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How negative emotions affect health

Eating a balanced diet and playing sports is not enough for full health. Discover how the mind-body connection is more important than you think for full and stable health.


Often, we don’t realize that health is determined more by our mental state than by external events. It’s not necessarily about what happens, but how you cope with it.


Many people don’t realize that the mind-body connection is directly related to their emotions and well-being.



People with good emotional health feel good about themselves. They enjoy healthy relationships, are aware of their thoughts, feelings and behaviors, and through a healthy lifestyle, have learned to cope with the normal stresses of life.


Events such as divorce, job loss, children leaving home, financial problems, and death and illness can cause people to feel strong feelings of stress, sadness or anxiety.


On the other hand, even good events can be a disruption to emotional health. Having a baby, getting a promotion at work, moving to a new house or town, or getting married can be just as stressful as negative life events.


What is the mind-body connection?


When the body reacts physically to emotional events, this is called the mind-body connection. It is common for life-sized events to cause the body to react to the way people respond to their feelings, thoughts and actions.


Some common mind-body reactions include stomach ulcers and high blood pressure, however, the list of health-related emotional reactions is much longer.


People who suffer from poor emotional health, i.e., people who are easily stressed, angry, sad or anxious, during difficult times tend to weaken immune systems.


This weakened immune system makes it easier to get sick, catch colds and even infections.


In addition, when people feel tired, stressed or anxious, they are less likely to take care of themselves. In general, this is a time when it becomes more difficult to exercise, eat healthy or take prescription medications, and instead leads people to abuse other means of coping with their emotional balance.



Creating Emotional Balance


It is possible to improve emotional health by first recognizing these emotions and understanding them. People with emotional imbalances need to set aside time to analyze the cause of sadness, anxiety or stress, thus taking a step toward managing their emotional health.


Tips to keep emotions from affecting health


Tell it: it is important to express feelings and not keep them bottled up inside. Keeping things bottled up often leads to more emotional imbalances.


Aim for a balanced life: when dealing with negative issues, try to focus on positive events. This does not mean ignoring negative feelings, but try not to obsess about problems. Focusing on the positive things is one way to help bring happiness and inner peace when dealing with undesirable problems.


Calm down: this could be an ideal time to start exercising, begin yoga classes or other forms of meditation.



Good emotional health means taking care of yourself. It means ensuring a healthy diet, regular exercise, getting enough sleep and implementing a regular routine, which will go a long way in relieving accumulated tensions.



Dr. Mansi Shah

Functional Wellness Network

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