Negative Emotions that Can Make You Sick

Modern science confirms what most of us know: negative emotions can make you ill. The neurotransmitters that fire in the brain also connect with hormones, immune cells and organs, contributing to disease and poor health. However, the news is not all bad. Just as negative emotions and attitudes can create disease, positive emotions and uplifting thoughts are able to create good health.

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Exactly when and where one becomes ill as a result of negative emotions cannot be accurately charted. The extent of the damage of an emotion or stressful event may take years to develop into a condition like a cancer, or may erupt immediately in an attack of shingles or an outbreak of cold sores. Likewise, the precise nature of the disease cannot be linked to a particular emotion. A previous condition such as pneumonia or a severe fall could predispose you to lung infections or back problems. Additionally, conditions such as asthma, arthritis, heart disease and diabetes all have a genetic factor. A stressful event can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, and be the trigger for that disease that may have lain dormant.

Emotions are emotions. They exist, whether we like it or not. The best course of action is to acknowledge you are experiencing the emotion, don’t beat yourself up about it. When you’re feeling angst, try repeating positive affirmations to yourself to re-write negative emotions. Say them to yourself at least 10 times a day. Or better still write each affirmation into a notebook every day.

Here are five emotions that make us sick and ways to correct them:

1. Resentment

Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners believe resentment affects the liver and gallbladder. Try lemon juice and honey in hot water each morning. And reduce fatty foods.

Bach flowers. Try Holly for anger, Willow for resentment.

Affirmations: “I am willing to release the past”. “I choose to look for positive attributes in each person”.

Also try activities that get your mind off stewing and fuming such as volunteer work. Joy comes from helping others less fortunate.

2. Worry

Avoid caffeine and sugar. Enjoy soups, stews and warming foods. And drink plenty of fluids.

Bach flowers. Try Red chestnut for worrying about those close to you. White chestnut for incessant thoughts.

Affirmations: “All will be well”. “I am calm and safe”.

Also try patting a purring cat. Or breathe into your belly.

Worry wartism is a common affliction. Worrying about money, career, exams, loved ones. While it is important to ponder life’s problems, worrying will not help. Remind yourself of this.

3. Guilt

Allow yourself one ‘guilty pleasure’ a day.

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Bach Flower. Try Pine for guilt, Rock water for hard taskmaster on self.

Affirmations: “I am doing the best I can.” “I release the need to blame myself”.

Find yourself a grassy patch, lie in the sunshine, and don’t even think about doing anything else.

4. Grief

Eat raw foods as much as possible, fresh fruit and vegetables, salads.

Bach Flower. Gorse for despondence, Sweet chestnut for dark night of the soul.

Affirmations: “I will be gentle with myself as I recover from my loss”. “My heart will heal”.

Join a choir. The vibration of singing helps release stored pain.

Whether from the death of someone close, the loss of a relationship, career or life dreams, grieving is part and parcel of being human, seek support and give yourself compassionate leave.

5. Irritability

Seek and avoid allergens, increase good fats such as nuts, seeds, fish, olive oil, avocado.

Bach flowers. Try Impatience for irritability, Beech for intolerance.

Affirmations: “I seek peace and harmony in myself and for all those in my life”.

Try learning to meditate. Meditation will be a wonderful skill for you, helping to increase the buffer zone, allowing things and people to not get under your skin.

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