Positive Thoughts Towards Others Improves Healthy Behavior

January 8, 2019   |   Evidence in Integrative Healthcare

According to a 2018 study with 220 subjects, when patients adopt a regular habit of focusing on ‘others well-being’ they are more likely to participate in exercise and other healthy behaviors affecting positive lifestyle changes. “Self- Transcendence” refers to a shift in mindset from focusing on self-interests to the well-being of others. Subjects were asked to focus on loved ones or making positive wishes for others. This activity of self-transcendence upregulated activity in a region of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. This area of the brain is responsible for reward processing. Providers would do well encouraging patients to focus away from their conditions of chronic pain and illness in a way that encompasses a bigger picture. Helping patients see the need to do so is a form of Pain Neuroscience Education (PNE). Explanations that include basic neuroscience education as it relates to mental health are within the scope of chiropractors, naturopathic physicians and acupuncturists, as long as the provider does NOT introduce discussion of case-specific patient mental health conditions. Discussion of specific conditions are in the venue of mental health.