According to a study by Professor Ronit Peled, at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, happiness and optimism may play a role against breast cancer while adverse life events can increase the risk of developing the disease. An article on the study titled “Breast Cancer, Psychological Distress and Life Events among Young Women,” was published in the British journal BMC Cancer (8:245, August 2008).
While there’s no scientific consensus the above research or any other research suggesting emotions or psychological factors play a role in the development of cancer, there isn’t a scientific proof that they don’t.
Personally I feel we should be cautious about being overly optimistic because I have seen people use it as a blanket of denial. People who are optimistic tend to hold the “look at the bright side of things” or “focus only on the positive,” kind of attitude.
I prefer a more realistic approach where one sees things as they are; the good and the bad and still choose to extract the good, the lesson the value from the experience.
Working with people over a period of time put me in a privileged position where I can witness their progress. One client who was doing very well stated it is her awareness of her inner strength which helped her develop a greater appreciation to life.
She never realized how resourceful and strong she was before illness forced her to look into the mirror. These days she celebrate her new found realization by spending more time engaging in meaningful relationships and purpose driven activities.
In her words, “It all boils down to this: Give yourself permission to feel good and make a conscious decision that you want to be alive and you want to feel good in your life.”
Deciding to feel good builds new self-supporting beliefs inside of you. Those new beliefs state, “I exist, I can have what I want, I am supported, I’m good enough, and it is important for me to feel good.”
But is it that simple, choosing to feel good? What do you think? Tell us what needs to happen in order for you to give yourself permission to feel good?