You could lower your blood pressure significantly in 30 seconds if you just breathe deeply.Calming activities of any kind are important for relaxing blood vessels and the heart and eventually have a calming effect on the sympathetic nervous system.
A new study shows that while too much stress can pull down your immunity, a fit of optimism may actually buoy it up.
In the study, researchers measured students' optimism with short tests. Then, over time, the students were pricked several times in the arm with a harmless virus or yeast -- and their skin reactions (a sign of immune-system strength) were checked. A bigger bump on the skin meant a bigger immune response. Surprisingly, the students whose optimism grew over the study period also saw their immune responses grow stronger with each prick. On the other hand, immunity dropped somewhat in students whose feelings were growing more pessimistic during the study period.