What if our mindset determined our health and wellbeing?
What if the term "dis-ease" is more literal than first considered?
What if accelerated aging, substance use disorder and chronic disease are all ramifications of the way we look at the world? How much ease or dis-ease we experience?
Abundance or scarcity.
Love or fear.
Maybe the way we see ourselves in the world becomes the primary determinant on our health and wellbeing.
This is demonstrated in a well-known study by Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, who won the Nobel prize for discovering telomeres, the caps on the ends of our DNA, whose length correlates to biological age of the person.
The longer the telomere, the younger the person; the shorter, the older the person’s biological age. This is because the telomeres shorten with each cell division, and by assessing the length of the telomere, we can predict the age of the tissue or cell. This assessment is used to define the health of the individual.
Health, we believe, is the ratio of your biological age to your chronological age – the lower the ratio, the better.
Dr. Blackburn and her colleague Elisa Epel found that women who perceived high intensity and duration of stress aged biologically up to 17 years more than their age-matched peers.
They perceived chronic stress and "dis-ease" and they aged much faster biologically, and thus, may be less healthy and older physiologically.
How might this work?
We each see the world differently and respond differently to life events with our emotions and feelings.
This data suggests that how we perceive our lives and world had a direct impact on your health.
I recently read that we experience only two types of emotions and feelings – love or fear, connected or isolated.
Love may be experienced as abundance - gratitude, hope, thankfulness, wonder, joy, happiness, safety, connection, freedom or trust.
Fear can be experienced as scarcity - separation, hopelessness, envy, anger, jealously, isolation, sadness, powerlessness, victimhood, or limitation.
Admittedly, these are both incomplete lists, but love is associated with ease and fear with "dis-ease."
Maybe spending more of our lives celebrating the wonders of our lives and less on the worries of our lives will help us be healthier and happier. Moreover, maintaining the mindset of abundance and maintaining your social networks (connected) may be an effective strategy to a long and good life.