The following video offers amazing examples of the power of belief over our ability to maintain a state of health and well-being. But it goes further than that. It tells us that stress, which is commonly linked to negative physical side effects, is made negative by our thoughts about it.
Psychologist Kelly McGonigal cites a study done in the US that tracked 30,000 adults for eight years. At the beginning of the study those adults were asked about their levels of stress in the last year and if they believed stress was harmful for their health. Then, as McGonigal states, “they used public death records to find out who died.” While people who experienced a high level of stress had a 43% increase in dying, they all had one other factor in common, they believed stress was bad for them. The adults who were highly stressed but didn’t believe stress was harmful to their health had the lowest risk of dying of anyone in the study, including the participants with relatively low levels of stress.
McGonigal goes on to explain these results on a physical level, but the message of her TED talk has implications for more than just the experience of stress. When we experience anything in our lives we have the choice to accept that it is happening, or resist it internally. Nonresistance of what is not only opens us up to experiencing the highest manifestation that can be born of that situation, but it also allows the body to regulate itself and maintain its own health.
Today I invite you to ask yourself, “What thoughts about my life situation are causing me pain or dis-ease?” Experiment with replacing that view-point with one that is accepting, empowering, and joyful. You could be saving your own life!