…one man's contribution to the Weeeeerly Wild World
It is claimed that a study has shown this for the first time, that cynical people are more likely to suffer from dementia. This study was based on a questionnaire, and I find this topic interesting.
What the academics who carried out this study have actually revealed is that our state of mind actually affects the state of our mind and I’ve long advocated that positive thoughts breed positive things. I’ve read books on the topic too, such as Every Word Has Power by Yvonne Oswald [link], The Intention Experiment by Lynne McTaggart [link], and The Secret by Rhonda Byrne [link]. This latest study does seem to back up this idea, not specifically how positive thinking has a positive impact on the world around us, but how positive thinking has a positive impact on our health. I have seen how people with a negative approach to the world around them actually cause themselves to have poor health, or in extreme cases go and give themselves something like a heart attack or a stroke.
However, are we looking at causality from the right perspective?
Could it not be that the way some people’s brains are physically made up, or an underlying brain problem (such as dementia that in its earliest of stages and can’t yet be physicially detected) are what cause those people to think cynically?
I have read that human brains do most of their growing in the first five years of life, with wiring and re-wiring going on and nural pathways developing as we mature. Just like when we learn to walk through repeating the physical actions, those neural pathways associated with such a motor ability devolop, and if we constantly think a certain way, ie with a positive attitude, the neural pathways associated with those thoughts will also develop – which in both cases make repeated walking or positive thinking easier and more “natural”. It’s these early years that are the key, and the development of a child’s personality (a reflection of their way of thinking) can probably be traced through to adulthood in lots of cases, if not most. Our lives pass through phases and we each experience moments that have strong and lasting influences on our inner-selves. How we react to those moments and grow as people depends on how our minds are already formed and wired. The biggest influences or shocks (and in extreme cases brain injuries) can lead to rewiring, a shift in our attitudes or even a total change in personality, but those changes, however extreme, are still based on what was already there.
It also seems that these findings demonstrate that positive thinking is the proper way forward, not only for brain development, but I also believe, for our development as a species. When we see images of the deteriorated brains of Alzheimers sufferers (Alzheimers being being the most common form of dementia), if it was indeed a lifelong act of thinking cynically/negatively that caused the dementia, we can say that thinking positively (and behaving positively towards the people and the world around us) is the right way to behave.
Indeed if we reverse the direction of these findings we can surely also demonstrate what good positive thinking can do. If cynical thinking can lead to dementia then positive thinking will help us to live healthy lives with healthy bodies. Or is that a healthy body creates a healthy mind? Really I think the two must work hand-in-hand.