Do emotions really affect health? There is no doubt we are integral living beings with need for completeness. We are an inseparable combination of body, mind, and spirit—what affects one, invariably affects the others. If you doubt this indivisible unity, test it out for yourself.
Next time you see a thrilling movie, feel your pulse race. Or vicariously experience a hard-won victory, and feel your eyes mist with shared joy. How about feeling your blood pressure rise at a cell phone chattering tailgater just inches away from your bumper? We often manifest physical symptoms of our mental experiences.
There has been much research about the interaction between the brain, endocrine system, and immune system. Norman Cousins was a pioneer researcher in this fascinating field called pychoneuroimmunology. He vastly contributed to the scientific process corroborating that emotions are converted into biochemical change.
Strong emotions like fear, embarrassment, and sorrow trigger hypothalamus action that interferes with automatic functions of the body. While processing these emotional stressors, the normal functioning of our physical symptoms become increased or decreased. If the same triggers are patterned repeatedly, the resulting dis-ease can ultimately bring disease. Conversely, when positive emotions are dominant, benefits to health inevitably follow.
It is no accident that when you share a good, hearty laugh you feel better—the pituitary gland releases ‘feel-good’ hormones called endorphins. This also happens when you do activities you enjoy. Exercise is a potential boon to endorphin release, improving physical and mental health.
So go for it. Embrace the refreshment you need. Hug someone you love. Go for a walk and deep breathe your blessings. No doubt you’ll feel better all over.
|Source(s):||Worth More Than A Million, Dr. D. Ford
Head First, The Biology of Hope, Norman Cousins