You already know that lower levels of inflammation are essential in reducing the risk of chronic diseases, since an overactive immune system is what causes inflammation. Some foods and environmental toxins build up in the body, stimulating your immune system. Therefore, it unleashes defense cells and hormones on the body. But because you’re not fighting a common cold for example, the immune system remains on high alert and in high activity, damaging tissues in the process. When we reduce inflammation, we lower the risk of getting diseases like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, arthritis, asthma, Crohn’s disease and so on. But it is not only food and the toxins responsible for the inflammation in our body, our emotions play a BIG and IMPORTANT role.
Recently, researchers have identified that there’s a link between not just positive feelings, but a variety of them and reduced inflammation. Past research has shown a link between positive emotions, happiness levels and levels of inflammation in the body. But this small study, published in the journal Emotion, found that people who experience a distinct range of positive emotions might reduce systemic inflammation in their bodies, which could reduce their risk of chronic diseases.
Researchers looked at 16 different positive emotions: enthusiastic, interested, determined, excited, amused, inspired, alert, active, strong, proud, attentive, happy, relaxed, cheerful, at ease, calm. Experiencing a wide range of these emotions lead to less inflammation than groups that had a smaller range of emotions, negative or positive.
What about negative emotions then? Well, they didn’t obtain the same response. That means feeling a variety of negative emotions won’t lead to more inflammation. But that does not mean you will living in a negative thoughts mindset, right?
When it came to lowering inflammation, positive emotional diversity mattered more than simply feeling happy. In other words: LIVE, FEEL, EXPRESS your emotions, specially the positive ones.