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Using Negative Words Can Hurt Your Health

June 25, 2011

In the age-old battle of sticks and stones versus words, the former always emerges victorious. After all, sticks and stones can break bones.

But words may have finally found a winning strategy— hurting the heart. Studies suggest using negative remarks in a relationship, be it business or romantic, raises blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks or strokes.

A Heartbreaking Realization- Analysis

One study suggests that negative comments can affect blood pressure levels [1]. Researchers measured the blood pressure of participants before, during, and after a simulated argument with either a positive or negative arguer (the negative arguer added phrases that blamed or belittled the other person, example: “you are failing to do the task right”) [2]. The findings? Those who received negative comments during an argument had higher blood pressure, orhypertension, than they did before the argument, whereas those free from insulting arguments had lower blood pressure [3]. Just how big a deal is high blood pressure? Research shows that high blood pressure causes up to 47% of cardiovascular deaths in middle-aged people, and my also cause kidney disease, damage to blood vessels, and loss of vision [4].

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