We’ve all, no doubt, heard that saying about seeing life as a glass half empty or half full. It seems that most of us are prone to either a positive or negative outlook. To take an example from Winnie The Pooh, some people are a Tigger and some are an Eeyore.
I read an article this week by Lisa R. Yanek, M.P.H. psychologist who works with John Hopkins Medicine. She reported that in recent studies, she and her colleagues noted that, “people with family history who had the most risk factors for coronary artery disease but were positive people from the general population, were 13 percent less likely than their negative counterparts to have a heart attack or other coronary event.”
Medical researchers discovered long ago that stress and negativity were often factors in people developing stomach ulcers. Some medical professionals feel that positive thinking even helps to guard against the common cold, and offers a longer life span.
While I’m happy for these medical studies and discoveries, it’s interesting to note that God has already informed us of these truths. The Old Testament book of Proverbs has several helpful instructions concerning positive thinking that aids our physical health. Here are a few:
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” Proverbs 17:22
“My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body.” Proverbs 4:20-22 (Speaking of God’s Words)
“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24
The above encourages the reader to align their thoughts with God’s own Word. Paul encourages this in Philippians 4:8 when he writes, “…Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
I like to remind myself that it’s impossible to think of something negative and positive at the same time. Also, it’s a choice to make. We can choose to practice thinking on what is true, reminding ourselves that God is bigger than our worries, He can handle all our dilemmas, and He can speak peace, joy, and guidance into our everyday living situations. When we choose to think on God and everything possible with Him, it lessens the focus on negativity and heightens optimism. That leads to better overall health. What a good plan God gave in assisting us to be half full rather than half empty.