Emotions affect your personal well-being, who you are as an individual, your communication skills, how you live, and your position in society.
Dealing with emotions, particularly negative feelings, is necessary for your survival. In the long run, emotions that are kept inside may eventually burst into a disaster. So, it is always important to voice them out.
These days, good emotional health is a rare phenomenon. Negative emotions like fear, anger, stress, jealousy, doubt, and hatred can affect your health to a great extent.
Incidents like going through a tumultuous marriage, getting fired from a job, coping with the death of a loved one or experiencing monetary issues can be detrimental and wreak havoc on your emotions and mental state, and in turn, take a toll on your health.
Here Are The Ways That Emotions Harm Your Health
Anger is defined as an intense feeling in response to feeling hurt, disappointed, frustrated, or threatened. It is good for your health if addressed quickly and expressed in a healthy way. However, most of the time, anger is detrimental to your health.
Anger causes an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Anger ramps up the ‘fight-or-flight’ reaction in the body which leads to excess secretion of stress hormones like cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline. This causes the brain’s amygdala (an area involved with experiencing emotions) to overreact, thereby pushing more blood to the frontal lobe (the area in charge of reasoning).
Your thinking process can be disrupted by the excess blood in the reasoning area. This is why people say that “anger is blinding”. It can lead you to throw your laptop, cell phone, or anything you are carrying at that moment.
Aside from this, anger also leads to tightening of the blood vessels which results in a spike in the heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure. If this frequently occurs, it causes wear and tear on your artery walls. Your energy can also temporarily burst, thereby blocking the brain area that helps distinguish what is right and wrong.
For you to manage your anger, include regular exercise in your daily routine, learn relaxation techniques and even take help of counseling.
Sadness or Grief
Sadness is the longest-lasting emotion. It weakens the lungs, causing fatigue and shortness of breath, thus leading to asthma attacks or various other bronchial conditions.
Moreover, depression can also ruin your skin, cause constipation, and a low blood oxygen count. Likewise, depressed people tend to lose or gain weight more easily or become addicted to drugs or other harmful substances.
Do not hold back your tears when you are feeling sad and distressed. Let them flow to release the emotion.
Jealousy And Envy
Jealousy, envy, and frustration directly hit your brain, liver, and gallbladder.
It draws away your attention from all other things and toward itself. Your impaired thinking and seeing ability causes you to miss things that appear right in front of you.
Jealousy creates depression, stress, and anxiety, which result in an overproduction of adrenaline and noradrenaline in the blood. Aside from this, it can also hamper detoxification; weaken your immunity; increase your blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol, and adrenaline levels; cause insomnia, and impair digestion.
Mild stress can be good for your health and can help you perform better. However, when stress is excessive, it can lead to asthma, ulcers, high blood pressure, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Stress is a contributor to heart disease as it causes an increase in blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It also encourages unhealthy behaviors and habits such as overeating, smoking, and physical inactivity – which can all damage the artery walls and can cause heart problems.
In fact, stress can lead to numerous other health conditions, including:
- Diseases of the digestive tract including gastritis, stomach and duodenal ulcers, ulcerative colitis and irritable colon
- Asthmatic conditions
- Mouth ulcers and excessive dryness
- Mental problems, such as headaches, insomnia, personality changes, and irritability
- Hypertension and cardiovascular disease
- Excessive hair loss and even baldness
- Spasmodic pains in the musculoskeletal aches, neck, and shoulders, lower back pain, musculoskeletal aches, and various minor muscular twitches and nervous tics
- Unhealthy reproductive system, leading to menstrual disorders and recurrent vaginal infections in women and impotence and premature ejaculation among men
- Skin outbreaks, such as psoriasis and eczema
Loneliness can cause a person to cry and go into a deep melancholy, thereby creating disharmony in the lungs and blocks the proper flow of blood and oxygen from circulating throughout the body.
Loneliness causes depression which further affects your blood pressure level and sleep quality. It can even harm your immune system.
Acute anxiety can increase your breathing as well as your heart rates, concentrating the blood flow to your brain where you need it. This can be good for your health.
On the other hand, if anxiety becomes a part of your life, it can affect your mental and physical health.
Symptoms of anxiety include nausea, shortness of breath, pain, weakness or dizziness that have no apparent physical cause.
Anxiety affects the stomach, pancreas, and spleen, thereby leading to issues like constipation, improper digestion, and ulcerative colitis (inflammation of the large intestine). It can also put you at a greater risk of developing a number of chronic medical conditions.
Fear can finish off your happiness, self-confidence, morale, and belief. It often leads to anxiety, which can deplete your adrenal glands, kidneys, and sometimes even your reproductive system.
In some situations, fear causes a drop in your breathing rate and blood circulation which further causes a condition of stagnation in your core and thus your hands and feet are literally frozen with fear. It can also lead to frequent urination and various other concerns related to your renal health.
Extreme fear causes disease and pain in your adrenal glands, lower back, and kidneys as well as urinary tract disorders.
In children, fear can be expressed through bed-wetting.
Shock is an expression of trauma caused by an unexpected situation that throws you off your feet, leaving you unable to cope with it.
Your body’s natural equilibrium can be disrupted by a sudden shock and this causes fear and hyperarousal. It also causes the heart to respond to palpitations, anxiety, stress, and insomnia.
Physical health effects of emotional trauma or shock may include pale skin, lack of energy, eating and sleeping issues, rapid heartbeat, difficulty in breathing, sexual dysfunction, and chronic pain.
Worrying affects the spleen and weakens the stomach. It causes changes in the functions of neurotransmitters, especially serotonin. When you worry a lot, your body receives chemicals that guide it to respond with a weak or upset stomach.
Worrying or obsessing about a certain issue leads to problems like diarrhea, stomach troubles, and vomiting as well as other chronic medical issues. Furthermore, it is also linked to high blood pressure, chest pain, early aging, and weakened immunity. It also disturbs the peace of mind, making it harder to enjoy sound sleep.