“While analyzing the past and foreseeing the future’s worst case scenarios take up all the space and time, present remains mostly unnoticed.”
How many people do you know who live under constant stress and remain healthy? The two do not go hand in hand; actually health and stress are diametrically opposed. Have you noticed the connection of declining health when faced with stress? Stress to meet a deadline is not the same as stress from the heart, losing a loved one or the feeling of being trapped and fearing the unknown outcome.
Stress itself could be making you sick. Studies have found evidence that many health problems are related to stress. Stress contributes to an increased risk of disease conditions such as obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal problems, and asthma to name a few. Of course, it also affects aging—based on researches we know that stress very likely accelerates aging about 9 to 17 additional years—and it can lead to early death.
On the other hand there is something that actually might make us live longer, and that’s optimism. “That conclusion comes from a study of more than 69,000 female health professionals ages 58 to 86, and more than 1,400 male veterans ages 41 to 90, who were followed for 10 to 30 years. The study found that participants who reported the highest levels of optimism were 50% to 70% more likely to live to age 85 or beyond, compared with those who reported the lowest levels of optimism. Sounds interesting? It continues. Apparently, how optimistic you are also matters: “the most optimistic people had life spans that were about 11% to 15% longer, on average, than the least optimistic people.”
Studies have found that, besides longevity, being more optimistic leads to a lower risk of developing chronic diseases and less possible early deaths. So why do we keep stressing if we know that positive attitude is the key for our well-being? Partly it’s because this is how we were built: our brain doesn’t really like those mindful minutes when we concentrate on our breathing, it likes to be occupied. And this is why analyzing the past and foreseeing the future’s worst case scenarios take up all the space and time while present remains mostly unnoticed. The only time that we have control over, the one in which—very likely—we don’t have any serious issues to solve passes by and becomes filled with our wildest fiction. Because to our brain it sounds more interesting than noticing how our body feels at the moment, doesn’t it?
Dogs, the well-being boosters
Many studies have suggested that having dogs is linked to better physical health (mostly due to lifestyle changes that dog owners need to make) and a lower risk of heart disease. Also, “when we interact with dogs, our oxytocin levels shoot up. Since this is the hormone largely responsible for social bonding, this hormonal “love injection” boosts our psychological well-being.” No doubt, our dogs are responsible for our well-being in many ways: they make us happier, more resilient when facing stress, and physically healthier.
In case having a dog is not an option for you, there are, of course, other ways how to eliminate stress from your life and become a more positive person. Besides making changes in your mindset you can also turn to natural medicine. To lessen your stress and to keep it under control you have more than one option: you can choose Kava Kava to alleviate stress and restlessness, GABA that helps promote relaxation or our daily stress reliever, Next Generation B-Complex. Choose health and stay focused on the right things while learning how to enjoy life living in the moment!
- Rettner, Rachael. 2019. Want to Live Longer? The Right Attitude May Help. https://www.livescience.com/optimism-tied-to-longevity.html?fbclid=IwAR3f0wzEcY9alw3eq3mYLiI1ard1TPy2x1j-hW5oaC1GUtYoyjh-DW9DPjk
- Griffin, R. Morgan. 2014. 10 Health Problems Related to Stress That You Can Fix. https://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/features/10-fixable-stress-related-health-problems#1
- Cohut, Maria. 2018. Dogs: Our best friends in sickness and in health. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322868.php
 Griffin, R. Morgan. 2014.
 Rettner, Rachael. 2019.
 Cohut, Maria. 2018.