Effects of Positive and Negative Emotional Wellness on Your Body

Dr. John Elgin Wilkaitis

Dr. John Elgin Wilkaitis completed medical school at The University of Mississippi Medical Center and residency in general psychiatry in 2003. He completed a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in 2005. Following this, he served as Chief Medical Officer for 10 years of Brentwood Behavioral Healthcare a private health system including a 105-bed hospital, residential treatment, and intensive outpatient services.

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Emotions are a universal language that plays an essential role in our everyday lives. They can be described as complex reactions to an event or experience and can vary in intensity and duration. Emotions are expressed through facial expressions, body language, and verbal expressions. Although we all experience emotions differently, they serve an important purpose in connecting us. Physically, they alert our bodies to respond to certain situations and help us manage our responses. Emotions can range from positive, such as happiness and joy, to negatives, such as anger and sadness. Depending on the emotional state we find ourselves in, our behavior and feelings can change drastically. 

The Different Types of Emotions

When we talk about emotions, we generally refer to a wide range of feelings and experiences. These include happiness, joy, anger, sadness, fear, frustration, and many more. Emotions are the way our bodies respond to certain events or stimuli in the world around us.

Emotions can be divided into two broad categories: positive and negative. Positive emotions tend to please us and are associated with activities that make us feel good. Examples of positive emotions include joy, enthusiasm, curiosity, contentment, and compassion.

On the other hand, negative emotions are unpleasant and can be difficult to experience. Examples of negative emotions include fear, anger, sadness, shame, guilt, jealousy, and disgust.

These types of emotions can manifest in different ways. For example, when feeling anxious or fearful, we may be physically tense and become short of breath. Anger may lead to aggressive behavior. Sadness may cause us to withdraw from social situations.

It is important to remember that all emotions have a purpose and can be used as a source of information. Awareness of the different types of emotions can help us better understand our experiences and responses. It can also help us recognize the emotional needs of others and make sure they are met. 

The Benefits of Positive Emotions

Positive emotions have an incredible impact on our physical and mental health. They can improve our overall well-being, helping us to manage stress, boost immunity, reduce pain, and live longer and healthier lives.

  • Help reduce stress levels. This is because positive feelings can act as a buffer against negative feelings, enabling us to control our emotions and behaviors. Additionally, studies have shown that positive emotions can reduce stress hormones like cortisol. Lower cortisol levels lead to lower levels of inflammation, which can protect our bodies from illnesses and diseases.
  • Positive emotions can help strengthen our immune systems. Studies have found that when people experience positive emotions, they produce more cytokines, a protein that helps fight off infections. Additionally, positive emotions can reduce stress-induced inflammation, which can help our body to recover faster from sicknesses.
  • Help to reduce pain levels. Studies have found that when people experience positive emotions, their body releases endorphins, a natural painkiller. Endorphins act as an analgesic, relieving physical pain and discomfort.

Finally, research suggests that positive emotions may even be able to extend our lifespan. Positive feelings help to protect us from illnesses, enabling us to live longer and healthier lives.

Overall, the benefits of positive emotions are undeniable. Positive emotions are essential for our physical and mental health, enabling us to manage stress, boost immunity, reduce pain, and live longer and healthier lives. 

The Drawbacks of Negative Emotions

Negative emotions can have a severe and destructive effect on your physical and mental health. Negative feelings such as anger, sadness, guilt, and fear trigger the body’s fight or flight response, increasing stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. 

This raises the heart rate, blood pressure, and physiological symptoms such as anxiety, restlessness, and fatigue. Negative emotions can also affect our decision-making ability; when feeling down, it becomes more difficult to make healthy choices, while we are more inclined towards indulging in unhealthy habits like overeating or drug use. 

Negative emotions can lead to self-destructive behaviors, including suicide attempts or extreme acts of violence. A heightened level of negative emotionality will make someone less amenable around others which may cause them to become socially isolated while simultaneously leaving them unprepared for social interaction with others, thus resulting in isolation from society itself which often breeds depression because there is no one who understands what they are going through. 

How To Achieve Emotional Wellness

Achieving emotional wellness is not easy, but it can be done with effort and dedication. The first step to achieving emotional wellness is understanding your different emotions. Once you better understand your own emotions, you can start to look for ways to manage them.

One way to achieve emotional wellness is to practice mindful meditation. This involves focusing on the present moment and being aware of your thoughts and feelings without judgment. Taking the time to practice mindfulness daily can help you become more aware of your emotions and give you the tools you need to manage them better.

It is also important to develop healthy coping skills when dealing with difficult emotions. These coping skills may include physical activity, writing down your feelings, connecting with others, and spending time in nature. Creating a self-care routine can help you stay on track with your emotional wellness.

In addition, it is important to take care of yourself physically and mentally. Exercise can help to reduce stress and promote positive emotions. Eating a healthy diet, getting adequate sleep, and engaging in hobbies or activities that bring joy can contribute to emotional wellness.

Finally, it is important to reach out for help when necessary. Seeking professional help or support from friends or family can be beneficial in managing difficult emotions. It is also important to practice self-compassion and kindness towards yourself when struggling with your emotions.

You can achieve emotional wellness by understanding the different types of emotions, practicing mindfulness and healthy coping strategies, taking care of your physical and mental health, and reaching out for help.

Seeking Emotional Help at Defining Wellness Centers

When managing one’s emotions, getting help from a reputable mental health care facility is an excellent way to do so. At Defining Wellness Centers, we provide clients with trained professionals in the psychology of mental health and well-being.  

We will work with you to pinpoint what causes your emotions and give you helpful strategies for coping with them. The goal is to empower you to control your emotional well-being. You may also receive additional treatments, such as group therapy, mindfulness exercises, and art therapy, tailored to increase your emotional wellness.

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If you are ready to take the step towards a new life, call Defining Wellness today and learn more about how we can help you.