Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 25 Nov 2017 12am

Headlines:

     

     

     

     

     

    Friday, November 24, 2017-1:18:39P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

Culture, emotions and health

POSITIVE emotions are often seen as critical to healthy living, but the link between emotion and health outcomes may vary by cultural context, experts say.

Two local residents who have suffered a stroke are experiencing the healing process differently. One of them seemed to have given up hope due to lack of support or assistance from her family members. She said, “I have accepted my situation because my relatives don’t seem to care about me.” The other continues to improve because his family members and friends encourage him to exercise and are providing companionship.

New research indicates that experiencing positive emotions is linked to better cardiovascular health in the U.S., but not in Japan.

“The fact that positive emotions are conceived of and valued differently across cultures led researchers to wonder whether the health benefits observed in tandem with positive emotions might be specific to certain cultures.”

The findings also indicate that experiencing frequent positive emotions was associated with healthy lipid profiles for American participants. But there was no evidence of such a link for Japanese participants.

“The differences may be due, in part, to the relationships between positive emotions and BMI in each culture,” experts say. “Higher positive emotions were linked with lower BMI and, in turn, healthier lipid profiles among American participants but not among Japanese participants.”

There also have been cultural variations in the connection between emotional well-being and physical well-being among those who seek to promote well-being in the communities and the workplace, including clinicians, executives, and policy makers, experts say.

Another study indicates another connection between emotion and health in which “a person’s expectations can have an impact on their subsequent feelings of hunger and fullness and, to a degree, their later calorie consumption. Researchers were able to measure participants’ consumption throughout the rest of the day and found that total intake was lower when participants believed that they had eaten a larger breakfast. As part of the study, researchers were able to take blood samples from participants throughout their visits. Having analyzed their levels of ghrelin, a known hunger hormone, the data also suggested that changes in reported hunger and the differences in later consumption were not due to differences in participants’ physical response to the food.”

According to experts, there is still a need to examine data to determine whether the evidence suggests a direct causal link between emotions and health in order to identify emotional profiles that may be more relevant or important to health outcomes in different cultures.