I would argue that caring for your body in traditional ways- like eating a healthy diet, exercising, and taking your vitamins- may be the least important part of your health. (I know! Radical idea coming from a doctor!)
This may sound shocking to you. After all, you’ve probably watched many other doctors get on television to tell you that your health is all about using food as medicine, getting enough exercise, and avoiding bad habits. I’m not suggesting that those aren’t great health-inducing behaviors. What I’m saying is that it doesn’t matter how great your diet is if your body is flooded with stress hormones! No amount of kale is going to counterbalance the toxic effects of high levels of cortisol and epinephrine on your body.
So what’s the most important part of your health? The nature of your thoughts, beliefs, and feelings. When your thoughts, beliefs, and feelings are positive, relaxation responses are activated, healing hormones like oxytocin, dopamine, nitric oxide, and endorphins are released, and the body’s natural self-repair mechanisms are activated, allowing the body to do what it does best-heal itself.
- Lissa Rankin, M.D