How Your Emotional State of Being Has a Direct Impact on Your Physical Health.
Updated: Jul 30, 2018
Having spent more than a decade working in the field of cancer research & clinical nutrition trials, I have witnessed the human body and more accurately the human spirit achieve extraordinary healing. I have seen first hand what an important role our emotional state of being plays in regulating and healing the physical body.
Every emotional state you experience translates to a chemical reaction within the physical body. The chemical state is created by the emotions you experience, and in turn, triggers the excretion of hormones and neurochemicals that powerfully affect every cell in the body. Your nervous system, immune system, and digestive system are all immediately affected by the emotional state you’re in.
In recent years the impact of emotion on the physical body has become a growing area of research. Many clinical trials, some of which outlined below, clearly prove that your emotional state can either inhibit your healing or accelerate it.
In short, negative emotions such as fear, anger, resentment, blame, regret, guilt and shame cause restriction, stagnation and blockages in the body.
Positive emotions, such as empathy, gratitude, compassion, hopefulness, self love, joy and peace allow flow and regulation in all body systems.
There are two key steps in improving your emotional health. The first step is, to recognise your emotions and understand why you are experiencing them. Stress and trauma can cause us to shut down and detach from our feelings. Identifying the emotion you are experiencing and naming it is vital for the second step, releasing it.
Meditation has proven to be one of the most effective means of releasing negative emotions and stress. Meditation deepens your relationship with yourself and allows you to consciously observe your emotions as they arise, as opposed to being reactionary to them or ruled by them.
There is a misconception that Meditation is a strict discipline where you sit in absolute stillness and deny all thoughts until enlightenment is achieved. This is not the case. Meditation is the act of inner reflection without judgment. There are many, many forms of Meditation, that promote ‘Living in Conscious Awareness’. It can be done walking in the park, washing the dishes or while sitting having a cup of tea. The key to meditation is to reflect inwards and observe what you are experiencing, as opposed to being ruled by external events and situations.
At the Grace Love Peace Meditation Workshops at The Natural Food Pantry this August, you will be given tips, tools and resources on how to cultivate a Daily Awareness Meditation Practice that will support and nurture your inner emotions and in turn support your physical body.
Clinical research on how negative emotions biochemically affect the physical body.
When you're filled with angry emotions, you are inhibiting your bodies ability to heal: according to scientists at Ohio State University, a 30-minute argument can slow your body’s ability to heal by at least a day. If you argue regularly, that healing time is doubled. Researchers tested couples with a suction device that created tiny blisters on their arms. When the couples were asked to talk about an area of disagreement that provoked negative emotions, the wounds took about 40 per cent longer to heal than those of the control group. This response, say the researchers, is caused by a surge in cytokines, the immune molecules that trigger inflammation. High levels of cytokines can be linked to arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
When you dwell on a negative situation your hormones are damaging your cells: Researchers reporting in the International Journal Of Psychophysiology found that it’s not just angry outbursts that causes a spike in inflammation in the body and blood pressure to rise - during the course of a week, every time their subjects recalled the triggering situation, their stress levels soared. So, if you’ve recently had a dispute, or there is a negative situation in your life, aim not to dwell on it and replay it over an over again in your mind, it's doing your body physical harm.
When resentment and blame rule your emotions, your body adds extra padding as protection: Researchers at Berkley University in California tested how focusing on negative or positive emotions affects weight loss. For a period of four weeks, two groups were given the same moderately restricted calorie intake diet. One group were asked to record in writing their food intake each day and every grievance, irritation and justified blame they experienced each day. The other group were asked to record their food intake and document the people, events and circumstances they felt grateful for each day. The group focused on grievances lost an average of 2.9 pounds over the four week period. The Gratitude group lost an average of 8 pounds in the same period. Concentrating on food alone is futile, this is why restrictive diets don’t work as they perpetuate and embed emotions of lack and deprivation.
Why choosing to honour and release your emotions is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your overall health.
When you allow yourself a good cry you are releasing more than just tears: US biochemist Dr William Frey compared the tears of women who cried for emotional reasons with those whose eyes welled up on exposure to onions. Emotional tears were found to contain high levels of the hormones and neurotransmitters associated with stress. Frey concluded that the purpose of emotional crying is to remove stress chemicals. Holding back tears leaves the body prone to anxiety, including weakened immunity, impaired memory and poor digestion. If you are plagued with digestive issues, it may not be the food your ingesting, ask yourself ‘what in my life am I not digesting or resisting taking in’?
When you have a good laugh you sleep better: In a study of the effects of laughter, Dr Lee Berk of Loma Linda University in California discovered that levels of mood-boosting beta-endorphins increased by 27 per cent, while human growth hormone, a substance that aids sleep and cellular repair, rose by 87 per cent. In another study, the mere anticipation of laughter was enough to reduce levels of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenalin. Cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center found that laughing can reduce the risk of a heart attack by curbing unwanted stress. The saying: When you can laughing it off you move on quicker are very wise words.
Love lubricates your nerves: When you experience being in love, be it loving yourself or another person, it raises levels of nerve growth factor substantially, according to researchers at the University of Pavia in Italy. Nerve growth factor, a hormone-like substance, helps restore the nervous system and improves memory by triggering the growth of new brain cells. It’s also associated with the feeling of being contented, inducing a calming effect on both the body and the mind.
Being consciously aware of your emotions, which emotions you are experiencing and how you are processing them, helps regulate and balance the biochemical state of the physical body. You can engage in thousands of healing modalities, eat the most healthy food available, exercise religiously and take every supplement on the planet, yet if your emotional state of being is not being addressed, there is no foundation for your health regime to take root.
Be gentle and kind with yourself as you release the emotions that no longer serve you and shift into a healing space of Self Love. It is one of the most potent acts you can engage in to help regulate and support your physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Join Grace Love Peace on August 11th, 2018 at the Natural Food Pantry Barrhaven store for a Vibrational Rebalancing Meditation Experience.
Article compiled by Grace Love Peace.
Research reference provided by Anastasia Stephens.