It would be impossible to achieve deep and long-lasting results if you ignore the effect various emotions have on your physical body. In particular, if you ignore how these emotions relate to your aging – not only superficial but the aging of your biochemical body structure.
The good news is that you can affect it with the power of your mind. As I’m always convinced, the trick is your awareness and knowledge about what you can do (or not do).
The connections between emotions and the body are very much entangled. Is it even possible to disentangle the two? Based on my clinical and coaching experiences, powerful emotional events create a physical toll on the body, and usually, the impact isn’t beneficial.
Emotions stemming from traumatic events, such as grief, betrayal, fear, and terror, leave lasting subconscious imprints. Even after therapy or self-processing, these imprints can remain within the body, manifesting as automatic physical reactions to seemingly unrelated triggers, including scents, photographs, words, or even a particular tone of voice. These triggers can activate a cascade of negative emotions, getting you into an unresourceful state and often catching you off guard.
On the other hand, there are negative emotions that persist over time, like low self-esteem, hypervigilance, depression, and chronic sadness. These may also be the aftermath of acute unresolved trauma or the result of consistent unresourceful patterns that can stem from childhood. The distinction between acute and chronic emotions lies in their long-term impact on your health and overall well-being.
When acute emotions emerge, they can induce a “fight or flight” response, leading to a surge in cortisol, a steroid hormone. This response can accelerate aging in the short term via numerous biochemical pathways.
On the other hand, chronic, negative emotions that continuously linger can plunge the body into a perpetual state of stress. This ongoing stress can lead to adrenal fatigue, trigger low-grade inflammation, and deplete vital neurotransmitters and hormones.
Both acute and chronic emotions can be detrimental to one’s physical health, potentially leading to premature aging.
Let’s take a look at what are the implications and what can we do about it. I want to give you some practical steps you can implement now.
1. Biological Links and Environmental Influences:
- Stress and Aging: Chronic stress can shorten telomeres, which are protective caps at the end of our DNA strands. Shortened telomeres have been linked with accelerated aging and an increased risk of age-related diseases.
- Hormonal Changes: Emotional distress can lead to hormonal imbalances. For instance, chronic stress increases cortisol levels, linked to inflammation, weight gain, and other health issues that can hasten aging.
- Brain Health: Prolonged negative emotions, like depression or anxiety, can reduce the volume of certain brain regions, affect memory, and increase the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.
- Living Conditions: An environment that fosters positive emotional well-being can be crucial for aging healthily. This includes safe housing, access to green spaces, and opportunities for social interaction.
- Cultural Attitudes: Societies that respect and value older adults and where aging is seen as gaining wisdom and experience can foster better emotional health in their senior populations.
WHAT TO DO
- Limit Toxins: Reduce exposure to environmental toxins like smoking, excessive alcohol, and processed foods. Even better – eliminate them!
- Keep Balanced Diet: Eat a nutrient-rich diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Antioxidants can combat the physical signs of aging and come in supplement form.
- Get Adequate Sleep: Try for 7-9 hours each night. Sleep is the body’s natural way of rejuvenating and processing emotional experiences. Insomnia caused by various factors can create havoc in the body and should be addressed.
- Limit Stimulants and Depressants: Reducing intake of caffeine, alcohol, and refined sugars can help balance mood and energy levels. Stay Hydrated: Water is essential for every cellular function, including skin and other organs showing signs of aging.
- Limit Sun Exposure: Protect your skin by using sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, and avoiding the sun during peak hours. UV rays can exacerbate the physical signs of aging.
2. Psychological and Behavioral Factors:
- Emotional and Mental Patterns: Negative emotional patterns, such as rumination or chronic worry, increase the risk of mental health conditions and cognitive decline as you age. They accelerate aging.
- Lifestyle Choices: Emotional health can influence our lifestyle choices. People who are emotionally well are more likely to exercise, eat a balanced diet, and avoid excessive alcohol or tobacco — all factors that affect healthy aging.
- Holistic Healthcare: Those with poor emotional health might neglect regular health check-ups or fail to adhere to holistic medical advice, impacting physical health over time. They can become victims of overprescription and side effects of excessive medication.
WHAT TO DO
- Physical Activity: Regular exercise releases endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators) and can also serve as a form of meditation. Exercise improves cardiovascular health, muscle tone, and overall vitality.
- Psycho-Somatic Therapy: I found a combination of NET (Neuro Emotional Technique) and NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) to be the most effective in healing chronic and even subconscious trauma.
- Stay Socially Connected: Building and maintaining close personal ties with friends and family can act as buffers against stress.
- Practice Deep Breathing or Yoga: These practices can activate the body’s relaxation response, counteracting the stress response.
- Establish Boundaries: Learn to say “no” and set aside time for yourself. It’s essential to recognize when you’re overextended and need to recharge.
- Learn Stress Management Techniques: Techniques like progressive muscle relaxation, visualization exercises, and biofeedback can teach you how to reduce the physical signs of stress.
- Limit Technology: Particularly before bedtime, as the blue light from screens can interrupt the production of melatonin, a hormone necessary for restful sleep.
- Do Things You Enjoy: Hobbies, travel, reading, or any other activity can serve as a great way to distract the mind from stressors and bring joy.
- Continuous Learning: Engage in activities that challenge the mind, like puzzles, reading, or learning a new skill or language. This can help in maintaining a healthy brain.
- Mindfulness and Meditation: These practices can help ground emotions and reduce stress. Regular meditation can change the way the brain processes emotions and manages stress.
- Social Connections: Hang out with family and friends. Get new friends, stay away from toxic people, start dancing, join book clubs, and everything else that brings together like-minded positive people.
The physical clock is ticking, but your biological clock can be very much in your control. Let’s do everything possible to feel great, stay motivated, and live the best life possible!
One size does not fit all when it comes to healthcare. We have unique requirements based on our genetics, lifestyle choices, and individual needs. I always provide a personalized approach to healthcare, allowing us to assess your needs accurately.
If you are ready to take charge of your health and embrace a proactive approach to preventive care, contact me today to schedule your session and start your journey to your health and happiness.
With this practical information, you can have a competitive advantage. You will understand your body and mind better and capitalize on your strengths. This way, I will help you develop a plan to strengthen your weak points in a deliberate and educated manner. No more guessing – the science is here to help you achieve your goals and peak performance.
Dr. Maya Sarkisyan
Stay tuned and discover “The True Story About Your Health”.