplish my goals – – – – or I’m a failure who can’t accomplish anything.”

What Can You Do?

Seek out friends or practitioners who will support your healthy attitudes and who can help you change your unhealthy ones.

Exercise your motivation muscles. Set a goal for yourself that you can commit to and complete, such as “This week I am going to walk for 30 minutes every other day.” When you keep that commitment and see that you can, your attitude will shift to believing in yourself more and being more positive.

Learn and practice meditation, yoga, qigong or tai chi, to make a difference.

Contribute to someone else’s healing through your support. Give of yourself by helping other less fortunate and you get more back.

Visualize the whole body, or a specific part, in its healed state to help in the healing process. This requires that we calm our mind and emotions first so that healing imagery can take effect.

Simply stated, illness is dis-ease, or lack of ease with self and life. Illness is also resistance to change, while healing represents growth and awareness, learning and evolution. When resistances get out of the way, energy flows and we begin to heal, which is to come into a new balance. As I often tell my patients –

“Get out of the way and healing will happen.”