Although doctors do not understand all the reasons and the scientific basis for it, research has shown that what we think about a situation has a lot to do with how our body reacts to that situation. And how we react can affect our health.
That's why when we are upbeat and happy, when we laugh about things instead of being angry, irritated or mad, we really do live longer.
Mind over Body
Our bodies produce chemicals when we are stressed from a number of glands—the adrenal gland, next to the kidney, and the pituitary gland in the brain. If these chemicals are released over time, they cause stiffness of our arteries due to high blood pressure, and can lead to heart attacks and strokes. They can also leave us feeling depressed.
When we smile and laugh, our bodies produce other chemicals that relax our blood vessels, help us stay calm, make us feel happy.
Deep breathing, thinking calm and pleasant thoughts—even when you are frustrated or angry—can help you relax and stop the heavy production of the stress chemicals. Exercise helps with this as well.
With practice, you can get in the habit of calming yourself, mind over body, and develop a more upbeat approach to help keep things in perspective.
We all have troubles in life. Life is not perfect. We, our loved ones, and our children are not perfect. Sometimes a problem can seem overwhelming. But if you try to keep it in perspective, try to handle it in parts, and keep thinking positive thoughts, you will stay healthier.
You can call the ACCESS line at 1-800-686-0101 when you need support to get through life's problems.
Remember, you are not alone. That is another reason to smile.