Last week I wrote about the placebo effect and the importance of positive thinking. Today I want to look at this from the other angle—that of the detrimental effects of negative thinking. Fortunately, many of you are already aware of this, and it accounts for the fact that Up from Depression recently became our most popular title. I am aware that this may all sound a little convoluted, so let me explain.
I just came across a very interesting article. In this piece, the writer describes life as a first year medical student—she was learning all about the “litany of pathological processes that can lead to thousands of different illnesses,” while at the same time burning the candle at both ends. She then started experiencing heart palpitations and was diagnosed with ‘supraventricular tachycardia,’ which she had to deal with for several years after this. What is most interesting in this story, is the fact that this experience is pretty common—medical students learn all about diseases at a time when their stressful lifestyle leaves them vulnerable, and as a result they come down with conditions that are pretty rare in the normal population! It seems that this condition even has a name—’medstudentitis,’ or more formally ‘medical student disease.’1
When the body is under stress, it releases stress hormones, most notably adrenaline and cortisol:
“Adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and boosts energy supplies. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances your brain’s use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues. Cortisol also curbs functions that would be nonessential or detrimental in a fight-or-flight situation. It alters immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, the reproductive system and growth processes.
This complex natural alarm system also communicates with regions of your brain that control mood, motivation and fear.”2
As such, when your body is under stress, you increase the likelihood of suffering from a number of ailments, including sleep problems, cognitive impairment, health conditions and weight gain.
The Downward Spiral
There are many situations that can cause stress, anxiety and depression, ranging from personal (family) issues to the culture of fear brought on by current affairs. What I do know, is that it’s easy to find yourself in a downward spiraling loop—the more stress you experience, the harder it is to handle your normal obligations and therefore the more stress you experience. Or the more stress and negativity you experience, the greater impact this has on your health and well-being, which causes even more stress! As such, I believe that it is really important to get ahead of this just as quickly as you can—and this explains why it is not such a bad thing that Up from Depression is currently our best selling title. It simply means that many of users are already aware of the importance of heading off stress before it creates even more problems.
In a research study carried out at Colorado State University, statistically positive benefits were found when Up from Depression was used for a minimum of 17 hours in conjunction with therapy—and this was for patients who were diagnosed with clinical depression.* However, while the vast majority of us are not clinically depressed, it is very normal to periodically experience stress, negativity or as I call it, the blues. Whenever I find myself feeling this way, I always reach for Up from Depression—in fact, I think this program should really be called Being Cheerful, as it never fails to cheer me up! When I am feeling positive, life just becomes easier to handle, solutions are more forth coming, my sleep patterns are more peaceful and I am a lot more productive. In fact, a positive state of mind makes it possible for me to handle the life circumstances that could be stress inducing!
The secret though to the effectiveness of a positive, cheerful attitude is of course the necessity to catch the issue just as soon as you can. The deeper you allow yourself to fall in that downward, negative spiral, the more work it takes to get out of it. As such, I have a number of programs that I turn to whenever I notice that life is beginning to get me down. While Up from Depression (Being Cheerful) is my favorite, I also use Serenity, Positive Mental Attitude, and Optimism Plus. You would be surprised how many problems simply resolve them selves when you approach them with a positive attitude. As such, regardless of the primary self-help issues you may wish to tackle, you will always get better results if you add a ‘cheerful’ program to your library of InnerTalk programs. At least that has been my own personal experience!
Wishing you Love, Light, and Laughter, always!
P.S. If you enjoy these newsletters, please remember to share them with your friends and family. There are easy share buttons at the top of this newsletter. Please also be sure to friend me and Eldon on Facebook as we both love interacting with you all. You can also read (and subscribe to) Eldon’s regular blog here.
* Please note: the official recommendations for InnerTalk is that, if you have a serious condition that requires the supervision of a health care professional, then you should always seek their guidance before using any InnerTalk programs.
- Ranking, L. 2013. “Scientific Proof That Negative Beliefs Harm Your Health.” MindBodyGreen. http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-9690/scientific-proof-that-negative-beliefs-harm-your-health.html
- Staff. “Chronic Stress Puts Your Health at Risk.” Mayo Clinic.http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20046037
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The Science of InnerTalk
Remember, InnerTalk has been researched at numerous independent universities and institutions (such as Stanford University), and been demonstrated effective at priming how you speak to yourself. When your self-talk changes, so does the reality you experience!
“As a busy company director and contributor to the community, who also happens to be a mother of four, I have a pretty full schedule that I usually enjoy. I found the Serenity program really helped me through the other times when it could have been a bit too frazzling. I feel relaxed and in control and find that my productivity is improved. Considering I can listen to the program while getting on with my life, the return on my time spent loading the CD player is well rewarded! I now share this and other InnerTalk programs with my friends, family and business associates!”
~ D. W.