Positive emotions help to deal with inflammation

A group of scientists from the University of Toronto and the University of California managed to prove that positive experiences that are provoked in humans, for example by the works of art or by the contemplation of natural landscapes, improve the state of health.

Researchers have found that the admiration and reverence due to a unique natural sight or the sight of a masterpiece of art lowers the levels of cytokines in the human body, which are actively involved in the implementation of the immune response.

Cytokines are known to have properties that allow them to fight infection and disease, yet high levels of them are associated with numerous human health problems.

These molecules can become the cause of the development of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, clinical depression and Alzheimer’s disease.

Earlier, scientists conducted a study that showed that in order to maintain optimal levels of cytokines, a person needs to adhere to a certain lifestyle.

According to most specialists, proper nutrition, exercise and quality sleep help to improve the situation.

In a new study, scientists analyzed the performance of 200 volunteers. Participants in the experiment were required to answer questions about how often they felt positive emotions, such as joy, admiration, sympathy, satisfaction, love and pride.

The scientists also analyzed tissue samples from the cheeks and gums of each of the participants.

It turned out that the study participants who experienced the most positive emotions had the lowest level of interleukin-6, a cytokine that is a marker of existing inflammation.

However, scientists have not yet clarified whether the emotional state is a cause or effect of the low level of the cytokine.

In the future, scientists plan to conduct additional research in order to obtain more accurate results.

It should be remembered that earlier this year it became known that positive thoughts contribute to the relief of pain.

British scientists from the University of Reading, Great Britain, conducted a number of studies and proved that optimism and a positive attitude can significantly reduce pain sensations.

Researchers conducted a unique experiment in which volunteers took part, among them were people who for a certain period of time learned to think positively. The main goal of the study was how thoughts affect pain sensations.

A total of 34 people and men and women aged 21 to 38 took part in the study.

With the help of a special device, they received a pain impulse comparable in strength to the pain of a burn. In this, the volunteers were not harmed, then they had to determine the intensity of their painful sensations on a 10-point scale.

It was found that volunteers who underwent cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) rated their pain level 58% lower compared to those who did not undergo therapeutic procedures.

Dr. Tim Salomons, who headed the group of scientists noted:

“Of the 34 participants, half were trained to control their negative pain-related thoughts.”

He even added that the results obtained exceeded all expectations.

And it follows that cognitive-behavioral therapy can be used as a complementary therapy in the treatment of chronic painful sensations in the spine and lower back.

For example, people who suffer from chronic back pain need to change their attitude towards their illness.

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