When God created mankind, He gifted us with many wonderful senses. He also gave us brains that enable us to experience a vast array of feelings. Various interactions and life experiences, sometimes by the moment, can spark fluctuation in the way we feel. Controlling emotions and feelings is an integral part of maturing in life. The way we feel typically is out of our control; however, the way we respond to the way we feel is always a choice. Life is a series of ever-changing events. Most of us have good days and bad days. In fact, it’s possible to have good weeks and bad weeks, good months and bad months, even good years and bad years.
Learning to process our emotions and to care for our emotional and mental health is a key factor toward improving physical health, as well. Your emotional and mental state definitely affects your physical health and overall sense of well-being. It would take quite a while to compile a detailed list of possible emotions and feelings that the average person might experience in a lifetime. However, some of the more basic common types of feeling include joy, excitement, satisfaction or eagerness. When things aren’t going so well, we might also experience anger, worry, fear, grief or stress. It’s these last five emotions that can wreak havoc on your internal organs.
Anger is one of the emotions and feelings that weakens organs
If you were to take a survey of the world, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone, at least, someone of adult age, who has never experienced anger. Again, emotions come and go without always being something we control. However, what we do about a particular emotion is 100% within our control. Harboring anger is disastrous to your health in many ways. With specific regard to how it affects internal organs, studies show that excess energies of anger, rage or fury can severely weaken your liver and gallbladder. The same goes for harboring feelings of repressed anger or resentment, irritability or frustration. All of these emotions are under the same “anger” umbrella when it comes to emotional energy.
If you get a lot of headaches or experience dizziness frequently, it’s worth analyzing your emotional state. Do you often feel angry or frustrated or resentful? Frequent headaches or dizziness often point toward underlying problems with the liver or gallbladder. I’ve read about “liver energy,” more specifically how when stagnated or suddenly released, it can cause mood swings or manic-depressive states of mind. This is beyond my scope of knowledge or understanding, but it might be worth studying and learning more about, especially if you have liver trouble.
Prolonged grief or sadness are emotions and feelings that affect lungs
There are many levels of grief and many ways to grieve a loss. We experience grief is someone we love passes away. It’s possible to grieve the loss of circumstances or a relationship. Each person experiences grief or sorrow in his or her own, unique way. What we all have in common is that these emotions have an impact on the health of our lungs. The primary function of our lungs is respiration. While you might not realize it, when you are grieving or sad, you hold your breath a lot, or, at least, do not breathe properly.
Unresolved grief or sadness is an underlying factor in many lung disorders. An inability to “let go” of sadness or grief takes a toll on the lungs over time. It can impede oxygen circulation and decrease the overall function of the lungs. It is, therefore, critical to good health to try to process the emotions of grief and sadness in a healthy and productive manner. It’s also helpful to regularly perform deep-breathing exercises to strengthen the lungs and improve overall health.
Worry causes a lot of stomach problems
It’s nearly impossible to exist as an adult in the current state of society without worrying. Those who are Christians know that the Scriptures teach us that emotions like worry and fear (which we’ll talk about in a minute) come from the enemy. Placing our trust in God and believing that He always has our best interests at heart helps alleviate worry. The emotion of “worry,” according to ancient Chinese medicine, is most-closely associated with the stomach region of the body. The spleen and pancreas are also connected to the stomach region.
In short, worrying a lot impedes your body’s ability to properly digest food. You’ve likely heard the phrase, “nervous stomach,” in relation to chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Many people experience sudden bouts of diarrhea when they’re worried or feeling anxiety about something. Think about it. At times in life when you’ve said that you feel “sick to your stomach,” you might also have been worried or feeling anxiety about something at the same time, right? Loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea and other digestive problems can occur for many reasons. If you often experience these adverse health symptoms, consider whether the emotions of worry and anxiety are often present in your life.
Constantly feeling afraid takes a toll on your kidneys
For as many times as we read in the Scriptures that we should not worry, there are hundreds of times where God’s Word says this: Do not be afraid. My father used to tell me that “fear” is an acronym for: false expectation of apparent reality. I vividly remember, when, as a young wife and mother my husband went off to war, my dad said, “Remember that what you fear the most in life almost never happens.”
Our kidneys are responsible for cleansing our blood and ridding our bodies of waste. They are essential to our good health. Just above our kidneys are adrenal glands. You’ve heard of the “flight or fight” response to sudden fear. When we’re afraid, the adrenal glands up the production of adrenaline. Frequent bouts of fear or chronic fearfulness makes the adrenal glands work hard, which can then put pressure on the kidneys. When kidneys are stressed, you’ll start having all sorts of health problems, including joint pain.
The ability to experience fear is a good thing. For instance, it warns us of danger. Feeling fear within the context of a specific set of circumstances wherein a natural response to the conditions is to be afraid isn’t necessarily a bad thing. With regard to kidney health, we’re talking about emotions and feelings that have gotten out-of-check. If you’re going through life constantly harboring fear or anxiety, it is likely going to have a negative effect on your kidneys.
Protect your heart and brain by lowering your stress level
Have you ever heard a holistic doctor say that stress (and anger) causes cancer? Positive thinking truly does improve your body’s ability to heal. Conversely, chronic stress wreaks havoc on your health, especially your heart and brain. Stress increases inflammation, which is the root cause of heart disease. Chronic stress can also disrupt synapse regulation in the brain. In fact, stress can actually kill your brain cells and cause your brain to shrink!
The prefrontal cortex is responsible for reasoning ability and processing emotions. Unresolved stress causes excess cortisol to build up in the brain. Cortisol is the “bad” stress hormone, in excess. Normal levels of cortisol are part of the body’s healthy processes, including regulating blood sugar and proper function of the part of the brain that stores memories. Also, just as high cortisol levels can weaken your heart and brain, cortisol levels that are too low place you at risk for adverse health conditions.
The saying “too much of anything is a bad thing,” is relevant to this topic. In and of itself, stress isn’t necessarily bad. In healthy amounts, cortisol is not only not bad, it’s good. When emotions are not kept in check, however, and stress is harbored in excess amounts, it sparks massive, negative health responses in the body, particularly in the heart and brain.
Make emotional good health part of your New Year plan
We’re on the cusp of 2022 and all the problems of the past several years have caused a tremendous decline in emotional, mental, spiritual and physical health throughout society. Learning to process emotions in a healthy and productive manner is a worthwhile goal for the new year ahead. Not only will you feel better but your long-term, overall health and well-being will improve, as well!
About this time, last year, one of our Hot Mess writers did an excellent post on how to attain happiness in the new year. If one of your goals in 2022 is to learn how to process your emotions and feelings in a healthier way, Mari’s post is worth reading. The good news about all this is that for every negative emotion that can weaken internal organs in the body, there are opposite emotions and solutions that can help improve your health in mind, body and soul!