Boy, have I got a surprise for you! Does hearing this statement make you cringe, panic or feel like doing handsprings? The way you choose to react to happenings, including surprises may make a big difference in your health and wellness picture.

How do you react when you hear your spouse or friend say “have I got a surprise for you?” Depending on how the statement is made you can believe the surprise will be something you will enjoy or something that will upset you.

It is your emotional and mental processes that allow you to decide how you prepare for the announcement of the surprise. If you believe it to be a good surprise, you will be relaxed and ready to be in receipt of the news.

If, on the other hand, you believe that the surprise will be upsetting, you begin to tense your body, readying for fight or flight. This process, based upon the mental and emotional process is known as ‘bracing’ for the worst.

Mentally you believe that you control the affects of the surprise on your health and wellness sounds reasonable, however it is not representative of the entire situation. Stress, whether positive or negative, will cause the same chemical body responses.

The positive state of mind may help to keep the body’s defences up and fight off illness while the stress is at hand. A negative state of mind often leads to the downfall of the body’s protecting itself.

Maybe there is more to keeping a positive attitude than once thought. Surprise honey, needs to be greeted with positive thoughts not bracing with the expectation that the worst is about to occur.

Think about how you would handle this situation:

Your aunt has just landed on your doorstep, flew in from California and wanted to surprise you. The first thought would be ‘oh my, I didn’t have time to prepare, now what do I do?’ Second, the sense of panic may well set in; meanwhile you are greeting your unexpected visitor with warmth and thanking her for the lovely surprise visit.

If this is your favourite aunt and you can prevent yourself from feeling pressured then you will find that your mental and emotional attitudes will help to counteract the ill affects of stress.

You may not be so lucky; this may be the aunt that you try to avoid, personality conflict being the nicest way to put it. The greeting will be difficult, you will be guarded wondering why she has shown up and what in the devil could she possibly want.

The person who is faced with this situation is most likely to find that illness occurs soon after the arrival of their aunt or after the individual leaves. Without the positive emotions and thoughts surrounding the acceptance of the surprise health and wellness can be compromised.

The next time that you hear “Have I got a surprise for you!” remember how you react may impact your health.

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