In this extract from Your Best Immunity by DR JOHN TICKELL he explores the importance and the influence of our own attitude to life on our health.
One of the best words in the English language is Attitude, and this word and its meaning could be summed up quickly by asking ourselves whether we consider a glass is half full or half empty. The level of fluid is exactly the same, however the way our brain interprets this can be a determining factor in the way our chemistry determines an outcome for our health.
The other daily occurrence is our weather forecast – in some areas a sky with a few clouds floating around is described as ‘partly cloudy’. A more positive way of looking at the coming day’s weather is to call this same situation ‘partly sunny’.
Which do you think makes people walk out their door with a positive outlook?
There is now a new, very big word in science called Psychoneuroimmunolgy which has emerged in research studies as the interaction between psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems of the body in humans (and also studied in animals). The link between mindset and the immune response has moved to measure immune parameters, and the numbers of lymphocytes, natural killer cells, antibody responses and serotonin uptake. Studies considered the links between positive/negative attitudes and behaviours.
These studies, reported in medical and psychology journals worldwide advise us that short term ‘stress’ provides us with an immune stimulant burst, whereas continued long-term stress leads to a breakdown of our immunity. The cortisol type chemicals can lower our resistance to infection, other pathogens and cellular disruption.
I was fortunate to meet with Hans Selye, an Austrian born, Canadian Professor, at a Health Conference in the USA many years ago. Hans Selye was known to many academics as ‘The Father of Stress’, having performed the initial biochemical analysis and basics of the human stress response. He explained to me that the statement ‘I’m under stress’ isn’t quite correct. We are ‘under pressure’ and the human body then has a ‘stress response’. The same pressure applied to different people can provoke different stress responses – some positive, some negative, some neutral. It’s the compounding of multiple and chronic negative stress responses which cause us harm and has a deleterious effect on our immune system.
In the 25-year Okinawan Centenarian Study (a Japanese prefecture) researching the longest living, healthiest people on earth, it was notable that the ability to adapt to stressful life events through coping, is one of the most important factors for successful, healthy ageing. Their strength or resilience of character, expressed by self-confidence, independence and strength of will is a valid point with their longevity.
One of their sources of human goodwill comes with their spiritual existence.
The bottom line from these long-term reviews is that ‘too much stress weakens the immune system’. Is your day ‘partly cloudy’ or ‘partly sunny’?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr John Tickell is a Medical Doctor, an international speaker, bestselling author and television personality, who has spent several decades travelling and studying the health, well-being and longevity patterns of people around the world.
The Good Doctor and his wife Sue have 5 children and multiple grandchildren. Dr John played first grade football with the Hawthorn Hawks in the 1960s, produced a No. 1 Top 40 hit record, and has his books published across many countries.
He applies his own powerful formula of Activity, Eating and Coping skills, which draw on his medical experience, extensive international research and the lifestyle patterns of the longest living people on earth – the Okinawans.
Dr John is a different kind of Medical Doctor – his refreshing and memorable messages change people’s lives for the better.