As we age, bad moods have an increasingly harmful effect on our bodies. Negative feelings of anger, anxiety, sadness, and jealousy cause the brain to signal the adrenal glands to release the stress hormone cortisol. While cortisol can be helpful in small amounts, long-term exposure can cause aging and inflammation of the blood vessels, leading to increased blood pressure, weight gain, and potentially fatal heart disease. Dr. Oz, however, has four foolproof methods to boost your attitude and combat the harmful impact of bad moods.
Foolproof Fix #1: Negative Ion Generator
The first secret to elevating your mood is as simple and cheap as plugging in your toaster. In this case, it’s not a toaster but a device called a negative ion generator. Your body’s cells naturally contain a negative charge. Meanwhile, irritating elements in the environment – dust, microbes, and pet dander, for example – tend to have a positive charge. Like a magnet, opposites attract, and your body literally pulls these irritating elements in toward itself, causing harm. Additionally, some researchers believe it’s not only the positively-charged dander and dust that are harmful, but the positive ions themselves that damage the body. And here’s the potentially scary thing: Common household and workplace objects like cell phones and computers constantly emit positive ions.
A negative ion generator creates a “shield” of negative ions around you, deflecting those potentially harmful positive ions away from you. In a 2006 study of patients affected with seasonal depression, nearly half experienced significant relief of symptoms when treated with ion therapy. Best of all, you can purchase a negative ion generator for around $20 online or in a home improvement store. Simply plug it in your car, near your computer, or while you sleep, and shield yourself from positive ions.
Foolproof Fix #2: D-Ribose
When we’re in a bad mood, we often reach for sugary sweets for comfort. Ironically, these same sweets can lead to an even worse mood. Your body has to release insulin to absorb processed sugars, which, in turn, lowers your natural blood-sugar level, causing fatigue and crankiness. To combat the vicious sugar cycle and ease tension, try a sugar alternative called D-ribose. Ribose is a natural sugar that activates the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the major source of energy used by cells. Athletes use D-ribose to help performance, and research has shown it may help speed recovery of the heart and improve blood flow.
This all-natural sugar – available for $16 in health food stores – can be taken in pill or powder form. Try sprinkling about 2000 mg in your coffee or tea to kick-start a good mood.
Foolproof Fix #3: Acupressure Meridian Massage
Drawing on ancient Japanese and Chinese medicine, acupressure massages are simple and effective, with no needles involved. Dab essential oils – a blend of eucalyptus, basil and peppermint oils, for example – on your fingers, then massage starting at the back of the neck, moving toward your ear lobes, then up to the temples. By simply massaging vital pressure points on your body and breathing in the soothing aromas, you’ll help improve blood flow and reduce stress.
Foolproof Fix #4: Swearing!
While you should avoid it front of the kids, research shows that your brain and body cope better with what’s bothering you when you swear! In a 2009 study, researchers had people dip their hands in an ice bath. Participants who swore were able to tolerate the pain better. It seems swearing increased those participants’ heart rates, which may trigger a fight-or-flight response, allowing the body to tolerate or even ignore pain. You can even start a swear jar and double the benefits!