About Me

I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.

Monday, September 26, 2011

How Our Emotions Effect Our Health

There is more and more scientific evidence to support how our emotions effect our health.  Whether it is a positive effect from experiencing positive emotions, or a negative effect from experiencing negative emotions, our emotions play a big role in our health.

One of the preeminent experts in positive psychology and author of the book "Flourish", Martin Seligman PhD states that there is scientific certainty that our emotional outlook effects our physical health.  Scientists now know that good feelings have a positive effect on our bodies, and negative emotions create negative physical responses.


When we are happy, joyful, peaceful, and feeling those positive emotions, our immune system becomes  stronger and is able to fight off colds, flues, and illness's better.  When we are stressed, angry, jealous, fearful, or are experiencing any other kind of negative emotion, our bodies spike in the hormone cortisol which will suppress our immune system and leave us less able to fight off illness and disease.

The trick is learning how to take control over our emotions so that we do not dwell in the negative.  Being conscious of our emotions is the first step in being able to control them.  A study published by "Psychosomatic Magazine" found that patients who wrote about their worries for thirty minutes a day had a healthier immune system and also had fewer doctor visits relating to their illness.  We can choose to feel negative emotions, or we can choose to see things in a more positive light.  The choice is always ours to make.

Sheldon Cohen PhD from Carnegie Mellon University studied 193 patients to determine their level of positive emotions.  He exposed the participants to a virus and found that people who scored low on positive emotions were three times likely to succumb to the virus.  Clearly our emotions are powerful when it comes to our health.

Lara M. Stepelman PhD professor of psychiatry and health behavior at the Medical College of Georgia states that, "We all have the ability to choose an optimistic mind-set.  With practice we can get better at it."  Just like we train our bodies to become fit and healthy, we must train our minds to become fit by thinking and feeling more positive emotions.

There are many ways to reduce our negative emotions.  Many of us let our emotions happen as if we are just a bystander and not the one controlling them or making them happen.  We are the only ones that can control them and change them to a more positive feeling.  The tools that can help reduce our negative emotions are meditation, tai chi, exercise, a healthy diet, and surrounding ourselves with people we love and who love us.  Staying away from toxic media such as news shows, violent movies, negative press, reality shows, and other forms of entertainment that dwell in negative activity, are a good choice to make when you are trying to stay in positive emotion.

We can take charge of our health by taking charge of our emotions.  Studies show that people who for the most part live in positive emotion, are healthier for it, while people who live experiencing mostly negative emotion suffer ill health.  Since it is a choice, why not choose to be healthier by feeling more positive?  If you are a negative thinker and feeler, you will need to retrain yourself to be more positive.  It can be done by being conscious and aware of how you are feeling and thinking.....keep choosing to be positive!

Wishing You Health and Happiness,

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