Emotions and Their Impact on Physical Health

We are given the impression that health is a matter of genetics, lifestyle and exposure to infection, by the conventional theory of medicine. But, now it has been proved with solid scientific evidences that, with rare exceptions, our emotional experiences play a greater role than those factors mentioned above. A strong correlation is seen between emotional experiences and a swarm of diseases from heart diseases to chronic pains. The book “ Your Body Never Lies” by Alice Miller says that, Whatever therapy is used — until there is improvement at the emotional level there won’t be any progress on a physical level.

The ACE Study estimates that 90% of all visits to the doctor are stress-related, and there are hundreds of medical studies linking stress to a host of diseases. It is shown in a recent study that sudden disturbing shock can cause heart attacks even in healthy people named “broken heart syndrome,” generally related to the loss of a dear one, dread of an event or activity, or sudden mishap.

Stress activates the adrenals to produce adrenaline and cortisol. Small doses of Cortisol is helpful but constant high cortisol levels due to  unremitting stress, have very disparaging effects on the body, including high cholesterol, weight gain, high blood pressure, acceleration of aging and suppression of immune function. 

The Center for Disease Control states that unfavorable emotional experience form the major single factor in deciding one’s health, and practically all of us have had such incidents in our life. All emotional incidents, whether positive or negative, affect our health, and whether from the past or the present. Negative occurrences have more enduring health effects. An emotion is the response of the body and mind to any specified situation. Several psychologists consider the five basic feelings: fear, anger, grief, Joy and love as the ones having an impact on our health. An emotion is what our body does with one of these arousing states. We are likely to replicate our own emotional habits after our family’s emotional habits.

Facts are recorded in various medical literature’s that emotions affect specific organs  and unsettled emotional issue on systemic inflammation acts as a contributing factor in a host of diseases, including Alzheimer’s, cancer and heart disease. 

Emotions affect behavior of individuals. The ACE Study uncovered a source and outcome link between objectionable early days experience and negative health habits like overeating, drinking, smoking, and sexual promiscuity.

Western medicine deals with every disease or condition as a separate issue. But our body does not function in that way. Health is not purely a physical issue. It has emotional components too. So it is important that we take care of our emotional health to maintain physical fitness. We may not feel better until we begin to deal with the emotional root of our illness.

Therapists these days use genogram to map our emotional inheritance and explore the pattern and relationships running through the family history. Free genogram softwares are available on the internet to keep a reality check on emotional inheritance.

Medical researchers have proved that emotional healing creates positive physical healing in our body. Yoga, meditation, pleasant music, good books pets and useful hobbies act as stress busters. One should learn to deal with the past and move on to kill stress and be more expressive rather than bottle up emotions and burst out. One can lean on friends or seek the help of experts if things get beyond control.