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Negative Emotions Can Be Deadly to Your Health

Just as negative emotions can contribute to back pain, there's more evidence they can shorten your life too.

Based on a study of some 7,000 adults whose health had been tracked since their college days in the 1960s at the University of North Carolina, the most pessimistic students polled were 42 percent more prone to die over the next four decades that their peers who were the most positive.

An interesting factoid about the study: Even though personality tests taken at the time showed most students scored somewhere in the middle between optimism and negativity, almost twice as many patients were judged to be pessimists (1,630) than optimists (923).

The sad disconnect in this study is that researchers believe little can be done to improve those numbers if patients aren't motivated to change, although there's plenty of evidence showing positive emotions do make a difference in a person's blood pressure readings and his or her ability to heal.

One simple way to treat the negative emotions that can harm you and your family without a drug: Learn how to use an energy psychology tool like the Emotional Freedom Technique, used daily in my practice.

Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Vol. 81, No. 12, December 2006: 1541-1544

Yahoo News December 22, 2006