Are you sometimes mesmerised by the latest medication for the common cold on the TV?
Fascinated by the computer graphics used to depict the symptoms and their soothing remedy being promoted?
Impressed by the subliminal suggestion that responsible people purchase the latest advertised medication? Influenced by society's bland acceptance of the assumption that colds and flu are unavoidable at this time of year?
Or are you sometimes repelled by these downward tugs, loaded with obvious big pharmaceutical company backing?
Good thinking! You're part of a growing movement of individuals who have become more discerning and are prepared to take responsibility for their thoughts, and ultimately for their health and wellbeing.
"Your health care shouldn't be all about drugs", says family physician, Dr Chandra. They are just not the answer for healing and more consistent wellbeing. She points to considerable and repeated research that has found that alternative therapies, which recognise the influence of our thoughts and beliefs on our health, are far superior treatments.
In fact, if we truly want to maintain health "we should prevent the images of disease from taking form in thought" by "look(ing) away from the body into Truth and Love", spirituality and health researcher, Mary Baker Eddy, recommends. If we "hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true…" we'll bring them into our experience, she confirms in Science and Health.
Negative advertisements and chit-chat about colds and flu need no longer control us. Positive and health-based thought and action offer a powerful immunity.
If you think back on your life experience for a moment, you'd have to agree to the value of these five healthy habits; but maybe their health benefits are news to you.
• Stay connected. Research has found that people literally feel cold when they experience being socially excluded. Choose not to hibernate this winter, but warm up by joining in and having fun.
• A positive attitude can broaden our perspective on the world, inspiring more creativity and life options, and promote lasting resilience and wellbeing. Dr Frederickson of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Lab at the University of North Carolina has found that the physical and emotional benefits of positivity include fewer colds, faster recovery from stress, and better sleep.
• Be grateful and take time to be in awe of the rosebud, the exuberant toddler or that amazing architecture. These thoughts and emotions promote good health. Surprisingly, it's not joy that makes us grateful, but gratitude that makes us joyful!
• Forgive yourself and others. It's great for your sense of wellbeing and has also been linked to better immune function. In a Stanford Forgiveness Project, 260 adults were trained to forgive over a 6-week period. 70% reported a decrease in their feelings of hurt, while nearly 30% experienced fewer physical complaints.
• Pray or meditate on your special place in this wonderful universe. Researchers have proved time and again that spirituality and faith in a loving higher power are overwhelmingly good for your health.
It could be worth your time to meditate on how you'll get these spiritual practices into gear, because it seems that they will most certainly affect your all-round wellbeing this winter and well into summer.
Kay Stroud writes about the connection between consciousness, spirituality and health. She's also media relations contact for Christian Science in this region www.health4thinkers.com