What: Men’s Health Magazine

Journalist: Cindy Kuzma

Topic: How emotions affect physical health; links between loneliness, anger, anxiety, holding a grudge, etc. and your physical heath.

How we feel is often a matter of choice. Of course when we are faced with a specific situation we will experience a given emotion. After we have that initial emotional experience we can acknowledge how we feel and own it, we can begin to look for ways to change that feeling if we don’t like it. Our minds are very malleable and will accept what we tell it as real. So the key is to begin by telling yourself things that you like that will uplift your spirits. This isn’t airy-fairly talk, it’s scientifically proven.

If you are lonely for example, it helps to remember good times you had with friends and lovers in the past and then visualize what you would like to have in the near future. The next step is to get off the couch and get on the phone and start reaching out. One of the most important factors that happy people have I common is the strengths of their social circle. Start calling people and get together as much as you can. Things will start to happen.

Staying angry and holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die. Forgiveness is another key element that happy people seem to cultivate. The past is the past. It’s over. Move on. There simply is no pay-off there.

Anxiety is usually caused by unfounded fear. Fear has often been defined as False Evidence Appearing Real. Our minds love to takes us to those places that actually have no basis in reality. It takes discipline to control those thoughts and they can best be overcome by visualizing the outcome you would like to see rather that the fearful event that is haunting you. The bad news is that if you stay focused on what you fear you are likely to experience it. The good news is you can change your thoughts and just having a better state of mind will make it more likely that good things will happen.

There is a lot of scientific evidence out there now that shows that happy people are healthier people. Cultivating happiness is a great way to improve the way you physically feel. Spend some time each day thinking about things that you like and things that bring you joy. Just thinking of a couple of things you like every day while you have your coffee or tea will set you up to have a healthier and happier day. Do it!