How positivity can make you healthy

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  • A positive outlook in life contributes to overall health
  • Psychiatrist Joan Mae Perez-Rifareal said that positive thinking does not only mean positive emotion
  • Positive thinking also increases dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins

Have you decided on a New Year’s resolution already? If you haven’t yet, maybe you want to consider maintaining a positive outlook in life.

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In an interview with DZMM, a radio station, psychiatrist Joan Mae Perez-Rifareal explained that positive-thinking is not only good for the emotion.

“Positive thinking, we should always remember, also has a strong biological component. It is not only emotions. It affects the brain’s neurotransmitters,” she explained.

Positive thinking, Rifareal explained, contributes to the body’s release of dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins.

“This helps us cope with stress better and make us healthier,” she said. On the other hand, negativity releases cortisol, which is the body’s stress hormone. This has negative effects to our body. It may cause hypertensi0n, diabetes, among others,” Rifareal said.

Aside from positivity, the psychiatrist explained that our body’s production of the four chemicals may be boosted through exercise, sleep, and proper diet.

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“Exercise is very important. It increases endorphin, which is a happy hormone. You do not have to take anything. Just increase your physical activity,” she said.  Sleep is just as important because it has a “restorative effect.”

“When you completed the required number of hours of sleep, you will wake up with a positive mindset. You won’t be irritable. You have better focus, concentration, decision-making, and planning. It helps remove negativity,” she added.

Proper diet, meanwhile, contributes to increase in dopamine and serotonin. Food like fish, nuts, banana, avocados, and green leafy vegetables will also help.

Lastly, having a support system who shares the positivity is also important.

“Surround yourself with positive people. Social support system is very important in maintaining positivity. Your friends and family members should be happy people as well. They should not discourage your plans and dreams,” she said.

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