Taking responsibility of your emotions and health

“A growing body of evidence indicates that virtually every ill that can befall the body – from acne to arthritis, headaches to heart disease, cold sores to cancer – is influenced, for better or worse, by our emotions” Emrika Padus, Prevention Magazine

Negative or positive, emotions are a part of life.  I watch my 15 month old son laugh and play, the next minute all three of my sons are fighting, yelling, and crying.  Being a child is rough, having to learn how to control oneself and understand that this world does not revolve around “me” takes time.  Ultimately realizing I am the one  in control of my emotions is vital.   It is my approach on dealing with these feelings that can physically alter my body (for better or for worse)

Why do we have this concept that age improves our emotional state?  That with age comes a magical way of handling situations, communicating and understanding our feelings…  Sometimes I imagine a world when adults would stop suppressing their emotions, and act out exactly what they are feeling.  People smashing their cars into other cars yelling “ME FIRST“, giving your boss that big finger in his face, whining and crying like a little child because I didn’t get my “happy meal”…it is not the emotion that makes us unhealthy, it was what we do with the emotion.

I was 38 weeks pregnant with my third son.  Taking care of a household, breastfeeding my 19 month old and running after my almost 3 year old son- left me scattered brained and tired.  My husband and I gathered our boys into the car for a visit with the midwife.  I wrote down the wrong location,  the right location was clear across town and it was rush hour traffic.  Let the arguing begin….it actually wasn’t that big of a fight, but I ran wobbled into the appointment upset and teary eyed trying to pull it all together.  Although my pride concealed the arguement from the midwives, the vital signs did not lie.  My heart rate was sky rocketed, my blood pressure high, and sadly the baby’s heart beat was unusual.  This was the first time that I realized how powerful emotions were.  And I wasn’t even that upset.  I was putting not only my body at risk, but my unborn child’s too.

Our body is made up of proteins, and many other things that I don’t quite understand.   According to Dr. Candace Pert, Author of Molecules of Emotion, peptides or neuro-transmitters are chemical messengers inside our bodies that interact with organs and contrary to popular belief don’t only exist in the brain, but in the entire body.  Emotions can actually change the peptides (neurotransmitters) in the body because everything is connected.  Dr Pert says, “As our feelings change, this mixture of peptides travels throughout your body and your brain. And they’re literally changing the chemistry of every cell in your body.”

Effects of “negative” emotions on our bodies in countless ways:

  • damage immunity
  • digestion problems
  • increased risk of heart disease
  • sleep troubles,
  • high blood pressure
  • water retention
  • anxiety and depression
  • sexual issues
  • lowered pain thresholds, etc.

People say that when you are upset your children can sense it.  This is true.  But they can also be physically affected by all the emotions. You see every thought has an effect on our cells, and for every thought, emotion, and interaction with others there is a chemical released. Your body responds to the way you think, feel and act. This is often called the “mind/body connection.”  When there is an inward battle raging, this results in a lack of harmony.  If our bodies release chemicals based on the emotion, is it possible that we can be addicted to certain emotions?  Can a person be addicted to the emotion of stress because of the habitual release of the chemical associated with it?  If so, can we reteach our brains and bodies to be addicted to good emotions?

O. Spurgeon English, chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the Temple University School of Medicine, has a long history of examining the relationship between mind and body.  According to his research, there are certain emotional centers in the brain that are connected to the entire body through the autonomic nervous system.  Emotions are relayed through the brain, down the spine, through autonomic nerves to muscles tissues, blood vessels, mucous membrane, and skin.  “Under emotional stress, he points out, all parts of the body can be subject to physical discomfort because of a change in blood nourishment, glandular function, or muscle tone” (The Autonomic Nervous System, Sandoz Pharmaceuticals)

Is it really worth the stress that I put on my body to get dinner on the table at 5:30?  Is it really worth it to become irritated when my landlord makes mean remarks?  Should I risk becoming emotionally involved when my boys are fussy?  If I begin to see thoughts and emotions with a Cause and Effect mindset, this could change things that I am not even aware of.

I suggest that the body and soul react to each other in sympathy. A change in the state of the soul would necessarily have an effect on the body and vice versa’. – Aristotle 400 BC

Nutrition is important, healthy eating and lifestyle can create body wellness.  But allowing my body the chance to be well, depends on me.  No one else is feeding my emotions.  It is up to me to breathe and calm myself down, to choose which emotions I will allow, and to disregard the ones that bring hurt, pain, and bitterness. How does laughing, meditating on God’s goodness, joy, peace affect my body? Could this attitude change my life?

If it takes a daily renewal of my attitude, thoughts, and emotions- it is worth it.  With each thought, I will weigh it, does this bring life or death?  I choose to breath, laugh, enjoy simplicity, and steer away from the bondage of leading a fast paced lifestyle.  This life is so sweet, and yet fading.  I choose to live in the moment.  To allow my body and soul to experience what it was intended to experience, Harmony.




2 thoughts on “Taking responsibility of your emotions and health

  1. Pingback: Stress And The Urban Lifestyle: Problems And Solutions « Entrepreneurial Advice And Insights

  2. Pingback: Self-Care and The Body Connection « A Friend to Yourself

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