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Psychoneuroimmunology

In this awful time of ‘The Virus’, our isolation and the social media can put a real damper on our psyche if we let it! The title of this article is a long word but it has a short concept. It tries to say that the body, mind and spirit are interconnected. What you think, affects how you feel.  Hippocrates, my favorite physician, said ‘heal thyself’, meaning that you have to help yourself too, rather than expect medicines or commercial pills or a doctor to do it all. The mind is a powerful organ. Aristotle said, “In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.” Think about it!  Most pharmaceuticals get their origins from herbs, honey, flora or other natural elements. Thomas Jefferson said, “The sun, my almighty physician” Going for a walk in the garden or park helps heal the cluttered mind, eases the tensions we experience, tensions that, given time, go away and new ones appear. There is no one who can say they don’t have something troubling them. These trying times are something we all share evenly.

But, we can make it into a time of creation; try to paint or pencil sketch a bird or flower, listen to the brilliance of classical composers on the radio, dance or make a gorgeous meal from a recipe you’ve been meaning to try. Pablo Picasso said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” And, George Bernard Shaw said, “Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.” But, I believe Dorothy Fadiman said it best;” Each of us is an artist, capable of conceiving and creating a vision from the depths of our being.”

I found a box on my basement shelf that I had put away many years ago; stuff my daughters and I meant to create at one time. Inside, I found a pair of kitchen towels with floral sketches on them. Sun flowers on one kitchen towel, pink begonias on the other. Well, those heavy rainy days found me, with my arthritic fingers, embroidering. They came out cute, I think. Then, I found a bureau scarf with a pencil sketch over it. So, watching TV finds me choosing color threads and stitching. It’s a lot! But, hey! I’m doing something that will, maybe, end up in my granddaughter’s trousseau, maybe. These pursuits may not make my home a palace, but it won’t become a prison, either.

Philosopher, Leo Buscaglia said, “It is not the situation, it is our reaction to the situation that counts. There are two big forces at work, external and internal. We have very little control over external forces like tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, disasters, illness and pain. What really matters is the internal force. How do we respond to those disasters? That’s what we have complete control over.”

Being an avid reader, I do miss the library. My favorite place before it closed due to the pandemic. But, it will reopen, of course.  I just hope it’s in my lifetime. Also, my telephone bill is longer than at any other time, calling cousins and friends in Athens, Greece, New York, California and New Hampshire. The best part is that they seem glad to hear from me, too.

Aristotle said, “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” Laughing is another healer, I believe. I love to see old comedy shows on TV. They’re the best! A good laugh is like internal jogging, and you don’t have to go outdoors, either. Laughter is like opening the window and letting the fresh air in. Sometimes, a good laugh helps us realize how ridiculous it was to be angry at someone’s snide remark.  When you rethink a person’s demeaning remark at you, just think that that person needed to try to give away the hurt given them. When you learn to laugh at what was said, you come out the winner, they, the loser; like telling him, ‘Look! It didn’t work!”

Ok, I better end this article or I’ll sound like one of those Evangelist on TV, those guys who turn words into cash saying things we already know or heard before. Hang in there!

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