(BeWellBuzz) Good emotional health is very underrated in today’s times. Though alternative medicine and even common belief dictates that mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being are intertwined and what affects one component affects the others, too many people ignore their emotional health. In the pursuit of material security and the struggles to keep up with the pressures of a fast-paced life, individuals end up getting extremely stressed, sapped, and even depressed.
Negative emotions, including the ones we take for granted, such as anxiety, fear, frustration, envy, and doubt can affect your health to a great degree. Certain occurrences in life, such as getting fired from the job, experiencing monetary problems, going through a tumultuous marriage, or coping with the death of a loved one, can wreak havoc on one’s mental and emotional state and in turn take a toll on the body.
If that sounds far-fetched, but let’s shed light on the numerous health hazards of being burdened with negative emotions.
How Emotions Affect The Body
Unknown to many, the human body reacts to the way we feel and think. For instance, extreme stress has been known to cause gastric ulcers and high blood pressure even in people who do not have a family or past history of these conditions. Such physical signs are a way of telling us that we need to sit up, take notice, and turn our lives around for the better.
The most common signs of negative emotion-induced conditions include:
- Excessive tiredness
- Stomach problems
- Significant weight loss or weight gain
- Back and neck problems
- Sexual dysfunction
- Breathing problems
- Change in appetite
- Hampered immunity
Negative emotions have even been linked to premature death. For instance, in a study conducted by researchers on over 7000 subjects over a span of four decades, it was noted that optimists are more likely to live longer lives than pessimists. What really stood out was the fact that the individuals who were pessimistic in their youth were 42 percent more susceptible to a faster death than their counterparts – a figure that would indeed shock many. Optimism is linked to fewer incidences of depression and stress and a healthy lifestyle and body as a result.
A disturbed frame of mind and undesirable emotions can also prevent one from ensuring that he/she puts his/her health above all else. When a person is anxious, fearful, depressed, or frustrated, following a balanced diet, getting adequate sleep, and exercising on a regular basis takes a backseat. Such emotions also trigger addictive tendencies such as excess smoking, drinking, eating, and even drug abuse – all of which ultimately have a detrimental effect on physical well-being.
Certain Emotions Affect Certain Organs
Have you been experiencing a downward spiral in your emotional well-being and a consequent effect somewhere in your body in the form of pain or discomfort? The truth is that particular emotions have been known to ‘target’ select bodily systems:
- Impatience and hate can affect intestinal and heart health, and the most common symptoms are palpitations, chest pain, and hypertension
- Depression and melancholy can affect the large intestine, skin and lungs, the common symptoms of which are constipation, low blood oxygen count, and breathing difficulties
- Envy, frustration, and anger have a negative effect on the eyes, gall bladder, and liver. The common symptoms include hampered detoxification due to stagnant blood in the liver, excess cholesterol, and poor digestion due to imbalanced bile production
- Fear affects the urinary bladder, kidneys, and ears, and the most common symptoms are poor sexual stamina, disorders of the nervous system, excess acid production in the body, and abdominal knots
- Mistrust, anxiety, and worry can lead to poor digestion and difficulty with regard to waste elimination. These emotions usually have a negative effect on stomach, spleen, and pancreatic health
Living a Better Life
If you are one of the many people plagued by negative emotions to ill health, you need to adopt certain coping mechanisms and tips to get your well-being back on track. For one, modes of relaxation like walking, reading, listening to music, doing yoga, and meditating can work wonders in helping you take a break from your hectic lifestyle or routine.
Overanalyzing situations and emotions can also lead to unnecessary worry and the secretion of stress chemicals. Make it a point to exercise every day to cope better with negative emotions. You must also stop harping on the past if you want to look forward to a healthy future.
Express yourself instead of bottling everything up inside. If you are unable to open up to friends and family, do so to a counselor, doctor, religious advisor, and so on. Ensure that you have social support and maintain a journal if required.