WHEN BEING BAD IS GOOD
- Getting mad lowers stress — Used to be that getting mad was blamed for all kinds of health woes, from raising blood pressure to bring on a heart attack. But now scientist say blowing off some steam offers health benefits. Researchers learned that people who give in to their angry emotions actually reduce any negative impact brought on by the situation. Getting angry increases blood flow to the part of the brain that’s involved in producing positive feelings, while keeping your emotions bottled up produces more of the stress hormone cortisol. What counts is keeping your level of anger in perspective.
- Video games boost metabolism — Video games have long been considered by many parents as the beginning of the end, but research says they’re not as bad as previously believed, and even have healthy benefits compared to other activities such as watching TV. Scientists at the University of Miami decided to challenge the theory that playing video or computer games leads to obesity. They hooked 21 boys up to various monitoring devices while the kids played. The research revealed that the children’s heart rates sped up, they used more energy and began breathing more quickly. In other words, they were boosting their metabolism. Study leader Dr. Artlette Perry says video games can have a positive health effect as long as they’re not substituted for real sports.
- Sleeping in raises your immune system — If you’ve ever stayed up with a sick child or out later than you should you know the negative effects of not getting a good night’s sleep. A full eight hours of uninterrupted bedtime has a virtual pharmacy of health benefits. Getting your sleep leads to more energy, a healthy immune system, a better memory and even helps you lose weight. Too little sleep leads to anxiety, depression, a weak immune system and clouded judgement. If you’re having trouble falling or staying asleep, talk to your doctor about a remedy.
- Being lazy can extend your life — Those who wake up with the rooster and keep going till bedtime are headed for an early grave, says Professor Peter Axt. He says a little bit of lazing about is an important antidote to the stress brought about by everyday life. His advice: “Waste half of your free time. People who would rather take a nap instead of playing tennis have a better chance of living into old age.” He adds that people who for example run long distances in their later years are using up energy they need for things such as cell renewal and fighting diseases.
- Playing hooky reduces heart attack risk — Taking an unplanned day off otherwise known as a mental health day relieves stress, lowers blood pressure and reduces your risk of a heart attack. While no one recommends skipping too many work days, studies prove that playing hooky is a healthy way to relieve stress. Further research has shown that a day off every now and then actually increases creativity and productivity. Suggestions for your mini break include seeing a movie, visiting a friend or anything that’s out of the ordinary.