We’ve always been told that being happy and in the moment is good for us. This isn’t a shocking revelation.
But what if keeping a positive outlook could help your prospects when diagnosed with a terminal illness? Seems like a total fantasy, right? Well, as it turns out, that is exactly the case.
According to the New York Times, “studies have shown an indisputable link between having a positive outlook and health benefits like lower blood pressure, less heart disease, better weight control, and healthier blood sugar levels.”
If you don’t believe these studies, there are more personal stories behind this idea.
Dr. Wendy Schlessel Harpham used to practice internal medicine when she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma 27 years ago.
She survived the brutal treatment, frustration, and relapses by simply keeping a positive outlook on life.
Dr. Harpham now writes books instructing people how to live positively in the face of terminal or serious illness.
She has been in remission for 12 years.
Judith T. Moskowitz is a professor of medical social sciences at Northwestern University in Chicago.
While involved in a study in San Francisco surveying HIV patients, Moskowitz and her team observed that a positive outlook was a crucial tool in defending against the often deadly disease.
Moskowitz has continued her research and come up with eight skills that improve one’s outlook.
These eight skills were specifically created to help terminally ill HIV patients maintain a positive outlook, but they’re important to keep in mind even if you’re completely healthy.
■ Recognize a positive event each day.
■ Savor that event and log it in a journal or tell someone about it.
■ Start a daily gratitude journal.
■ List a personal strength and note how you used it.
■ Set an attainable goal and note your progress.
■ Report a relatively minor stress and list ways to reappraise the event positively.
■ Recognize and practice small acts of kindness daily.
■ Practice mindfulness, focusing on the here and now rather than the past or future.
Keeping a positive outlook will make you a happier person and people naturally gravitate towards you.
It also might just save your life.