Whether you are not being honest with yourself or with others, you are negatively affecting your health, in the present and for the long-term. Read on to find out why honesty really is the best policy.
Be Honest with Yourself: Know When to Say No
Your close friend from work has just invited you to a birthday. As you glance at your calendar, you realize that the whole month has filled up, and this is the day you had planned to relax. Instead of being honest with yourself, you smile and say of course you'll come.
For many people, the biggest stress factor in life is attempting to please everyone. This usually leads to saying yes to every invitation, until our schedules are so packed with events, we have no alone time to reset.
The only thing that can come from this is an overwhelming feeling that we are leading out-of-control lives. Honestly look at what you can realistically accomplish in your schedule, and don\'t forget to save time for yourself.
You will find that you are back in the driver\'s seat of your life when you know when to say no.
Stress and Cancer Risk
When you find yourself denying that you are feeling negative emotions, it leads to stress. Nowhere else is stress more directly linked to the development of a disease than in cancer.
Patients with cancer are more likely than the general population to have suffered prolonged stress, including severe personal loss or chronic depression.
In addition to prolonged stress, many cancer patients have type C personalities, characterized by a tendency to repress and deny their own feelings. Numerous studies have recently confirmed these effects of emotional stress on the body. Neuroendocrinology is a new field that has emerged from these studies involving the connection between the mind and emotions on the autonomic, immune, and endocrine systems.
Do everything you can to honestly assess your emotions and release the stress through breathing techniques, exercise, journaling, or talking about your feelings; in this way, you can lessen your risk to cancers.
Get It Off Your Chest for Peace of Mind
It is very difficult for many people to speak up about their feelings. The most powerful way to neutralize negative emotions is to acknowledge them.
When you honestly admit your feelings, you protect yourself from the flood of damaging stress hormones that these feelings produce in your body. Get it off your chest; clue people in if you are feeling disappointed, unhappy, or hurt about something.
Be honest when you convey your feelings, be kind when you criticize, and be positive when expressing your views. Once you acknowledge your feelings, they will be less likely to trouble you.
Or hold your feelings inside, and you become a ticking time bomb, ready to explode at some minor incident - not a pretty picture for your long-term health! Own up to what's in your heart and you will enjoy the benefits that come with peace of mind.
* By Dr. Mao