Health : toxic emotions can make you sick
Can you remember the last time someone did something to you that you didn’t like? Yes, for sure you will remember! And while you are living this unpleasant memory, have you noticed that your heart beats a little faster and that your stomach begins to turn? This is called “toxic emotion” and this toxic emotion increases your heart rate can even cause you a stomach ulcer since mental health and physical health are strongly linked.
Toxic emotions can appear very quickly and hurt you for a very long time
It’s not so much the stressful circumstances that can hurt you, but rather your reaction to those circumstances. Often within the first 60 seconds of your encounter with a stressful event, your reaction to it will determine whether we will handle it positively or negatively. Mental health is very important since certain “toxic” emotions can actually be as harmful to health as a physical toxin. What then is the link between the psychic and the physical and why mental health is so important for physical health?
Mental health and physical illness are closely related
Here are the most common toxic emotions you may suffer from: bitterness, resentment, will to revenge, anger, hatred, flowability, shame, grief, regret, jealousy, helplessness, depression , loneliness, fear, rejection … And the list can go on.
All of these negative emotions can unfortunately also have negative effects on your body. The link between mental health and physical health is very strong. Stress can literally make you physically ill if you don’t treat it. In 1971, scientist J.W. Mason published an article entitled: ‘Re-evaluation of the concept of‘ non-specificity ’in the theory of stress’. In this article he explains how a certain type of stress can cause a strong release of neurotransmitters called catecholamines (which control muscle tone, blood pressure, heartbeat and sugar metabolism) but a weak release of adrenaline and cortisol.
However, another type of stress can produce a psychological response that is exactly the opposite. The article explains how different attitudes, thoughts and emotions can affect immune cells and thus affect the work of the immune system. The conclusion of all of this is simply the fact that specific emotions can cause specific illnesses.
Toxic emotions have negative effects on physical health and well-being
Certain toxic emotions are linked to specific illnesses
Yes, the link between mental health, that is to say toxic emotions and specific illnesses, does exist. For example, in PMS and some types of cancer, bitterness is often present. Autoimmune diseases and self-hatred are often associated. When you feel trapped and unable to solve a problem, this is called “trapping stress” which is the major cause of cardiovascular, neurological and psychological problems.
So the feeling of helplessness is often linked to cancer and slow wound healing. Depression is associated with an increased risk of heart attacks, diabetes and the development of disability. Anxiety, worry and fear are connected with different cardiovascular diseases. Anger, as you can guess, is often related to heart attacks and hardening of the arteries.
Walks and physical activity can help fight toxic emotions
There is even a personality type that develops the greatest risk of getting cancer. And this is really very surprising. Here are the characteristics of the personality called “personality C”:
– Denial and suppression of emotions (especially anger)
– Conflict avoidance
– Exaggerated social desire
-Too much patience
-Very great rationality
– Rigid control of emotional expression
Toxic emotions can cause adrenal dysfunction
One of the most common ways in which stress can make you sick is by increasing cortisol levels in the blood. Adrenal fatigue can make you gain weight, feel tired, have libido problems, be constipated, and feel sick. And if that is not enough, the high production of cortisol by the adrenal glands can let the inflammation get out of control.
Poor mental health can cause diabetes
The release of cortisol is actually a normal response of the adrenal gland to stress. When emotional stress causes the adrenal glands to release more cortisol, this cortisol blocks insulin creating a problem with sugar in the body. If the stressful condition continues for months or years, the blood sugar spikes which are created by the inability of insulin to get sugar into the cells and this can very well result in diabetes. If you have diabetes, the negative effects of increased cortisol can make managing blood sugar very difficult.
Negative emotions block the immune system
It has been proven that people who cannot cope well with stress are not only more likely to get sick from a virus, but also much more sick when sick. If a person is consumed by stressful emotions, their immune cells are not able to respond properly to a virus and once sick, this person’s anti-inflammatory mechanism cannot function and the inflammation increases which leads to muscle aches , headache, runny nose and itchy eyes.
Dr. Steven Locke of Harvard University Medical School interviewed a group of people about stressful events in their lives and also about their attitudes and emotions. After the interview, the doctor took blood samples and used them to measure the activity of their natural killer cells. Natural killer cells are our body’s biggest weapons when it comes to fighting viruses and carcinogens. The group of people was divided into 4 other groups according to their stress level and their attitudes and emotions. Here are the results :
–High stress / Positive attitude and emotions: Activity of NK cells 22.5
-Low stress / Positive attitude and emotions: Activity of NK cells 15.1
-Low stress / Negative attitude and emotions: Activity of NK cells 10.6
-High stress / Negative attitude and emotions: Activity of NK 7.5 cells
The higher the activity of the killer cells, the better the immune system works. As you can see in this scientific study, the problem is not whether a person experiences stressful events but how he or she copes with stress which makes all the difference.
