The Mind-Body Connection: How Your Emotions Affect Your Health
Have you ever been so stressed at work or home that you fall ill? That is because your emotions can influence your overall health. This effect that emotions have on your health is called the mind-body connection.
Learn more about mind-body connection psychology and how you can manage your state of emotions and health.
Mind-body connection adapts your body’s response to how you think, feel and act. For example, when you are stressed or upset, your body can respond by developing some form of disease or disorder – high blood pressure or stomach ulcer. That is why we encourage people to talk to their doctors about their physical symptoms as well as their feelings.
How Emotions Affect the Body
When you are sad or stressed, your body responds by weakening your immune system. Thus, during periods of poor emotional health, you find yourself getting more infections and colds. Another reason why you fall sick during emotionally trying times is that you tend to stop taking care of yourself. Below are some examples of these effects:
- Stress and anger can cause you to have dangerously high blood pressure
- Stress can also impact your sexual health negatively
- The death of a loved one can cause you to fall into depression and even develop an ulcer
What are the Effects of Emotions on Physical Health?
We have established that your emotions influence your physical and mental health. Now let’s see how different emotions affect your physical health.
People who are generally happy enjoy good health. Their immune systems are stronger and better equipped to overcome stress. A direct repercussion of this is that happy people live longer.
Sadness has the opposite effect of happiness on your health. Severe sadness can lead to depression, which can lead to a weakened immune system and increased susceptibility to diseases.
Jealousy can be unhealthy when it leads to rage. It can cause your heart rate and blood pressure to increase and even cause sleepless nights. Stomach problems, weight loss or sudden weight gain, and loss of appetite are also offshoots of jealousy.
Anger can cause you to suffer from headaches, digestive issues, insomnia, heart disease, and even a stroke. Anger also has a way of worsening already existing conditions and reducing your lifespan.
Fear or fright engages your autonomic nervous system and causes your body to prepare for a fight or flight response. Fear can lead to elevated blood pressure levels, stroke, heart attack, and even death in extreme conditions.
Disgust is a hard emotion to master, unlike anger and fear that you can learn to control. Thanks to the connection between disgust and the digestive process, it causes your heartbeat to slow down and can sometimes make you feel queasy.
Now that you know the effects of your emotions on your physical health, you must be able to identify when your emotions are in a bad place. That way, you know exactly what is happening and can tackle the issue quickly.
Also read: How to Find Motivation to Lose Weight
Common Symptoms of Poor Emotional Health
Back pain, chest pain, constipation, dry mouth, extreme tiredness, trouble sleeping, high blood pressure, palpitations, reduced sex drive, shortness of breath, excessive sweating, diarrhea, and change in appetite are all symptoms of poor emotional health.
How Negative Emotions Affect Your Health
Your emotions, whether positive or negative, affect your health. Yes, happiness uplifts your mood and boosts your immune system. On the other hand, anger and every other negative emotion tend to attack your immune system and increase your risk of getting some illnesses.
How Emotions Affect the Body Parts
Your emotions and mood affect you physiologically as well as your body’s systems. Here are some examples of how emotions affect the different parts of your body:
- Anger – Affects your liver
- Happiness – Affects your heart
- Fear – Attacks your kidneys and heart
- Anxiety – Affects your lungs and heart
- Sadness – Attacks your lungs and heart also
How to Improve Your Emotions and Health
It would be foolish not to harness emotions’ benefits on your physical health. So here are some helpful tips to help you improve your emotional and physical health:
- Express your feelings appropriately; don’t try to bottle them inside
- Don’t obsess on things you cannot change; focus more on the positives in your life
- Develop resilience so that you can cope with stress
- Embrace activities that help you relax e.g., dancing, meditating, and listening to music
- Take care of yourself, eat right, and avoid drug abuse
- Let go of the hurt and stress you feel
- Cultivate a heart of gratitude
Rather than give so much thought to all of your problems, take time to express your feelings and take the appropriate steps to respond positively. That way, you can experience a positive mind-body connection and live in great health. Take our quiz today to get started on your journey to good health.
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Emmanuella Uka is a passionate researcher, creative writer, and SEO expert. She prides in delivering top-notch content that effectively fulfills the writing purpose. She is versatile across a wide range of niches, and topics. Emmanuella Uka is currently married with 2 kids and lives in the United States of America.