Negative Emotions Are Dangerous to your Health

Most people know how much a positive attitude is important in having success in life. Many also are also aware that your emotional outlook has everything to do with your physical well being.

Certainly, if you are not well, it is difficult to maintain a positive outlook, or even to enjoy the fruits of success.

But even if you are battling disease, it is vitally important to your health that you do everything to correct your outlook. This is possibly even more crucial than understanding and improving your nutrition.

Studies in both industrialized and non-industrialized nations around the world have proven that positive emotions are critical for maintaining good health and healing.

The link to better health has been apparent even notwithstanding basic human needs such as food and shelter.

One recent joint study (March of ’09) by the University of Kansas and Gallup was presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society in Chicago.

This study involved over 150,000 people from 140 countries in even impoverished conditions, where the link between emotional and physical health was even more apparent. It indicated surprisingly that the link between physical and emotional health was stronger than that between health and nutrition.

So Why is This, Really?

Scientists will no doubt be studying this for years to come, but this much is known. The parasympathetic nervous system controls our bodily hormones and chemicals that are essential for the nutrient processing and detoxification functions of digestion, as well as for healing.

The sympathetic nervous system prepares us for aggression and fight or flight. It operates under conditions of emotional stress, worry, anger and rage.  But most importantly, it essentially shuts down the parasympathetic system in order to do so.

Worry, stress, depression and anger has been shown to cause a 50% increase in the risks of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Studies show that depression can lead to atherosclerosis, or thickening of the inside walls of the coronary arteries. This slows the flow of blood to the heart and brain, potentially causing a heart attack or stroke.

So, you know that you are in control of your reactions to situations, and you have to learn to recognize the negative thoughts and emotions the second you have them so that you can change your outlook.

If you are aware how damaging the chemical reaction that ensues from your negative reactions and thoughts can be, you might be more inclined to recognize these thought processes when they begin and do something to change them.

Things to Do to Improve Your Outlook

  • Get some regular exercise, even if it is just some yoga or simple stretching to start, walking for 10 minutes, anything. This is a well known antidote for stress.
  • Get enough sleep. Sleep is as important as any nutrition, a close second to breathing! You should get at a minimum 6 hours and preferably at 7 and 1/2 hours per night.
  • Practice good nutrition, learn about it (read more posts here!) so that you are aware and can make good choices. Good health will improve your outlook!
  • Try to get some sunlight every day, if even just 10 minutes. It is a definite mood enhancer. That goes for fresh air as well!
  • Avoid alcohol and other drugs, including tobacco. They only provide temporary mood enhancement and have the reverse effect afterward.  They also impairs healthy sleep habits.
  • Do some housecleaning. Amazing what decluttering can do to declutter your mind!
  • Avoid negative people who insist on daily drama and negative talk or gossip. Even if this includes your family, you can avoid or change certain topics. Leave the room if need be!
  • Turn off the news. At least for a week if you feel you can’t do without it. And that goes for violent or negatively charged emotional dramas. Do you really need to absorb more negative input? Your subconscious mind is as large as a hotel while your conscious mind is the size of a pea. The subconscious absorbs everything indiscriminately without your thinking about it.
  • Learn to control your reactions to situations. Monitor your thoughts and emotions! Smile when you might think of doing otherwise. It releases tension, and people will smile back, and you’ll feel better.
  • Don’t isolate yourself. Get out and socialize. If you don’t get out, do some online social networking. You’ll be amazed what human contact, even if not physical, can do.

Learn to appreciate and value yourself, as well as others. Enjoy even the little things in life….  and don’t sweat the small stuff – Your health depends on it!

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