Hope and HealingSunday, March 15, 2009 15:31
By Walter E. Jacobson, MD
Do you think it’s possible to heal your body with hope and heart?
Barack Obama spoke of hope in his presidential campaign. Hope and change to detoxify, to unify, to restore vitality and heal a nation.
The physical body is not unlike the body politic. With hope and by making better choices, it is possible to change one’s physical and emotional status, to detoxify, to revitalize and to truly heal.
Making better choices is critical to the change process, but hope is the prime mover. Without hope, our efforts are hollow and minimized. With hope, all things are possible.
This is not a metaphysical, spiritual, Pollyanna pep talk here about maintaining a positive attitude. This is about the physiology of hope. The mind-body connection.
As we think lovely thoughts, as we visualize successful, healing outcomes, as we keep our hearts and minds open to all potentials and possibilities, regardless of how seemingly improbable they may be, we reduce our cortisol stress response, we augment our immune system, we generate endorphins and other chemicals that soothe, invigorate and heal.
As we use the physiology of hope to repair ourselves, we also use the motivational flame that hope fans in order to make the lifestyle choices that will contribute to increased physical and emotional well-being.
A few important lifestyle choice to pay attention to, other than eating right, exercising, meditating, and avoiding toxic people, places and circumstances, include:
- Hold positive and optimistic thoughts in our minds.
- Release the resentments, grievances, judgments and petty jealousies.
- Forgive others as much and as best we can regardless of what they have done to us.
- Be a service to others.
As we embrace these choices consistently, with compassion in our hearts and hope in our minds, we increase our potential to heal ourselves and the planet.
Do you think that having enough hope will make all things possible?
About the Author
Walter E. Jacobson, MD is a Board Certified Psychiatrist who has been in private practice in the Los Angeles area since 1999. Dr. Jacobson specializes in insight oriented psychotherapy, cognitive therapy, marriage counseling, medication management and spiritual psychotherapy. He was Editor of the The Southern California Psychiatrist, the monthly newsletter of the Southern California Psychiatric Society for two years and has written dozens of articles about psychiatry and mental health. Dr. Jacobson currently teaches The Art of Forgiveness as part of the Northridge Hospital Integrative Medicine program, and he is also Chairman of the Northridge Hospital Physician Well-Being Committee. Dr. Jacobson is a member of the National Association of Medical Communicators, and a regular contributor to Healthin30.com.