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How Emotions Affect Your Health and Emotional Well Being

emotions affect healthPeople with good emotional health are aware usually aware. They are aware of their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. They have developed healthy ways to cope with the stress of life. They feel good about themselves and have healthy relationships.

However, many things that happen in your life can disrupt your emotional health and lead to strong feelings of sadness, stress or anxiety. "Good" changes can be just as stressful as "bad" changes. These things include:

  • Being laid off from your job
  • Having a child leave or return home
  • Dealing with the death of a loved one
  • Getting divorced or married
  • Suffering an illness or an injury
  • Getting a job promotion
  • Experiencing money problems
  • Moving to a new home
  • Having a baby.

How Can My Emotions Affect My Health?
Your body responds to the way you think, feel and act. This is often called the "mind/body connection." When you are stressed, anxious or upset, your body tries to tell you that something isn't right. For example, high blood pressure or a stomach ulcer might develop after a particularly stressful event, such as the death of a loved one. The following can be physical signs that your emotional health is out of balance:

  • Back pain
  • Change in appetite
  • Chest pain
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Extreme tiredness
  • General aches and pains
  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia (trouble sleeping)
  • Lightheadedness
  • Palpitations (the feeling that your heart is racing)
  • Sexual problems
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stiff neck
  • Sweating
  • Upset stomach
  • Weight gain or loss

Obviously, poor emotional health can weaken your body's immune system, making you more likely to get colds and other infections during emotionally difficult times. Also, when you are feeling stressed, anxious or upset, you may not take care of your health as well as you should. You may not feel like exercising, eating nutritious foods or taking medicine that your doctor prescribes. Abuse of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs may also be a sign of poor emotional health.

Does My Doctor Need To Know About My Emotions?
You may not be used to talking to your doctor about your feelings or problems in your personal life. But remember, he or she can't always tell that you're feeling stressed, anxious or upset just by looking at you. It's important to communicate with your doctor if you are having these feelings.

But in the final analysis there are some very powerful self-help tools, strategies and techniques that can help you to negotiate these frustrating symptoms.

emotions affect healthOne very simple and powerful tool is simply a rational statement of the reality surrounding the event, emotion or situation. Stop for a moment. Take a deep long breath and say to yourself, "I accept complete and total responsibility for everything that has occurred in my life of until this moment. In doing this I forgive and release anyone I've ever blamed for causing or contributing to these circumstances and events. But most importantly, I forgive myself for allowing all of this to occur".

Recognize that your "job" is very simple and distinct and repeat to yourself, "Mine is not to reason how, mine is simply to allow". This simple technique shifts the burden of responsibility from conscious self-limiting and self-defeating blame to the supreme orchestrator of the non-conscious mind.

This silent little helper is capable of processing 20 billion bits of data associated with your temporary obstacle while you sleep and will promptly provide you with the insight and inspiration to move effortlessly in the direction of correction.

In the meantime there are some strategies and tactics to help keep you afloat until your situation is resolved. Here are some of the areas you can address to occupy the conscious portion of your mind to distract you from focusing on the problem.

Improving Your Emotional Health?
First, try to recognize your emotions and understand why you are having them. Sorting out the causes of sadness, stress and anxiety in your life can help you manage your emotional health. The following are some other helpful tips.

Express your feelings in appropriate ways. If feelings of stress, sadness or anxiety are causing physical problems, keeping these feelings inside can make you feel worse. It's OK to let your loved ones know when something is bothering you. However, keep in mind that your family and friends may not be able to help you deal with your feelings appropriately. At these times, ask someone outside the situation, such as your family doctor, a counselor or a religious advisor for advice and support to help you improve your emotional health.

Live a balanced life. Try not to obsess about the problems at work, school or home that lead to negative feelings. This doesn't mean you have to pretend to be happy when you feel stressed, anxious or upset. It's important to deal with these negative feelings, but try to focus on the positive things in your life too. You may want to use a journal to keep track of things that make you feel happy or peaceful. Some research has shown that having a positive outlook can improve your quality of life and give your health a boost. You may also need to find ways to let go of some things in your life that make you feel stressed and overwhelmed. Make time for things you enjoy.

Develop resilience. People with resilience are able to cope with stress in a healthy way. Resilience can be learned and strengthened with different strategies. These include having social support, keeping a positive view of yourself, accepting change, and keeping things in perspective.

Calm your mind and body. Relaxation methods, such as meditation, are useful ways to bring your emotions into balance. Meditation is a form of guided thought. It can take many forms. For example, you may do it by exercising, stretching or breathing deeply. Ask your family doctor for advice about relaxation methods.

Take care of yourself. To have good emotional health, it's important to take care of your body by having a regular routine for eating healthy meals, getting enough sleep and exercising to relieve pent-up tension. Avoid overeating and don't abuse drugs or alcohol. Using drugs or alcohol just causes other problems, such as family and health problems.

emotions affect healthWhat Is The Goal of Good Emotional Health?
People who are emotionally healthy are in control of their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. They feel good about themselves and have good relationships. They can keep problems in perspective.

It's important to remember that people who have good emotional health sometimes have emotional problems or mental illness. Mental illness often has a physical cause, such as a chemical imbalance in the brain. Stress and problems with family, work or school can sometimes trigger mental illness or make it worse. However, people who are emotionally healthy have learned ways to cope with stress and problems. They know when they need to seek help from their doctor or a counselor.

What About Anger?
People are sometimes not aware of what causes their anger, how much anger they are holding inside or how to express anger. You may be angry about certain events or your own or other people's actions. Also, many little things can build up to make you feel that life is unfair.

If you find yourself becoming increasingly irritable or taking unhealthy risks (like drinking too much or abusing drugs), you may have a problem dealing with anger. It's very important to talk with your doctor or a counselor about getting help.

How Does Stress Affect My Emotions?
Your body responds to stress by making stress hormones. These hormones help your body respond to situations of extreme need. But when your body makes too many of these hormones for a long period of time, the hormones wear down your body -- and your emotions. People who are under stress a lot are often emotional, anxious, irritable and even depressed.

If possible, try to change the situation that is causing your stress. Relaxation methods, such as deep breathing and meditation, and exercise are also useful ways to cope with stress.

Tips on dealing with your emotions:

  • Learn to express your feelings in appropriate ways. It's important to let people close to you know when something is bothering you. Keeping feelings of sadness or anger inside takes extra energy and can cause problems in your relationships and at work or school.

  • Think before you act. Emotions can be powerful. But before you get carried away by your emotions and say or do something you might regret, give yourself time to think.

  • Strive for balance in your life. Make time for things you enjoy. Focus on positive things in your life.

  • Take care of your physical health. Your physical health can affect your emotional health. Take care of your body by exercising regularly, eating healthy meals and getting enough sleep. Don't abuse drugs or alcohol.

First, notice your emotions and reactions and try to understand them. Learning how to sort out the causes of sadness, frustration and anger in your life can help you better manage your emotional health and isolate specific areas for you to forgive and release.

By Dr. Richard A. DiCenso

 

 

 

 



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