|Image by Kate Ter Haar|
I think it was Bob Orben who said, "Have you noticed how health insurance is like a hospital gown: every time you turn around, you find something that isn’t covered?" But health researchers are discovering what many people have known all along -- that getting healthy is about more than medicine and treatment. It also involves a healthy outlook on life.
Various studies have validated the mind/ body connection. Cancer is often diagnosed within months of the death of one’s spouse. People who are cynical or angry have been shown to be more prone to heart attacks than those with a more positive outlook. And former Saturday Review editor Norman Cousins demonstrated for years how humor, laughter and hope can aid the healing process.
Not only is a healthy mental outlook necessary, but a healthy spiritual outlook seems to be equally important. Noted psychologist Carl Jung (1865-1961) made a telling observation about the connection between one’s mental health and spiritual outlook. “During the past 30 years, people from all civilized countries of the earth have consulted me,” he said. “Among all my patients in the second half of life -- that is to say, over 35 -- there has not been one whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a (spiritual) outlook on life. It is safe to say that every one of them fell ill because he had lost that which living religions of every age have given to their followers….”
A healthy person is not one with a certain lifestyle, a certain income or certain favorable circumstances. A healthy person is usually one with certain attitudes. Positive mental attitudes and fruitful spiritual attitudes are part of it. One might say that a robust spiritual outlook is good health insurance.
-- Steve Goodier