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Is Negative Thinking Making You Sick?

July 09, 2015 2 min read

It likely doesn't surprise you to learn that the mind and the body are intimately connected. But it may surprise you to learn that there is a growing body of research that suggests negative thoughts and emotions can be linked to poor health conditions. Cynicism seems to be real trouble, for example. A 2014 study published in Neurology linked high levels of cynicism later in life with a greater risk of dementia and this was after accounting for other risk factors like age, sex, certain heart health markers, smoking status, and more. Cynicism may also be bad for your heart. A 2009 study published in Circulation looked at data from close to 100,000 women and found that those who were cynical were more likely to have heart disease. And the cynical women were more likely to die during the course of the study than those who had a sunnier disposition. Hostility isn't such a grand thing to carry either. The journal Stroke found that people who scored higher on measures of unfriendliness as well as those who had chronic stress and depressive symptoms were more likely to have a stroke. We cannot talk about negative thoughts without mentioning depression. This serious diagnosis can have an impact in several aspects of your health. It has been linked to an increased risk for type-2 diabetes, heart attack and a greater chance of disability later in life. Emotions are powerful when it comes to our health. One theory is that when you are stressed out or depressed cortisol levels increase making your immune system less able to control inflammation making you more susceptible to disease. It could also be that people who have a negative outlook are more likely to smoke and drink and less likely to be physically active. A bit of a chicken and egg question and hard to answer definitively. But all is not lost, Debbie Downer. By changing your perspective, you can change your health. Our brains are constantly creating new pathways and regenerating cells. This process is key to lots of functions including mood stabilization. It is possible to create your own positive pathways. Are you worried that a negative attitude is impacting your health? h/t: Health Do you follow BodyRock on Snapchat and Instagram?' [caption id="attachment_97915" align="alignnone" width="100"]snapcode @BodyRockTV[/caption]

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