The Power of Positivity

January 25, 2017 by Marilyn Gemino WellnessEnglish
The Power of Positivity

If we are what we eat, it can also be said we are what we think. Our emotions have the power to harm and heal us. When we feed our emotional diet with negative inputs such as stress, anger, jealousy and depression, our physical body reacts with ailments such as hives, anxiety, headaches, stomach issues, high blood pressure and heart attack. Conversely, when we nourish our emotional diet with positive feelings such as love, gratitude, happiness, joy, contentment and enthusiasm, our body responds in a beneficial way with lower blood pressure, boosted immunity and accelerated healing.

Award-winning science writer Jo Marchant suggests in her book Cure that decreasing the stress response—through mind/body therapies such as mindfulness, hypnosis and self-compassion—can positively impact longevity. Marchant makes a case for providing additional support services for those who suffer from undue stress, including caregivers and counselors for people living in poverty or suffering from other anxieties, and her research has shown that psychological factors can be harnessed and redirected  to achieve beneficial results. A stunning example of the mind/body connection is broken heart syndrome, also called stress-induced cardiomyopathy, which results in sudden heart failure from a rush of hormones brought on by emotional trauma. According to a 2005 Johns Hopkins study, broken heart syndrome can occur even if you’re otherwise healthy, and many emotions other than sadness, including joy and surprise, can cause broken heart syndrome and result in heart failure. Unlike a heart attack, there’s no evidence of blocked heart arteries associated with broken heart syndrome.

Three of the most common emotions to negatively impact our physicality and chemistry are jealousy, anger and depression.

Symptoms of Jealousy

  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Raised blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Escalated adrenalin levels
  • Decreased immunity

Symptoms of Anger

  • Tingling
  • Heart palpitations or tightening of the chest
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue

Symptoms of Depression

  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disturbance & inconsistency
  • Fatigue
  • Aches, pains
  • Excessive hunger
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight gain
  • Weight loss
  • Decreased immunity

The top three emotions love, gratitude and laughter can positively influence and benefit our health.


  • Raises nerve growth factors and restore the nervous system (per researchers at the University of Pavia in Italy)
  • Improves memory
  • Has a resonating calm effect on body and the mind
  • Increases secretion of endorphins & oxytocin
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Increases longevity


  • Boosts immunity
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Accelerates healing
  • Decreases stress and anxiety
  • Increases effectiveness of heart & brain activity working in unison


  • Increases human growth hormone levels (aids in sleep and cellular repair)
  • Reduces stress hormones – cortisol & adrenaline
  • Decreases risk of heart attack
  • Boosts immunity
  • Triggers endorphins which can assist in easing pain

By incorporating mindful strategies into daily life, we can effectively counteract the debilitating by-products of negative emotions and stressors. To best support our health and our quality of life, we must learn to recognize harmful stressors and use our minds to redirect these emotions for a positive outcome.

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