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A Positive Attitude Can Cure Illness

A positive attitude on life could help you to bounce back from the challenges of ill health, suggests a new study.

An optimistic attitude can do wonders for patients' recovery, according to researchers who reviewed 16 studies that looked at patients' attitudes toward health. The studies spanned 30 years and looked at patients' attitudes after surgery. The review appeared in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

"In each case the better a patient's expectations about how they would do after surgery or some health procedure, the better they did," said author Donald Cole, of the Institute for Work and Health in Toronto.

Across a wide range of clinical conditions, from lower back pain to heart surgery, patients who felt they would do well in recovery did, according to Cole. Patients who were scared or pessimistic about their recovery did not recover as quickly as the optimists or as well.

"Less pain [after surgery] was directly associated with better expectations, positive expectations," Cole said.

Psychologists say that putting on a brave face works even for serious complaints such as arthritis, diabetes and heart conditions.

Another study of Britons aged 50 to 90 found that those with resilient personalities felt better despite their various aches and pains.

Unfortunately, this inner strength takes years to develop and cannot be turned on overnight, according to Dr Gill Windle who led the research at Bangor University in North Wales.

"Resilience is the key but it's probably something which builds up over a lifetime – in some cases because of experiences in childhood," the Daily Express quoted Windle as saying.

Older people were more likely to suffer poor health but tended not to grumble about it.

"Even though they may be suffering, older people are likely to say "Oh, I'm all right', Windle said.


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