For more than seven years, Dr. Mark Cartwright has served as a psychologist at Carewright Clinical Services in Dallas, Texas, treating patients living with various conditions including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, and post-traumatic stress disorder. In his work at the Dallas-based practice, Dr. Mark Cartwright helps clients realize the positive aspects of their lives through cognitive techniques and other behavioral work, the benefits of which were recently highlighted by the American Psychological Association.
According to a study published in Emotion, an academic journal of the American Psychological Association, individuals who work to balance out their negative feelings with positive ones may be able to reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases by lowering their levels of systemic inflammation. For the trial, researchers gathered data from 175 participants, ranging in age from 40 to 65, over a 30-day period. Participants were instructed to measure their daily range of emotions via a tablet computer.
Patients were then evaluated during a six-month follow-up visit where their blood was drawn to test for inflammation levels. According to the study’s lead author, Anthony Ong, PhD, patients who had a broader range of emotions, experiencing happiness in contrast to sadness, showed lower inflammation levels than those who did not experience positive emotions to offset negative ones. The study’s authors suggest these lower inflammation levels lessen their risk of developing chronic illnesses.