We all have our ups and downs and that is only natural, life cannot be a flat line. The question is, have you ever noticed that during your downs, your health is also taking a wrong direction? And the same way, when you’re going through a happier phase, it seems that your health is at its best as well. The question is, is there really any correlation between the way we feel and experience the things that happen to us and our health?
A recent study has shown that indeed there is a relation between the way we experience things and our overall health. More specifically, people who go through a wider variety of positive emotions, experience reduced systemic inflammation.
How did the study work?
All in all, 175 people aged between 40 and 65 were asked to log their emotions for a period of 30 days. They had to keep track of how often they experienced 32 types of emotions out of which 16 were positive and 16 negative. After a period of six months, each participant was tested for markers of inflammation.
The results were quite surprising since it seems that people who experienced an overall bigger amount of positive feelings had lower inflammation than the rest of the group, even after taking into account other factors such as demographic ones and body index.
Despite what you might imagine, the contrary was not also valid. Meaning that people who experienced a greater variety of negative emotions were not in for higher inflammation. It seems that only positive emotions work wonders.
One of the conclusion of the study was that experiencing a greater variety of positive feelings, even ones as relaxation leads to an overall better mental and physical health. The idea is not to stay focused on one feeling, of happiness but to experience a range of them.
What can you do to develop positive emotions?
As I already mentioned, it’s quite natural for all of us to go through not so great phases as well. The question is, how can we try to maintain a certain balance, even when we do not feel cheerful?
- Pay attention to your diet
There are certain foods that have anti-inflammatory properties, such as broccoli, blueberries, celery, pineapple, salmon, and coconut oil and so on. They have the purpose of regulating the immune system and keep us ready to go.
And not just. Yoga and other relaxing activities have proven to work wonders as well. Meditation has the great power of helping you connect with yourself at a deeper level. Once you practice a couple of minutes of meditation, it doesn’t have to be for very long periods, you might feel more balanced and discover emotions that you didn’t even know were there.
As I mentioned above, in my book yoga and meditation go hand in hand. However, that doesn’t have to be the case for everyone. I believe that yoga has the great power of opening your body, so to say. It does not just improve flexibility but helps you focus and relaxes your mind at the same time.
- Set goals
It might sound a little silly and if you’re like me, someone who hates planning, this is a pain in the back. However, there is a logical side to it. The point is that having set some clear goals helps you achieve them. Knowing where you want to get helps you walk the fastest and more efficient road.
- Let go of the negative emotions
Sounds like a cliché, right? I know, I feel the same way most of the time. If happiness is so easy to get, everyone would be happy, right? But the thing is, we usually get caught up in so many things that frustrate us and stress us and we no longer know how to let go. There’s probably no magical formula to easy your mind, but you have to figure out what works for you and implement it.
It seems happiness only has positive sides, not that this would come as a surprise. One of our main purposes in life is to find some sort of happiness of inner peace, either way. Let us know what worked for you and you might inspire other readers as well!