Surely you have heard the expression “All diseases are caused by nerves”more than once. Over time, we come to the conclusion that this statement is not a set of empty sounds. Of course, the psychological background determines the quality of life. However, it still remains unclear exactly how human emotions and physical condition are interconnected. Whether mood really affects health, what role hormones play in this process, and whether the power of thought is actually material, you will learn from this article.
Emotions as the foundation of life perception
If you are interested in how to prolong youth and maintain health for many years, then, for sure, in magazines or the Internet, you have read more than once a set of recommendations on how to achieve this. Very often, the last summing up item in such lists is a recommendation to look at the world with optimism and focus only on the positive things that come into your life. Despite the fact that it is impossible to argue with this advice (because everything is true), many people think it is not just useless, but also absurd. You can not infantile flutter over your problems, like a dragonfly from a fable. Otherwise, there will be a risk of repeating her fate.
Krylov’s dragonfly is not the best example in this context. She was inattentive and careless. Her reluctance to take responsibility for her life had played a bad joke on her. Therefore, as an objective example, it is better to take Polianna, the heroine of the novel of the same name by Eleanor Porter. The peculiarity of Polianna’s character was her unusual view of negative events. The little orphan, who from childhood was accustomed to endure hardships, had plenty of reasons to lose faith in life. But she set a goal to be happy at all costs. So Polianna’s amazing philosophy of life was born: “You were pelted with lemons-make lemonade out of them. You are not liked by others – this is a great reason to make friends with them.” What was the girl doing? She turned punishment into reward, and in this unusual way won the battle with the cruelty of the world around her.
The relationship between emotions and physical health. What do scientists say?
Medicine does not deny the direct influence of a person’s emotions on his physical well-being. However, she pays more attention to the impact of negative emotions to find ways to deal with it. So, a direct link between severe stress and the development of ulcers has already been proven. Anger is a threat to people with cardiovascular disorders. There are plenty of analogies, because the effect of negative emotions in general reduces the immune system and the willingness to resist the disease.
But, more interesting are emotions with a “+ ” sign. If they are really able to treat, they are a powerful resource for the body and an impetus for the development of new methods of therapy without drugs. There are many confirmed cases when a seriously ill person with a strong craving for life completely recovered. In such people, cases of resorption of malignant tumors were recorded and it was impossible to explain this from a scientific point of view. But, the fact remains.
Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh conducted an experiment, dividing the experimental optimists and pessimists into two groups and asked them to perform several tasks. It was found that people who treat tasks with optimism and a healthy degree of indifference solved them 34% more effectively than alarmists involved in negative experiences. This is not the end of working with groups. To prove the direct impact of emotions on the physical state, scientists “planted” in each of the groups of cold virus. The results surprised even skeptics. Participants in the optimist group either did not feel the symptoms of a cold at all, or successfully and quickly coped with it. A group of pessimists experienced all the dubious charms of the disease in full. At the same time, the average pain threshold of the participants of the “optimistic” group was 17% higher than that of the negative-thinking subjects.
Games played by hormones
To add to the group of lucky optimists, it is not enough just to smile, call black white and rejoice in failures. It looks stupid and unnatural. You don’t have to be an optimist, you have to be one. There are quite specific prerequisites for this state. Namely, a sufficient level of hormones in the body that are responsible for cheerfulness. Without them, you can put a smile on your face as much as you want, but these efforts will be in vain.
Hormones are substances that are produced by the organs of internal secretion. They perform the function of chemical coordinators and in their interaction are responsible for the work of all the gears of the huge mechanism. The slightest shift, imbalance or failure of hormones threatens us with psychological instability and loss of health. And now let’s take a closer look at the small sponsors of our psychological and physical well-being.
Serotonin and optimism
The main function of this hormone is the transmission of impulses between nerve cells. If there is a serotonin deficiency in the body, morale plummets, leads to despondency, and then into a prolonged depression. At the same time, intellectual and physical activity decreases, the work of the digestive and reproductive systems worsens, immunity decreases, and healthy sleep disappears. We get serotonin indirectly from food. In order for the hormone to be produced in the required amount, it needs the amino acid tryptophan. It is found in products such as:
- hard cheeses;
- buckwheat groats;\mushrooms.
