We’re all facing one of mankind’s biggest challenges. Every one of us needs to maintain our optimal heath in the face of this corona virus pandemic. Practicing Positive Thinking for health has never been more important.
It’s free, its well researched and there’s zero chance of it being panic bought in the stores. The shops aren’t going to run out and you don’t need any special equipment.
Positive thinking for health, for your health is something you can do, even if you’re confined to your home.
There’s plenty of information on the internet about diet, exercise and so on. While these are important considerations, the fact that our state of mind impacts on our health is often overlooked.
OK, I know what you’re thinking:
Positive Thinking For Health during a pandemic ?!
Just take a minute to think about it:
We’re all watching the news. I’ll bet you’ve already watched quite a bit of the news today.
It’s a super relaxed person that can put off finding out the latest information when its so important to all of us.
We want to know what’s happening in our neighborhood, our country, the world. We want to know if there are more or fewer new cases; more or fewer deaths.
We want to know that our family and friends are OK.
We want to know if someone has come up with a cure.
We want to know what we can do to stay safe.
This is all understandable. I’m doing this myself. I would be crazy if I didn’t stay aware of the current status of this worldwide virus.
Do this all day, every day and you won’t be adding to your knowledge, or helping yourself and your family to stay safe.
You’ll be worrying yourself; you’ll be obsessing over this pandemic in a way that isn’t going to help you.
You’ll be losing sleep.
Is it a bad thing to be worrying?
Of course it’s not.
I’m not going to pretend that I’m not worrying about the situation myself. I’m saying that if you overdo the information and the worry you are going to do a number on your health.
That isn’t to say that you’ll worry yourself sick, although in my opinion this is possible. I’m saying that high levels of worry can affect your health in both big and small ways.
This is a time when we need to be doing all we can to be as healthy as possible.
If the virus does come our way, we want to be as strong as we possibly can be for the fight ahead.
What can negative thoughts such as worry do to health?
For a start, if you find yourself worrying all day, you aren’t going to be sleeping as well as you should.
Good sleep is an important part of keeping healthy.
Most people need more or less 7.5 hours of good quality sleep each night. This is not the same for everyone and it does vary slightly from one person to the next.
However, you should aim for eight hours to be close to your individual sleep needs.
With so much going on it the world right now, it’s almost inevitable that you’re going to be awake in bed and thinking about everything.
I know it’s hard, I’m still practicing myself, but as soon as you catch yourself thinking about the pandemic, make a conscious effort to switch those thoughts off.
Night time isn’t the right time.
Try to make it a habit to do this as soon as you notice you’re thinking about the crisis.
The old method of counting sheep really does work. It gives your brain something boring to occupy itself with in those moments before sleep.
You should also consider Cutting down on the amount of screen time that you have in the two or three hours before bed.
The blue light from electronic devices can ruin your sleep by interfering with the amount of melatonin you produce. This is vital for good sleep.
Make your bed comfortable and keep the bedroom cool. These will both help towards your sleep too.
Wear ear plugs if you can’t do anything about noisy neighbors or barking dogs.
Stay as happy as you can
OK, so you’re allowed to ask if I’m even sane right now.
But I am. Even now, in the throes of a situation as grave as this one, try to find things that you can be grateful for.
If you’re feeling grateful, you’re going to automatically feel happier too.
Like thousands of others, life is’t normal for me right now.
I’m in lockdown, but I can still write. Not everyone can do that and I’m grateful that I can.
I’ve got enough food in my house, and my local shops seem to be making an amazing effort to keep their shelves stocked.
I’m super grateful for that.
I’m in lock down and it’s boring, but boring isn’t always bad.
My grandparents faced being called to war. Being bored would have seemed like a luxury to them.
Nobody is actively trying to kill me and I’m grateful for that.
If you spend a few minutes thinking about your own situation, you’ll find plenty that you can be grateful for too.
It might just be that your sofa is super comfortable, but if you’ve been told to stay inside for two weeks, that’s going to be a big advantage.
Consider wider things to be grateful for too
In my country we’re in lockdown. Is that something to feel positive about? In my opinion it is.
I have a government that is taking strong and timely action to keep us all safe.
There is still food in the stores, medicines at the pharmacy and an emergency service that I can call on if fate deals me a blow.
My neighbors all gather on their balconies at 8pm each evening and clap. They are applauding for our brave health workers who are risking so much for us all.
It makes me feel proud, and gives me hope.
That’s a whole lot more than a lot of people have right now.
Believe me, I’m grateful.
There’s a lot of evidence that keeping positive helps your health
‘. . . a happy, engaged, and fulfilling psychological and social life is not just a consequence of good health, it is what leads people to live a healthy and long life.’
Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
—World Health Organization1
There have been numerous studies that that back the idea that its important to be positive and happy. This study demonstrated the strong link between positive thinking and optimal health.
Further, this study found that people who were happy were less likely to catch a cold. They stated:
The tendency to experience positive emotions was associated with greater resistance to objectively verifiable colds.
Now, I’m in no way comparing the common cold to the corona virus but you get the idea.
By aiming for positive thinking for health, you will be doing what you can to move the odds of staying healthy in your favor, and that’s important. There is overwhelming evidence that our state of mind has an effect our mental and physical health.
Practicing positive thinking for health has never been more important than it is right now.
Whatever other steps you and your family are taking to keep safe, this is one element that you can take control of.
Nobody is going to suggest that keeping positive in the face of what is happening right now is easy. It’s not.
However, that shouldn’t stop you from doing whatever you can to minimize your worry and sadness.
Try to limit yourself to watching or listening to the news only once or twice a day.
Take the steps you need to take to keep safe, and then make a conscious effort to focus on something different.
You could read, or paint or cook. Get creative and submerge yourself in an activity that requires your concentration.
Count your blessings – literally – and find things to be grateful for. Even in these times this is possible.
Take care of your sleep, and block any repetitive negative thought that you may be having.
Never has there been a time of greater challenge. We can prepare for that challenge by working on our state of mind.
Keep as relaxed and positive as you can for the sake of your health.