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Tag Archives: emotional

Happiness and Optimistic Attitudes Important in Preventing Breast Cancer

Want to lower your risk of getting breast cancer? Recent research in Israel published in the British journal BMC Cancer has given us one more thing to take note of.

Breast Cancer Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, after non-melanoma skin cancer, cancer of the breast is the next one which most commonly afflicts American women. In 2004 alone, over 185,000 women and more than 1,800 men were diagnosed with the disease, while almost 41,000 women and 362 men actually died because of breast cancer.

Overall, in that year, breast cancer was the number five killer of American women, while being their number two cancer killer. For Hispanic women, breast cancer was also the type of cancer which caused the most deaths.

These numbers do not make for good reading at all. What actually causes breast cancer, and what can we do to stave it off?

Possible Causes of Breast Cancer

Those who are familiar with natural health and healing will know that breast cancer, like all other forms of cancer, can be prevented and even treated using powerful dietary and lifestyle choices, such as consuming enough fiber, exercising regularly, as well as getting enough sunshine and vitamin D.

What is also clear is that breast cancer, again like all forms of cancer, is a multi-factorial disease which needs to be tackled from various angles.

Recent research at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel has given us one more piece of the jigsaw – it seems that happiness and optimistic attitudes may reduce one’s risk of contracting the disease. On the flip side, adverse life events may increase one’s susceptibility to it.

Details of the Study

For the study, 622 women aged between 25 and 45 were asked about their life experiences, and researchers then assessed their levels of optimism, happiness, anxiety and depression before diagnosis. This information was then used to draw a link between life events, psychological distress and the occurrence of breast cancer. Of the participants, 255 were breast cancer patients, while the other 367 had never had cancer.

According to Professor Ronit Peled, the leader of the study, its findings “showed a clear link between outlook and risk of breast cancer, with optimists 25 percent less likely to have developed the disease”.

On the other hand, women who had been through two or more traumatic events in their lives had a 62 percent higher risk of contracting the disease.

The Emotion-Health Connection

Generally speaking, there have been other studies which have drawn a link between positive mental and emotional states and better health. For example, some studies have shown that positive emotions cause the body to produce more immune cells, while negative ones have the effect of suppressing one’s immune system.

But exactly and specifically how attitudes contribute to health, is something which we cannot say we know very well. One theory is that the body’s immune system is influenced by brain chemistry, which is in turn affected by one’s emotional experiences.

“The mechanism in which the central nervous, hormonal and immune systems interact and how behaviour and external events modulate these three systems is not fully understood,” said Peled. “The relationship between happiness and health should be examined in future studies and relevant preventative initiatives should be developed.”

One thing we do know, though, is that emotions such as happiness, stress, anger, anxiety and fear affect the human at a biochemical level. In other words, when our emotions change, our bodies also become chemically different.

What Next For Us

One thing that must be noted about the study is that the women were in fact interviewed after their cancer diagnosis, could very well affect their recollection of their emotional state in the past. When a person is going through a crisis, it would perhaps be a natural tendency to view events in the past more negatively.

Despite this, and although the “how” is still uncertain, Peled is convinced that the link between emotional events and health exists. He feels that “we can carefully say that experiencing more than one severe and/or mild to moderate life event is a risk factor for breast cancer among young women. On the other hand, a general feeling of happiness and optimism can play a protective role”.

According to him, young women who have gone through a number of adverse life events should be identified as being ‘at-risk’ for breast cancer and then be treated as necessary.

Most of us wish to find a specific solution for every health problem. The truth is, many degenerative diseases, and most certainly cancer, have their roots in multiple causes. That being the case, many factors would contribute to one’s risk profile, and a multi-pronged approach in preventing and dealing with the disease is almost always necessary.

What we now know, being happy and optimistic forms are an important part of such an approach.

And if you have been through some tough events in life, you may want to seek some help to address unresolved issues, either through professional counseling or otherwise. Leaving these issues lingering would just be adding more ammunition to the potential cancer time bomb.

Article by: Reuben Chow

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For more tips on relieving emotional stress or depression please visit our Emotional Wellness Page or click on this link http://www.celestialhealing.net/emotional_stress_therapy.htm

Take Our Quiz: Are you happy?

