People who have good emotional health are in control of their feelings, thoughts and behaviors.
They’ve learnt healthy ways to deal with life’s challenges, and as a result, they’re able to recover from setbacks, maintain strong relationships and live a more fulfilling life.
However, as much as all of us would love to be emotionally healthy, things such as loss of a loved one, financial problems, sickness, retrenchment or divorce, often leave us with strong feelings of sadness, anger, jealousy, hatred or grief.
In the short-term, these negative emotions may not have any significant effect on the quality of your life other than ruining your day.
But, if they linger for a long time (weeks, months or years), they can have devastating effects on your physical health. Continue reading to find out how emotions affect our health.
The Mind/Body Connection
Your body responds to how you feel, think and act. This is referred to as the mind-body connection.
Healthy, positive thinking lifts you up emotionally and strengthens you to overcome life’s challenges.
In other words, if you have a positive outlook of life, you’re more likely to deal with daily challenges more effectively and live a more satisfying life, not because you have more power, beauty or money, but because you’ve decided to go through life with a sense of purpose, mindfulness and gratitude for what you have.
On the other hand, a person who often thinks negatively, is more likely to experience more instances of negative emotions such as anger, hatred and resentment and generally feel less satisfied with his/her life.
How Emotions Affect Our Health
So how do your emotions affect your health? Negative emotions weaken your immune system, making you more vulnerable to infections during difficult times. In addition, when you’re experiencing negative emotions such as anxiety, stress, or anger, you are less likely to take care of your health the way you should.
As a result, you may not feel like taking your medicine as prescribed by the doctor, eat healthy meals or even exercise. As if that’s not enough, you may find yourself abusing alcohol and other drugs too.
You may not believe this but, it’s true. Negativity – from yourself, circumstances as well as the people in your life – has been proven scientifically to be the root cause of several diseases including inflammation (how negative emotions affect your health).
Some of the physical signs that you may be having poor emotional health include:
Headache Shortness of breath General pain Insomnia High blood pressure Weight gain or loss Stomach upset Sexual problems Constipation or diarrhea Change in appetite
As you can see above, there’s a powerful connection between your physical well-being and your emotional health. If one is neglected, the other definitely suffers, so take time to nurture both for complete health.
Caring For Your Physical and Emotional Health
Here are some tips to help you care for both your physical and emotional health:
Exercise: Exercise helps to relieve stress and lift one’s mood. It’s a powerful antidote to negative feelings such as depression and anxiety. To get the most physical and mental health benefits, make sure you get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily.
Eat Right: A regular healthy diet is not only good for your body, but your mind too. Take time and learn about good nutrition and practice it. The more you know about what you eat and how it affects your mood and energy, the better you’ll feel.
Get sufficient rest: A majority of people need between 6 and 8 hours of sleep every night to function optimally. Find out what’s best for you and stick to it.
Get out and play: Sure, work is a good thing because it helps us pay the bills. However, play is equally important and good for both your physical and emotional health. So, make it a priority to relax and have fun. Talk a walk along the beach, listen to music, go out with your friends, or watch a movie.
Be Resilient: In the face of adversity, resilience will keep you going strong both physically and mentally.
Overall, you have the power to change the way you think and feel. You have the ability to add several years to your life if you’re willing to start thinking positively. Don’t waste any more time. Embrace positivity today, and start living the kind of life that you deserve – a happy, healthy and peaceful life.
See the Emotional Pain Chart to see how our emotions affect our health by looking at our body.
Learn more about how to become a positive and more optimistic person.