Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Ultimate Decongestant

I couldn't figure out why I kept waking up feeling like I'd been tumbled around in a clothes dryer rather than sleeping...or why the mucus in my chest and nose lingered, regardless of my super-infusion of soup, tea and vegetables...or why, in response to a friend's question, "How's your new novel going?," I felt chest pain. Roughly 3.5 seconds later, I realized what I'd missed: I'd moved my novel-writing slightly lower on the totem pole in order to make more money, yadda yadda yadda...Another 0.5 seconds later, my totem pole was rightly configured—mine happens to have a Christmas star on top—and my nasal passages, clear.

I woke up the next morning after bumpy sleep...(My novel kept waking me up and telling me to work on it...) feeling again tossed and tumbled. As soon as I began clacking away on my laptop my angst dissipated and I returned to my usual, if hyper/obsessive self. Who needs Nyquil? Dayquil? Those nasty nasal sprayers? Sleep? (Ok, maybe that's important.) I've known for some time what writing creatively means for my emotional health. This episode showed me my body needs it, too.

According to a study published in the "Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine," science may support my "findings." Researchers studied the health and happiness of 334 healthy volunteers at Carnegie Mellon University for 2 weeks. Afterwards, the researchers inserted the rhino virus into each of the volunteers noses. While pessimistic, less-happy individuals weren't more likely to develop cold symptoms, people assessed as "happy" and "fulfilled" developed the fewest cold symptoms. In other words, go get happy! Or stay happy. Or...get even happier.

1 comment:

  1. You know, I've had times when I've put off writing because I felt stressed, tired, sick, etc. And yet, when I've made myself write anyway I've found too that I feel much better afterwards.

    How's your novel coming? I'd love to read it sometime! After many years of focusing on playwrighting, my goal this year is to focus on a novel. Here's to 2011 and the many words to be written.