You may feel physically fine, but your emotions could be destroying your health! Dr. Karen Lawsonan is a professor of family medicine at the University of Minnesota. And she says that emotions are physiological, meaning they impact – and can hurt – your health. Here are a few facts:
Hotheads beware! A new Vanderbilt University study found that meltdowns lead to back pain. Experts believe that anger causes tension to build up in the muscles surrounding your spine. It also limits the production of pain-killing endorphins. So, next time you feel a rage-attack coming on, experts say step back and pretend you're a referee. And objectively judge the situation. Like “On a scale from 1-to-10, where does a stolen parking spot fall?” An Ohio State University study found that distancing yourself from the situation helps reduce aggression.
Being lonely boosts your odds of a heart attack! Researchers at the University of Chicago found that lonely people have a much higher risk of developing heart disease and suffering heart attack than people with larger social circles. Researchers say that’s because lonely people tend to have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. And over time, all that chronic stress wears down their cardiovascular system.
Depression can put you on the fast track to cancer. A Johns Hopkins study found that depressed people had a 69 percent greater risk of cancer than happy people. Experts say that over time, depression interrupts cell growth and replacement, which often leads to cancer.
Hey, worrywarts, try to manage your anxiety! Because it raises your risk of dementia. That's because chronic mental stress literally shrinks your memory center. So, worrywarts, instead of now worrying about developing dementia, experts say fight back by putting on your sneakers and hitting the gym. Experts say the number one way to fight stress is to exercise.