DID YOU KNOW: Emotions share some very real biochemical links with your nervous, endocrine, immune and digestive systems. According to Dr. Candece Pert (Molecules of Emotions), emotions are not simply chemicals in the brain. They are electrochemical signals that affect the chemistry and electricity of every cell in the body. Scientific research has shown that feelings affect the entire body, and if what one is feeling on an ongoing basis is stress, anxiety, confusion, overwhelm, guilt or any other body-constricting, alarm-raising feeling, then this chemistry of emotions will affect health and life span.
A University of Michigan study looked at whether or not we can cultivate positive emotions to affect our body and optimize health. They found that Negative emotions (e.g., fear, anger, and sadness) trigger our body’s stress response, influencing our immunity and resulting in immune system ’mediated diseases.’ The study also found that factors such as stress, emotions, clinical depression, social support, and repression/denial can influence both cellular and humoral (lymphatic fluid) indicators of immune status and function. In other words, if you are in a bad mood, feeling sad, angry, or stressed, you are more likely to get sick.
Emotional stressors comprise repressed emotions (especially fearful or negative ones) and may zap our mental energy, negatively affecting our body. Left unheeded, these stressors may lead to depression, anxiety, panic or nervousness (especially in social settings), cognitive problems/conditions, and physiological conditions (such as fatigue, weight gain, cardiovascular conditions, digestive disorders, etc.) On the other hand, emotions that are freely experienced and expressed without judgment or attachment tend to flow fluidly without impacting our health.
Major emotional stressors may include:
- Limiting emotional patterns (fear, anger, hurt, despair, etc)
- Limiting mental patterns and attitudes (self-criticism, self-judgment, pessimism, etc)
These stressors may result from lost connections (to meaningful work, to other people, to meaningful values, to nature, to a hopeful and secure future), unresolved past hurts/traumas, pressures of work, school, family and other daily responsibilities, sudden negative change (such as losing a job, divorce or illness), event such as a major accident, war, assault or a natural disaster, as well as biochemical, mental and spiritual stressors.
Once you identified your stressors, it’s time to de-stress to unleash your natural health… here are a few ideas on how to resolve your emotional stressors and navigate your way back to natural health and optimal wellbeing:
- Embark on a self-discovery/self-growth journey (through coaching, therapy, workshops, seminars, self-help books/films, etc)
- Learn and practice HeartMath techniques
- Learn and practice other heart-focused breathing and meditation techniques
- Join a supportive “tribe”/community
- Incorporate affirmations and affirmative prayer into your daily routine
- Incorporate gratitude practice into your daily routine
- Resolve biochemical, mental & spiritual stressors (since they may be impacting your emotional state too)
To learn more heart-focused breathing and meditation techniques, affirmations, journaling, affirmative prayer and gratitude practices, please refer to GET EMPOWERED and My Wellbeing Compass™ Blog.
Learn more about the stressors in your life that are keeping you from attaining optimal wellbeing:Optimal