How important are positive emotions in the struggle between health and illness? Is there scientific evidence that corresponds with the teachings of Buddhism?There is in fact a growing mountain of evidence supporting Buddhism and the importance of nurturing positive qualities in ourselves. Let’s consider one example: stress management. The book Buddha in Your Mirror
cites the work of Kathleen H. Dockett, professor emerita of psychology at the University of the District of Columbia, who reports that three key personality traits facilitate the process of handling stress positively. A stress-resistant personality type—someone who handles stress better than others—is less prone to stress induced illnesses and, when faced with illness, overcomes it better.
This personality type consists of three factors: commitment, control and challenge—qualities that are identified and nurtured by the practice of Nichiren Buddhism.
Being dedicated to a cause or activity that is important to you; feeling meaning, purpose, a sense of mission in life.
Believing that you are in control of your life and that you determine your future.
Feeling that life is full of exciting challenges and opportunities for growth, rather than it being full of threats or obstacles.
The next time you are faced with a stressful situation, try chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to:
- Strengthen your commitment to kosen-rufu.
- Take control and envision your desired outcome.
- Confidently challenge the situation with determination.