How moods affect our health

Laughing is good for your heart – but anger sends your blood pressure soaring.

As your irritation mounts, you can feel your blood pressure rising. And that's exactly what is happening to your body when you have an argument. The effects, it seems, can be lasting. In the week after the irritating incident, you just need to think about the argument and your blood pressure will rise again, according to research published in the International Journal of Psychophysiology. So if you've recently experienced a dispute, a seething irritation or a simple frustration, you could be best off forgetting about it.

A half-hour argument with your lover can also slow your body's ability to heal by at least a day. In couples who regularly argue, that healing time is doubled again.

Researchers at Ohio State University discovered this by testing married couples with a suction device that created tiny blisters on their arm. When couples were then asked to talk about an area of disagreement that provoked strong emotions, the wounds took around 40 per cent longer to heal. This response, say researchers, was caused by a surge in cytokines – immune-molecules that trigger inflammation. Chronic high levels of these are linked to arthritis, diabetes, heart-disease and cancer.

Researchers at the University of Pavia, in Italy, have found that falling in love raises levels of Nerve Growth Factor for about a year. This hormone-like substance helps to restore the nervous system and improves memory by triggering the growth of new brain cells. It is also associated with the feeling of being "loved-up" and contented, inducing a calming effect on the body and mind. Unfortunately, researchers found levels dropped after about a year – the point at which feelings of romantic love fall away and reality kicks in.

Source - Independent

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