Is it time to understand the impact emotions have on our health?
As a society, we’ve never had so much information as to how to be "fit" but conversely we’ve never been sicker. Almost half of the UK population reported having a long-standing health problem, cardiovascular diseases is the leading cause of death globally and a recent survey shows that 74% of people have felt so stressed, that they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope.
Isn’t it time to understand that we are not just a machine, that our bodies are mirrors of our interpersonal, spiritual, professional, sexual, creative, financial, environmental, mental and emotional health? The body doesn’t fuel how we live our lives, instead, it is a mirror of how we live our lives, it is a reflection of the sum of our life’s experiences. Our body is not betraying us, we’ve just forgotten how to listen to it.
The mind-body connection
For optimum health, I believe it’s no longer enough to focus solely on the body without taking into account the health of the mind and that by integrating what’s known as mind-body medicine, it helps to bring the body back into alignment and wellbeing.
Incorporating health practises that combine biofeedback, relaxation and therapies such as EFT, which help people recognise and change harmful thoughts, can help to control pain, stress, anxiety, and depression, and improve overall health.
The key to any mind-body technique is to "train" the mind to focus on the body without distraction. In this state of focused concentration, a person may be able to improve their health.
Only recently have scientists found solid evidence that mind-body techniques actually do fight disease and promote health. When you are physically or emotionally stressed, your body releases stress hormones that can affect all your systems and organs. The goal of mind-body techniques is to get the body and mind to relax, and to reduce the levels of stress hormones in the body so that your immune system is better able to fight off illness.
The health of our mind is strongly influenced by our thoughts and emotions. Thoughts are mental perceptions - our ideas, opinions, and beliefs about ourselves and the world around us. While thoughts are shaped by life experiences, genetics, and education, they are generally under conscious control. In other words, if you are aware of your thoughts and attitudes, you can choose to change them, whilst emotions can be seen as the flow and experience of feelings eg: sadness, joy, anger or fear.
Emotions can be triggered by something external or internal and whilst our emotions are good signposts, they are poor navigators. We react to them but forget to listen when our body is communicating to us through them.
Thoughts can trigger emotions and also serve as an appraisal of that emotion, however, it’s also important to remember that our emotional responses and thoughts, about our past, present or future, can create limiting beliefs and blocks that not only give us poor mental health but can also get stuck energetically in our body.
Learning how to connect safely with these emotions and to hear what they are trying to tell us can not only be cathartic but also healing. By connecting with and letting go of negative thoughts and emotions, we release that stuck energy from our body, allowing for homeostasis or balance to occur.
When we no longer hold onto this dis-ease within ourselves, the body can once again find its optimum rhythm physically, emotionally and mentally.