Positive thinking may do more than make you mentally healthy, but physically healthy as well.
Having an optimistic attitude can change the lives of patients’ in recovery. According to researchers, they reviewed 16 studies that looked at patients’ attitudes toward health. The studies covered a span of 30 years and analyzed patients’ attitudes after their surgeries. The review had appeared in the August issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
“In each case the better a patient’s expectations about how they would do after surgery or some health procedure, the better they did,” said author Donald Cole, of the Institute for Work and Health in Toronto.
The review states that the power of positive thinking is real. Across a wide range of clinical conditions, all the way from lower back pain to heart surgeries, patients who believed they would do well in their recovery process did, according to Cole. Patients who were scared or pessimistic about their recovery did not recover as quickly as the optimists or as well.
“Less pain [after surgery] was directly associated with better expectations, positive expectations,” Cole said.
Cole explains that findings suggest several things that employers as well as doctors and family members can do to aid in a person’s recovery.
“If an employee is going off for surgery it could be helpful to ask that employee, ‘What do you think is going to happen to you?'” said Cole. “If a person has fears or is feeling pessimistic then it is time to think, ‘We better deal with those fears.'”
Confronting those fears will not only help a person recover but will also provide a healthier work environment and the ability of the person who is going into surgery will come back to work faster, said Cole.
Physicians should talk to their patients to discover what their hopes and fears are before going into surgery. This will help decide realistic recovery expectations which could help speed up the process.
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