Obsessing over your health, thinking you are going to get sick in the future, or hypochondria will increase the likelihood that you will. Maintaining a happy and healthy attitude will improve your chances of staying in good health.
According to a study published in the medical journal, Neurology, people who think they are in poor health are more than likely to develop Alzheimer’s or dementia later in life, compared to those who rated their health as good.
The study consisted of 8,169 people over the age of 65. They were each asked to rate their health and were followed for seven years. At the end of the study, 618 people developed dementia. It was concluded that those who rated their overall health as poor had a 70% higher chance of developing dementia, and those who rated their health as fair had a 34% higher chance.
Even more amazing, the researchers found a relationship between people’s own health ratings and dementia to be even stronger for those without memory or cognitive issues to begin with.
An example would be a cancer patient who has lost all hope of recovery. If they chose to just sick back until they die, chances are they will perish sooner than expected. If, on the other hand, they decided to make some positive changes in their life and live until they die, there have been countless “miracles” where people have lived years beyond their prognosis.
What would bring on this phenomenon? There is a possibility that those with perceived health problems tend to shy away from social activities, an important part of keeping your brain active. Higher levels of social activities are associated with decreased dementia. Those who believe they are too ill, or not “in the mood” for interaction is increasing their chances of accelerating the dementia process.
It is a fact that nature and nurture has a lot to do with brain development. They go hand-in-hand and one does not work without help from the other. Having great genes alone is worth little if intelligence is not nurtured in healthy and stimulating environments. Sometimes people assume that they have great “native” intelligence (“good genes”) and they think that they do not have to work hard at being smart. They may be hurt by their own assumption that nature alone is important in developing their potential. If you were to assume that you have good genes, and you don’t have to worry about social interaction, you would be sadly mistaken.
It would stand to reason, then, that people who are hypochondriacs (obsessed with illnesses) would be in line for accelerated dementia. The perfect prescription to reverse this trend is to become ‘more social.’ It’s a low cost way to stave off a life-depleting illness, and will definitely get you back into the swing of life.
This is Ron White, two-time USA Memory Champion , memory training expert, and memory keynote speaker. I encourage you to take a look at what you are eating in order to put your body and brain in a healthy place.
MemoryZine.com – Worried About Dementia, Stroke or Alzheimer’s disease? Forget About It! http://memoryzine.com
Nature vs Nurture: http://www.soc.ucsb.edu/faculty/baldwin/classes/soc142/n&n.html
Bryn Mawr — Mental Healing: Does Positive Thinking Act Upon Brain Neurons To Improve Health? http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/neuro/neuro99/web3/Bibbo.html