Understanding the Connection: How Brain-Body Imbalance Impacts Overall Health
The brain communicates with the body via chemical and physical messengers. These include hormones and neurotransmitters that help us move our limbs, breathe, and feel different bodily sensations.
Studies have shown that talking therapy, like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), can change your nervous system and brain function. Also, research has shown that meditation and support groups lower stress levels in the body and can lengthen telomeres that protect cells from disease.
Stress impacts everything from your mood to your immune system. While pressure can be positive in some instances, such as when you experience a life-changing event like getting married or having a child, long-term stress — known as chronic stress — negatively impacts your health and can cause a host of physical symptoms including high blood pressure, digestive problems, headaches, depression, and more.
When we’re stressed, the amygdala in our brain sends a distress signal to our hypothalamus. This causes hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol to be released into our bloodstream. These chemicals help us handle the situation causing the stress by increasing our heart rate, tensing muscles, and raising our blood pressure.
However, long-term stress weakens our immune system, making us more vulnerable to illnesses from simple colds to severe diseases. This is why it’s essential to work on reducing your stress levels using non-pharmacological (talk therapy, exercise, yoga, mindfulness) and pharmacological treatments (medications).
Everyone experiences anxiety or fear at some point – it’s an essential human emotion that helps us to prepare for dangerous situations. But when these feelings become persistent, irrational, and interfere with daily life, this may indicate an anxiety disorder.
When anxious, our neurotransmitters send messages to the sympathetic nervous system to trigger the flight or fight response. In the short term, this increases our pulse and breathing rate, gives us a surge of adrenaline, and can increase our immunity.
But when constant anxiety becomes the norm, it can be a silent contributor to sleep disorders, gastrointestinal problems, heart disease, and more. A mental health professional like Integrated Health Systems can help you find relief from this condition and improve your quality of life. Talk to your GP about options like cognitive behavioral therapy and applied relaxation or medication.
Depression, a severe mental health condition that can be life-threatening, causes many emotional problems and changes how the brain functions. But it also impacts the body, from your heart to your immune system. It can increase your risk for or worsen preexisting illnesses and conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.
This is partly because of a lack of integration between networks on the two sides of the brain or a functional disconnection. It may also be due to an imbalance in the production of natural chemicals that ease communication between nerve cells, known as neurotransmitters.
Some people assert that neurotransmitter imbalances cause mental health issues like depression, but research has refuted this hypothesis. Several other factors cause depression.
Anger can range from mild irritation, such as impatience waiting for the traffic light to turn green, to extreme feelings of rage and fury. Chronically expressing anger can exacerbate stress levels, trigger the fight or flight response, and ultimately lead to heart disease and other health complications.
An easily angered person may shout and curse, throw things, or act aggressively toward others. They also may withdraw socially, sulk, or get physically sick.
Hostile people lack healthy, supportive relationships and often blame others for their problems. Research shows low emotional support, social support, anger expression, and cynical hostility correlate with increased morbidity and mortality of coronary artery disease (CAD) morbidity and mortality. Anger management classes and techniques help people learn healthier ways to cope with stress and anger.
People with difficulty controlling their anger may benefit from various professional counseling services. These may include occupational therapists, mental health counselors, addiction specialists, and psychiatrists.
Anger is a natural emotion, but it can be harmful when it gets out of control. It can lead to violence, aggression, and other inappropriate behavior that affect relationships and overall functioning. Unrestrained fury is frequently a symptom of underlying mental health problems, such as personality disorders, mood disorders, and substance misuse.
Anger is a complex emotion, and everyone experiences it differently. What may trigger one person’s temper might be a minor annoyance for another. It is essential to identify what triggers anger and avoid those situations. Sleeping, exercising, and a balanced diet are vital to maintaining healthy emotions.