Take our quiz to find out how happy you really are with your life

How happy Are You?

The importance of being happy

“Happiness” is one of the main goals we set for ourselves. And for good reason! Not only does having a sense of joy and purpose enrich us emotionally, it also has a huge impact on our physical health, our ability to be productive and even how long we’ll live.

Our happiness quiz looks at what experts agree are areas of your life that are strongly linked to your sense of joy; they include relationships, spirituality and resilience.

For each question, choose an answer that best reflects your current attitudes or thoughts.

What are the keys to happiness?

Research into the traits, attitudes and lifestyle choices most associated with emotional and psychological health. Scientists identify five key compon­ents to the “happiness” equation:

1. Resilience to life’s challenges.

2. A healthy, active social life.

3. The ability to prevent or manage depression.

4. Embracing some form of spirituality or higher purpose.

5. Skill at defusing everyday stressors.

While being in an ongoing relationship isn’t one of the five variables, experts have proven that successful couples tend to be happier overall, in large part because loving companionship greatly helps each partner succeed in the five areas above.

Romance and love: Part 1

Answer the following if you are in a relationship:

1a.  If our relationship were an object, it would be:
a. A chili pepper—spicy, lively, intense.
b. A quilt—warm, comforting.
c. A railway—fast-moving trains by day; side by side, deep in sleep at night.
d. A video game—push the button, a new battle starts.

2a. My partner and I could happily be stranded on a deserted island for:
a. Years—we really do enjoy each other’s company that much.
b. Weeks—we do love each other’s company, but in a short time we’d crave the other parts of our lives.
c. Days—just long enough to have some laughs and have a few good talks.
d. Hours—any longer and we’d be at each other’s throats.

3a. We have our own secret touches and phrases, and we use them:
a. Every day, sometimes even in public. 
b. Occasionally, and always in private.
c. Rarely—we did that stuff only at the beginning of our relationship.
d. Never—and never will.

4a. When I talk to good friends about my significant other, I am:
a. Enthusiastic, loving and supportive.
b. Kind, generous, occasionally teasing.
c. Rational and dispassionately descriptive.
d. Surprisingly critical and uncomplimentary.

5a. If I find myself attracted to another person, I would likely:

a. Shut it right down—my current relationship is the one!
b. Not take action, other than perhaps a brief fantasy about what might have occurred.
c. Flirt. It’s harmless, isn’t it?
d. Secretly pursue the relationship, wherever it goes.

Romance and love: Part 2

Answer these questions of you are not in a relationship:

1b. Love is:
a. A beautiful, natural, enriching part of life.
b. An oversimplified notion, but something to strive for.
c. A fairy tale concept that, on rare occasion, can happen.
d. A cruel hoax.

2b. If I need someone to talk with
:

a. I have plenty of friends or family members I can call in an instant.
b. I have a few friends in whom I can confide if I feel I really need it.
c. I think [fill in the blank] might be open to it, if I asked…
d. Open up to someone? It’s just not me.

3b. Past relationships that failed have taught me that:
a. I always emerge wiser and better-prepared for the next one.
b. Life is an unpredictable journey that takes you into all kinds of interesting situations.
c. I should date less, trust less and pre-screen more.
d. Most guys are creeps, and those who aren’t are already taken.

4b. My social life is:
a. Absolutely great! I love my friends, and I love my time off.
b. Mostly active and interesting, though somewhat predictable.
c. Slow. I get out some, but more often than not, the TV is on.
d. Blank. My couch is my best friend.

5b. If I’m home alone on a Saturday evening, I’ll be:

a. Thrilled at the prospect of relaxing and doing exactly what I want.
b. Fine with it. Just another ordinary evening.
c. Stir-crazy somewhere around 10 p.m.
d. Completely, thoroughly bummed out and frustrated with myself.

Spirituality and joy: Part 3

6. I feel that I have within me:
a. The power to really improve the world.
b. A general desire to do good things for those around me.
c. A good moral compass, but no great need to touch the world.
d. Zero desire to affect the world. Come on, it’s six billion people!

