‘You Make Me Sick’

We’ve all probably said it — or at least heard others say it — many times throughout our lifetime experiences … “You make me sick.” There is now evidence that this is more than just a statement — it is a truth.

Research conclusively proves that when we get into strong or violent arguments and become angry, our immune system is negatively impacted and we are far more likely to fall victim to a number of ailments. Neurotransmitters and stress hormones like cortisol and norepinephrine flood the system and reduce our body’s supply of disease-fighting immune cells. Those two neurotransmitters energize us when physical danger threatens, but emotionally they injure us when we’re involved in a discussion that turns to arguing and then anger.

It seems that everyone, to a degree, is affected by this phenomenon when they get irritated and become angry as a result, but research by Ohio State psychologist Dr. Janice Kiecolt-Glaser revealed that women are far more likely to be negatively impacted by those arguments and anger than are men. She reasons that women are more likely to remember and dwell on disputes, even after they have been settled. Other big losers in marital conflicts include senior citizens. Interestingly enough, even after a lifetime together, when a couple argues and gets angry, they become more vulnerable to illness than ever.

The old saying we’ve heard since childhood about counting to 10 before saying anything (and if you’re really upset, counting to 100, and if you’re even more upset, taking a walk) is still good advice. Your anger is not likely to change the other person’s opinion, but it can negatively impact your own health.

Message: Avoid arguments, but when they are inevitable, sit down and discuss the problem. Monitor your own voice, and make certain you speak slowly and quietly. This has a calming effect on you and the other person. Take that advice, and I’ll see you at the top!

To find out more about Zig Ziglar and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators.com. Subscribe to Zig Ziglar’s free email newsletter through [email protected]


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