Health Effects Of Unresolved Emotions
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A study published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology in 2017 suggests that being in a negative emotional state affects the expression of both neurotransmitters and hormones like dopamine through the brain, low levels of which are, in turn, associated with major depressive disorder and mood disorders like bipolar disorder.

A study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology in 2011 explains that while people may believe that emotions do not affect the body physiologically, the fact is that the brain is the basis for all mental processes. The following are some effects unresolved emotions can have on your health.

1. Inflammation and pain
A study published in PNAS in 2014 suggests that when your brain tries to process emotions, it activates the cardiovascular, neuroendocrine, skeletomuscular and autonomic nervous systems. The effects of negative emotions like anger, fear, disgust, sadness and shame can cause inflammation in the upper body. If uncontrolled or prolonged, this inflammation can turn into persistent pain too.

2. Weak immune system
A 2017 study in Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience suggests that the emotional and immune systems actually mirror each other. Unresolved negative emotions can cause immunological disturbances and weaken the immune system enough to cause frequent bouts of illnesses or chronic diseases.

3. Cardiovascular issues
Many studies, including one in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, have shown that negative emotions like anger, grief, anxiety and depression can trigger coronary heart disease.

4. Risky lifestyle behaviours
Apart from directly affecting your physical health, unresolved emotions can also trigger unhealthy lifestyle practices like smoking, alcohol abuse, binge-eating and anorexia bulimia.

How to deal with unresolved emotions?
- Don’t suppress your negative emotions.
- Accept your emotions instead of trying to actively overcome them.
- Find a constructive way to release your emotions.
- Avoid negative situations and people as much as you can.
- Focus on the present.

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