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How Negative Emotions Affect the Body & Ways to Switch to a Positive Mindset

Have you been in a funk lately? Has it affected your energy level, health, or lifestyle choices? Stress can build and quickly become a bad attitude or pessimistic outlook on life. If you’re feeling sad or depressed it can affect your health and energy level. Don't underestimate the power your mindset can have over your body! Besides the negative toll on your emotional health there are also the physical effects of stress and bottling up emotions. 

The mind-body connection is not something to ignore. As a Reiki practitioner, I see how it’s all connected: the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. When it comes to emotions, I recommend acknowledging them, feeling them fully, and moving on rather than avoiding them. Repressing emotions can only ensure they live in your body. After all, emotions are how our body communicates with us. If we ignore those messages, they’ll keep getting louder. 

Negative thoughts and emotions can easily turn into a habit. If you continue to reinforce hurtful, pessimistic, jealous, or angry responses to daily life, your brain will start to react to everything that way. It’s what you've trained it to do. Those negative reinforcement patterns have been shown to affect everything from hormonal health, to heart health, to gut health, to recovery from diseases. 

Your Emotional Health & Vulnerability

Have you ever met someone who has been through a terrible tragedy or history of hardships, but they somehow have the most inspiring, positive attitude? A 2018 study found that optimism is linked to "exceptional longevity.”  This emotional resilience shows a person is aware of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Someone who has learned healthy ways to cope with daily stress and letdowns when they occur is less likely to hold onto stress or negativity. That carries over into their physical longevity. 

Many things can and will happen in your life that can disrupt your emotional health. One way to practice building your capacity for empathy, comfort in expressing your emotions, and healthy coping strategies is to embrace vulnerability. Brené Brown has helped expand the importance of vulnerability in our everyday lives. 

Vulnerability is the process of getting in touch with emotions or behaviors that cause you fear.  You might be scared of how you will feel when a particular subject comes up or how people will react when you tell them. On the other side of that fear are some pretty amazing life changes! The benefits of being more vulnerable include healing old wounds, forging deeper relationships, and becoming a stronger version of yourself! 

If you need another reason to start working through your negative emotions such as, anger, jealousy, stress, sadness, and rage, here are 6 ways negative emotions can be negatively influencing your health. It’s important to give your emotions the time and attention they deserve if not your health can suffer. So much of self-care is taking care of not just your physical but emotional health. 

Emotional Health 

1. Negative Emotions Raise Your Risk Of Heart Disease 

Negative emotions affect lifestyle habits, which in turn can increase your risk of heart disease. Your heart chakra is in charge of the emotions of love, acceptance, and compassion. If you have a block in your heart chakra, you are likely experiencing loneliness, detachment, jealousy, and anger. These blockages can show up as asthma, allergies, and heart and lung issues. As a practical example, people who are chronically stressed, anxious, depressed, or angry tend to drink too much alcohol, smoke, overeat and get less exercise. These unhealthy habits are all bad for your heart. They can also lead to a negative toll on your circulatory system. 

2. Negative Emotions Can Impact The Efficiency Of Your Medication And When You Take Them 

You are less likely to regularly take medications if you are struggling with negative emotions. The longer your unacknowledged negative emotions go without treatment or support, the more likely you are to turn to unhealthy ways of dealing with them. Depressive and negative thoughts can lead to self-destructive behavior like not taking important medications regularly. 

I recommend supplements, herbs, and other energetic healing treatments for negative emotions. Did you know your mood can influence the effect of the prescription medication you’re taking? Your mindset is so powerful in controlling your overall health. If you are in a heightened emotional state of mind when you take medication, the outcomes can vary and be unpredictable. After all, placebos can be powerful because you believe they will work. But if you’re balancing negative emotions, it can affect how your body processes your medication. 

3. Negative Emotions Can Cause Inflammatory Skin Conditions 

Skin disorders often result from traumatic or negative experiences. This can be physical, psychological, or social situations. The most common trigger for several inflammatory skin disorders is emotional stress. Research has shown that our skin has an immediate reaction to emotional and mental stress. 

You may have heard of the gut-brain connection. Like the mind-body connection, it explains how stress and your microbiome communicate and affect one another. The second-largest microbiome in your body is your skin’s microbiome. This powerful landscape of mycobacteria regulates your skin health and communicates with your brain and your gut. Inflammation or stress in one system can cause inflammatory responses in your skin. This inflammation can often take the form of stress-related rosacea, acne, and psoriasis. Learn more about how to protect your skin health with nutrition, here

4. Negative Emotions Weaken Your Immune System 

We have learned over the past couple of years the importance of protecting your immune system. But your immune system is also affected by other conditions in your body. Your immune system is very strong, but it is also very vulnerable if you are not taking care of yourself. It can become easy to be filled with negative energy which can affect your immune response. 

Did you know that inflammation is a response from our immune system? A recent study showed that negative emotions, like stress, can cause high levels of inflammation in the body. It can also cause an overactive immune system. Inflammation is linked to a myriad of other health issues and chronic diseases. People with strong social connections are better at fighting colds and illnesses. It has also been shown that those with clinical depression recover less quickly. A study has shown cancer patients that are open about their feelings and emotions had fewer doctor visits for cancer-related problems. The more you manage your negative emotions the more effectively you manage your health. 

