An unwillingness to forgive others for the real or imaginary wrongs they have done us is a poison that affects our health: physical, emotional and spiritual. If your inner thoughts are dominated by “gripe” and “groan”, if you are a consistent bellyacher or worrier, you are shortening the years of your life just as surely as you are growing older by the day.
Spiritual teachers and saints of the past have written a lot on the powerful influence of love on health and well-being. According to Gary Zukav, American best selling author, people need to understand that “love heals everything, and love is all there is”. Without love, our mental and physical vitality is impaired, our resistance to sickness is lowered and we cheat ourselves of new, joyous possibilities.
Sir William Osler, the Canadian physician and medical historian, said that the outcome of tuberculosis had more to do with what went on in the patient’s mind than in his lungs. He was echoing Hippocrates, who said he would rather know ‘what sort of person has a disease than what sort of disease a person has’.
Scientific research and clinical experiences of great physicians of the past go to show that the state of the mind changes the state of the body by working through the central nervous system, the endocrine system and the immune system.
A positive attitude favourably stimulates the immune system and a negative attitude depresses it. Emotions create chemical alterations in the brain. Negative emotional traits such as low self-esteem, feelings of envy, hatred, hostility, guilt and anger depress the immune system.
Positive emotional attitudes like love, happiness, peace and spiritual exercises improve the process of healing. Contentment used to be considered a prerequisite for health. So too an attitude of thankfulness to God and fellow beings and a firm faith in the power of the Creator to intervene even in an impossible situation aid the healing process. When we turn within and transform our thinking, God will heal our sickness and refresh our lives.