About This Book

Inspiring Chicken Soup for the Soul stories and accessible leading-edge medical information from Dr. Jeff Brown of Harvard Medical School. Dr. Brown unlocks the mysteries of the mind/body connection and shows you how you can feel better and really be better by using your mind and thinking positively. The great stories will show you how other people have used positive thinking to affect their physical and mental well-being.

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Five Tips to Think Positive for Better Health

Inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive for Better Health

By Dr. Jeff Brown of Harvard Medical School

In today’s economy, taking care of yourself can be a big expense. While most realize that good health and quality of life should always be front and center, outrageous healthcare costs have made it even more of a priority. More and more research has shown that an individual can take control of their own health by using their mind and the power of the brain. In Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive for Great Health leading psychologist, Dr. Jeff Brown, gives medical advice and practical tips to help you unleash the power of your mind for better health. Consider these tips next time you’re faced with a large deductible or expensive medication — after all, your brain is free.

1. Understand your mind-body relationship. The connection between the mind and the body, though mysterious, is very strong. "For great health," Dr. Brown writes, "Your body and mind need to be best friends." Contributor Deborah Ellis writes how her friend became hot and rigid whenever thinking about her financial problems. Her body "tattletaled" on the stress she was feeling by becoming physically ill. Once she began to listen to her body, she was able to confront her negative feelings.

2. Never give up hope. "Hope focuses on future-oriented thinking, while the characteristic focus of happiness is on past positive experiences," Dr. Brown says. If you want to make changes for your future, hopeful thinking is the key. A 2011 study by Denison University found that hope and optimism were key factors in maintaining mental well being while faced with physical illness. Just as Ronda Armstrong writes about her struggle learning how to be a better dancer and writer later in her life, "Sometimes the hardest tasks allow us to become our best." Ronda now enjoys the benefits that dancing and writing bring to her life.

3. Develop a good relationship with your doctor. "Both doctor and patient should aspire to a collaboration that is just as cohesive as the connection between mind and body," Dr. Brown writes. In this case, communication is key. Keep the lines of communication open and get to know your doctor through visits and email. Always be honest and assertive about your beliefs, as this can create drastic improvements for your health. Of course, feel free to find a new doctor when you feel it is needed. Contributor Anna Koopman left her doctor who constantly shut her out and found a great one who believed in the power of doctor-patient communication.

4. Use cognitive behavior tactics to get a better perception of you and your health. One of these tactics is goal setting. Dr. Brown says, "It’s not easy to see feelings and emotions, but it is easy to see yourself accomplishing tasks that will promote good health." In conjunction with goal setting, positive self-talk and visualization can be used to enhance your life and health. John P. Buentello used these strategies to recover from aortic dissection and make healthy lifestyle changes.

5. Increase your health IQ. Eat more vegetables. Smile more often. Stop smoking. Laugh more. "By gathering information about current research trends and learning how your psychological self interrelates to health, you can experience motivating aha moments, as well as influence thinking for positive health for both yourself and even your family," Dr. Brown writes. Jennie Ivey was inspired by Tarahumara Indians to start running in shoes with a more natural gait and add chia seeds to her diet. The Tarahumara also smile while they run, which taught Jennie a valuable lesson: running should be fun.

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