It does not take very long for toxic emotions to develop causing physical problems in the body. It only takes 6 minutes when being in a stressful situation on blood tests to show a suppressed immune system and it can take more than 21 hours for these negative effects to disappear.
Toxic emotions can have negative effects on the gut
Several scientific studies have shown that all types of stress can cause leaky gut syndrome. Emotions and thoughts and the intestines are connected. For example, just thinking about what you are going to eat at dinner will make your mouth salivate and your stomach will secrete digestive juices.
If you have toxic thoughts or negative emotions, your gut will react in a very serious way. You certainly know the feeling you get in your stomach when you’re nervous or upset. By simply leaving your sanity in bad shape, you will literally cause a stomach ulcer, block your immune system in the stomach and destroy the good microbes inside.
On the other hand, the sick stomach can cause anxiety, stress, and depression. 90 percent of the serotonin in the body is produced in the intestines and when the stomach is sick, the brain suffers because the neurotransmitters it needs like serotonin are not present in sufficient quantity to ensure good brain function. And it turns out that often to treat depression, doctors must first treat the intestines. It can be a vicious circle that shows the strong connection between emotional life and stomach health.
Toxic emotions can cause problems with hormones
Toxic emotions are linked to an increase in miscarriages in a scientific study published in the journal ‘American Journal of Reproductive Immunology’. This scientific study finds that the effects of toxic emotions block protective mechanisms and increase the release of natural inflammatory chemicals that can cause miscarriages.
The increase in cortisol levels caused by overly active adrenal glands in response to toxic emotions causes DHEA to be converted into estrogen in fat cells. This means that especially in overweight women, the dominance of estrogen can develop. And the dominance of estrogen is associated with an increased risk of developing healthy or uterine cancer.
Reduction in sperm production in men, decreases or cessation of milk production in breastfeeding women, irregular or absent menstrual cycles in women – all of this is connected to the negative effects of toxic emotions.
Toxic emotions can cause memory loss
Once again, it turns out that high cortisol levels damage the nerves that are connected to memory. And the damage caused by cortisol can be very serious. Through their effects on the adrenal glands, toxic emotions can cause inability to learn and memory loss similar to the experiences of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
How can you deal with toxic emotions and improve your mental health?
Sometimes detoxifying from toxic emotions can be as easy as choosing not to allow yourself to think about it. You will have to try to be more positive just to be healthier. But sometimes detoxifying from emotions that hurt you is a little more complicated. So if you have negative emotions and you don’t know how to detoxify them yourself, you will have to ask a specialist for help. Life is too short to let toxic emotions get you sick.
Laughter is a very good medicine. 33 cancer patients were divided into two groups. One group watched a funny video, while the other group watched a tourism video. Patients were tested before and after watching the videos. The group who watched the comic video felt less stressed after the video and showed better immune function than the group who watched the tourism video.
Physical exercise is a very good tool to combat the effects of toxic emotions. It’s not about doing great sporting feats. Just 15 minutes of walking can make a big difference. So walk more if you are not a great sportsman!
There is a reason why meditation has become so popular and why so many people have started to practice it. It is a real change of mind and when mediation is practiced regularly, it can help with mental health and well-being.
Yet not everyone can just sit and breathe for ten or fifteen minutes every day. But there are different types of meditation that can be just as effective in getting rid of toxic emotions. Walking, writing a personal journal, doing yoga are also ways that can help.
What you can also do is create a morning ritual where you can sit with your coffee or tea in your hand and think about a place where you want to be at that precise moment for five minutes every day. Just thinking about something nice is a form of meditation in itself. Use your mornings to focus on your breathing or choose to go for a walk during your lunch break instead of just talking with your colleagues.
According to Chinese medicine, water represents joy. Chinese medicine teaches that one of the functions of water in the body is to drive emotions and metabolic waste out of the body. 85 percent of brain tissue is made up of water. When the body needs more fluids to flush out toxins and it does not find sufficient supplies, it will take water from bones, muscles and of course the brain. So being well hydrated can help you get rid of negative emotions during a difficult day.
To improve your mental health, you will have to go out. Go for a walk in the forest or hike in the mountains. Walks have a very transformative effect on emotions. The walk will not only help you to change your ideas but also to see more clearly, relax and relieve yourself.
The emotional body resets itself every time you sleep. Often detox programs or self-healing protocols require people to see themselves as their own patients or as sick children. So when you experience a negative emotion, it gradually starts to get stronger. In this case, if you feel really bad, the best thing to do is to sleep.