Can Our Thoughts And Emotions Affect Our Physical Health?
It may be difficult for the average individual to believe differently but our thoughts and emotions do have the potential to affect our physical health. Emotions which are experienced freely or expressed without proper judgment have a tendency to flow out fluidly especially when they are expressed without attachment. Repressed emotions or other fearful and negative kinds can have an impact on mental energy and lead to problems with health.
It is extremely important to understand our thoughts and emotions so we can become aware of the effect they can have, not just on people around us but also impact our bodies, relationships, and behavior.
Negative Thoughts and Emotions Are Bad For Your Health
Chronic stress can be created within the body when negative attitudes and feelings of helplessness begin to damage the immune system of the body. The negative attitudes upset the hormone system of the body and deplete the brain chemicals which are essential for happiness. Our lifespan can be decreased because of chronic stress and science is now providing evidence that stress can shorten the end caps of the DNA strands which are known as telomeres and increase the aging process of the body.
Anger management which is not handled effectively can also give rise to a number of health conditions including hypertension, digestive disorders, infections and cardiovascular disease.
Positivity And Its Importance
Positive emotions are an important factor in our lives as has been proven by scientist Barbara Fredrickson. Dr. Fredrickson was involved for years in researching and publishing the emotional and physical benefits of positivity giving an indication about how we can recover from cardiovascular stress, fewer colds, and better sleep along with a better sense of overall happiness. Positive attitudes such as being playful, showing gratitude and feeling connected to others can not only have a direct effect on our health and well-being but with a little bit of practice, they can be developed within ourselves without involving others.
Our Thoughts And Emotions Can Improve If We Can Overcome Our Negative Bias
The human body is wired to defend against threats and loss of life and therefore we have a tendency to prioritize the bad things over the good. This is a good mechanism for survival, especially for people that need to stay hyper-vigilant in dangerous environments but it is a fact that it leads to the development of a negative bias within us which becomes counterproductive with time.
Offsetting the negative bias within us and experiencing an emotional state which is harmonious is possible according to Dr. Fredrickson who suggests that it is necessary for us to experience three times the number of positive emotions for every negative emotion we encounter. People who are not wired to positivity will need to get into the habit of thinking positively in an intentional manner. The positive emotions can reverse the physical effects of the negative emotions and build up psychological resources which can contribute to a flourishing life.
Forgiveness Can Improve Our Thoughts And Emotions
Being prepared to forgive requires every individual to accept that a negative event has occurred and relinquish their negative feelings which surround the particular circumstance. Research conducted has provided evidence that the ability to forgive puts us in a position to experience better mental, physical and emotional health. It can also improve our immune function which can lead to a longer lifespan. Forgiveness can, in fact, lower the blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health according to studies which were conducted.
Forgiveness is a subject which can be learned by people as it was demonstrated by the Stanford Forgiveness Project which was involved in the training of 260 adults over a six week period. The training was in the field of forgiveness and the results which were noticed were positive for the researchers as well as the participants because the results brought to the fore the following:
- 70% of the participants reported a reduction in their feelings of hurt.
- 13% began experiencing reduced anger.
- 27% had fewer complaints related to physical health including dizziness, gastrointestinal upsets, Etc.
Emotional Resilience Can Be Built up By Positive Emotions
There is a scientific purpose behind positive emotions which is to assist the body to recover from the bad effects of negative emotions. Therefore when we cultivate positivity over a period of time it prevents to help us to become more resilient, especially when confronted with a crisis or stress. People who are resilient do not find it difficult to experience emotions that are tough and include pain, sorrow, grief and frustration without showing signs of falling apart. They may not deny the feelings they are suffering from but still continue to maintain a sense of positivity around the situation which helps them overcome the negative effects of the problem they are dealing with. In fact, many people look at challenging times with a sense of optimism knowing full well that the hardships will possibly lead to personal growth and expand their outlook on life.
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