Happy "hump day". Hope you're all having a good one so far.
So yesterday I read a really good article in the Wall Street Journal entitled "Healing Power of a Good Spin" and decided it would be the perfect topic to share for today's post.
So, what is the article about? in a nutshell, it narrates the story of Bill Baker, someone who found extreme joy in running triathlons and simply being a stellar biker and runner. He spent countless days training for competition after competition- that's until he was diagnosed with a serious health condition that prevented him from doing any of the things he enjoyed.
The article then continues on to explain recent studies which have found that, even when we are faced with devastating circumstances and we feel that our life is "over" (as it was the case with Bill), changing the "story" regarding the circumstances in our minds can have tremendous benefit for us not only mentally but also physically speaking. In a general sense, the study reinforces the idea that everything is about perspective and our attitudes and approach towards life going forward always depends on how we CHOOSE to see things.
"We all create narratives to process information and make sense of events, whether explicitly or in subtle ways. The way we construct these stories has a large impact on our mental health, research show".
Also from the article:
"In a study that followed 54 people, half of whom went on to receive a diagnosis of a major illness- cancer, heart disease, or diabetes in the six months after they recorded their life stories. The researchers measured their mental health every 6 months for two years...they found that people whose personal narratives- the stories they told themselves- contained more agency, communion and redemption, and less contamination, saw their mental health improve, even after getting a serious illness".
"When re-framing negative events. acceptance is crucial" says Hal Shorey, a psychologist and assistant professor at the institute for Graduate clinical psychology at Widener university.
Bill ultimately realizes that being unable to compete and train as much as he used to turned out to be quite the blessing in disguise. He was able to find other very effective ways to remain fit and healthy
and was finally able to spend more time with his loved ones, people he would tend to ignore and disregard almost completely, specially during training season.
The article ends with the subject coming to this amazing realization:
"...I am pretty upbeat about how the closing of the triathlon door opens up a whole bunch of new ones".
What are your personal thoughts on this story? are you also a believer that we can gear our minds and lives towards any way we desire, simply by the way we think? (I am.)
Thank for reading!