Do you know how powerful your mind is? Your attitudes, people in your social network, your community, and your spiritual beliefs/practices can all affect how long your live, cholesterol, blood pressure, whether or not you get sick, and how you experience illnesses.
Stress-related disorders are on the rise in America. The top four selling items in grocery stores are all mood altering drugs - caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and nicotine.
Here are some facts:
- 95% of all illness is causes or made worse by stress
- Low socio-economic status is associated with poorer health outcomes and higher risk of death.
- Stress hormones damage the hippocampus (the memory center of the brain) causing memory loss and dementia
- In a study of people who volunteered to have cold viruses injected into their noses, only those who had high levels of perceived stress got colds.
- Women with metastatic breast cancer survived twice as long if they were part of a support group.
- Belonging to a group (a religious group, sports group, craft or other leisure activity group) reduces risk of death from all causes
The effects of your beliefs and attitudes are so important and have been mostly ignored by modern medicine. One of the things we do as we work with our patients is address these mind-body connections and how they may be affecting your health.