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You’ve probably heard the old saying that laughter is the best medicine and this is certainly true to a large extend as studies have shown that laughter can reduce stress, relaxes muscles, helps protect the heart, and even burns calories. The truth however, goes much further than just laughter. The simply fact is that your mood can have a mighty effect on your overall health.

Anger and Irritation

People who are constantly angry or irritated at everything in life often have extremely high blood pressure and stress levels, which can result in all kinds of serious illnesses such as stroke, heart attack and heart disease. Being continually angry or irritated can also lead to poor immune system health which can result in a variety of illnesses from the common cold to skin rashes and even more severe illnesses. Angry people also take longer to heal from wounds or surgery as well.

Interestingly enough studies indicate that people who vent when they get angry are healthier than those who keep their anger or irritation inside. Women who tend to hold angry feelings inside are much more likely to have a heart attack or suffer from heart disease than either men or women who readily express their anger. However, it should be noted, that people who are on the receiving end of someone’s constant angry outbursts might well suffer from stress related conditions.

Depression

While doctors and scientists have found that there is a significant link between patients suffering from major depression resulting in poor health, it is even thought that people who suffer from minor depression or even the blues can, over a period of time, suffer ill health connected to their mood. Depression can result in overeating or under eating, sleep deprivation, and a lack of daily exercise all of which can have a major effect on your health over a period of time. Depression can make a person more accident prone as well.

General Negative Outlook on Life

People who generally have a negative outlook on life seem to suffer more from upset stomachs, insomnia, constipation, headaches, backaches and general ill health. A negative outlook generally results in tense muscles which can more easily be strained. It also results in feeling more stress when things don’t go exactly as planned. When you do suffer an illness or injury, negative thoughts often make getting better or healing take longer.

Look on the Bright Side

However, people who have a positive outlook on life and who laugh a lot and enjoy simple pleasures, tend to be healthier overall and when they do get sick or injured they recover much faster. People who are positive tend to be better able to control their weight, are more active, suffer fewer colds, and are generally healthier overall. Studies also seem to indicate that patients with serious illnesses such as cancer tend to have a better chance of recovery if they have a positive attitude towards their illness and getting well.

Changing Your Mood for a Healthier You

While being happy and positive won’t guarantee that you will never get sick, it does mean that you are likely to get sick less often and when you do get ill you are more likely to recover and recover faster than you will if you have a negative outlook. But, just how do you change your mood and attitude so that you can get or stay healthy? There are actually several things you can do, that will help you have a more positive attitude.

  • Eat Healthy. The fact is that many of our health problems including having a negative outlook on life come down to the diet we choose to consume. The lack of certain needed nutrients in your diet may be affecting your mood, making you feel more stressed, angry, and negative about life. By making sure that you eat a balanced diet that contains lean meats, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and the right kinds of healthy fats can keep your body and your brain healthy and help to promote a more positive mood.
  • Exercise. Studies show that exercising on a regular basis especially in green areas or near water helps to lower stress levels and elevate your mood. Even a slow walk around a park or along the beach can help you to feel calmer and happy and more at peace with yourself and life in general.
  • Cry if You Need to. Scientific studies have shown that crying actually releases negative hormones from your body resulting in lowered stress levels and an actual elevation of mood afterward. In short, when you cry you are actually releasing negative feelings through your tears.
  • Help the Less Fortunate. One way to gain a more positive attitude about your own life is to take part in an activity to help those who are less fortunate. Try serving at a food kitchen for the homeless, or helping at a center for “at risk” children. Studies show that people who help those who are worse off than they are have more appreciation for their own lives, feel good about doing something positive for others and in general just feeling happier and more contented in general.

Finding ways to improve your mood not only improves your health, but has many other benefits as well, such as promoting better relationships with co-workers, family and friends, having a better social life, and simply enjoying your own life more.

 

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