Angela Metcalf, College of DuPage Nursing Student, shares that we have known for some time that dark moods like depression and anxiety may contribute to conditions like heart disease or cancer. However, research has recently identified a connection between a positive mood and wellness and this information was published in the January edition of the journal Emotion. Recently the positive reaction of awe was found to have the most resounding effect based on the research.
The research was conducted at the University of California- Berkeley where researchers included 94 students and collected a substance known of as IL-6 by using swabs to obtain saliva samples. IL-6 is a chemical that is produced in the body when dark or bad moods are present; when an individual has a positive mood, the chemical is at lower level. The researchers believe it is possible that IL-6 may be a contributing factor to conditions like heart disease and cancers.
So, the message from the researchers is, ‘Get Happy!’ The more positive emotions in your life the less IL-6 that released which is linked to bad moods.
Researchers recommend engaging in activities that will promote positive emotions such as:
- Take a walk/run outside
- Reminisce with a family member or friend
- Spend more time with spouse/children/family/friends
- Spend a night out with family/friends
- Eating a healthy diet
- Exercising often
- Spend time with individual who facilitate positive emotions and limit time spent with persons who bring about negativity when possible