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Author: Poliana V. Vale, M.D.

Could Optimism Improve Your Health?

Optimism leads to a hardiness that prolongs health. The Universities of Helsinki and Turku along with the University College of London did a large observational study assessing the protective effects of an optimistic outlook on health. They found that individuals who scored high on optimism questionnaires reported fewer sick days after a major life event (severe illness or death of a spouse or family member) and recovered more quickly than those who scored low on optimism. In other words, they found that optimism can assist in coping with major negative life events more successfully.

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Could Your Gut Impact Your Blood Pressure?

Evidence is mounting that the microorganisms residing in your gut could help determine whether or not you develop hypertension. Researchers have discovered that a specialized receptor, normally found in the nose, is also in the blood vessels throughout the body, sensing small molecules created by your gut microbes. These receptors respond to these gut molecules by increasing blood pressure.

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Mental Strategies for Overcoming Anxiety

You don’t have to get stuck in your anxiety. Change the way you think and tackle your anxiety with four easy steps.

Anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental disease in the United States. In 2015 more than forty million Americans suffered from some form of anxiety disorder. Worldwide, one in thirteen individuals experiences an anxiety disorder.

The Brain in Anxiety

Unfortunately, anxiety disorders change the brain’s hierarchy. Ideally, the brain should govern from the top down. The anterior portion of the front brain (prefrontal cortex) should determine what is good and bad, and discern and define legitimate fears and concerns from ungrounded ones.

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Are You Lonely Tonight?

Loneliness raises levels of circulating stress hormones and levels of blood pressure. It can gradually undermine regulation of the circulatory system so that the heart muscle works harder and the blood vessels are subject to damage by blood flow turbulence.

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