7. I would rate my spiritual life as:
a. Thoroughly fulfilling. I have strong spirit­ual beliefs that benefit me every day.
b. Passive but good. I have my beliefs, but they don’t play into my day-to-day life.
c. Wanting. I want more purpose to my life; I want to believe in something bigger.
d. Absent. I don’t believe in that stuff; I trust my brain to guide me.

8. I consider my work to be:

a. A wonderful gift that lets me do what I love every day.
b. A reasonable and fair arrangement that, most days, is enjoyable.
c. A duty I need to fulfill in order to enjoy the other parts of my life.
d. A form of torture I endure for the money.

9. The last time I had a pleasant, non-work conversation of more than 10 minutes was:
a. Today or yesterday.
b. Three to seven days ago.
c. Last week.
d. More than two weeks ago.

10. In a typical day, I laugh:

a. All the time. I easily find the light side of things, even in dark times.
b. Once every few hours. Life is busy, but I can lighten up easily enough.
c. Rarely. It takes something really funny to crack my demeanour.
d. Pretty much never. The way things are, what’s to laugh at?

Resilience: Part 4

11. I typically feel:
a. Well rested, happy and ready to get going.
b. I have a lot to do today. Take a deep breath, and let’s go!
c. I wish it were Saturday. Please let it be Saturday. Damn.
d. I’d do anything not to have to get up and go through another typical day.

12. When I go to sleep at night, I feel:
a. Proud and satisfied with what I did today.
b. Grateful that the work and activities are done for the day.
c. Drained and spent—emotionally, physically, spiritually.
d. Angry at the world, angry at myself.

13. If I took a poll among my friends or co-workers, they would rate my attitude as:

a. Happy, engaged, optimistic.
b. Stable, even-keeled, in control.
c. Worried, frustrated, pessimistic.
d. Angry, defeated, overwhelmed.

14. When something really wonderful happens, I think:
a. I absolutely deserve this, and there’s more to come.
b. I’ll enjoy it now, knowing that it might not happen again.
c. It only took, what, how many years?
d. From here, it’s straight downhill.

15. If a new job didn’t work out well, I would think:
a. Their loss! I’m great at what I do and someone else will benefit.
b. I’m disappointed, but I’m sure I’ll find something else.
c. This is really bad. How will I ever find another job?
d. I’m a failure.

Everyday stress: Part 5

16. If a stranger did something really rude to me, I would:
a. Brush it off; life’s too short to let strangers affect you.
b. Get a little perturbed, but an hour later I’d have moved on.
c. Get very perturbed, and still be talking about it tonight.
d. Tear into him or her; no one is rude to me and gets away with it!

17. If I do something embarrassing in public, I:

a. Laugh it off, maybe even make a joke. We all do silly things at times.
b. Get a little embarrassed, but recover quickly enough and move on.
c. Turn five shades of red, and quickly try to escape the scene.
d. End up in tears, thinking how foolish I am.

18. When I’m feeling really stressed, I:
a. Turn to prayer, meditation, music or relaxation to calm me.
b. Talk it out and learn to cope with it.
c. Get upset and need help to calm down.
d. Get angry and hurtful, to myself and to others.

19. I get angry:
a. Almost never. Life’s too short to waste on such negative energy.
b. Maybe once a week. It takes a serious provocation to get me started.
c. Often. There’s a lot of stupidity out there.
d. Regularly. I fall into anger naturally; it’s part of who I am.

20. I’m suddenly in a situation I really fear. My reaction is:
a. Take a deep breath and deal with it; here’s a chance to beat this fear.
b. I’ve got no choice but to get through this; it’ll be over soon.
c. I hate this, I hate this, I hate this. Hey, it’s over!
d. Run! Hide! Weep!

Scroll down the page to find out your score…………………………..

Scoring:

Give yourself 5 points for each (a) answer; 4 points for each (b) answer; 3 points for each (c) answer; and 1 point for each (d) answer. Now add up your scores; the lowest possible score is 20; the highest is 100. Here’s how to rate your score:

81-100: Congratulations!
In the areas that experts say matter most, you have got life well under control and have the key elements required for a real, deep sense of happiness.


61-80: You’re doing well,
but there are some areas in your life that are hurting your emotional well-being. Look where you answered (c) or (d), and ask yourself, is this approach really serving me?

