State of Mind Affects How Wounds Heal, New Study Shows

Once again, research shows a direct connection between mental health and physical health. Previous studies have drawn connections between depressive thoughts and physical ailments including cardiovascular health and generalized pain. But a new study shows a silver lining: people who are less confrontational may heal faster, at least when it comes to foot sores related to diabetes. The study found that people with depression had typically larger sores, and that those with confrontational responses to stress tended to heal slower. Working on positive thinking, and getting therapy or counseling for both depression and aggressiveness or confrontation, then, may help individuals not only stay healthier mentally, but to heal faster physically as well.

© Copyright 2010 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Jennifer Sneeden, Boca Raton Therapist

    Jennifer Sneeden, Boca Raton Therapist

    August 2nd, 2010 at 8:03 PM

    Perhaps this is connected with the amount of patience required to wait for these slow-healing sores. This seems like an ideal opportunity for some mindfulness training, which can be so valuable for facilitating healing as well as reducing negative reactions.

  • Alec Stewart

    Alec Stewart

    August 3rd, 2010 at 2:35 AM

    Its a good thing to know that a positive attitude actually aids in healing wounds. Gives more creditability to the notion that happier people and those with a positive attitude lite longer.

  • Nicole

    Nicole

    August 3rd, 2010 at 4:26 AM

    I have seen a lot of articles listed within the site lately about just how much of a connection there is between the body and the mind and how the state of one can so vividly affect the state of the other. Do you think that this is a message that is getting across to the general public? This is something that I would hope that a lot of family doctors as well as other doctors in general would be talking about with their patients and their families to encourage them to look at the numerous benefits of total healthy living and the ways to make this a reality. Of course that would force some doctors to step outside of their own personal comfort zones when working with patients but I think that this is the time to do it.

  • jimmy M.

    jimmy M.

    August 3rd, 2010 at 10:48 AM

    maybe there is a relation after all.what my understanding says is that when a person is happy and is not being pessimistic about his injury or wound,certain enzymes or something is released in the body which actually aids in the quick healing of the wound and thereby helps the person.hey,it does pay to be cheerful after all ;)

  • BH

    BH

    August 4th, 2010 at 3:45 AM

    sounds fair to me…be happy,be lucky…or be sad and suffer more… ;)

    it is good that such findings are coming to the fore because people have really forgotten to be happy…all they care about is money,money,and money…

  • Olivia

    Olivia

    August 4th, 2010 at 4:31 AM

    It would be great to know that a lot of care takers especially of the elderly had a chance to read this srticle and see how imperative it is to keep their patients and family members in positive spirits. This just goes to show you that once a person gives up mentally then the physical side is sure to suffer as a result. Give them other things to do and to think about so that they are not always dwelling on how depressed or sad that they are. Go for a walk if possible or allow them to talk and share the things that are on their minds. Sometimes small little interactions like this can be exactly what they might need to get into a more positive state of mind and think of the health benefits that this could provide.

  • Gavin

    Gavin

    August 6th, 2010 at 6:10 PM

    This article about healing being slower when patients take a confrontational approach reminds me of the saying “Let go and Let God.” Have faith in a Higher Power and let your controlling side disappear. Some things are beyond your control.

  • Star

    Star

    August 7th, 2010 at 10:35 AM

    Hippocrates said that natural forces within us are the healers of disease. You can self-heal more than the average person imagines if you turn your attention inward. Inner strength isn’t an abstract concept. It’s a living breathing part of us and always there to be utilized.

  • Beth

    Beth

    August 7th, 2010 at 11:42 AM

    I’ve always believed in mind over matter. We can’t even begin to understand the mind-body connection if we don’t accept that as a reality. Non-believers can say what they want. There are cases worldwide that back me up where miracles (and I use the word in a non-religious sense here) happened. Modern medicine had written off those patients’ chances and their own belief that they could be cured triumphed.

  • Shaun

    Shaun

    August 7th, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    I don’t believe in miracles. When those alleged miracles happen it’s because the doctors missed something somewhere along the line that was indeed working to heal the patient. Or they had misdiagnosed the condition in the first place. Human error, not a miracle.

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