The Effects of Emotions on our Health and Wellbeing
Ramadhan is fast approaching us; a time in which we need to exert our efforts and energies in turning back to Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’Aala). A time to reconnect with the Quran and drawing closer to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) by following the footsteps of the Blessed Sunnah.
Fasting serves the purpose of burning away our sins. In parallel to the outward acts of obedience, the effects of the deluge of Allah’s’ Mercy upon us combined with the zeal to do good deeds should in effect begin the process of purifying our body, mind and heart. As the purification process kicks in, your heart too will begin to soften and it is at this moment you will have the window of opportunity to rid yourself of emotional trauma and attachments that you have held on for so long.
In my practice, I see a large proportion of clients that bring forward their physical ailments and remain totally oblivious to the fact that there is a greater emotional burden (the source) underneath the physical pain. We need to learn more about how our emotions affect our health.
Our health is one of the greatest gifts bestowed upon us by Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’Aala). Amongst the first things we will be questioned about on the Day of Judgement will be about our Health and how we used it. Ask those who are now restricted from living a “normal” life due to any ailment or impairment. Their main regret is their inability to perform their ibaadah like in their prime of health and wellbeing.
Below is a brief summary of how the emotions we carry around can affect our health and wellbeing. It is a time to stop and reflect on what matters to us the most and do something constructive and positive about it. Either we carry the emotional burdens and destroy ourselves (spiritually, physically, psychologically, and mentally) or we learn to forgive and walk away so that we remain free and liberated.
As stated in the hadith: The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said to Anas (Radhi Allahu Anhu);
'Son, if you are able, keep your heart from morning till night and from night till morning free from malice towards anyone.' (Tirmidhi)
Take this scenario to illustrate the point further:
A wise old man once asked his students to each bring to school a sack of potatoes. For every painful experience they could recall, and for every person they could not forgive in their life, each student had to choose a potato and then carve into it the name of the incident and the date of the occurrence.
For an entire month the students were required to carry around their personalized sack of potatoes at all times. It lay beside their bed at night, sat with them at lunch and on the bus, and while they were with friends.
The hassle of lugging around this load soon made it profoundly clear what a weight they were carrying around emotionally. The people whose names were inscribed on the potatoes were not in the least affected by the heavy burden.
It seemed a rather high price to pay to hold onto people, situations and emotions that were of no positive value in their lives. The students began to see forgiveness and letting go as a gift to themselves, rather than a gift to others.
We all carry emotional baggage to varying degrees--painful childhood memories, grief over the loss of a loved one, the devastation of a marriage or relationship break up, the trauma of physical or sexual violation. Who hasn't suffered rejection, betrayal, hardship, failure, shame, longing, guilt, loss of self-esteem, or sorrow to some degree?
It's easier to believe there is a way around experiencing sorrow, that we can avoid pain and lose nothing of the fullness and joy of living. We need to realize that it is not pain that hurts us most; it is resistance to pain that wears us out. We fear it, fight it, run from it, ignore it or try to bury it.
It takes a lot more energy to store pain than it does to confront it. The tension and effort of bracing shut the doors of our emotional storage vault eventually takes its toll in physical terms.
It is said that “95% of all illnesses are caused by stress, 100% of stress is caused by wrong beliefs” (Dr. Bruce Lipton)
It's no wonder so many people feel tired, listless, and in pain all the time. Sadly, when you live with low energy long enough, it begins to feel normal and you lose the memory of how to feel great.
So many people have forgotten what it feels like to have vitality, energy and enthusiasm, and to look forward to each day.
Studies have shown; happiness, joy, laughter, causes the release of endorphins. Endorphins are powerful chemicals released by the brain that make you feel good. They boost your immune system, relax muscles, elevate your mood, and dampen pain.
Alternatively, adrenalin releases when you feel fear, anxiety or stress. It causes blood vessels to dilate, making your skin flush. Rapid, shallow breathing ensues. Muscles tighten, especially around the stomach and shoulder area. A slight sweat may break out.
The purpose of adrenalin is to place your body in a high-alert rapid-response flight-or-flight state. In emergencies, this is beneficial, as it aids escape. But, over a long period, adrenalin can be very damaging to your body. It suppresses your immune system, impairs digestion, uses up vital vitamins and minerals, causes pain and stiffness, makes your body acidic resulting in inflammation, and drains vitality.
Studies have shown that negative emotions actually weaken your body, while positive emotions strengthen your body. Shame has the most devastating effect, followed by guilt, apathy, grief, fear, anxiety, craving, anger and hate
Since your body/mind/spirit are all connected, negative emotions reflect in your face and change the appearance of eyes, expression, skin texture, colour and tension.
So, negative emotions really DO cause disease and illness and pre-mature aging!
For more information and similar related articles, please get in touch via my website www.mindhorizon.org. I will be more than happy to offer my assistance in any way that I can.
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