If the level of serotonin drops, include in the diet also foods rich in magnesium:
- sea kale;
- dried fruits;
Take a walk in the fresh air on sunny days, train your brain with puzzles, read more and do what you love. Serotonin likes it.
Dopamine and pleasure
As serotonin this hormone belongs to a group of neiromediatorov. It is with its help that we experience the pleasure of intimate contact, as well as the enjoyment of the taste of food. At the same time, dopamine is produced not only in the process, but also in anticipation of pleasure, which increases its significance and prolongs pleasant sensations. However, sometimes dopamine plays a cruel joke on a person, getting him hooked on alcohol and illegal drugs. Therefore, it is better not to use them as a source of dopamine.
Adrenaline, norepinephrine and stress
Nature has laid down in man two types of reaction to danger. It’s attack or flight. Norepinephrine is responsible for the first action. Its task is to accumulate the body’s strength, activate the brain, increase muscle tone and blood flow. On an emotional level, the release of norepinephrine manifests itself in courage, determination and bravery. The task of adrenaline is to signal danger in time and solve the problem as soon as possible (to get out of the conflict, pass the exam, dodge an accident, etc.). Both hormones are produced by the adrenal glands. Exceeding their concentration threatens the body with moral and physical exhaustion, the appearance of phobias, anxiety states. To prevent them, avoid stress and situations that tickle your nerves.
Endorphins and euphoria
Endorphins are the best friends of dopamine and serotonin. As a rule, they operate in parallel. These hormones act as a natural painkiller and sedative. But, the most amazing property of endorphin is the ability to cause pure genuine (puppy, if you want) joy. Its sources can be:
- listen to your favorite music or watch a movie;
- communication with children or animals;
- eading a good book;
- leisure time in a pleasant communication, etc.
The release of endorphins is a short-term phenomenon. It is about him, as a fleeting happiness, sung in songs and poems.
Phenylethylamine and love
Love at first sight exists and a very specific substance is responsible for it. In tandem with serotonin and dopamine, phenylethylamine causes sexual desire, emotional outburst, feelings of sympathy and desire for intimacy. It is this cheerful trio that people should be grateful for bright, but short resort novels. The fact is that the complex of these hormones takes effect only under favorable external circumstances and reduced to zero stress level. And where, if not on vacation, do all these components successfully add up?
Oxytocin and emotional intimacy
Oxytocin is a female hormone. In the body of a pregnant woman, this substance regulates uterine contractions and the lactation process in contact with the baby. However, the production of oxytocin occurs not only during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. This hormone lives in the body, regardless of gender. It forms in a person the ability to trust, to be imbued, to be attached. Active release of oxytocin occurs during tactile contact. Therefore, hugs between close people are not just a gesture of trust. It is a source of joy and love that we give to each other, both on a physical and chemical level. Oxytocin relieves stress, anxiety, gives a sense of security and even treats autism.
Testosterone and the joy of triumph
Testosterone is the hormone of the strong half of humanity. Of course, conditionally. It is responsible for the level of libido, the severity of secondary male sexual characteristics, erectile function. At the emotional level, testosterone is responsible for the formation of competitive advantages in the social environment, ambition, psychological and physical endurance. Testosterone is produced by success in various areas of life. But this process also has pitfalls. As soon as the top is reached, there are no new victories, and hormones are produced in the same volumes, there is a risk of depression and apathy. This is often faced by athletes, business sharks and other people with an active lifestyle.
The endocrine system is responsible for the production of hormones in the body. It is on it that our well-being depends. But, in addition to the physical sphere, hormones command our psycho-emotional state, help us build a successful career, realize ourselves in other equally important areas of life. Does our health depend on emotions? Of course! Therefore, it is important to take care of yourself, protect your health and know that our well-being is always in our hands!