What role do emotions play in health? Is it all about diet and exercise? Can emotions make someone sick?
The answer may come as a surprise to you: Yes, emotions CAN make you sick all by themselves even if you are eating a “perfect” diet or exercising regularly.
Granted, those things will help, but we need to understand the role of emotions and how they affect the body and just how big of a factor they are.
When we talk about “feelings” we are actually talking about physiological responses to thoughts. We may get tightness in our stomachs, heaviness in the chest, flutters in the tummy, shortness of breath when anxious, red faces when angry and so on. Our thoughts, which create emotions, literally create bodily responses by causing certain hormones to be excreted which then cause bodily changes.
These bodily changes affect how our body runs for the better or worse. Some think that they can be made “invincible” by eating a perfect diet. Thus they believe they can go through stressful divorces, losses of loved ones in death, or deal with daily anxiety from a high-pressure job or financial anxiety and it “should” never affect their health in a negative way.
And yet, stress causes our body to use up it’s alkaline minerals more quickly than normal which weakens our body’s reserves and drains our bones, uses up our nerve energy supply more quickly than it can be replenished which exhausts us and sets the stage for toxemia, especially if we then can’t sleep because of our emotions, and affects our digestion for the worse so even if we are eating the healthiest of foods, we don’t get the nutrition from them because our digestion is compromised.
In fact, it’s been proven scientifically that a dog or cat will actually STOP digestion if scared and the food will just rot it it’s stomach. The same can happen to us.
We can’t ignore the affect that emotions play on our health. It’s not all about diet and exercise.
Our emotional “poise” or “equilibrium” is where we have ways to ground ourselves and unplug and “detox” from negative emotions so we can discharge that energy and return to a more calm state and our body can relax and return to normal functioning.
When we can’t do this, it harms our body in a very real and dramatic way.
The science of psychoimmunoneurology headed by Norman Cousens who “laughed himself well” after coming down with an “incurable” auto-immune disease shows that negative emotions, all by themselves can CAUSE disease, while positive emotions like faith, laughter and calmness can HEAL disease.
True, our diet does play a part in disease and emotions are a factor in this as well. Our emotions often play a factor in which foods we reach for. When we are stressed we release cortisol and adrenaline into the blood and then we “comfort” anxious nerves with chocolate, ice cream, mac and cheese and pizza or beer and cigarettes.
Indeed, learning healthy ways of coping with our emotions is critical, not just to happiness, but health and longevity. Type “A” personalities, the high-octane, power-driving personalities, do not live long. And Type “C” personalities, those who get cancer, stuff and repress their feelings and turn them inward. And dealing with loneliness, rejection or grief with food is common, but doesn’t heal the pain and yet we as a society do not know how to show our vulnerability with these emotions.
Sometimes, what we need is a walk in a park, a forest or by the beach. Other times, we may need someone to hold us while we cry. Even other times, we need to play with some furry pets and laugh with children.
Emotional nutrition is as important as physical nutrition to our health and shouldn’t be neglected.
Feed your heart AND your body to live a long and happy life. After all, if you are not happy, why eat well so you can live a long and miserable life?
Much love and wellness to you,
The Fruit Doctor