Psychology is a big part of overall health and well-being. Psychologists have studied the impact of positive thinking on the healing process for more than 40 years and this time that positive thinking is thought to change how the body reacts to pregnancy. A research report appearing at the 120th convention of the American Psychological Association showed a clear connection between thinking happy thoughts and having a happy pregnancy. Women in the study even gave birth to healthier newborns.
What Exactly Does the Term Positive Thinking Mean?
A professor at Harvard University worked with women in the study to teach them the art of mindfulness. The women were extremely mindful of the simplest changes in feeling and health. All women in the study – both in the test group and control group – were experiencing their first pregnancy. The women were underwent the mindfulness training were happy during the pregnancy, they experienced fewer bouts of emotional turmoil and delivery was easier. After birth, the newborns born to women in the training group were healthier.
Researchers noted that mindfulness training can be particularly helpful for specific illness – in addition to pregnancy, like depression and asthma where small changes often trigger or mark the start of bigger problems. Recognizing the small changes gives the patient the power to control at least some aspect of the events to come. For instance, if the patient with depression notices small changes in mood they can work on actively improving mood or situation to curb a full-on bout of depression.
According to Ellen Langer, the research author, the human body tells us when certain events are about to occur. It is those small bits of knowledge that give us the power to change and work toward a healthier mindset and physical outcome. The psychology of possibilities, as the authors calls it, is a power tool toward overall health.