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Cancer Is Linked To Unexpressed Anger, Studies Say (And Here Are Ways To Deal With It)

Cancer Is Linked To Unexpressed Anger, Studies Say (And Here Are Ways To Deal With It)

When we think about cancer, we think of the disease and how it affects someone. The focus is generally on the numerous types of cancers and a variety of genetic and environmental factors that have been identified as potential causes.

Did you know that cancer also has emotional roots? There is one major contributor to the disease that is almost always overlooked: repressed emotions and unexpressed anger.

The stress hormone (Cortisol) can be caused by emotional triggers. Suppression of this hormone can decrease a person’s level of immune response. Elevated levels of cortisol have been found to directly suppress the immune system. When the immune system is not functioning properly, normal cells can mutate into cancer cells. The more you suppress your negative emotions, the more susceptible you are to cancer manifesting in your body.

A number of studies have been done on the subject and Alternative Cancer Care notes the link between repressed anger and cancer. Another study from the King’s College Hospital in London found “a significant association between the diagnosis of breast cancer and a behavior pattern, persisting throughout adult life, of an abnormal release of emotions.”

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Other researchers from the University of Rochester and Harvard School of Public Health found that people who suppress anger have a 70 percent higher risk of dying from cancer. A University of Michigan study found that suppression of anger predicted earlier mortality in men and women.

The University of Tennessee showed that suppressed anger was a precursor to developing cancer, while the California Department of Health Services and NHI showed an increase in death from cancer for those who suppressed their anger.

Research at California Breast Cancer Research Program at Stanford University showed that powerful emotions cause a flood of cortisol that predicted early death in women with breast cancer.

How Emotional Stress Causes Cancer At The Cellular Level

Phase 1: Inescapable shock

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In this phase, a person experiences a severe emotional trauma or shock 18-24 months prior to the cancer diagnosis. The trauma affects deep sleep and the production of melatonin in the body. Melatonin inhibits cancer cell growth. When this part of the emotional reflex center of the brain is damaged as a result of the emotional trauma, the organs begin to break down, which can lead to cancer.

Phase 2: Adrenalin depletion

Elevated stress hormones deplete adrenaline levels in the adrenal glands. The body already has limited reserves of adrenaline, and emotional stress depletes those reserves rapidly. This can start phase three, the spreading of cancer-fungus, causing cell mutation.

Phase 3: The Cancer Fungus

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During this phase, tiny microorganisms necessary for life (called somatics) that live in our body change into a yeast-like fungus to ferment excess glucose and lactic acid in cells. The fungus then migrates to the cell nucleus to reproduce, releasing acidic waste products called “mycotoxins,” which inhibit cell DNA repair and the production of all-important tumor suppressor genes. Without the tumor suppressor genes to regulate cell death, the cells then mutate into cancer cells.

Phase 4: Niacin Deficiency

The depleted adrenaline levels cause a depletion of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine creates adrenaline and, as more dopamine is used during prolonged stress, amino acids create serotonin to offset a person’s mood. The problem is that this results in a depletion of tryptophan which is needed to synthesize niacin for cell respiration. Normally tryptophan converts niacin into enzymes that are used for cell respiration, glucose conversion, and the creation of ATP energy. Without niacin, the cell will ferment glucose instead, resulting in cell mutation and the formation of cancer.

Phase 5: Vitamin C depletion

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During chronic stress, the adrenal glands also release Vitamin C into the body to diminish the stressful impact on the heart and blood pressure systems. Vitamin C is essential for preventing cell DNA converting oxygen waste products into oxygen and water within the cell. The continual loss of Vitamin C during stress increases cell mitochondrial DNA damage and mutation, causing normal cells to mutate into cancer cells.

Phase 6: Immune Suppression

The immune system is suppressed by elevated cortisol levels. An individual experiencing severe prolonged emotional stress is exhausted, and therefore their adrenals and thyroid are fatigued. Mineral levels are depleted as stress decreases the amount of minerals in the body. Minerals are needed for the immune system to function. The immune system begins to weaken and stop production of interleukin-2-producing T cells, B cells, natural killer cells, macrophages, and neutrophils. Without immune system cells, viral-bacterial-yeast-like fungus that are pleomorphic within cells continue to grow and newly created cancer cells continue to multiply.

There is no question as to the role of negative emotions on health, especially when they are repressed. The research leads us to come to what could be a life-saving conclusion. If you are angry, find a healthy way to express it. Holding onto it really could be deadly.

Some healthy ways to express anger include:

  1. A good workout
  2. Practice controlled breathing
  3. Practice progressive muscle relaxation
  4. Use a stress-relief toy
  5. Find something funny or silly
  6. Listen to calming music
  7. Repeat self-calming statements

Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Melissa Atkinson

Freelance writer

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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