11 Surprising Ways Emotions Can Affect Your Body

Our emotions have a direct connection to our body that lets them have a big impact not only on our mental but also on our bodily state. With the right knowledge, it's possible to see how powerful our emotions are and how they can help you to manage your state of mind and keep your body healthy.

Have you ever wondered what you can do to your view of life and to the state of your body with the help of the emotions that many people try to hide? If we consider our feelings when they bother us, we can not only help ourselves but also bring harmony to our mental and physical state.

Bright Side is glad to share with you the keys to a healthy and happy life! And don't miss a bonus at the end.

1. Love

When in love, you may notice a racing heartbeat and your hands getting sweatier. It is caused by the stimulation of adrenaline and norepinephrine, says Kat Van Kirk, a clinical sexologist and licensed marriage and family therapist. At the same time, oxytocin, the "love hormone," makes you feel happy, confident, and fades your pain as the "painkiller" areas of the brain are being activated, and your heart becomes healthier. It is said that married people live longer than singles.

2. Anger and anxiety

Anger is associated with resentment, irritability, and rage. It can bring you anything from a headache and insomnia to digestion problems, skin problems, a heart attack, or even a stroke. What's more, if you're a worrier, anger can make it even worse by strengthening the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. So as not to let your anger win, step back for a moment, realize why you are angry, and talk to people about what’s on your mind. Find the solution to the problem, and let go of unhealthy thought patterns.

3. Depression

Depression is a brain disorder that can lead to emotional anguish. This state increases your risk of a number of illnesses and makes your immune system weak. It also causes insomnia because of an inability to get comfortable or lots of troubled thoughts. Depression and exposure to stress lead to a risk of a heart attack. A depressed person can also have trouble with their memory or making decisions.

4. Fear

When we're frightened, the blood literally drains from our face, making us pale. This happens thanks to the autonomic nervous system, the fight-or-flight control system. When we face a trigger, blood vessels pinch off the flow to our face and extremities, sending more blood to our muscles and body so we'll be ready for either the flight or the fight.

5. Disgust

Feeling disgust for something or, even worse, someone is one of the most difficult emotions for anybody to control. Unlike other emotions like fear and anger, which make your heartbeat speed up, disgust makes your heartbeat slow down a bit. You can also feel nausea or as if something is wrong with your stomach.

This happens because the antipathy produced by disgust has a lot of the same physiological elements that make up the digestive system. To avoid this, take a deep breath, realize that it's just your emotions trying to control your thinking, and do the opposite of what you're feeling: instead of making fun of someone or something, be kind toward them.

6. Shame

In cases of healthy shame, a person doesn't lose their self-esteem and free will. Unhealthy shame usually comes from the past, and, in this sense, toxic shame becomes a person's part and a kind of stress for them. This causes problems such as overproduction of cortisol, the primary stress hormone, and this can lead to an increased heart rate and constricted arteries.

To overcome shame, stop comparing yourself to others. Learn to be confident and unafraid of what people say or think. Let them do what they do, and remember that it's only you who knows the truth. Challenge yourself, win the battle, and love yourself.

7. Pride and contempt

Unreasonable pride comes from negative thoughts about other people together with the feeling that there's no one better than you. This connection can make you stressed, which leads to heartburn, stomachache, high blood pressure, etc. The saying "Pride goes before a fall" shows that being proud can lead to a consequence that results in ignoring potential risks.

If it's hard for you to say, "I'm sorry," try these tips: stop being a perfectionist, and consider your fails as a chance for a better try. Be more empathetic, and try to understand others' feelings. Accept people as they are, write down your apologies, and don't take embarrassment too seriously because this is the main thing that prevents us from freedom.

8. Jealousy

Some people find jealousy to be sweet, but only when it's not too much. Normal jealousy is what a person feels when they're worried or they fear losing a loved one. Unhealthy jealousy can destroy hearts, relationships, and families. The stress of jealousy quickens the heart rate and raises the blood pressure. You can also have other symptoms that negative emotions bring: poor appetite, significant weight loss or gain, insomnia, stomach problems, and so on.

First, just start to believe your partner, however trite it sounds. Stop comparing yourself to others, and don't confuse make-believe with reality. These are the most effective tips for overcoming jealousy in relationships.

9. Happiness

Aristotle said, "Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence." Happiness and good health go hand-in-hand, making our hearts healthier, our immune systems stronger, and our lives longer. It also helps us to overcome stress. According to a study published in 2015, positive well-being was found to have a beneficial effect on survival, reducing the risk of death by 18% in healthy people and by 2% in those with pre-existing diseases.

Start increasing your happiness right now by hugging someone you care about, dress to impress not only others but yourself, and don't forget to smile. Also, don't forget to be active, spend time outside, have a good night’s rest, and meditate — even if you don't know how! And the most important point is to enjoy your life!

10. Spontaneous emotion in Cornelia de Lange syndrome and Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome

Existing literature tells about the differences in face-scanning in people with CdLS and RTS, 2 genetically defined disorders with unique profiles of social behavior. These people's eye gazes were examined to the eye and mouth regions of neutrally and spontaneously expressive faces, and visual preferences for happy and disgusted facial expressions were compared to neutral faces. The study showed that the amount of time spent looking at the eye and mouth areas of faces was similar among 15 people with CdLS and 17 people with RTS. Also, both groups of participating people showed a similar pattern of spontaneous visual preference for emotions.

11. Anxiety and depression increase risk of death from liver disease.

In addition to the risk of heart disease, suffering from anxiety or depression can lead to liver disease. A study proved that a mental disorder can lead to and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. In turn, cardiovascular disease can be a cause of liver disease, known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which can progress to cirrhosis and liver failure. Therefore, suffering from anxiety or depression may significantly increase the risk of death from liver disease.

Bonus: Have you ever wondered how exercising can affect your emotional state? Here's the answer.

Many studies show that people who exercise regularly get a positive boost to their mood and experience lower rates of depression. The point is that when you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins intersect with the receptors in your brain and reduce your perception of pain.

When it comes to our emotions, endorphins play a big role. They're produced as a response to certain triggers, especially stress, fear or pain, and are connected mainly with receptors in the cells of our body found in regions of the brain responsible for blocking pain and controlling emotion. The majority of your emotions are handled by your brain's limbic system, which includes the hypothalamus, the region that processes a range of functions, from breathing to hunger and emotional reaction. There are also opioid receptors in the limbic system. When endorphins reach them, you experience pleasure and a sense of satisfaction.

Tell us what was most useful for you in the comments. Share these pieces of advice with your friends, and make our world healthier!

Preview photo credit shutterstock.com
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