How our emotions affect our body

Did you know that every feeling you have can affect some part of your body?

While positive emotions such as gratitude have been scientifically linked to a number of beneficial health effects, negative emotions and stress can have a detrimental effect.

According to Dr Mercola, certain emotions are known to be associated with pain in certain regions of your body, even though science cannot explain exactly why this is. For example, those suffering from depression will often experience chest pains, even when there’s nothing physically wrong with their heart. Extreme grief can also have a devastating impact, and research confirms that in the days following the loss of a loved one, your risk of suffering a heart attack increases by 21 times.

ANGER CAN SHORTEN YOUR LIFE BUT SUPPRESSING NEGATIVE EMOTIONS ISN’T GOOD EITHER

Frequent anger is associated with a heightened risk of high blood pressure and heart problems, including heart attack and stroke. Research has also shown that people who get angry easily tend to die sooner than their mellower peers.

However, suppressing your anger is not the answer. It too has been found to triple your risk of heart attack, and the risks associated with the suppression of anger were even greater when people felt they’d been treated unfairly. According to Iris Mauss, associate professor of psychology at UC Berkeley and author of a study on the health effects of repressing versus accepting dark emotions:

“We found that people who habitually accept their negative emotions experience fewer negative emotions, which adds up to better psychological health. Maybe if you have an accepting attitude toward negative emotions, you’re not giving them as much attention. And perhaps, if you’re constantly judging your emotions, the negativity can pile up.”

In other words, trying to pretend you don’t feel what you feel, or judging your emotions harshly, tends to cause more stress than just feeling it and moving on. By contrast, people who allowed sadness, disappointment, anger or resentment to simply run its course had fewer symptoms of mood disorders. Accepting “what is,” including your emotions, is what many meditation and yoga practices teach you. But why is accepting your emotions so important? Psychology Today explains:

“When you try to deny or stifle any ‘parts’ of yourself — whether undesirable emotions, desires or fears — you become fragmented. But you need a sense of integration; of wholeness inside, to grow your well-being and capacity to handle the ups and downs, the successes and failures; all part of the relentless change and impermanence that characterizes life.”

Repressed emotions such as anger, fear, frustration and rage may also be a factor contributing to chronic pain, especially back pain. Dr. John Sarno wrote a great book called Healing Back Pain – The Mind Body Connection and used mind-body techniques to treat patients with chronic, severe back pain.

Working for over eleven years now as a Nutritional Therapist has shown me that it is important to view our health holistically. Although not everyone acknowledges it, I have frequently observed that emotional wellbeing can most certainly play an often significant part in our physical health.

If you’d like to address your health more holistically, then please contact me:
vanessa@wellbeingandnutrition.co.uk