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Can your Attitude Impact your Health? - Behavioral Health

Doctors say a positive attitude can help manage your pain and improve your overall health. “Unfortunately, people don’t think attitude will make a big difference, but it really does,” said Dr. Roseanne Illes, a psychologist with Lee Health. “If you have anything from a chronic illness to anything that’s a minor respiratory infection, your attitude about stress or about anything else related to that health condition will impact it,” said Dr. Illes. And it’s more than just thinking positive thoughts. “It’s actually how you’re able to manage that positive mind within things that come through that stress you, which impact your physical health not just your emotional health,” said Dr. Illes. If you’re living with chronic pain, studies show a bad attitude can actually make the pain worse. “Unintentionally you might tighten your muscles, and then when you tighten your muscles you’re going to exacerbate your pain,” said Dr. Illes. Doctors say our minds and bodies are connected, so if you have a negative outlook and uncontrolled stress your body stays tense, increasing your blood pressure and heart rate. “What happens is, the way we think and see things have a trickle-down effect and it impacts our reactions and how we feel,” said Dr. Illes. Finding healthy ways to address and manage stress can help improve your health. “We have to increase some of that awareness to say, what does make me go off? And then, what do I do before that happens so I don’t go off,” said Dr. Illes. Like many things, attitude can be based on habit. Changing the way you think and react can help eliminate pain and improve other health conditions. View More Health Matters video segments at Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care. Visit