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Archive for the ‘Negative emotions’ Category

Fear can be a useful emotion. It might protect us by causing a “fight” of “flee” reaction to a threatening environment. But there’s a downside to this type of “negative” emotion. Studies show that the heightened cardiovascular activity from the fight-or-flight situations — especially if large, recurrent, or prolonged — can place individuals at risk for coronary heart disease.

Can positive emotions mitigate or reverse the cardiovascular effects of negative emotions?

Several years ago researchers sought an answer to that question. Their findings — positive emotions do indeed affect the cardiovascular system. But here’s what’s interesting — it’s not so much what positive emotions do to the system; it’s what they can undo. When negative emotions have already generated cardiovascular stress the positive emotions can bring a person’s heart levels back to its base level.

In other words, thinking positive thoughts, repeating meditative mantras or implementing calm breathing techniques during duress do work. They can bring down your stress level, thereby reducing your risk of coronary heart disease.

Source: The Undoing Effect of Positive Emotions by Barbara L. Fredrickson, Roberta A. Mancuso, Christine Branigan and Michele M. Tugade

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