We’re more than just bones and blood vessels, we’re human beings with a heart. And where there’s a heart, there’s emotions. We feel sad, we feel happy, we feel calm, we feel angry – in a nutshell, there are a ton of emotions we can’t help but feel.
Whether it is because of day-to-day stress, personal conflicts or big achievements, the truth is we are a bag filled with emotions. But emotions are more than just “things in the head”. Apart from mental health, they can also affect our physical health. If they’re negative emotions like anger and grief, they can take a huge toll on physical health. In case they’re positive emotions, they can actually be beneficial for your health.
Well, let’s understand how different emotions can affect your health differently.
You hear a good joke; you laugh. Your friends do something weird; you laugh. Little do you realise that when you laugh, your health is benefitting. Just so you know, laughter can increase your oxygen intake, stimulating your heart, muscles and lungs. And for those battling high blood pressure, laughter can come as a knight in shining armour by reducing blood pressure.
Long-term effects can include a stronger immune system and reduced mood swings. So, we hope you know why they call laughter the best medicine. It all makes sense now, doesn’t it?
It may not come as a surprise to you, but stress is the enemy. It is not only a red flag for your mental well-being but physical health as well. Stress can cause headaches, chest pains, sleep problems, and upset stomach, among many other physical discomforts.
Long-term effects can include heart disease, obesity, sexual dysfunction and hair loss, among others. So, it may be a good idea to try these stress-reduction techniques. Apart from that, you must also draw your boundaries and learn to say NO to something that stresses you.
Ever wondered why people use the phrase “blood-boiling” when they’re angry? It’s obvious that your blood doesn’t boil when you’re angry. It’s just a figure of speech. Anger may not literally boil your blood, but it can increase blood pressure. You must note that your mind and body are closely linked.
Anger triggers a rapid physiological response in the body. The amygdala, the emotional center of the brain, reacts instantly, prompting the hypothalamus to release corticotropin-releasing hormones (CRH), initiating the stress response. The pituitary gland then releases adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) to the adrenal glands, leading to the production of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. The resulting surge in hormones elevates heart rate and blood pressure.
And from what we know, high blood pressure can lead to heart diseases and stroke. So, the next time you feel your “blood boiling”, take a breather. Go for a walk, take a deep breath, talk to someone – do whatever that keeps you calm.
One of the most terrible emotions you feel in life is grief. Grief majorly comes from loss and it can take a huge toll on the overall health. For starters, it can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to diseases and infections. In addition, it can increase inflammation, ultimately contributing to the development of heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, body pain, digestion and asthma.
Not to mention, it can cause depression and lead to the development of suicidal thoughts. If you are dealing with grief, kindly reach out to someone you trust. If that is not on the cards, seek professional help immediately. Talking to a therapist may be a good idea here.
In case you know someone who is grieving, offer them comfort. Grief can take away lives, but you can save it by just being there for the person.
We are a cascade of emotions. It’s high time we accept that emotions are a part of us, as much as any other organ like lungs or brain. Emotions exist; hiding away from them is not the solution. It cannot be denied that most of the time, negative emotions can be hard to control but you must do the needful if they begin to harm your physical and mental health.
If you are finding it difficult to understand or control your emotions, seek professional help. Once again, controlling doesn’t mean suppressing your negative emotions, it’s all about dealing with them, even if it includes facing them.Remember, what you are feeling and how you’re feeling is natural. It only makes you a human. So, take control of your emotions and ultimately your health for a healthier and happier future.