Being a Scrooge Can Be Bad For Your Health

christmas, grinchNow there is one more reason to smile. It should come as no surprise to you that as a general rule, mood matters.  If, like me, you have or once had teenagers, you understand just how much impact a negative attitude can have on one’s performance and wellbeing. On the other hand, a positive outlook can change a whole day. But, does it have the power to change the risk of complications after surgery? Researchers at Emory University say it can.

Led by Dr. Nadja Kadom, they looked at 230 patients who underwent angioplasty, a relatively simple surgical procedure, and compared their mood before the procedure with the complications they endured during and after. They found a higher risk of side effects, such as high blood pressure and bleeding, in patients who reported higher levels of pre-surgical stress, anxiety, irritability and other negative emotions.

This is not surprising. Previous studies have revealed a correlation between attitude and outcome. For me, this underscores the importance of positivity for an overall healthy life. The holiday season can be both a joyful and a stressful one. It can launch people into elation or depression, especially parents. The day after Thanksgiving, I vowed to put a smile on my face for the sake of my kids. I want them to have memories of a happy Christmas mom, not of the complaining Grinch I could easily be if I allow myself to go there. This study reminds me to find the joy and hold onto it for my own sake.

Sometimes, in the midst of the hustle and the bustle, the bills and the demands, it is hard to remain positive. Focus on the following ten tips, and you will find happiness comes a little easier.

  1. Let the small stuff go.
  2. Laugh.
  3. Be grateful.
  4. Don’t complain out loud.
  5. Seek out positive people.
  6. Manage your expectations.
  7. Exercise a little every day.
  8. Be charitable with your words and actions.
  9. Make time for the things and the people you love.
  10. Choose happiness. Most of us can.

This holiday season, believe happy and healthy go hand in hand.

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Author: Karen Latimer

Dr. Latimer is a Family Physician and Wellness & Parenting Coach. She works with parents who want to feel more confident when helping their children and coaches young adults to help them better navigate college life and transitions. Contact her at to learn more. She is the author of two Audible Originals, Take Back the House -- Raising Happy Parents and Worry Less, Parent Better. She is also the co-founder of the app that makes your life easier and puts social in a healthier place -- List'm.


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