Marital Problems Harm Your Physical Health Over Time

Mounting evidence is proving, beyond a doubt, our emotions -- both positive and negative -- play a far greater role in our physical health than conventional medicine ever imagined. Lingering hostility and running arguments with your spouse certainly do your health no good either.

The physical damage that comes from all those negative emotions over time in a troubled marriage can also hasten a patient's declining health as marital partners get older, according to a new study.

Scientists reviewed data based on multiple interviews with more than 1,000 patients who stayed married during an eight-year span. Patients answered questions about the quality of their respective marriages as well as their own physical health.

No big surprise, those who reported marital problems had poorer health in general. However, the big difference came when scientists divided patients into narrower age groups. Exclusively, older adults with happier marriages (patients age 70 and above at the start of the study) enjoyed the most physical benefits out of all to their health. Conversely, older seniors who endured stormier marriages suffered from the poorest health.

The thing about stressful emotions: As long as you're alive you'll have to deal with them. It's how you handle them -- using an effective, natural tool like the Emotional Freedom Technique -- that makes all the difference to your health.

Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Vol. 47, No. 1, March 2006: 1-16

MSNBC April 18, 2006

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