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How Emotions Affect the Body


Whenever the correlation between emotions and physical symptoms are presented, there is a segment of society that completely dismisses the connection between the two. Quantum physicists have been studying the power of positive thinking for years. They have measured how positive, soothing thoughts ripple into the body and cause bodily enhancement, healing, and an assortment of other overall positive conditions for the body. Negative thoughts have been shown to wreak havoc on bodily functions and suppress healing. But the fact that thought patterns and emotions can cause shifts in the body still seems preposterous to many people! However, using very basic human emotions as examples can challenge such skepticism:

One of the most basic of all emotions is anger. When this emotion is felt a person may have reddening in the face, tightness in the muscles, and extreme tension in the head and chest. Anger causes the heart rate to increase, elevation in blood pressure, and an increase in adrenaline flooding the body. Basically, there are true, tangible physiological responses to the emotion of anger. What about sadness? We have all felt sad at some point in our lives. Sadness slows metabolism drastically down, causing people to want to stay stationary. The most observable physiological response to sadness is the releasing of tears. Research has shown that tears produced from sadness have a different chemical composition than tears released from joy. Sadness tears release harmful toxins from the body. It is the body’s way of gently purging itself, which is why people generally feel better after they have cried about something. Conversely, the emotion of happiness causes the brain to release chemicals such as dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. These chemicals cause a general sense of well-being, confidence, and good nature. Anger, sadness, and happiness are very basic, primal emotions that we all experience and all feel the physiological responses to.

When emotions sit unburied and unresolved in the body for substantial periods of time, they can result in dis-ease. Imagine having deep-seated anger over a number of years, and the havoc that can cause in the body. Imagine having unprocessed feelings of regret for years and what that can do to your bodily system. In her book You Can Heal Your Life, bestselling author Louise L. Hay explores how certain illnesses and diseases manifest from specific unresolved emotions and negative thinking patterns. An excerpt from her book states, “we create every so-called illness in our body. The body, like everything else in life, is a mirror of our inner thoughts and beliefs. The body is always talking to us, if we will only take the time to listen. Every cell within your body responds to every single thought you think and word you speak…. The person who has a permanently scowling face did not produce that by having joyous, loving thoughts.”

Studies have shown that there is a higher rate of healing for women afflicted with disease than men. Researches do not know why, but applying the mind – body connection the truth is easy to spot. In general, men are more frigid in beliefs and thinking patterns. Men will hold onto old ideals and ways of living even if those ways are self-destructive. Women on the other hand deal with their emotions in a more proactive way either by talking about them, crying, or just letting them go. When deep-seated negative emotions are let go, in many cases the physical symptoms that accompany those emotions also clear up. From sinus problems to cancer, people have reported that their symptoms have cleared up simply by changing thought patterns and releasing negative emotions.

Below is a snippet of symptoms and their mental or emotions causes from Louise L. Hay’s book:

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Notice that the majority of diseases or illnesses in the body come down to two emotions: fear and anger. These two are at the base of all negative emotions. So even if you eat healthy, exercise, take your vitamins, and say your prayers, unresolved emotional issues and negative thinking will not allow the body to operate at its full potential. We all want to live long; we all want to move freely in our bodies and feel good everyday. One of the recurring themes that people who reach their nineties and even live to be over a hundred say is that they lived carefree lives. They did not allow little things to fluster them too much. And if something did fluster them they got over pretty quickly. So let’s all take advice from our elders and stop worrying so much. Stop stressing so much. Let the past go. Tell the ego to relax. Your body will thank you.