|Health & Wellness|
A study by Boots, the British drug store chain, last year showed that people with high levels of well-being visit their doctor less often, while research in the United States has revealed that people who consider themselves to be highly optimistic live, on average, 7.5 years longer than pessimists. "There is obviously something physiological going on here, but nobody has yet fully explained it," says Dr. David Peters, director of the School of Integrated Health at the University of Westminster and consultant to Boots 'Well-being 2002 study'. Pessimists have higher levels of most diseases, from heart disease to migraine, probably because they have an overcharged autonomic nervous system and a relatively run down immune system. "Being optimistic, which is strongly associated with a high well-being score, has an impact on one's way of handling stress, and that affects the way our cardiovascular, nervous and immune systems work, all of which adds up to greater resilience to disease. Altering your psychological characteristics can probably increase longevity. If optimism were a drug, we would all prescribe it."
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Hundreds of studies conducted over the past two decades show that people who follow a spiritual path have a lower incidence of all major diseases than people who do not. They also live an average of seven years longer.
Love yourself. The common idea is that love comes from outside -- that other people love you. But do you love yourself? Do you think you are sick because you are unworthy? Do you see your illness as a punishment for something you've done wrong? Look deeply inside yourself to see if you think you are unworthy of love. If you find this is true, you should work with a therapist to reframe your beliefs.Being loved and loving someone else gives our life a greater sense of positive purpose and meaning. This is also scientifically proven to translate into better health. Other types of love are also important. According to survey data, loving your occupation -- or job satisfaction -- is an equal or greater predictor of heart disease than smoking, high blood pressure or cholesterol levels .If you don't love your job, consider retraining so you can change careers. If this isn't feasible, cultivate sources of positive meaning in other areas of your life. Devote time to charitable work for the poor and/or find ways to participate in meaningful civic projects.
Will to Live
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