Emotions and Your Health

“If someone wishes for good health, one must first ask oneself if he is ready to do
away with the reasons for his illness. Only then is it possible to help him.” ~ Hippocrates

Mind and body medicine isn't new nor is the knowledge that emotions, good and bad, affect our health. In the Emotional Pain Chart pictured below, you can read about the emotions that are associated with the various painful problem areas throughout the body. Take a minute right now and think about how you feel, and ask yourself if you have pain in any of the areas shown below. If you do, and please be honest with yourself, think of how your emotion may be related to your pain.

Emotional Pain Chart

Even though we experience an array of emotions, there are really only two basic emotions - Love and Fear. Each of these emotions have varying degrees to them. You can like something or love something passionately or you can be not so crazy about something and be downright scared to death of something else. Love and fear evoke different responses throughout our body due to the chemicals and/or hormones being released. Emotions such as stress, which is one of the biggest culprits in the equation of how emotions affect our health, elicits a response similar to fear, which engages our nervous system to flee, fight, or freeze. Love on the other hand elicits a response from our nervous system to stay, enjoy, smile. Since our body functions as a whole, these two distinct emotions have very different consequences due to the chain of events that occur when these emotions are experienced or felt.

Our experiences (positive or negative) affects the release of certain chemicals and/or hormones throughout our body. Our emotions are made up of actual energy and not only does it effect our body, this emotional energy is actually stored by our body in our cellular memory. If you experienced something long ago, the perception or past beliefs actually weighs in on how we react to current situations and whether we respond with fear or with love to handle the situation. So remember, whether you are moving toward love or toward fear, your body will adapt and produce the chemicals and/or hormones it needs.

Back in the late 60's and early 70's, two psychiatrists, Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe developed a Life's Event chart and studied the impact certain life's events had on our health. They discovered that a correlation existed between stressful life events and the health of individuals. Below you will find their chart showing how certain life's events can impact your health.

Death of a spouse 100
Divorce 73
Marital separation 65
Imprisonment 63
Death of a close family member 63
Personal injury or illness 53
Marriage 50
Dismissal from work 47
Marital reconciliation 45
Retirement 45
Change in health of family member 44
Pregnancy 40
Sexual difficulties 39
Gain a new family member 39
Business readjustment 39
Change in financial state 38
Death of a close friend 37
Change to different line of work 36
Change in frequency of arguments 35
Major mortgage 32
Foreclosure of mortgage or loan 30
Change in responsibilities at work 29
Child leaving home 29
Trouble with in-laws 29
Outstanding personal achievement 28
Spouse starts or stops work 26
Beginning or end school 26
Change in living conditions 25
Revision of personal habits 24
Trouble with boss 23
Change in working hours or conditions 20
Change in residence 20
Change in schools 20
Change in recreation 19
Change in church activities 19
Change in social activities 18
Minor mortgage or loan 17
Change in sleeping habits 16
Change in number of family reunions 15
Change in eating habits 15
Vacation 13
Christmas 12
Minor violation of law 11

Score of 300+: At risk of illness.
Score of 150-299: Risk of illness is moderate (reduced by 30% from the above risk).
Score <150: Only have a slight risk of illness.

There is actually a lot of scientific evidence that exists on how emotions and feelings influence our body. Emotions on the negative or fear scale, often referred to as stress, actually damages our immune system and can over time decrease our lifespan. Chronic stress is caused by fear or negative emotions and has been proven to be a major culprit in inflammation, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Emotions on the positive or love scale trigger an overall healthier immune system which leads to a speedier recovery from illnesses. Over time, these emotions do shape our perceptions which drastically influences our health.

It would be nice to believe that we tend to choose the positive or love side, however, research shows us that it is more natural for the majority of people to think about the down side of things. People want to prepare and be ready just in case something happens. Doing this as a temporary review is tolerable for a brief time, dwelling on that type of thinking is what leads to many of today's chronic health problems. Instead, try to dwell on love, forgiving others - letting go of past negative perceptions, and being grateful for what we do have! Remember, it is your emotions or past perceptions that could be affecting your health.

If you are one of those stuck on the fear side, there are many great books and tools to help you remain more loving than fearful, I have listed them below.

SOQI Wellness Products promote a feeling of well-being by helping to unblock the energy blockages throughout our body, relaxing the mind, and deepening the breath.

Aromatherapy and Bach Flower Remedies can assist in helping to balance or influence your emotions.

Deep Beathing and Meditation have been used since ancient times to manage stress and promote well-being.

Books like the Healing Code or Emotion Code can help you release those stored emotions.

I believe we should try to approach everything year round with the love of the Holiday Season, leave the past in the past (deal with it and let it go), take a deep breath and hop on the SOQI Bed!

Written by >Mara Gerke, CA, CNHP, All Rights Reserved.