In today’s highly medicalized world, many of us – doctors included – sometimes forget that the mind has a tremendous ability to heal the body. How illness affects you depends on your reaction to it and your emotional state. Being positive and taking an active approach to your own wellness can have a profound effect on your immune system. Faith, in whatever form works for you, is hugely beneficial.

What can help strengthen your mind-body connection?

Conversely, allowing yourself to be a passive recipient of care and becoming depressed by illness can literally make you sicker. Diet and lifestyle are key to remaining healthy and warding off depression. Other physical factors that keep the mind and body strong include:

Physician Bernie Siegel says the people who survive serious illness are those who:

  • Actively seek out information
  • Talk to others who have overcome the illness
  • Question their doctors about alternatives
  • Become what doctors think of as “difficult” patients, actively involved in their own care management

For more information on all these topics, please see the MS Encyclopedia.

Image by fizkes / Shutterstock

Dr. Craig Hassed discusses how perception of events affects our bodies - the mind-body connection.