As medical science struggles to understand the direct correlation of the mind-body connection, it is becoming more apparent that our emotions can choreograph the interaction the brain has with every cell of our body, and vice-versa. What is recently coming to light is that the condition of our emotional health and our overall emotional well-being play a direct role in our mental, emotional and physical health. While a poorly functioning emotional state can have a debilitating effect on the body and create illness, ailments and disease, optimal emotional health can provide an active role in the healing process.
Emotions Control Our Immune System
Clinical studies are showing the effect emotions have on the nerves, hormones and molecules that connect the brain directly with our immune system. This connection from the body to the brain can signal the immune system and make us much more vulnerable to many types of illnesses. Additionally, the immune system has the ability to send signals to the brain that directly affect the way we handle our emotions. The ramification of this single understanding plays an important part in the treatment of chronic diseases and treatable maladies.
Emotions Play a Key Role in Brain Development
Research has demonstrated the direct role our emotions play in developing the adolescent brain. It is now known that during the most intense major phase of brain development, in adolescents, the onset of most critical adult health problems such as bipolar disorder, psychosis, depression and anxiety are developed. Many of these health problems are directly related to the risk of many physical disorders including diabetes and the disruption of the immune system.
Creating an Overall Psychological Well-Being
Emotional health and mental health are in direct correlation with our overall psychological well-being. The overall health of our psychological well-being would include specifically the way we feel and think about ourselves, our level of self-confidence, the quality of our intimate relationships, along with our ability to cope with our emotional feelings and how we deal with specific life's challenges.
Quality mental health is not specifically defined as the absence of mental health problems, but of course that would be included. Emotional and mental health are better described as being free of anxiety, depression or some other type of psychological condition. Rather than looking at it as a negative, or an absence of mental illness, it is better to think of emotional and mental health as positive characteristics. "Feeling good" is not a direct correlation of "not feeling bad."
Positive physical and mental health, along with a sense of emotional well-being would include those individuals that have a sense of contentment, along with the ability to laugh and have fun. An individual who lives with the zest for life, has the ability to bounce back from any type of adversity, and has the capability to handle stress would be described as someone with optimal mental and emotional health.
Luckily, our optimal emotional and mental health is not defined as never having to experience emotional problems or tackle hard times. Through the role of emotional resilience we are given the chance to overcome sadness, stress and anxiety to live a healthier life.
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