41-60: At best, you are coping with life. At worst, you could be burned out, depressed or angry. The first step is to acknowledge that your emotional health is not good. The second step is to get help. Breaking through tough times is easier with guidance.

20-40: With numbers like these, you’re not merely having a tough time. Seek professional help. You deserve to get happiness into your life; it’s what our natural state should be.

The harmfull effects of stress on the body

We never seem to have enough time to get done in one day that which needs to get done. Sound familiar? It is this perception of not having enough time that leads us to believe we are not getting anywhere. And it is this perception of not getting anywhere in our life which causes us to become anxious and stressed-out.

For some this is only happens occasionally but for others this thought process and feeling happens on a daily basis, year in and year out. The effects this kind of stress has on the body is dangerous and can lead to serious illness.

Effects of stress on the mind
While the effects of stress on the body are generally thought of in the physical sense, they can also result in mental strain. Symptoms of stress on the mind could be impaired judgment and indecisiveness. Forgetfulness and memory lapses are also common and on the extreme end depression. The mental effects of stress can be frightening.

Effects of stress on the body
Symptoms of stress can sometimes result in chest pains, insomnia or a person losing or gaining weight drastically. Other physical effects of stress on the body people can experience are (but not limited to):

  • High blood pressure
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Constant Headaches and Migraines
  • Stomach ulcers and digestive problems (nausea and diarrhea)
  • Loss of sex drive

Over an extended period of time the effects of stress can include more frequent illness due to a reduction in the efficiency of the immune system. More concerning though that prolonged stress on the body can lead to anxiety and panic attacks and in extreme cases, heart attacks. 

What you can do to combat the effects of a stressful lifestyle
Well, whether you like it or not there are no surprises here when it comes to taking care of the incredible vehicle we all tend to take for granted. One of the best ways to keep the physical symptoms of stress at bay is to adhere to a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables which are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help to repair the damage stress can cause on the body and the added benefits are more energy and mental clarity.

Daily exercise is another good way to manage the muscle tension and mental effects of stress on the body. Just thirty minutes of walking, biking or swimming can make a huge difference on how you cope with the strain and pressures of modern day living.

You don’t have to let the negative effects of stress on the body ruin your life. Develop a consistent healthy lifestyle. Exercise your mind and body effectively so you can adapt better to challenging situations and enjoy the benefits of all your hard work.

More Helpful Tips On Relieving Stress

Visualization can be a powerful tool to help you improve your life circumstances, but it can also serve as a handy technique for transforming stress and anxiety into peace, happiness and confidence!

Stress and anxiety can quickly become a vicious cycle that keep you feeling powerless and frightened. The more stressed you get, the more your thoughts and emotions will move toward the negative side, which only makes you feel more stressed!

Using visualization to transform these feelings can stop the cycle by switching your focus to something more positive and uplifting.

First and foremost, it’s helpful if you can remove yourself from the stressful environment and engage in some relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing before you begin your visualization, because your mind will be more receptive if you’re calm and centered.

Once you’ve moved yourself into a more relaxed state, bring to mind a scene that soothes and calms you. You can choose a natural setting like a beach or forest, or imagine a place that is representative of relaxation such as a spa or temple. Imagine yourself being in this place, feeling balanced and calm.

Rather than simply “seeing” the images in your mind, make an effort to mentally transport yourself to this calm setting and engage as many of your senses as you can. Imagine that you can smell the fresh air or incense in the temple; imagine that you can feel the rich earth beneath your feet, hear the roar of ocean waves or bird song, and feel the cool breeze moving through your hair. The more you can involve your senses, the more “real” the scene will seem to you, and the more effective it will be in calming you.

One of the more fascinating measures taken for stress relief can be had with an art therapy. With so many different forms of therapy today it’s tough to know which are the most effective for which condition, but art therapy enjoys great success in helping people suffering from a collection of conditions that are both physical and mental. If you are looking for an exciting method for relieving stress, art therapy is a good option.

An art therapy session will help you show others how art can lead to self awareness and understanding, as well as how soothing it can be to engage in the creative process. Taking the time to focus on a piece of art alone can make a tremendous difference in how we live and think and can reduce stress amazingly. Art therapy also helps people to discover things about themselves based on what they draw.

www.healingpowerhour.com

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