Why are beliefs so important?
Let me share with you a few articles that show just how impactful spiritual beliefs can be on a person’s PHYSICAL health:
“In the first analysis, investigators focused on physical health. Patients reporting greater overall religiousness and spirituality also reported better physical health, greater ability to perform their usual daily tasks, and fewer physical symptoms of cancer and treatment.”
“Those in the negative spirituality group reported significantly worse pain as well as worse physical and mental health while those with positive spirituality reported better mental health. However, even if individuals reported positive spiritual beliefs, having any degree of negative spiritual belief contributed to poorer health outcomes, the researchers found.”
“One study showed that 79% of medical students report developing symptoms suggestive of the illnesses they are studying. Because they get paranoid and think they’ll get sick, their bodies comply by getting sick.”
Ever notice how the people in your life who have negative thoughts about their health seem to be sicker than those who are generally more positive? I certainly do. Or the people who are generally more stressed out and thing the world is against them – bad things seem to happen to them more often, huh? I have no doubts that their mindset and belief system plays a huge role in the outcomes of their life. The power of positive thought is absolutely real!!
Let me share a couple personal examples with you. 3 of the closest family members in my life got cancer at very young ages (around 50, all doing well today) almost IMMEDIATELY after “stressful” events in their lives. I put stressful in quotes because the types of stress they endured were manageable with certain belief patterns. I don’t want to say unavoidable, or they did it to themselves, but I believe if they had better spiritual and mental practices incorporated into their daily routines, they could have mitigated the stress and overcome the negative belief patterns that were formed.
This is also a perfect example of what we (the Prometa Health team) mean by “proactively engage in the metaphysical aspects of health” to directly affect the positive aspects. Science is a beautiful thing and the medical treatments created in the scientific lab saved the lives of my loved ones, but I wish they would have been more proactive in stress reduction practices to try and prevent their illnesses.
Here’s another cool example of the importance beliefs, not pertaining to spirituality or religion:
In this study, a group of people were tasked with performing an exercise 2 times. After the first set, half of the group was told that people similar to them improved upon the exercise the second time around, while the other half was told nothing. And wouldn’t ya know, the group who was simply told that improvement occurred with the second exercise actually IMPROVED their second exercise, while the group that wasn’t told anything didn’t improve.
How to strengthen beliefs and apply this to physical health:
Look at this last study, it is so true that when you believe, you achieve. No matter what you are trying to accomplish (eating healthier, working out more often/harder, getting more sleep etc) you absolutely can accomplish it, but you have to believe you can first. Another huge factor to help with beliefs is having an accountability partner or someone in your corner who can push you and who believes as well. Eventually, you may not need one or want one, but it is a good idea to start out with one.
The beliefs of the group in that last study were affected by what they heard by someone else. That’s why you should steer clear of the news (really all negativity for that matter) because it can really shift your mindset! Find that person/group who will focus on the positive, provide the support and encouragement to help strengthen your beliefs! Preferably someone who has been there, done that and can show you first hand whatever it is you are trying to accomplish is there for the taking.
Engage daily in whatever it is you are trying to strengthen your beliefs about, through reading, listening (audio books/podcasts), talking about it to others, and journaling about it. All of these activities have been scientifically shown to strengthen beliefs, as well as improve brain function and emotions. When trying to improve physical health, specifically, don’t start in the gym (although that is quite important), start in the brain!
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