5. Negative Emotions Can Lead To Digestive Disorders 

Anger, anxiety and sadness can all trigger symptoms in the gut. Your microbiome communicates with your brain via the gut-brain axis or vagus nerve. This biological connection between our mood and our microbiome involves neurotransmitters, immune chemicals, and the products of our gut bacteria that transmit messages back and forth. 

Inflammation from poor gut health not only weakens your immune system but is also strongly related to symptoms of depression. Have you heard of a leaky gut? A ‘leaky gut’ negatively affects your mood. The brain also has a direct effect on the stomach and intestines. For instance, when you feel nervous or threatened, your digestion can slow or stop so that your body can focus on higher priority functions. Over time this can result in the condition of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). 

6. Negative Emotions Can Increase Hormonal Imbalance 

We’re becoming more aware of the interconnectedness of the systems in the human body. It’s no surprise that these can be affected by emotions. From our gut to our skin, to our brain, to our immune system, to our endocrine system, studies are showing how each system clearly affects the other. 

Systems of communication, bacteria, fungi, and even our cells control critical responses that can lead to imbalances that cause diseases or disorders. One example is the vast amount of people suffering from hormonal imbalances. There are over 200 hormones and hormone-like substances working in the human body. Specific hormones are triggered by stress. A negative mindset and chronic stress will affect the release of specific hormones from your adrenal glands. The physical effects of stress are high levels of cortisol in the body which can accelerate aging and damage your cells. This imbalance will throw off the healthy regulation of other hormones in your body like estrogen, testosterone, thyroid hormones, and insulin. 

Hormone imbalances respond with more issues for your brain - causing neural and cognitive issues. To learn more about hormonal balance, try my program, Serena’s Ultimate Health Reset.  

WAYS TO CONNECT WITH YOUR EMOTIONS AND POSITIVE MINDSET

FORGIVENESS

Research shows that forgiveness helps us experience better mental, emotional, and physical health. The practice of forgiveness has also been shown to be linked to better immune function and a longer lifespan, as well as lower blood pressure and improving cardiovascular health. 


GRATITUDE

Gratitude is a human emotion most simply defined as acknowledgment of a compassionate act. Gratitude frees us from toxic emotions, and can help you feel more positive emotions, savor good experiences, improve your health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. My method, Culinary Alchemy®, is largely built around expressing gratitude. Infusing your food with positive emotions and eating mindfully supports your energetic centers just as much as your physical body systems. Here’s how you can start to implement Culinary Alchemy® at home. 

  1. Approach the process of preparing and serving your foods with gratitude and grace for the nutrients you are about to receive.
  2. Acknowledge how your emotions affect your eating habits - Learning to identify which emotions trigger unhealthy eating habits can help you avoid eating patterns that aren’t serving you.
  3. Realize your relationship to certain foods - Understanding how different foods affect your energy can help you eat more intuitively.
  4. Eat slowly + mindfully - As you eat, chew slowly and really taste the flavors and textures of each bite. This will help you appreciate and savor your food, as well as refine the senses.

Implementing these easy steps can help you approach food from a place of love, gratitude, and acceptance.

RITUALS FOR POSITIVE ENERGY

How do you create, attract, and maintain positive energy in your days? Everyone has good and bad days. But wouldn't it be amazing if the good massively outweighed the bad? That can happen for you with the right routine and mindset. Having rituals - an action performed with intentional energy from your heart, mind, and soul can flip a bad day on its axis. Here are a few rituals that I incorporate to bring positive energy into my day! 


MAKING PEACE WITH YOUR STORY AND FEELING CONFIDENT IN YOUR JOURNEY 

At times, it can feel like your pain - trauma - issues are insignificant. You may worry you'll be judged for sharing these moments or memories even if it's just with a friend and not on social media. I used to feel the same way, and sometimes still do... I offer you this thought... it is far more powerful to SHARE your journey, healing, and consciousness around the 'pain' you went through than it is to keep it inside. Your story can be a light to guide others and give hope. LEARN MORE. There is always a big lesson in every story, something most people can be inspired by. At the end of the day - being of service - using our journey to inspire others is such a rewarding way to live..

DECREASE STRESS IN HEALTHY WAYS 

More and more, I am finding root causes of health disorders and chakra blockages to be related to high levels of stress. There are many ways to reduce stress, but it can almost become more stressful from the overwhelm of endless insta-ideas and trying to incorporate too many of them into your day in an attempt to reduce the stress right away. My best advice is to try 1-2 of the stress remedies that you find interesting for two weeks. Once you have built them into your routine, try something different or keep up with the habit if it worked for you! Some of my favorite ways to reduce stress include meditation, herbal teas, mantras, practicing gratitude, journaling, and creating healthy boundaries. 

Stress and negative emotions can take their toll on our bodies. But the key to handle it is to address the negative emotions at their core. Here are a few healthy ways to reduce stress. Your emotional health can be easily tied to your physical health. I hope this blog post has given you some positive motivation to eradicate the negative emotions weighing you down. A lighter spirit can lead to a healthier life. 

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