Thilo Beck at WEF Roundtable - A Roadmap to Sustainable Health and Better Well-being in the Workforce and Society

Goals House Roundtable, World Economic Forum, Davos – Thilo Beck

A Roadmap to Sustainable Health and Better Well-being in the Workforce and Society: Elaborating on Key Points.   We are living through a historical period defined by uncertainty, which is having a profound impact on our mental health. Research shows that – on average, 15% of working-age adults live with a mental health condition globally,…

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Affluent Neglect

Society expresses great concern for poor, underserved children and the increased likelihood they may lack access to health care and education, or that they may turn to drugs or crime in adulthood. Less attention is paid to children of affluent parents who have their own set of problems. Emotional neglect often goes unnoticed or unreported, which may…

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What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), developed by Marsha Linehan, Ph. in the 1980s, is a type of talk therapy originally designed for high-risk, suicidal people diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Today, DBT is used to treat people struggling with a range of complex and intense emotions, including substance abuse and addiction, PTSD, bipolar disorder, eating disorders,…

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The Pandemic-Push: Why are so Many People Suddenly Buying Prescription Drugs Online?

Prescription-med sales skyrocket due to the pandemic, but when does use become abuse? Paracelsus Recovery’s experts weigh in. More and more people are illegally purchasing prescription medication such as anxiety or sleeping pills online as the pandemic takes its toll on our wellbeing. The pandemic has left a mental health crisis in its wake. Rates…

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Negative Emotions and Health

For most people, it’s easier to dwell on unpleasant experiences than to accentuate the good things that life offers. A certain amount of negativity is normal, but too much negative thinking can have a profound effect on physical health, manifesting in muscle aches and chronic pain and contributing to weakened immune situation, stroke, heart attacks and even some forms of cancer.

According to the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality and Healing, chronic stress and emotions such as rage, anger, hostility and jealousy can actually affect aging and shorten the lifespan. Martin Seligman, PhD., a pioneer in research involving emotions and health, noted that when it comes to lifestyle choices, a positive outlook ranks equally with a healthy diet, regular exercise and a decision not to smoke cigarettes.

The brain and negative emotions

Researchers have known for decades that the body and the brain are closely connected and that the brain responds to thoughts and emotions by releasing hormones. Positive thoughts and good feelings trigger the release of chemicals such as dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin, while stress and negative emotions result in the release of epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol. This elaborate chemical reaction generates a fight or flight response and powers a burst of energy that helped early humans survive dangerous situations that confronted them every day.

While this human response serves a powerful purpose, stress and poorly managed emotions are extremely harmful. Most experiences are not negative or positive. It’s our perception of the experience that dictates our responses and determines how events and situations affect our physical health.

It isn’t easy to alter deeply entrenched habits and ways of thinking, but with practice it’s very possible to develop a set of tools and strategies for coping with negative emotions. Consider the following suggestions:

  • Accept that you’re human. Some negative emotions are normal and unavoidable. However, you can make a decision to choose a more optimistic state of mind.
  • Don’t evade the emotions. Instead, acknowledge them and pay close attention to how you feel. In time, you will learn what events and situations trigger negative mental and physical responses.
  • Step away from the situation. Take a deep breath or go for a walk, then think through the issue and determine the best way to respond. It’s difficult to make decisions if your mind is in turmoil.
  • Learn relaxation techniques that work best for you. For example, learn mindfulness meditation or practice yoga or tai chi.
  • Talk to somebody during difficult times. Depend on family members or friends or ask a counselor for help. Social connections are critical, and we all need a safe place to vent.
  • Don’t automatically jump to conclusions or dwell on the worst possible scenario. Work on retraining your thinking to let go of negative thoughts and attitudes.
  • Relinquish grudges and negative feelings towards other people. Practice patience and forgiveness.
  • Don’t dwell on small things, as even minor issues can gradually become blown out of proportion and demand an inordinate amount of mental energy. As yourself if it’s really worth the trouble. Will it matter in six months? Six days?
  • Cultivate gratitude, as an attitude of gratitude has a powerful impact on physical and mental wellbeing. Learn to focus on the good in your life.
  • A recently published study claims to have found no relationship between life expectancy and life satisfaction, see for yourself and make up your critical mind:

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