Take a Chill Pill: Is your attitude making you sick?

They say a bad attitude is like a flat tire: You will not be able to get very far if you don’t change it.  I have to agree with that old saying. A bad attitude will indeed make you the type of person no one wants to hang around with. It will push away friends and loved ones. It will affect your job, your social life and pretty much your daily routine. Did you know though, that a bad attitude can also have the power to make you sick…very very physically sick…?

We have all heard that stress can trigger physical discomfort such as upset stomach, headaches and more. Depression is also a trigger for painful conditions and can make you feel sick as well. A bad attitude though is your ultimate auto-destruction button.  There has been an extensive research conducted to study the effect of negative thoughts on our health and the results were able to shine a light on how to understand those thoughts and the physical impact they have on us.  

“Many negative emotions such as anger, fear, and frustration become problematic when those emotions turn into a more permanent disposition or a habitual outlook on the world,” says Emiliana Simon-Thomas, who is the science director at the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.

Cynicism is one big bully we need to handle from people sometimes, however it is much worse if we are the ones carrying it out.  A study conducted in 2014 determined that when a person carries a high dosage of cynicism towards people and situations, they run a higher risk of suffering from dementia. This group of individuals was compared to a more trusting group of people that even after considering their risk factors, age, sex and other important health affairs, still came in first in regards to the risk of developing dementia.

When you are cynical, you hurt yourself more than you can imagine. Besides becoming a good candidate for dementia, you also target your heart.  In 2009 there was a study conducted on 100,000 women.  Researchers were able to determine that the more cynical women where more prone to suffering from heart disease. Pessimistic women also were determined to have a higher risk of death during the extended time of study took place.  Optimistic women with a better outlook about humanity showed to have a better and healthier quality of life.

Hostility is another menace to our health.  Another study taking place in 2014 and published by the journal Stroke, determined that unfriendly, hostile people not only suffered much more from chronic stress and depression but also that they had a much higher risk of suffering a stroke or other cardiovascular complications. They were compared to friendlier and kinder subjects.

Our thoughts and emotions play a huge role on our health. They have the power to affect our hormone release, our immune system and even our metabolism.   So many health problems could be avoided for cynics and hostiles if they could only “take a chill pill” and learn to be change their perspective on life and people.