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March Madness

In of our visits with patients we often talk about stress, anxiety and depression. This shouldn’t be too surprising though, based on the amount of financial issues, long work hours, or simply lack of jobs that is occurring all too often.

One recommendation I tell patients is to focus on positivity and self improvement. Sounds a little hokey, but think about it for a second. Our society thrives on the negatives. When our kids bring us a report card, our eyes immediately focus on the low grade and ask, “Why didn’t you get an A?” At work, there’s usually less praise than criticism for a hard day’s work. Now think about this: When was the last time you got a compliment from a coworker? Or, when you’re driving and see a beautiful sunset, how often do you slow down your car to take a look? But if there’s a car accident, we all slow down to check out the wreckage, right? We usually don’t even notice the good things even though it’s around us everyday.

We need to take the time to focus on the positives. We’re going to fill our minds with something. Might as well fill it with positive thoughts. Now consider this: you probably know a few TV show or commercial jingles. How is it we know most if not all of the lyrics? Did you stop to memorize the words of the jingle? No. We know it because when we repetitively watch a TV show, we subconsciously absorb the information. That’s why I can recite the lyrics to Dora the Explorer (my kids watch it, not me!). So think about when you’re catching up on news, reading celebrity gossip, or watching reality shows. The media knows that violence and negativity sell, so it’s filled with simply that. How often do we hear about the sacrifices of our troops around the world versus how often a serial killer gets publicity? My point is, we are constantly bombarded with negativity, so we end up absorbing this negativity subconsciously!

Many patients also come in for frequent colds, low energy, upset stomachs, or poor sleep, and it’s amazing how big of an impact stress will do to our physical and mental health. If you’re concerned about your health and want to boost your immune system, you must focus on the positives. This means avoiding reality TV, and stop listening to or watching the news. Rather, focus on improving yourself. Read an inspirational book. Learn a new language with an audio CD on your long commute. Research better diet and exercise methods. You’ll notice by helping yourself, you’ll feel motivated to help others. My challenge to you is to focus on clearing out the negatives from our lives. Start tracking these things and see how often you are unconsciously retaining the positives versus the negatives. You’ll be surprised.

Michael Corsilles, ND, PA-C