Today’s columnist, Dr Mary Wren: Wise words that can heal

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I always enjoy reading the wisdom of others regarding health, so today I am going to share some pearls of wisdom.

After many years of working as a doctor I believe that what we think affects our health more than we realise and others agree.

Stephen Covey says: “If you start to think the problem is ‘out there,’ stop yourself. That thought is the problem.”

And William Adams says: “Most of us are just about as happy as we make up our minds to be.”

Then there is the importance of laughter.

“People who laugh actually live longer than those who don’t laugh.

“Few persons realize that health actually varies according to the amount of laughter,” says James J. Walsh.

I like Normal Cousins’ quote: “Hearty laughter is a good way to jog internally without having to go outdoors.”

Our health is affected by emotional things and fear too.

Mother Theresa wisely said: “The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted.”

Robert Bly observes: “I know a lot of men who are healthier at age 50 than they have ever been before, because a lot of their fear is gone.”

The Bible has a lot of wisdom on health, including these Proverbs.

“A merry heart does good like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”

And “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”

I love some of the weird and wacky ideas which have a hint of wisdom in them like this Dutch proverb: “A land with lots of herring can get along with few doctors,” and Mark Twain’s advice “Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.”

Then there is the truth expressed by Dorothy Canfield Fisher that sometimes what the patient expects or hopes is more than the doctor can do. “Some people think that doctors and nurses can put scrambled eggs back into the shell.”

Finally there is much good advice about the benefits of the wait-and-see approach

“To do nothing is sometimes a good remedy” says Hippocrates and “The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease,” says Voltaire.

So take time to consider these wise words.

Sometimes pills and surgery are not the answer.