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3 Aug
2012
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Don’t Worry, or You’ll Soon Be Dead!

The latest research from the University of Edinburgh, looking at the lives of over 85,000 individuals in good health and aged 35 or over, has established a link between mild mental health problems and an early death. I’m sure it will be no surprise that depression and anxiety leads to physical illnesses like heart disease and cancer, but what is surprising is that there also appears to be a causal link with death from external causes. Unsurprisingly the more intense the psychological distress the more likely a person is to die of cardio-vascular disease, cancer, or accidents.

The types of psychological distress looked at in this study were: anxiety, depression, social dysfunction, and loss of confidence. Quite low levels of distress predict an almost 1 in 3 increase of death from cardiovascular disease, and from external causes. But it seems that more severe psychological problems are needed to trigger increased cancer risk – but when the distress is more serious the cancer risk increases to 2 in 5.

The interesting thing about this study is that the distress levels at which mortality increases are not high enough to require any medical intervention. What has been highlighted here is that about a quarter of the adult population are at risk of an earlier death unless they take action regarding their own mental health and well being.

The connection between stress and a lowered immune system response has been known for a long time, but this new study is really highlighting the fact that your mental health is hugely important and that minor stresses and feeling low should not be shrugged off or coped with. What is needed is for individuals to discover that there are things they can do to help themselves feel better. These are simple things, but they do require action. For instance turning off the tv news and slipping a DVD into the player so you can watch something that makes you laugh, or just feel good, is a smart move. But it takes effort. When you make the effort regularly, actions like this soon become effortless habits.

If you get hold of your free copy of my book Freedom you’ll find information in there that will help to lift your spirit and move you away from a life of worry.

Many people have lives that don’t seem to be working and every day is a struggle for them, but the rest are just getting by. If you are just getting by then you really should start to pay attention to the constant stream of negative messages that impact you during your day.

As a one time exercise get a pad and pen and just make a note every time you receive negative input from outside of yourself. It comes in the form of gossip, bitchiness, judgements, opinions, headlines, and tv. You even get it from ads. The ads do it subliminally because most ads create a positive aura around the product they want you to buy. However, the subtext is that your life is not good enough right now and will only be perfect when you purchase this whatever-it-is.

This research is a real action call to be much more aware of your mind state and to take action when your mood is low.

So why not take up my offer of a free book – after all it may add years to your life.

Michael

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