July 11, 2014

Can Your Emotions Kill You?

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At some point in your lifetime I am sure you have experienced your emotions making you sick. Think back on the last time you became overly emotional and try to remember how your body reacted. I bet your pulse changed, or maybe you lost your appetite, or you suddenly had to pee a lot more frequently. Emotions can actually be injurious. There are some emotions in particular that can do the more damage than others. Each of these emotions is connected to a different body part or organ. Just as emotions can cause organ damage, if any of your major organs is weak, you will begin to generate the emotion that is affiliated with the weak organ.

The first of these emotions is anger. Does anger come naturally to you? If so, be sure to keep an eye on your liver. Excessive anger can actually damage the liver. Alcoholics and drug addicts that have damaged there livers are usually very anger people. Sudden bursts of anger can cause a surge of chemicals throughout the body, like adrenaline and noradrenaline. When people become angered the amygdala overreacts. The frontal lobe, which is in charge of reasoning, becomes flooded with blood causing people to lose control. When people become angry they are 3 times more likely to have a stroke and 5 times more likely to have a heart attack for up to 2 hours after the episode. The risk is very low if you are someone who does not anger easily, but people who have episodes of anger often are at a higher risk.

Another injurous emotion is fear. Are you always on edge or do you scare easily? Next time you are afraid try to relax and tell yourself that there is nothing to be afraid of because an excessive amount of fear can be damaging to the kidneys. If you have weak kidneys you may become very timid and nervous.

Stress is an emotion most of us are very familiar with. The emotion of stress goes hand in hand with anxiety. Stress is a major culprit when it comes to health issues. Stress can cause grinding teeth, exhaustion, heart palpitations, nausea, insomnia, lightheadedness, and decreased or increased appetite. When you carry around a burden of stress with you it can lead to chest pain, a weakened immune system, and high blood pressure. Stress can take problems that didn’t seem that bad and make them worse. Allow yourself to relax. You can exercise and eat healthy and be sure to take rests often to combat stress.

The next emotion deals with loss. If you have experienced a loss lately and are going through the grieving process, try not to overdo it as an excess of grief can damage the lungs. Long term conditions of loneliness similar to depression can actually increase your risk of premature death. It is so important to maintain social relationships with friends and family and to continually make an effort to meet new people and add to your list of friends. Older people who are lonely suffer from higher stress levels and an inability to adapt to tough situations because they lack a shoulder to lean on. Loneliness increases cortisol levels, increases blood pressure, and it can affect sleep quality. If you keep yourself isolated or you live in solitude, it has been proven that your immune system will suffer, by weakening. It has been proven that people can manifest lung cancer from grief after a partner has died or after a traumatic experience which caused a great deal of grief.

Another damaging emotion is sympathy. An excess of sympathy can be damaging to the spleen. If your spleen is weak you may become an extremely sympathetic or pensive person.

Shock and trauma are emotions that can be damaging as well. These emotions derive from an unexpected event that causes an individual to lose the ability to cope or react properly. Psychological trauma happens in the brain and is capable of changing the structure of the brain in the frontal cortex. This is where the emotional part of the brain and the survival part of the brain meet. PTSD is a good example of psychological trauma. PTSD causes sleeplessness, eating problems, sexual dysfunction, lethargy,chronic pain, and so much more. Sadness can cause physical damage if there is an excess of it but can you actually suffer from a broken heart? Well a study done by the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, Mood Disorders Program, Centre for Mountain Health Services, St. Joseph’s Healthcare, McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada says yes. Bereavement doubles your chances of a heart attack or stroke. The pain of losing a loved one can actually affect the health of your heart. Think back to local news stories. There have been several instances where people have had heart attacks after winning the lottery.

Anger, Joy, Sorrow, Fear, and Fright all affect the QI (a vital energy or life force in our bodies) and each of our organs has its own QI. Anger causes the liver QI to run upwards through the liver channel. The liver channel travels up through the body connecting the liver to other major organs and to the skin. Therefore, damage to the liver can affect the eyes, shoulders, back, nails, tendons, and can also cause migraines. If you let a liver problem go untreated it can negatively affect the heart since the liver provides nourishment to it. It can also affect the spleen and the stomach which causes diarrhea and constipation, and lumps and swelling of the breasts can be traced back to a liver problem. Liver damage can occur from both suppressed and expressed anger. Extremes of these emotions can cause damage. It is healthy and normal to express emotions rather than suppress them but extreme suppression can lead to depression in the body and causes stagnation in the liver which leads to stagnation in other parts of the body. The liver rules emotions by circulating QI in the body. If an emotion gets stuck in an organ and the liver can’t shift it, the liver will become blocked. The heart is damaged by all emotions just as the liver is.

Health risks increase when people have no way of expressing their feelings or emotions. A study conducted by Harvard school of public health and the University of Rochester discovered that emotions can increase the risk of death caused by heart disease and cancer. This solidifies some earlier studies that linked anger, anxiety, and depression to the development of heart disease. Controlling your emotions is never an easy task but there are ways to aid you in the process. You can take up meditation, yoga, or Tai Chi which are all great ways to relax the mind and body. Acupuncture and homeopathy can also be used to keep emotions in check. In time you will become a calmer individual and once that happens, your health problems will improve.

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