How our emotions can affect our health

I think we are all familiar with the knowledge that our emotions can affect our health.

For example, stress can produce physical symptoms like an upset stomach, or something like depression can show physically symptoms. However, a growing body of research suggests that negative emotions and thoughts may also have links to other serious health problems, like heart disease.

Many negative emotions such as anger, fear, and frustration become problematic when those emotions turn into a more permanent disposition or a habitual outlook on the world. Cynicism or a general distrust of people, and their motives, according to research have a greater risk of dementia compared to those who were more trusting, even after accounting for other risk factors like age, sex, certain heart health markers, smoking status, and more. This way of thinking may also cause hurt and damage to your heart.

Hostility is another powerful emotion and people who scored higher on measures of unfriendliness, as well as those with chronic stress and depressive symptoms, had a higher risk of stroke than the friendlier, kinder types.

Depression is a disease growing rapidly which goes far beyond feeling sad or losing your appetite. It's been connected with an increased risk for diabetes, heart attack and type 2 diabetes, which is why it’s so important to get help and feed the body with the goodness that it needs.

Our thoughts and emotions have widespread effects on bodily processes like metabolism, hormone release and immunity. When you are stressed or depressed, cortisol levels increase, making your immune system less able to control inflammation which could lead to disease over time.

It could also be that people who feel bad, be it depressed, stressed, cynical, or otherwise may also be more likely to smoke or drink alcohol, or less likely to be physically active, all things that can affect your health, of course. Or, as just a thought, it may be possible that negative emotions could be an early symptom of a health problem, rather than a cause.

However, by simply changing your perspective, you may just improve your health. Neural pathways are changing every minute of your entire life and that your brain is generating new cells throughout your life. And this neurogenesis is not only associated with the formation of new memories, but with mood stability and happiness. If you want to truly protect your health, you can learn to control your thoughts and attitude as well as your well-being by deliberately shifting our habits of feeling and thinking.

If you want to learn more, check out the work of the wonderful Joe Dispenza. He is the guru of teaching how to produce your own happiness by changing your thought process. The mind is more powerful than you could ever imagine and every day it is completely possible to make positive changes.