The influences of emotions on health

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1. What is a good emotional health status?

People who have good emotional health are aware of thoughts, feelings and behavior. They have learned healthy ways to cope with stress and problems that are a normal part of life, they feel good about themselves and have healthy relationships.

However, during life, anyone can experience things that might affect his emotional health and might determine feelings of sadness, stress or anxiety.


1. What is a good emotional health status?
2. Triggers
3. How emotions can affect the health of a person?
4. Why the doctor must know the patient’s emotional problems?
5. How to improve emotional health?

2. Triggers

Feelings of sadness, stress or anxiety can be triggered by:
- Dismissal from work;
- A child leaving or returning home;
- Dealing with the death of a loved one;
- Divorce or marriage;
- Suffering caused by disease or trauma;
- Promotion obtained at work;
- Dealing with financial problems;
- Moving to a new home;
- Birth of a child.

As you can see above, even positive changes in a person’s life can have the same effect as negative.

3. How emotions can affect the health of a person?

The connection between mind and body can be explained by how the body reacts and responds to the way a person thinks, feels and acts.

When a person is stressed, anxious or upset, his body will try to convey that something is wrong. For example, high blood pressure or stomach ulcer might develop after a very stressful event, such as death of a loved one. Physical signs of emotional health imbalance could be:
- Back pain;
- Change of appetite;
- Chest pain;
- Constipation or diarrhea;
- Dry mouth;
- Tiredness;
- Pain and general discomfort;
- Hypertension;
- Insomnia (sleep disorders);
- Fainting;
- Palpitations;
- Sexual problems;
- Shortness of breath;
- Torticollis;
- Sweat;
- Diarrhea;
- Growth or weight loss.

Poor emotional health can weaken the immune system, causing colds and other infections during emotionally difficult periods. Also, when a person feels stressed, anxious or upset could ignore their overall health, forget to exercise, forget to eat nutritious foods and will no longer take medications prescribed by the doctor. Other signs of an emotional imbalance are alcohol, tobacco or drugs.

4. Why the doctor must know the patient’s emotional problems?

It can be difficult for anyone to talk about his feelings or personal issues with his doctor, but the specialist can tell if something is wrong, if the patient is anxious, stressed or upset, just by looking at him. It is important for everyone to be honest with his doctor if these feelings are present.

First, the doctor will try to eliminate any other health problems and to ensure that symptoms are not organic. If the signs are not caused by other health problems, it will consider the emotional causes of symptoms. The doctor may suggest various ways to treat physical symptoms, while he will search solutions for improving the emotional health.

If negative feelings do not improve and are so strong that interfere with normal activities performed by an individual, it is important for the patient to expose his feeling to his physician. In this case it could be a major depression. Depression is an illness that can be treated with psychotherapy, medication or both.

5. How to improve emotional health?

First, it will try to establish the types of emotions and to discover the triggers. Identifying what triggers sadness, stress and anxiety can help manage the emotional state of health. Here are some tips in this regard:

- Express your feelings in appropriate ways. If stress, sadness or anxiety cause physical problems, keeping these feelings inside you can aggravate things. There is nothing wrong to tell your loved ones what is bothering you.

However, note that family and friends may not be able to help and deal with your feelings appropriately. In these moments should seek help from outside the family: a therapist, doctor, spiritual counseling, and support to improve your emotional health.

- Live a balanced life. Try to make so that the problems at work, school or home do not become obsessive and not turn into negative feelings. That does not mean you have to pretend to be happy when you are stressed, anxious or upset. It is important to pay attention to negative feelings but to focus on the positive side of life.

It may be helpful to write in a journal are the things that make you happy or calm. Some researchers have confirmed that optimism and positive outlook on life could improve its quality as well as overall health. Try to find ways to replace or remove some of the things that are stressful or overwhelming in your life.

- Try to be more strong and wise. People who are stronger can handle stress in a healthy way. Resistance can be learned and enhanced through various strategies to keep a positive attitude and respect for self, social support, acceptance of change and look things in perspective.

- Relax your mind and body. Relaxation helps to balance emotions. Meditation may be an alternative. This may include stretching, deep breathing or exercise. Family doctor could help you with tips to find the right method for you.

- Take care of your health to have a good emotional state; you must include in your daily routine healthy meals, enough sleep and physical activity. Try to avoid tension and stress, overeating and abuse (drugs, alcohol and so on) as much as you can.



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