We all know that less emotional stress will make us "happier," but did you know that it can also make you healthier?
There is an extensive body of medical research, extending back over the past few decades, showing a close link between emotional state and health. Depression, for instance, increases your risk of vascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke, cancer, and dementia. Of course the inverse is true as well, which is that more life satisfaction, and especially more contact with friends, family, and community involvement, reduce the risk of all these. For a quick look at this fascinating and important area of science, get Dean Ornish's book, Love and Survival, which does a nice job outlining the data.
Loneliness is probably the worst form of emotional stress, followed by toxic relationships at home or work. The good news, of course, is that good relationships, good work environments, and social connections all move your inner chemistry (and therefore the health needle) just as far in the good direction.
Have you been able to successfully minimize the emotional stress in your life? What steps have you taken to get to a healthy place?
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