Are you someone that struggles with their mental well-being? Have you been depressed, burnt out, or anxious lately? We often experience body aches, migraines, nausea, and fatigue when we're down or going through tough times. This is because both, our mind and our body, are intimately interlinked.
How does your body respond to the things you think and feel? Mental health is not just about what goes on in your head, it affects your entire body, including your brain. It's very common to feel physically ill and experience adverse symptoms when you're dealing with a mental illness.
Concern, dread, frustration, and despair are all very natural emotional responses until they get in the way of what you aim to do. You can come to grips with your mental anguish using a variety of management strategies or get online therapy to help you.
How Can Emotions Induce Physical Symptoms?
All the physical symptoms we experience also have an emotional side to them. When we experience pain, we feel it both physically and emotionally. People often use our mental conditions to be dismissive of our physical symptoms. Mental health is not taken seriously in India, especially not as much as physical health. It's often dismissed with sayings of "It'll be all right soon enough", "Don't stress so much", or "It's all in your head". However, psychosomatic symptoms are incredibly common and work both ways.
You could experience low emotional states, mood swings, anxiety, stress, and depression while dealing with a physical condition. The mind and the body are not two different entities, even though they are often regarded that way. The autonomic nervous system is a nerve complex that regulates the unconscious activities of our internal organs, blood vessels, and glands, which are rooted in the body and vital to our emotions. The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems are involved in emotional balance.
Here’s How Our Brain, Body, and Emotions Are Connected:
The brain is fundamentally linked with our body. Our neurotransmitters, hormones, and chemicals combine to form neural pathways. They're used for the transmission of signals from the brain to the body for our bodily functioning, such as breathing, digestive processes, movement, as well as thought processes and emotional responses.
There are three primary areas of the brain involved when it comes to our emotions. The amygdala (fight or flight response), hippocampus (emotional regulation), and prefrontal cortex (rational thinking) are primarily responsible for our emotional functioning.
7 Physiological Symptoms We Experience When We’re Under Extreme Stress or Battling Mental Health Challenges:
Pain is your body's way of informing you that something is wrong and needs to be addressed. Here are some symptoms to keep an eye out for:
When we experience fear or believe we can be harmed, we enter a fight or flight mode. These symptoms include light-headedness, tunnel vision, dry mouth, chest tightening, heart palpitations, muscle tensions and cramps, sweating, lack of concentration, and nausea.
Brain Fogs are another thing people often experience, where they feel unfocused and distracted, and find it very difficult to concentrate or recall information.
When we feel nervous, we feel butterflies in our stomachs. Similarly, when we get anxious or undergo extreme stress, we can experience stomach aches and digestive problems. These conditions are known as psychosomatic symptoms.
When we feel the stages of stress, our respiratory system is the first to be impacted. Our breaths go quicker and harder in order to disburse more oxygen-rich blood throughout our bodies. This can be a serious issue for people with asthma, but for others, it can also lead to shallow breaths and hyperventilation.
In fits of extreme rage and anger, hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline are released in our bodies. They can increase blood pressure, and over time, individuals with anger management issues can end up having chronic blood pressure, heart disease, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, and digestive issues.
Stress is something we experience often, but it also impacts our well-being. Stress causes hyperarousal, which leads to trouble in falling or remaining asleep, further impacting the quality of our sleep and leading to restlessness. It can further impact our levels of concentration, attention, learning, and memory, which is particularly worse for growing teens and young adults.
When we're going through periods of emotional turmoil, some common symptoms include headaches, migraines, chest aches, heart palpitations, dizziness, breathlessness, changes in weight, and difficulties in sexual performance and pleasure.
How can I take better care of my mind and body?
You must take proper care of yourself and your overall well-being, which impacts your capacity to manage and handle stressful situations.
Get enough rest. Aim for eight to nine hours of sleep every night. Unwind before falling asleep with a hot cup of chamomile, a relaxing bath, or even some reading time. Avoid your phone or screens if you can, blue light emissions can lead to poor quality of sleep.
Eat healthily. You don’t have to follow a strict diet religiously and give up your favorite foods, but make sure you’re getting enough nutrition and try to maintain a balanced diet.
Be aware of your anxieties. Reserve fifteen minutes every day to concentrate on your difficulties and worries, and then promise to let them go when the timer goes off. Some people wear a rubber band around their wrist that they can "pop" if they find themselves in "worry mode."
Exercise every day, if you aren’t already! It’s very important to keep your muscles active and keep moving around. With the ongoing pandemic, we’ve been glued to our seats for longer periods of time. Stretch your muscles every few hours, keep yourself hydrated, and go for a run around your block if you can. Make your own regimen, Joining a yoga class, getting a gym membership, or joining a Zumba class are all great options as well!
Practice mindfulness. It's a skill that enables you to be completely conscious in your present, cognizant of where you are and what you are doing, and not grow excessively reactive or overloaded by your surroundings. While mindfulness is something a trait we all have to a certain degree, it becomes more accessible when we practice it on a regular basis. You can train yourself to notice the physical changes in your body that occur as a result of your changing emotions. Understanding the mind-body connection is the first step toward better stress management and an understanding of how emotions affect your body.
Try keeping a journal: Journaling is the process of writing down your thoughts and emotions in order to better comprehend them. It's a technique that incentivizes you to slow down, pay more attention, and reflect on what's actually taking place – as well as your sentiments and responses to it.
Keep in touch with your friends. Maintain contact with people who can provide you with practical and emotional support. Request assistance from family, friends, or religious or community groups with which you are affiliated.
Now&Me: We’re Here for You.
What we're feeling can oftentimes be more than we can handle on our own. If you’re going through tough times, feeling confused and stressed, and feel lost in your way, reach out for help. Now&Me is a free-of-cost platform for peer support. Tell us about your experiences and find like-minded people.
1. Can Your Thoughts Influence Your Body?
Neurotransmitters regulate nearly every bodily function, from happiness to hormone regulation to stress management. As a result, our thoughts have a direct impact on our bodies because the body interprets the brain's messages to start preparing us for whatever comes next.
2. How Does Your Mind Relate to Your Body?
The mind and body are intertwined and rely on one another to make decisions. The mind needs the body to learn and experience in order to make accurate evaluations, whereas the body relies on the mind to make its judgments. They will not be capable of surviving without the other.
3. Can Your Mind Create Symptoms?
Stress, anxiety, and other mental health conditions all have short and long-term effects on our minds and bodies. Many people are aware of the mental and emotional symptoms of stress and anxiety, but few are aware of the physical consequences.