Whatever You Do – Believe You are Active!
That Shakespearean quote: “there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so,” is famous because it so simply conveys our experience of the way our perceptions colour our world, while at the same time, in just a few words, raising philosophical questions about the nature of reality and whether good and evil objectively exist.
We all know our thoughts can affect us, but this summer an extraordinary study was published that shows just how powerful these effects can be – not just on our view of the world, our feelings and health, but on how long we actually live. A study of over 61,000 people over 21 years came to this startling conclusion: “People who believed they weren’t as active as their peers were 71 percent more likely to die during the study’s follow-up period than were people who believed they had a more active lifestyle… This result remained even after controlling for actual amounts of activity, chronic illnesses, age and other demographic and health factors.” The key word here is ‘believed’. If you believed you weren’t as active, regardless of whether you were or not, you were more likely to die younger.
The creative power of thought has always been a favourite topic of psychologists, mystics and magicians. It’s a subject that can bring them together – in forums such as the Mystics and Scientists Conferences and the Spirituality and Psychiatry Special Interest Group, which has 3,000 members, of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
I don’t think I’ve come across a study that more powerfully demonstrates the value of working with the power of thought – a power we all possess inside us: to heal, to create, to be a force for good in our own lives and in the wider world.
Read a Press Release about the Study here (with a link in it to the paper itself.)
And here’s a video produced by the Spirituality and Psychiatry Special Interest Group of the Royal College of Psychiatrists:
I hadn’t seen this research until you posted about it. Thank you.
I actually have no idea how my activity levels would compare to others my age. I can’t remember ever asking myself that question. (And now that I’ve looked, I’m none the wiser, because as it turns out, that information isn’t easy to find!)
I nonetheless believe I am a superager in training. 😉 I like to poke around on YouTube for interviews with inspired folks who continue(d) to be productive into their 80s and 90s, and I think it’s worthwhile to pay attention to what they have to say.
I am most encouraged by this and I bet Prince Charles is too. I have been on a conscious spiritual path all my life, I think. My first awareness of myself was as a baby in the pram. The older I get, the more aware I become and I endeavour to share my experiences, not just by speech, but by action and demonstration of love to all I encounter.