Did you know that emotions play an important role in health and well-being? Emotions trigger the release of hormones and are good for your health while others are not so good for your health.
While this is a scientifically established fact and we see it almost every day, few people actually realize the many benefits that positive emotions have on maintaining good health.
Recent research conducted by Bethany Kok and Barbara Fredrickson on the faculty and staff of the University of North Carolina, showed how positive emotions improved health. Sixty-five working members from the University were divided into two groups. One group got training for loving-kindness meditation, while the other group did not receive any training. Loving-kindness meditation is a form of meditation that encourages feelings of love and goodwill which will, in turn, improve emotional health. The pulse rate and breathing patterns were assessed of the participants before and after the training period. Remarkable improvements were found among the group who underwent the training when compared with the group who did not.
Staying positive is all about consciously leaving behind all the negativity and staying focused on the many blessings that life has to offer.
A study published in the journal Psychology Health Medicine in the August 2013 issue looked at the effect of a positive attitude in the form of gratitude and forgiveness on the quality of life of people with chronic illnesses like arthritis, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The quality of life of a participant was measured in terms of physical, psychological and satisfaction with life. What they found was that people with chronic illnesses who had a positive attitude, especially gratitude, had a much better quality of life. They also coped with pain much better because of the hormones that positivity produces. So, the key to a better life and better health lies in cultivating a more positive outlook and adding more activities to your life that increase the levels of the ‘feel good’ hormones. Here are just some of the things that help produce more of the ‘feel good’ hormones.
1. Yoga/meditation. Meditation not only calms the mind but it also shows that it brings down stress levels and results in the release of ‘feel good’ hormones.
2. Exercise. A good round of physical activity like walking, jogging or even aerobics releases a large amount of these hormones, especially endorphins, which is the reason why people feel happy after a good workout.
3.Touch therapy. Any activity associated with touch like cuddling, hugging, stroking or even a good massage drastically increases the levels of oxytocin. Oxytocin is a key hormone that helps bond people together and makes for lasting relationships.
4. A trip to the salon. Studies have also shown a big increase in the levels of the ‘feel good’ hormones, especially oxytocin, after a trip to the salon for a hair treatment or manicure. The gratification and the confidence that come from these activities are great for the woman’s self worth.
5.Seek out a friend. Everyone needs a good friend to lean on and, when feeling low, there is no better stress buster than to let it all out for the friend to hear. Even if the friend does not provide any solution, there is marked increase in mood and a whopping increase in the levels of the feel-good hormones.
6. Forgive. If you experience a constant, suppressed state of anger in your body/mind over many years, holding grudges and not forgiving people for incidents that happened in the past, then you are most likely using energy to make antibodies, and keeping yourself in a chronically inflamed state. As a result, you tax your immune system to overreact, aggravating autoimmune disorders such as Fibromyalgia, lupus, CFS, and rheumatoid arthritis, and many other illnesses. Releasing blame requires a quantum shift in which the whole body/mind is altered, a true state change that affects the entire system. It isn’t a small thing that is done by degrees, but a whole-body turnaround. Who you are when you forgive yourself and others is someone living a new reality. You are free and experience true happiness.
7. Steer your mind away from events that drain your energy. Take part in activities that boost the right hormones will greatly enhance your life, your health, and your pain levels.
Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live in…