News Stories

The Stress of Terrorism

The US Department of Homeland Security's color-coded system for warning the public of the risk of a terrorist attack may be causing the general public a lot of stress, but it does NOT put too much stress on law enforcement officers?no matter what it's doing to the rest of us. Basically, these days we could all use a good laugh, and yoga teachers know how to give us one.

It turns out it REALLY IS the best medicine. (To see people practicing "Laughter Yoga," click here. Researchers have found that simply anticipating a laughter experience boosts health-protecting hormones. Researcher Lee Berk says, "Our findings lead us to believe that by seeking out positive experiences that make us laugh we can do a lot with our physiology to stay well."

But some people are dealing with things every day that just aren't very funny. A review of calls to New Jersey's Cop 2 Cop crisis intervention hotline found no statisticallysignificant increase in calls with periods of increased alert. Psychologist George S. Everly says, "With regard to New Jersey law enforcement, we did not find any evidence to support the concern that elevating the alert status places undue stress on those receiving the alert, [but]?our study needs to be replicated with groups other than law enforcement, especially the civilian population." Maybe cops have learned to stay calmer than the rest of us. Or maybe they've learned the antidote: hit the yoga mat after work.

It will certainly make them healthier: According to a series of studies, optimists are healthier than pessimists. Optimistic coronary bypass patients were only half as likely as pessimists to require re-hospitalization. Highly pessimisticmen were three times more likely to develop hypertension. People with positive emotions had lower blood pressures. In one study, the most pessimistic men were more than twice as likely to develop heart disease compared with the most optimistic.

These results of these studies show that optimism is good for your health. But people who are healthy are likely to have a brighter outlook on life than people who are ill, so perhaps optimism is actually the result of good health instead of the other way around.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

We'd like to be able to tell YOU to calm down, because you can count on us to be here tomorrow, but alas, that's looking less likely every day. We won't be taken down by terrorist planes?it will be simple, old-fashioned neglect that does us in. Make sure that doesn?t happen: subscribe today! And make extra sure by clicking our new "donate" button too. And come share a laugh your favorite Dreamland hosts at our upcoming conference!

To learn more, click here, here and here.

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