We have all heard that positive thinking is powerful. In fact, it is said often enough that the phrase has lost quite a bit of its meaning. It’s become something of a cliche, something that we hear and will even repeat. But it’s not something that we always truly believe.
Current research suggests that this isn’t something that should be so easily dismissed. A study out of the American Heart Association indicates that optimism can help to make things like stroke a lot less severe when they occur. The study, which was presented at a recent nursing symposium, indicates that positive thinking and a sense of hope might be responsible for lower levels of inflammation in individuals that have had a stroke, making a full recovery become a lot more likely to occur.
This study was by no means definitive. Only 49 participants were included, which is regarded as much too small to have any sort of universal significance. However, in this study it was found that those who were more optimistic were more likely to have a positive outcome. They were more likely to regain the physical functioning that they once had, and they had much less inflammation–an indicator of a healthier future. Those who have high levels of inflammation after a stroke often are individuals at loss of long term or permanent brain functioning.
Although there have been multiple studies out there that indicate optimism has a positive impact when it comes to the recovery from other negative health events, this was the first of its kind when it comes to stroke recovery. The results look like they are right in keeping with what similar research has suggested.
This should have a big impact on how we view our own mental health and that of those around us. Being an optimist and having a positive view of our lives and our futures is not just going to make us happier, but it will make us healthier, too. Talking about mental health with a loved one might not be an easy conversation, but it’s an important one. And if it can help prevent future health issues, like suffering from a permanent disability after a stroke, then it’s definitely something worth looking into.
In-home care doesn’t tend to address mental health needs directly, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a profound impact on happiness and mental health in general. Think about it like this. People tend to be happier when they are around other people. When an in-home caregiver is working with a senior who might otherwise be alone all day, something changes in them. They no longer are isolated, but in a community, even if it is a very small one. It gives a sense of purpose to the day and it can create new friendships. What’s not to be optimistic about with this? In-home care is much more than help; it’s about companionship and love.
As always, if you do have concerns about a loved one’s mental health, please get in touch with a professional in the field. They will be able to give you much more accurate and customized help when it comes to keeping your family safe.