Gary's Guidance: Illness and Aging Can Be a Positive Force in Healing Oneself

November 2011

Have you heard how the human body naturally heals itself?  The two week rule is that in about two weeks it will be better.  Like a head cold being over in two weeks, or a canker sore healing, and a minor cut virtually disappearing after two weeks.  Certainly medicine and advances in science have contributed to our well being.  However, the healing process itself remains a mysterious event.  Individuals have some power and control to facilitate healing.  Here are some suggestions that may fuel your healing:

  • Practice acceptance of your illness or ailment.  Acceptance is different than resigning yourself to it.  Even while being sick, acceptance of an illness as being just part of you can free up energy for other activities/interests. Fight illness with positive thoughts.
  • View sickness, pain, disease as your body’s way of taking your life in a new direction.  I once said that my own physical pain is the way my body tells me I am still alive!  It is letting me know where I need to start healing.  Avoid judging ailment and resenting our body for having it.  Once we heal, start a new direction by making a goal and achieving it.
  • View illness or aging not as a loss or hassle, but as an opportunity for personal growth.  Focus on growing new ideas, attitudes and new ways of thinking about our relationship to others.  One can grow psychologically and self-creating a new philosophy of life can be freeing.
  • Our bodies respond to self-love, positive self-talk and to caring from others.  Our immune system responds to positive messages or love.  Negative thoughts and stress produce certain chemicals in our bodies.  Positive thoughts produce different chemicals.  The latter strengthens the immune system.  The former weakens it.

In closing, use you illness as an experience to learn about hope, acceptance, forgiveness, love, and openness to living.  In doing so, you may make what ails you remit.

Gary Kozick, LCSW

Originally appeared in the Arbor Terrace: A Senior Living Residence monthly newsletter, November 2011)