Dr. Dean Ornish answered:
A recent study was published in the Journal of Marketing about the connection between people’s moods and the type and quantity of food they eat. Researchers found that people who are feeling unhappy eat larger amounts of foods they consider tasty but unhealthy than do happy people.
In this study, test subjects were asked to watch the movie Love Story, the maudlin 1970 romance in which the heroine dies at the end (I hope I didn’t spoil it for you). They ate, on average, almost 125 grams of buttered, salty popcorn (the amount found in a medium-size bag at the movies) - about 28 percent more than did those watching Sweet Home Alabama, the 2002 romantic comedy about a fashion designer going home to the rural South, even though the movies are about the same length.
In another study described in the same journal, college students reading about the deaths of seven children in a fire ate more than four times as many M&Ms as raisins from nearby bowls of snacks. In contrast, students reading about four old friends having an evening together after a chance reunion ate more raisins than M&Ms.
Change isn’t easy. But if you’re in enough pain, the idea of making changes may start to seem more attractive. I often hear, “Boy, I’m in so much pain, I’m ready to try just about anything.”
Awareness is the first step in healing. Part of the benefit of pain is to get our attention, to help us make the connection between when we suffer and why so we can make choices that are a lot more fun and healthful.
The experience of emotional pain and unhappiness can be a powerful catalyst for transforming not only behaviors such as diet and exercise but also for dealing with the deeper issues that really motivate us. We are most successful when we also address the emotional and spiritual dimensions that most influence what we choose to do or not do.
It’s very hard to motivate most people to make even simple changes in their behavior such as altering their diet or exercising when they feel depressed, lonely, or fearful, which are epidemic in our culture these days. It is only when the deeper issues of pain, self-esteem, apathy, and purposelessness are addressed that people become willing to make lifestyle choices that are life-enhancing rather than ones that are self-destructive.Find out more about this book: The Spectrum: A Scientifically Proven Program to Feel Better, Live Longer,...A recent study was published in the Journal of Marketing about the connection between people’s moods and the type and quantity of food they eat. Researchers found that people who are feeling unhappy eat larger amounts of foods they consider... More
Unfortunately the most powerful catalysts for change involve the realization that something is not going well or working in a person’s life. It can often involve the painful realization that we are not living the life we would like and that it is time to do something about it. The actual catalyst for the change process may be something as simple as a milestone such as a birthday or the time of year that tradition dictates we should commit to getting better – New Year’s. Alternatively, it could be something more dramatic such as a friend becoming ill or dying or the some very grim results from your annual health check-up. For some people however, the catalyst for change maybe more positive and aspirational. Something happens that inspires a person to change their lifestyle for the better. This person is motivated by a true intrinsic desire to grow, explore, and strive to live life to the fullest. Over time, people who experience a positive catalyst for change are likely to be more successful than those who are motivated more by the fear or guilt of a life less fulfilled. For these people, the key to long-term success is shifting their motive for change from negative to positive; from being unhappy with who they currently are to being inspired by who they are about to become.Helpful? 1 person found this helpfulUnfortunately the most powerful catalysts for change involve the realization that something is not going well or working in a person’s life. It can often involve the painful realization that we are not living the life we would like and that... More