We’ve all been a teenager, been madly in love, and then had our heart broken. We are all familiar with the physical pain of a heartbreak- we feel heavier, more tired, less motivated, and often a physical ache in our chest.

This is just one example of a strong connection between experiencing emotional pain and having it manifest into a physical sensation.

If someone has depression, rather than a situational experience such as a breakup, their emotions can range from sad, angry, guilty, embarrassment, confusion, and shame. What if they’ve been experiencing symptoms of depression for many months? Many years?

Carrying negative emotions for long periods of time can cause negative long-term physical effects.

 

Connection between our emotional health and physical health

The connection between our emotions and our bodies is extremely strong and one that should not be overlooked.
I have worked with many people who have been experiencing these symptoms long-term. I noticed the connections between their mental health diagnoses and the physical pain they were experiencing, include fibromyalgia, stomach ulcers, and migraines connecting with depression and PTSD. Working in therapy to address their emotions, and processing the factors contributing to their diagnosis, they were able to see an overall reduction in their physical pain.

 

Connect with Physical Movements

If emotional pain is connected to physical pain, do healthy physical movements connect with experiencing more healthy emotions? The answer is yes!

Doing yoga, walking, singing, dancing, etc. are physical activities that get your body moving and can release endorphins in your brain, which improve your emotional state. It’s recommended that people exercise at least 30 mins a day to stay emotionally and physical healthy.

The next time you are feeling down, or can’t shake any negative emotion, try moving. The mind-body connection is a powerful one that is often forgotten.

 

If you can’t change your attitude, change your latitude

If engaging in healthy physical activities are not shifting your emotional state, try physically being somewhere that has made you happy before. Or with people who make you happy.

Experiencing negative emotions in any capacity is never fun, regardless if you have a mental health diagnosis. Understand that building healthy habits will help you during times when situations arise that evoke emotional pain. No, yoga may not immediately fix the feeling of a broken heart or sad emotions, but it will help you mentally cope and allow for you to improve your overall emotional outlook.

 

Kristina Anderson LMCHA

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