The power of positive thinking is a trending notion, and while it has resurfaced it is in no way new. Having control over one's thoughts is a powerful tool in life. This is true for personal health and for interpersonal relations. Below is an excerpt from The Practice of Nature Cure published in 1924, where Henry Lindlahr describes the importance of positive thought and trust in nature's healing power.
Everything depends upon the maintenance of the greatest possible inflow of vital force; and there is nothing so weakening as worry and anxiety, nothing that impedes the inflow, distribution and normal activity of the vital energies like fear. A person overcome by sudden fright is actually benumbed and paralyzed, unable to think and act intelligently.
The positive mental attitude of faith and equanimity creates positive energies in the body, thus infusing the system with increased vigor and healing power, while the negative, fearful and worrying attitude of mind creates in the system the negative conditions of weakness, lowered resistance and actual paralysis.
The positive mind and will are to the body what the magneto is to the automobile. As the electric sparks from the magneto ignite the gas, thus generating the power that drives the machine, so the positive vibrations, generated by a confident and determined will, create in the body currents which incite and stimulate all vital activities.
Common experience teaches us that the concentration of the will on the thing to be accomplished greatly heightens and increases all physical, mental and moral powers.
Therefore the victory in acute disease is conditioned by absolute faith, confidence and serenity of mind on the part of the patient. The more he exercises these harmonizing and invigorating qualities of mind and soul, the more favorable are the conditions for victory of the millions of cells in the struggle against disease. The blood and nerve currents are less impeded and disturbed and flow more normally. The local congestion is relieved, and this favors the natural course of the inflammatory process.
I particularly enjoy the imagery of the "victory of the millions of cells", I envision the thoughts I think and feelings I experience as radiating through every cell in my body, and beyond.
In sharing this I do not claim that “happy thoughts” will cure you of all your ailments. Rather, I want to show you that “serenity of mind” is a component of healthy existence, and this is not a novel concept.
You might wonder, how do I get to this place of “serenity of mind”?
The answer is that there are many paths to arrive there. For most of us, the first step onto that road is noticing. Noticing our thoughts throughout the day, and bringing them back to the present moment. This is the foundation of mindfulness exercises. For others the first step may be correcting nutrient deficiencies and supporting the nervous system. Still for others it may be changing daily routines and creating new habits.
Regardless of what path is the right one for you, practice, patience, and time are your friends. And if a guide is what you need, then I am here to help.