How Our Emotions Affect Our Health

Many people report that it is quite challenging to tell with any certainty where their emotions stem from and where to begin regaining control of them. This perception seems to be shared by many more individuals in our culture than we would like to believe. The stress of many jobs demands an almost frenetic pace, while we maintain a technology saturated lifestyle (which essentially keeps us available and reachable to anyone at any time, producing an inverse relationship between productivity and overall health).

imageedit_8_7571064691Emotional Intelligence seems to be a low priority in our society. It is disappointing that our culture often fosters a disconnect between understanding emotion and normal emotional variations. To understand and master something like emotional awareness and regulation, one must be taught; however, when one learns unhelpful approaches or is never taught methods of managing emotions, inevitably, one witnesses an increased risk of suffering many health difficulties.

Gregg Braden, a New York Times best seller and nominee of the Templeton Award, writes, “The rise in U.S. statistics for stress-related conditions, including heart disease and stroke, eating disorders, immune deficiencies, and some cancers, is less of a surprise when we take into account the relentless stress that many people experience in their daily lives.”

To better understand, think of an example where the average person first feels an emotion, after which, their body reacts instinctively to that emotion. When someone is being mugged, for example, their initial, natural response is intense fear. Once that person’s central nervous system registers the fear, the brain responds with an action—in this case, initiating the fight-or-flight system (experienced in part by an adrenalin rush). This example is just one portrayal of how often people let their emotions make decisions for them; they are none the wiser.

A much greater concern is when people chronically utilize the fight or fight response. Our bodies are not built for or capable functioning for long periods under such intense demands. Continued stay in the fight or flight responses are dangerous and will have deleterious effects on many bodily systems.

Many of us share a similar, terrifying experience of just having to “figure it out”. The battle for someone who has difficulty controlling their emotions on a daily basis can be a herculean feat for that person. The good news is that psychotherapy, utilizing empirically grounded and scientifically based evidence treatments can help. Allowing yourself to reach out for help is the first step in regaining control of your life while learning to live it in a healthier way that brings more peace and joy in life.

For more information:

Similar Posts