Is our attitude playing a significant role in our health care particularly in our mental health? The answer is an unqualified ‘Yes’. Even if someone had asked this question five years back, my answer would have been the same and my conviction has been strengthened by two live cases I came across in the past few months. Both are people close to me and I am writing this blog with a sense of responsibility to convey to the best of my abilities about how attitude can play such a crucial role in our lives beyond our understanding.
Let me start with a lady who was diagnosed of breast cancer about three years back. She was (I wish I can say ‘she is') a brilliant person and was self- employed. I would rate her very high on IQ but had a wrong attitude. She was always talking negative about her husband, in-laws and son and after her starting the treatment for cancer started cursing the doctors. She did not accept the diagnosis of the doctors and kept changing the doctors as well as the system of medicine for the treatment. She was so dominant choleric and her husband could not do anything to change her attitude. I am pained to write that she passed away a few months back. Initially even I could not reconcile to the fact that the intelligent lady virtually killed herself because of a very high level of negativity.
I know of another lady who was diagnosed of blood cancer about three and a half years back. This lady is definitely not as smart as the first person but has a positive attitude to the core. She accepted the diagnosis and the treatment of her doctors with impeccable grace. No doubt she went through agonizing moments particularly during several sittings of chemo therapy. I know for a fact that she went through several ups and downs ever since she was diagnosed of the dreadful disease. About one and a half years back, her sister passed away owing to cancer and she continued with her positive attitude. She never used negative words to describe what she was going through. In fact, she has started giving words of encouragement to another relative of hers who has been diagnosed of breast cancer. I am so proud of this lady and pray that she goes on for another fifty years.
I also know another young boy diagnosed of blood cancer and came out of it. This primarily happened thanks to the wonderful and positive attitude of his parents. Initially they did not accept the diagnosis but understood the futility of such non acceptance. She proceeded with the treatment for their kid with faith and now the son is doing very well. I know both the man and the wife and am proud to say that their right alignment to the rules of life has helped them and their lovely son.
So far, I mentioned about the impact of positive attitude on physical health. Let us ask ourselves the question, “How does attitude affect our mental health?” The answer is very simple; the peace of mind we derive by having positive attitude particularly acceptance really gives a balance to our thinking and hence improves our mental health. The converse is also true about negative attitude. All of us will appreciate that our physical health and mental health are inter-related. So my humble submission is that one should not take a chance on playing with our attitude. The more we realize about our attitude, the better will be the chance of improving our health care including our mental health. To achieve this, I recommend the idea of practicing daily introspection, taught to us by our Spiritual and Life Mentor.
Let me end this blog on a lighter note. This is from a Tamil play. A doctor visits the house of a patient suffering from peptic ulcer. He turns to the cook of the house and says,” Can you do a favour?” The cook anxiously asks the doctor, “Please tell me what I should do?” The doc replies, “Please don’t do anything and that will be a great favour to your master!!”