There is a strong correlation between physical and emotional well-being. With our integrative, mind-body approach to positive health, the Flourish for Life Center for Positive Health can help you to be the best you can be! Positive health coaching succeeds in increasing your physical and emotional health by:
• Using proven principles and practices of coaching to assess, utilize, and strengthen your existing health assets
• Using proven principles and practices of coaching to assess, utilize, and build your character strengths
• Providing the support and guidance needed to reach and sustain positive health goals
Positive Health is defined as “the group of subjective, biological, and functional assets that actually increase health and illness targets”. Further, positive health is concerned with how a person’s physical and emotional well-being compliment and affect one another. So, in this way, positive health may be considered more holistic in its scope than positive psychology as it encompasses both positive mental and physical health.
Not only is positive health concerned with the interaction and complimentary effects of physical and emotional health, it is also developing as a science concerned with what it means to be healthy beyond simply the absence of symptoms and diseases. Just as positive psychological health is not simply the absence of negative emotion and dysphoria, positive physical health cannot be defined as merely the absence of illness and physical distress. As positive psychology is concerned with the factors that lead individuals to flourish psychologically, positive health, then, is concerned with the factors that lead individuals to flourish physically.
There are three areas of positive health that we concern ourselves with at the Flourish for Life Center:
First, we are concerned with the effects of positive psychology on general physical health and its relationship to illness and disease. Secondly, we are concerned with the health assets that tend to correlate with better outcomes in illness and disease, a slowing of the aging process, and increasing the likelihood of a longer life as well as a higher quality of general physical health at all stages of life.
Health assets can be categorized as biological, functional, or subjective. At Flourish for Life, we are concerned with utilizing all health assets – biological, functional and subjective – to affect positive health outcomes. For example, optimism can be considered a subjective health asset. Exercise and activity can be considered a functional health asset. Healthy telomere length and naturally healthy blood pressure levels can be considered biological health assets. All, however, have been empirically shown to have significant positive impacts on health and longevity.
Numerous studies have shown a strong correlation between physical and emotional well-being. This correlation offers exciting possibilities in enabling people to affect positive health outcomes through the application of positive psychology practices. To date, research has shown that the strongest correlation may be between cardiovascular health and emotional health, specifically where optimistic individuals were far less likely to develop cardiovascular disease than pessimistic individuals. The largest such study to date (nearly 100,000 subjects followed over eight years) showed that optimists encountered thirty percent fewer coronary deaths than did pessimists.
Additionally, the positive health effects of optimism have been shown in less susceptibility to infectious illness. In one significant study, people with high levels of optimism were shown to be far less susceptible to the common cold as were those with average levels of optimism. The effect was even stronger when compared to pessimistic individuals. There is even evidence that optimism results in higher cancer survivor rates, decreases in death from all causes, and significant increases in longevity and quality of life in old age.
While there is still much research needed to advance our understanding of the positive health effects of positive emotion, the evidence to date makes it clear that positive emotional health can help people live happier, healthier, and longer lives.
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