Can thinking positively make you get well sooner?

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Eagle-eyed readers of my blog will notice there was no new blog post last week as I was feeling very unwell and had to take a few days off. Fast forward one week and I’m still not feeling too grand and have now been diagnosed with bronchitis, and being asthmatic too, I’m feeling anything but fighting fit at the moment. But, why am I sharing this, you may well wonder?

Well, the reason is new research published in the Daily Mail this week reveals how by having faith in your medication, this positivity increases the chances of it working. So in other words, if you believe what you are taking – be it lemsips, paracetamol, fishermen’s friends, alternative remedies or antibiotics – your attitude can directly affect how well, or if at all, those drugs work. And for the cynics out there, a sceptical outlook can cause an ailment to linger according to the study.

As an asthmatic, I definitely agree taking my reliever inhaler when my breathing is not so good, does have a calming effect and I do feel positive that I will be breathing more easily in no time. But, is that because of my positive mindset or the fact it is an excellent treatment for my condition? I’d say that’s 30/70. Likewise, when you feel all bunged up with cold, anything that can help minimise the symptoms will be viewed positively. When my symptoms started last week, I’m not ashamed to say my cold remedies (Olbas Oil – thank you) were a godsend in minimising the lifespan of my spirit-zapping cold.

I’m very positive my new medication will improve my condition as it’s proved very effective in the past, so I should be feeling much better by next week if this research rings true and do you know what? I wouldn’t bet against that outcome.

So, what do you think? Is positive thinking in overcoming feeling ill something to consider or is it all just mumbo jumbo to you?

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Sleep – how do I get more?

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Image courtesy of The Sleep Council

New research from the Mental Health Foundation has revealed the huge impact poor sleep can have on our health and happiness. As a sleep addict who becomes unbearable after just a couple of nights of disrupted sleep, my heart goes out to those who regularly face bouts of insomnia.

For those with repeated difficulties sleeping, this deficit can lead to weight gain, erratic moodswings, energy deficiency, and as the MHF’s report reveals, it can also cause relationship difficulties. If problems persist long-term, sleep deprivation can lead to health problems including diabetes, clinical depression, anxiety, immune deficiency and heart disease.

I’d like to share a feature I wrote last year with comment from sleep expert Dr Nerina Ramlakhan on the secrets of natural sleep which includes many tips on improving your sleep quota. At the time I spoke with Nerina, I was sleeping poorly for several weeks due to a horrid chest infection (such is the life of an asthmatic) and by following just a couple of Nerina’s suggestions I was sleeping better in no time.

Main things to consider are: always eat breakfast, watch your caffeine intake after 2pm, look at your nightly routine and incorporate more movement and exercise in your life to improve sleep.

For anyone struggling with sleep, I’d love to hear how you get on using some of the tips.